Essential Reads

Breakup: How to Tell If You Suffer from Complicated Grief

The emotional responses to a severe breakup can resemble the responses to death.

The Joy of Distraction

Why do people fail at self-control?

When Introverts and Extroverts Attract

Tips for relationships between introverts and extroverts

Do Sleep Issues in Teens Predict Drug and Alcohol Problems?

The relationship between sleep and substance abuse in teens is complex.

Recent Posts on Addiction

Are You a Promiscuous Shopper?

I’ve been known to unashamedly grab something off a shelf if I knew it would make me happy for a few months, a few weeks, even—dare I admit it—a few days. That’s the kind of loose shopper I am.

How Drug Addiction Impacts Infant Care

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Me in We
Drug abuse short circuits neural connections between child and caregiver.

Why AA is Bad Science…and What It Means for Treatment

Why then is AA’s 12-step model the “go to” treatment choice for most Americans? The answer is simple—for most of its history, AA really was the only treatment available for addicts and alcoholics.

In at the Sharp End

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in In Excess
Belonophilia refers to the deriving of sexual pleasure and arousal from pins or needles. Although media stories relating to ‘needle fetishes’ appear to be relatively rare, clinical and medical case studies in the academic literature are almost non-existent. So, what do we know psychologically about this apparently rare sexual fetish?

Racism: Our Collective Complicity, Denial and Naiveté

To honestly confront the psychological illness of racism, America needs a true mirror, one that reflects our light and our shadow; one that provokes a real moral and spiritual awakening.

Is Digital Life Risky?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.

Yes, You Can Get Addicted to Exercise

For approximately 3 percent of the population, striving to stay fit does them more harm than good.

Work Meetings in a Bar?

Holding work meetings in a bar disadvantages some people

Addicted to Being Right!

I’ve found that even the best fighters – the proverbial smartest guys in the room – can break their addiction to being right by getting hooked on oxytocin-inducing behavior instead. Connecting and bonding with others trumps conflict. The more you learn about other peoples’ perspectives, the more likely you are to feel empathy for them.

The Politicization of Mental Health

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 22, 2015 in Women Who Stray
Shootings, deaths and tragedies involving mental illness fill our news every day. Politicians are talking about mental health more than ever before. But, most political efforts to reform these issues ignore the deep underlying issues of funding, regulatory complexity and access which inhibit real reform.

Book Review: Wisdom from the Couch

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on March 22, 2015 in In Therapy
Dr. Jennifer Kunst shares the warmer, friendlier side of Kleinian psychology in this interview and book review.

So You Think You Are In Recovery? Maybe Not.

Does you recovery contain these 10 components?

Prenatal Drug Exposure and Disruption of Attachment

By Ira J. Chasnoff M.D. on March 20, 2015 in Aristotle's Child
For successful attachment between caregiver and infant to occur, the caregiver must be able to read and respond to the infant's cues and the infant must be able to read and respond to the caregiver's cues.

The End of Stigma

Brazil's campaign to tackle mental health discrimination.

The Urge to Connect

A 3 billion year perspective on where the human race is headed

Rumination and Your Health

By Dr. Amelia Aldao Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in Sweet Emotion
Getting stuck in ruminative cycles is associated with poor physiological outcomes, such as increased cortisol reactivity and prolonged cardiovascular reactivity

The Blissful Torture of Unrequited Love

Whether fast or slow, it comes on hard—as powerful as a bludgeon, but one covered in the softest velvet. It’s two-faced as well, like an optical illusion. And it’s also supremely paradoxical. How can an unreturned love engender such ecstatic, sublime feelings? Yet the chemical dynamics of reciprocation fantasies can be incredibly powerful...

4 Predictions for the Future of Addiction Treatment

While there are no easy answers, either for those struggling with substance use disorders or those attempting to help them, science gives us much to hope for, and accumulated experience is teaching us better each day what works and what doesn’t.

Sexism in Mental Health Practice

Misogyny in the mental health system warrants special attention during Women's History Month.

Are You Ready to Change?

We're always changing. We want to stop bad habits and start new ones. We want to move our life in a new direction, but the prospect of doing so is daunting. So let's stop forcing ourselves and others to change and deal with where we are at the moment.

How OxyContin Was Allowed to Kill so Many

While it is true that OxyContin abuse is decreasing, the epidemic of prescription drug abuse hasn’t gone away.

When It Comes to Pain Treatment, Less Is Often More

By Dan Mager MSW on March 18, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
Pain brings more people into contact with medical professionals than any other presenting problem. According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, it affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, & cancer combined. However, recent research when it comes to chronic pain, more treatment does not equate to better outcomes.

Spirituality and Addiction

For years, people have accepted the notion that addiction is a spiritual disorder. Let's take a look at that idea.

Misdiagnosis of Men With Borderline Personality Disorder

By Randi Kreger on March 17, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
Like women with BPD, men may come from troubled pasts and unstable relationships. At age 3, borderline football star Brandon Marshall witnessed his father nearly beat his mother to death—for the first time. He also lived with his father's drug use and vicious assaults toward women.

A Few Drinks After Work

Nadine fools herself into thinking she can manage her drinking, but psychological assessment indicates danger unless she gets needed help. Six questions can help you see if you or someone you love needs help.

Repairing Broken Women and Men

As an addiction treatment professional, I would make the case that substance abuse and addiction are almost entirely preventable.

Making Saves

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on March 17, 2015 in In Excess
Extreme couponing is an activity that combines shopping skills with couponing in an attempt to save as much money as possible while accumulating the most groceries. Extreme couponers spend hours and hours on the internet or scouring scouring rubbish tips or supermarket car parks looking for coupons. But can it be addictive?

The Cerebellum Deeply Influences Our Thoughts and Emotions

Yesterday there was a report on NPR about groundbreaking new research on the cerebellum from Harvard Medical School. The latest neuroscience shows that the cerebellum plays an important role in creating fluidity between our thoughts, actions, emotions, and cognitive processes.

Study Finds People with ADHD More Likely to Die Prematurely

The findings of this study can be anxiety-provoking for anyone touched by AD/HD. But the answer may be as simple as effective treatment.

To Fix or to Build?

People prone to irrelationship commonly make projects of fixing other people’s problems in much the way some people are drawn to the challenge of rescuing a foundering business. However, while saving a failing company is an exhilarating exercise for some, fixing another person’s life is usually attractive only to people who need to deflect awareness of their own anxiety.