Essential Reads

Are You Numb to Pleasure? How to See Life with New Eyes

The key is we have to see everything in life, even our health, as a gift.

Taking the Right Sort of Interest in Yourself

Not all self-interest is selfish

All Pain Is Real

Finding creative and innovative ways to approach the problem of chronic pain.

Is Evidence-Based Treatment All It's Cracked Up To Be?

Watch out for bad science masquerading as "evidence"

Recent Posts on Addiction

Using Holistic Medicine to Treat Chronic Pain Syndrome

My colleague Carol Bowman, M.D., staff physician and director of The Pain Recovery Program at Father Martin’s Ashley, discusses the role of holistic medicine when treating patients suffering from chronic pain.

Should We Call it Postpartum Depression?

For reasons that are both straightforward and extremely complex, I just think the terminology should be different.

Will Love Conquer Addiction?

Addiction is a complex disorder that includes neuropsychological changes, biochemical disruption, and interpersonal chaos.

Study Folly?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in In Excess
One of the more interesting types of Culture Bound Syndromes is Brain Fag Syndrome (BFS). The symptoms are such as to prevent students from carrying on with their work and include various unpleasant head symptoms, memory loss, visual difficulties, inability to concentrate, and inability to write. But is this real and what does the psychological literature say?

The 5 Traits of Extraordinary Ordinary People

Extraordinary people exist within even the most ordinary lives. They are the ones with the knack for living genuinely and who inspire us to attempt the same.

Music Therapy Activities Wiki

Learn more about music therapy, the value of music therapists and how music therapists envision and develop music therapy strategies. MusicTherapyActivities.Wikia.com is an encyclopedic collection of therapeutic music activities, indexed by goal and objective—and it will help you understand more about the range of this dynamic approach to health.

Another Guy Who Isn't a Sex Addict

By Marty Klein PhD on March 31, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
"Sex addiction" is a very poor way to understand people.

Mental Health Screening Wouldn't Have Saved Germanwings 9525

By Jean Kim M.D. on March 30, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Screening must balance concerns of rare high-risk cases versus the vast majority of functional people with mental illness trying to overcome stigma and judgment

Can Healthy Living Reduce Cancer Risk? (Part One of Two)

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Media Spotlight
According to available statistics, roughly fourteen million people worldwide were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2012 alone. That same year saw about eight million cancer deaths. How many of those deaths might have been prevented using available medical knowledge about cancer risks? And how many more cancer deaths can we expect over the next three decades?

No Substitute for “Real” Relationships

Studies confirm that things, money, material riches are not the solution to human longing. Despite unprecedented affluence, health care, and technological advances, few--even among the best off elites--claim to be truly satisfied. What really matters requires riches of the heart, riches of the spirit.

Do You Love Your Shoes Too Much?

By Donna Barstow on March 28, 2015 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Don't be afraid to ask your therapist the hard questions, even when they're personal, passionate, and somewhat embarrassing.

Understanding Transgender Reality

In February, at the annual International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) symposium, I was honored to hear Ryan Sallans, an international speaker, transgender man and author of the book Second Son, speak.

Why You Shouldn't Shop When Sleepy

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Food Junkie
Research suggests that combing the aisles of the supermarket with drooping eyelids may have unintended consequences for your pantry and possibly your diet.

Addiction or Dependency? Does it Matter?

Many of my patients often ask me, “What’s the difference between being addicted to prescription pain medications versus being dependent?” To help shed light on this important topic, I’d like to examine each classification.

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Health

Addicts and those with co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD are frequently overwhelmed by shame. This is not just an internal issue of being ashamed of past behaviors.

What Parents Can’t Do

More than twice as many states required parental consent for mental health treatment than for substance abuse treatment.

Irrationality of A.A.?

My friend recently forwarded me the April 2015 Atlantic Magazine article “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” by Gabrielle Glaser. If I did not have personal and professional experience with alcoholism and in treating alcoholics, then I imagine I would not have felt such a need to respond to this article.

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.

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.

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?

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 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