Essential Reads

How Drug Addiction Impacts Infant Care

Substance abuse short circuits neural connections.

Rumination and Your Health

Rumination is linked to poor physiological reactivity

4 Predictions for the Future of Addiction Treatment

These advancements may be just over the horizon.

Spirituality and Addiction

Is addiction a problem of the spirit?

Recent Posts on Addiction

James Holmes: A Psychiatric Analysis

Is James Holmes a victim of insanity or a calculating killer?

Brush with the Law: An Arts in Prison Program

By David Gussak Ph.D., ATR-BC on January 27, 2015 in Art on Trial
Guest blogger and artist Maria Maneos describes the tragic impetus and the development of her innovative nonprofit Prison Art organization "Brush with the Law," and how it has brought about effective and healthy change in those inmates that participate.

Sporting Chances

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on January 27, 2015 in In Excess
Games of chance (like lotteries) offer no significant edge to serious gamblers and are unlikely to be gambled upon. Serious gamblers gravitate towards types of gambling that provide an appropriate mix of chance and skill. This is one of the reasons why horse-race betting is so popular for gamblers. But what else do we know about the psychology of horse-race betting?

Bad Sports: 'Deflategate' and the Psychology of Cheating

By Jason Powers M.D. on January 27, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
A study suggests that most cheaters, if found guilty, wouldn't experience much remorse. Researchers found that the "high" may be mitigated by the magnitude of the perceived consequences. However, over time and perhaps through self-reflection, cheaters may become more likely to regret their actions.

Food Cravings: Those "Torments of Expectation"

Food cravings are generally considered benign and extremely common among people in many, though not all, regions of the world. Cravings, however, may be associated with so-called “food addiction,” as well as disordered patterns of eating, and even less dietary restraint and ability to control one’s weight.

Day 22: Releasing Existential Sadness

Try reducing your existential sadness in the following simple way.

Is Addiction a Disease?

By Joseph A Shrand M.D. on January 23, 2015 in Manage Your Stress
Even addicts are doing the best they can.

Day 21: Picking the Best Anxiety Management Strategy For You

Which anxiety management technique will work best for you? Pick from these dozen!

The Many Hues (and Cries) of Noir

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on January 22, 2015 in Creating in Flow
If you’ve ever spent a minute at a racetrack’s betting window, you’ll recognize the excitement of this accomplished thriller. Even if you haven’t, you’ll find yourself caring for the two main characters who share their journey seeking justice from a capricious world.

It’s Harder for Women to Quit Smoking Than It Is for Men

By Richard Taite on January 22, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
Women are at an increased risk of relapse after a smoking cessation attempt. Research indicates that both the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle and the negative symptomatology experienced while quitting play a role during smoking cessation and can influence outcomes.

Recovery and Resilience Connection

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. Learning to become more resilient can offer individuals the opportunity to improve their life, maximizing potential and success.

Day 20: Reducing Your Distress Without Knowing Its Cause

We may not know what is causing our distress but we can still take action to reduce it.

The "What's It For?" of Irrelationship

Those in irrelationship tend to have complimentary histories that prep them for the roles they act out for one another. The Performer ceaselessly performs “routines” designed to make the Audience feel better. But the Audience’s apparently passive role is just as much a performance: The Audience’s part is to make the Performer believe that the “feel better” routines work.

Binge Eating in Men

By Carolyn C. Ross M.D., M.P.H. on January 21, 2015 in Real Healing
Today, men are catching up with women in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

Addiction as a Learning Disorder

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 21, 2015 in Science of Choice
The consensus among scientists is that drug addiction is associated with altered learning system that appears to overvalue pleasure, undervalue risk, and fail to learn from repeated mistakes.

Day 19: Making the Life-Changing Decision to Matter

Making the conscious decision to matter is a key to better mental health.

How Do Genes Sway the Sensitivity or Resilience of a Child?

By Christopher Bergland on January 20, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
New research from Duke University shows that early childhood interventions can help even the most sensitive and vulnerable children blossom into resilient and extraordinary adults.

How Evolutionary Science Can Make Us Morally Better

Because morality is so important, we ought to make sure that we're doing it right. Evolutionary science can help us with that.

Day 18: Not Labeling Emotional Difficulty a Mental Disorder

Why do we say "I am depressed" when we don't say "I am a rash" or "I am a broken arm"? On day 18 of 30 days to better mental health we look at how to avoid self-identifying with a mental disorder label when emotional difficulties arise.

Fertile Imagination

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on January 20, 2015 in In Excess
Professor Sammy Lee (one of the UK’s pioneers in IVF egg donation) believes that the urge for childless couples to have children is stronger than the urges addicts feel for their drugs or behaviours of choice and that their pursuit is obsessive. but what evidence is there that 'IVF addiction' exists?

Missing the Boat on Diagnosis

By Ira J. Chasnoff M.D. on January 19, 2015 in Aristotle's Child
In this new study, 86.5 percent of children and adolescents with FASDs had been misdiagnosed

If You Want Happiness, Resolve to Find Meaning

By Dan Mager MSW on January 19, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
Is it better to be happy than not? Do bears defecate in the woods? The question is not whether happiness is a good thing. Rather, it is two-fold: To what extent is it helpful and healthy to view happiness as an end unto itself, and how best to facilitate happiness?

Limits of Natural and Logical Consequences in Parenting

By Ugo Uche on January 19, 2015 in Promoting Empathy With Your Teen
For a child, the natural rules of the universe and the rules set by his parents present with consequences for any decisions he makes. This is because children need their parents to survive. As a result, parents are the environment that children adapt to.

Day 17: Dramatically Reducing Your Defensiveness

Learn why reducing your defensiveness dramatically increases your mental health.

iPhone Separation Anxiety

Are you suffering from iPhone Separation Anxiety?

9 Essential Issues Good Therapy Should Address

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on January 18, 2015 in Think Well
Despite the fact that all people are unique individuals who will need their therapy tailored to their specific needs, there are some general factors that define good therapy. If you and your therapist are not addressing them, important therapeutic stones may be left unturned thus limiting your therapy's effectiveness.

Day 16: Reckoning With The Distress of Meaningless Work

In order to improve our mental health, we need to factor in the toll that meaningless work takes

Je Suis Charlie: Courage, Commitment and the Cost of Freedom

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on January 18, 2015 in Evil Deeds
It is easy for Americans and French citizens to take our freedom for granted. But these violent attacks remind all of us that freedom is something precious and precarious, and that it takes great courage and commitment to affirm and maintain it. This is an existential truism not only for nations or cultures, but for patients in psychotherapy too.

Putting Feelings Into Words: 3 Ways to Explain What You Feel

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on January 17, 2015 in Off the Couch
Have you ever had troubles finding the words for what you’re feeling or thinking? Most of us have encountered this difficulty at some time or another. It often happens just when we most need to be able to explain ourselves – when we’re feeling something particularly strongly or in a crisis or just want to communicate a strong feeling.

Day 15: Learning the Skill of Quick Meaning Repair

What can you do if life suddenly feels less meaningful? Practice the skill of quick meaning repair!