Essential Reads

A New Payoff to Risky Decisions

By Hara Estroff Marano on July 27, 2016 in Brainstorm
Scientists discover how facing risky decisions makes us smarter. Guest post by Shira Polan.

Internet Gaming Disorder vs. Internet Addiction Disorder

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 27, 2016 in In Excess
In the DSM-5, Internet Gaming Disorder is seen as synonymous with internet use disorder (IUD) and internet addiction (IA). Empirical evidence clearly shows this is not the case.

Feathering the Empty Nest

By Ann Smith on July 25, 2016 in Healthy Connections
Couples who were able to maintain their connection through the child rearing years will have a smoother transition into empty nest years.

Risk of Relapse to Alcohol Drops After 5 Years of Sobriety

By Matthew MacKinnon MD on July 18, 2016 in Neuraptitude
New research reveals that a former alcoholic's risk of relapse after 5 years of sobriety is about the same as the risk of developing alcoholism in the general US population.

More Posts on Addiction

The Link Between Violence and Substance Abuse

By Harris B Stratyner Ph.D., CASAC on June 18, 2009 in
Ever wonder why man at times can be so inhumane to his fellow brothers and sisters? Throughout history, we have seen random acts of violence: war, domestic violence, rape, street crimes, turning over cars after a sporting event along with looting and burning, cruelty to animals, shootings, stabbing, robberies of many sorts.

Health Care Reform for Overshoppers (Part I): The Centrality of Self-Care

By April Lane Benson Ph.D. on June 17, 2009 in To Buy or Not To Buy
Do you procrastinate about making doctor’s appointments, forgo regular checkups, avoid diagnostic tests, or fail to get prescription medications because the money for these has gone to things you’ve bought obsessively? Have you allowed your shopping addiction to so damage your supportive human web of family and friends that it feels as if there’s no one to help you with your recovery or turn to in an emergency? Does the sheer amount of clutter in your home prevent you from having people over—or perhaps even present a serious risk to your health and safety?

Live Longer, Live Better

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on June 09, 2009 in Cravings
According to some experts, if you can hang in there and stay healthy for the next few decades, new medical technologies will come along that could extend your life. They could be right. 

The Amy Winehouse Deathwatch

By Anneli Rufus on June 04, 2009 in Stuck
These last few months, far from her London home, the enormously talented musician has been on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, where Universal Records hopes she'll dry out, write, and record. Instead, she drinks. At resorts, paparazzi snap her crawling across bar floors, begging tourists for sips after bartenders refuse to serve her. The record company has spent nearly $1 million on Winehouse's idyll thus far, but she has neither written nor recorded anything of note. She has cancelled concert dates. For all its tragedy, this is a captivating glimpse into the drama of addiction -- captivating because it's larger-than-life, illuminating the question of incentive, i.e.: What would it take to quit?

Whose Fault Is It When You Can't Lose Weight?

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on June 02, 2009 in Cravings
You say you want to lose weight and get fit, but you’re not doing it. Why not? Can’t find the motivation? Afraid you’re not doing it right? Don’t have the time? Think it’s pointless to try? Sorry, but you can, you will, you do, and it’s not.

Look At It This Way

By Stephen Mason Ph.D. on May 29, 2009 in Look At It This Way

The dark, bizarre, absurd, and deviant side of curiosity

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on May 27, 2009 in Curious?
Of note, this blog may be unsettling to highly sensitive people.

People to Avoid

By Gordon S Livingston M.D. on May 25, 2009 in Lifelines
After considering the perils of linking one's life to the terminally self-absorbed, substance prone to substance abuse, or those consumed with anxiety or depression, I was left with a group of people to be wary of that do not fit into any specific category of personality disorder. They do not, in general, seek to manipulate or disadvantage others. They are not necessarily conceited or unkind, and their intentions are usually benign. And yet they are hard to be around for long. They tend toward a certain loquaciousness and are not often good listeners. It is the quality of their thoughts combined with an irresistible need to communicate them that are defining characteristics. They are fools.

White Knight Commonalities

What are the common characteristics and behaviors of a "White Knight"?

Food Cravings – Can you cure yourself?

By Susan B Roberts Ph.D. on May 15, 2009 in The Instinct Diet

Darwin's Regret

If I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.

The Other Side of The Coin

By Harris B Stratyner Ph.D., CASAC on May 13, 2009 in
We have all heard, witnessed and experienced first hand how the economy has hurt American society and the world at large - but what about the other side of the coin? 

Watching Easy Targets Squirm

By Anneli Rufus on May 09, 2009 in Stuck
 Ladies' Home Journal claims in its latest issue that Paula Abdul admitted having spent twelve years addicted to painkillers. The LHJ story includes extensive quotes attributed to the pop singer/dancer/choreographer/American Idol judge. Yet in interviews and a statement to the media released yesterday, Abdul fiercely denied having said any such thing. But the question of was-she-wasn't-she-addicted pales beside the question of why we might care. It's not merely because she's a celebrity. It's largely because the self she displays to the world is very vulnerable: part insecurity, part giggly spontaneity, part impetuous passion and part fear. In other words, an easy target. We feel safe with her. So we attack. 

Rescuing Yourself from Your Need to Rescue Others

Are you a "White Knight?"Are you attracted to needy, damaged, or helpless people?Do you feel like your love can heal your partner?Are you overly involved in your partner's problems?Are you hungry for constant reassurance in relationships?Do you make excuses for your partner?Do you try to "save" people from themselves?

Is AA Necessary for the Alcoholic?

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on May 03, 2009 in The Literary Mind
Is a 12-Step program necessary for dealing with alcoholism?What are the key components for dealing with the disease?Recently, I received a letter from a reader who insisted that the 12 steps are necessary.  Do you agree?

Understanding the Continuum of Relationship Style

Relationship style comes in several different distinct flavors -- independent, dependent, interdependent, co-dependent and counter-dependent. Bearing this in mind, if we consider one of the prime tenets of forensic psychology - the way that people do one thing is the way that they do everything - we can begin to reveal the consistencies, and, by association, the repeated patterns of behavior, in the vast majority, if not all, of our relationships.

Social Drinkers, Problem Drinkers and Alcoholics

When the term "high-functioning alcoholic" is mentioned, various types of drinkers often begin to question their own drinking and worry if they fall into this category. Part of this confusion is that many individuals are unclear about the differences in characteristics of social drinkers, problem drinkers and alcoholics.

What is dopamine?

By Phil Newton on April 26, 2009 in From Mouse to Man

The Life-and-Death Struggle over the Meaning of Addiction: Do God and Nature Back DSM-V?

By Stanton Peele on April 25, 2009 in Addiction in Society
Why are they fighting over addiction in the American psychiatric bilble, DSM-V - wasn't it defined in those tablets God gave Moses?

A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste (Part III)

By April Lane Benson Ph.D. on April 22, 2009 in To Buy or Not To Buy

Everyone Is An Individual

By Harris B Stratyner Ph.D., CASAC on April 22, 2009 in

Dangerous Genius: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on April 16, 2009 in Evil Deeds
In his second trial, sixty-eight -year-old legendary rock music producer Phil Spector was convicted  of murdering actress Lana Clarkson. Touted as a creative genius in his heyday, Spector's notorious inner demons gradually got the better of him. Creativity and evil live in close quarters in artists like Spector.  

My Work as a Psychologist in Prison

By Marisa Mauro Psy.D. on April 16, 2009 in Take All Prisoners
My daily routine involves completing rounds, seeing each of these patients and determining whether or not their level of care should be stepped down or if they should be discharged and returned to the hands of custody officers. In conjunction with my team, I also determine whether or not the condition is severe or chronic enough to warrant a referral to the Department of Mental Health.

Assessing your drinking habits online

According to the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, only 25% of alcoholics ever receive treatment. High-functioning alcoholics (HFAs) and potential HFAs are the type of drinkers that need to take alcohol screening tests but are not always the ones that do.