Essential Reads

Will Your Gamer Survive College?

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 26, 2016 in Mental Wealth
If you're concerned about your son's video game habits spinning out of control when he goes to college, you're right to be worried—but here's what parents can do.

This is Your Child's Brain on Video Games

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 24, 2016 in Mental Wealth
Playing video games presents an "evolutionary mismatch": A fight-or-flight response unaccompanied by a physical discharge of energy. So guess where all the energy goes?

Study Pinpoints Brain Circuitry of Emotional Decision-Making

By Christopher Bergland on September 20, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
We all know the gut-wrenching feeling of making a tough emotional decision. Recently, MIT neuroscientists pinpointed the brain mechanics behind emotional decision-making.
ID 26059368 © Beachboyx10 |

How Drum Circles Can Improve, if Not Cure, Your Depression

Have you ever wondered how people used to treat depression before prescription medications were invented?

More Posts on Addiction

The Hurt Locker: Battlefield IQ

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D. on July 22, 2009 in Reel Therapy
Much of "The Hurt Locker" plays like a war drama on steroids. In this roller coaster of testosterone, the primary theme is, "War is an addiction." Naturally, James, the protagonist and expert bomb disposer, is the addict. His brain only experiences calm when the world around him is exploding; he seems happiest when beginning that long, lonely march toward half-buried bombs. Such a risky world attitude often proves worrisome to those who value such societal norms as safety and order. On countless occasions those around James tag him as reckless and impulsive, inciting nicknames that range from the self-explanatory "Wildman" to the poetically understated "stupid piece of white trash." Judging by national reviews the media largely concurs with this personality assessment.

Foot-In-Mouth — Addiction? Disease? Just Plain Stupid?

By Lynn Phillips on July 22, 2009 in Dream On
I used to think wanton wrong-speaking—the fleeting high of uncensored speech followed by the painful self-hatred of withdrawal-was an addiction, because for me it might as well be. Where am I, exactly, while devils are running my mouth? A Harvard psychologist says my lapses are something less dire—and more disturbing. 

Most Tragic A&E Intervention Show Ironically for HFA

I have often said that a movie or a TV show featuring a high-functioning alcoholic (HFA) would not be viewed as “dramatic” enough by today’s entertainment standards.

And the Living Ain't Easy

By Deborah King on July 21, 2009 in Mining the Headlines

Food For Thought

By Harris B Stratyner Ph.D., CASAC on July 21, 2009 in
In the past few weeks, I have been interviewed by the media about the tragic death of Michael Jackson. Mr. Jackson's untimely death was an opportunity to educate people about the dangers of prescription drug use gone horribly wrong

Frank Bruni: A Restaurant Critic and his Bulimia

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on July 20, 2009 in The Literary Mind
Frank Bruni, The New York Times restaurant critic, was or is bulimic. We know this because he published a brave excerpt from his forthcoming memoir in last week's The New York Times Magazine. Bruni shows us that owning our addictions can be the key to knowing what our strengths are.

ORPHAN is Coming: Are There Really Evil Children?

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on July 20, 2009 in Evil Deeds
Orphan is a new and already controversial horror film scheduled to be released on July 24th by Warner Brothers. One of its producers recently interviewed me on camera here in Los Angeles for the forthcoming DVD bonus documentary (Mama's Little Devils: Bad Seeds, Evil Kids and Orphan) regarding one of the film's central themes: the enigmatic nature of human evil. 

The most dangerous food to eat is a wedding cake.

By Gordon S Livingston M.D. on July 19, 2009 in Lifelines
The long process of figuring out why we are often drawn to people who turn out not to be good for us leads us to the conclusion that there is something deeper going on here, some rule of living that makes us want what we do not want. 

China To Stop Shock Therapy On Internet Addicts

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on July 14, 2009 in Side Effects
A hospital in China has been using electric shock therapy to treat overuse of the Internet.

What's the Most Dangerous Addiction?

By Stanton Peele on July 13, 2009 in Addiction in Society
An outline of the traits of fatal attractions.

Addiction experts want you to be like Michael Jackson

By Stanton Peele on July 10, 2009 in Addiction in Society
Addiction experts try to convince human beings that love can't help them quit addictions, even though the majority of addicts quit, most often due to love.  Experts do so in order to maintain more people as addicts - kidding, they do so because - well you tell me why.
Michael Jackson's Memorial: Love is for the living

Michael Jackson's Memorial: Love is for the living

By Stanton Peele on July 09, 2009 in Addiction in Society
So many people professed their love for Michael Jackson at his memorial service (including one of his children), so many people claimed to care about him, it's surprising he seemed so alone.  One of the most affecting tributes at the ceremony was from old friend Brooke Shields who, tearfully, gestured to the heavens where Jackson was undoubtedly looking down on this outpouring of love towards him. Afterwards, Shields told reporters she had last seen Jackson in 1991.  As for his daughter Paris' moving expression of love - it should have been the best antidote to Jackson's drug addiction.

The Kid Is Not My Sun?

By Lynn Phillips on July 08, 2009 in Dream On
When Michael Jackson's skin kept getting lighter and lighter, it was commonly (and flippantly) said that he was "addicted to plastic surgery." Similarly, when Caucasians take to beaches and tanning beds and brown themselves like rotisserie chickens despite dermatologists' warnings that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can cause skin cancer, the popular science media is inclined to say that they are "tanorexic," "tan-oholic" or "addicted to tanning."Should we take those diagnoses seriously?  

Blogaholism-Is It In You?

By Lawrence Rubin Ph.D, ABPP, LMHC, RPT-S on July 06, 2009 in Popular Culture Meets Psychology
Has blogaholism inflicted you or your loved one?

The Toughest Addiction to Quit

By Stanton Peele on July 06, 2009 in Addiction in Society
Marion Barry was arrested for stalking a woman, remindng us that what he was addicted to is tougher to control than drugs.

TIME’s Misleading Cover Story on Marriage

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 04, 2009 in Living Single
The cover story of TIME magazine includes an egregious and scientifically indefensible statement about the children of single parents.  

Cultivating the Seeds of Compassion, Conscious Connection and the Self

In the Buddhist wisdom traditions there is a teaching about the three poisons --- craving, aggression and ignorance. These three poisons are associated with three objects -- people, places and circumstances. These poisons and objects then lead us to the three virtues --- non-attachment, tolerance and acceptance. All of this provides a context within which we might develop true compassion, for both ourselves and others. 

Michael Jackson's Death Won't Reduce Abuse of Prescription Meds

By Stanton Peele on June 30, 2009 in Addiction in Society
The popular claim that Michael Jackson's death will discourage fans from indiscriminately taking pain killers and prescription meds is wrong minded - more Americans will continue to do so, and especially Michael Jackson fans.

Putting your words out there, trying to be heard

By Carla Cantor on June 26, 2009 in Small Steps
We’re all getting published, punching in our keywords, hoping that someone will listen.

Michael Jackson's Broken Heart

By Deborah King on June 26, 2009 in Mining the Headlines
Was Michael Jackson's death from coronary arrest the result of his lifestyle or from a broken heart?

Hooked on Addiction Culture

By Lynn Phillips on June 23, 2009 in Dream On
In medicine the word “addiction” usually indicates a physical dependence on a chemical substance or behavior that messes with your dopamine system. But, as Wikipedia admits, the word is now used much more broadly to mean any old gratifying dependency you have a tough time ending without tears. That’s the definition I’m taking home. So, while occasionally here in “Dream On,” we’ll look at the roles that mind and brain play in the predictable dopaminergic addictions like huffing glue (substance abuse), compulsive Purex use (OCD) and designer purse collecting (shopoholia), most often we’ll focus on the addictiveness of ideas, concepts, and fantasies -- from skewed self-images and the myth of “the American dream,” to the need to pretend that your sex partner is Angelina Jolie, a black stallion or Samuel Beckett.

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.