Essential Reads

The Mindful Geek

A Radically New Way to Quit Smoking

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

10 Ways to Be Less Reactive in Difficult Situations

Breakup: How to Tell If You Suffer from Complicated Grief

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

Recent Posts on Addiction

Making fun of fat people

By Deborah Schurman-Kauflin Ph.D. on December 09, 2012 in Disturbed
Making fun of overweight people is one of the last socially accepted forms of bigotry.

December 12 Is Global Bullying Prevention Day

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on December 09, 2012 in Media Spotlight
Bullying can take many forms, all of them ugly. Though news stories continue to report bullied students who lash out in violence, whether in the form of suicide or through shooting rampages punishing teachers and students alike, the epidemic of bullying continues. And the damage can last into adulthood.

A Medical Rx for a Stress Free Holiday

By Stanley H. Block M.D. on December 08, 2012 in Come To Your Senses
A stress-free Holiday Season is really possible. Read how you can allow the joy of the season be your Holiday Lifestyle.

How Long Can We Maintain the Rush of New Love?

Typically, the law of diminishing returns applies in the realm of love relationships. Over time, a kiss generally has relatively diminished power to produce the same explosion of feeling as it once did. No relationship remains in the cocaine-rush phase forever as a rule. There are exceptions to every rule however…

Alcohol Is a Way of Coping

By Stephen Joseph Ph.D. on December 06, 2012 in What Doesn't Kill Us
To what extent do people drink to help them deal with unresolved traumas and conflicts?

Survival Mode and Evolutionary Mismatch

By John Montgomery Ph.D. on December 06, 2012 in The Embodied Mind
When we live in environments that are drastically different from the ones we’re biologically adapted for, our threshold for "survival mode" triggers is lowered. Repeated triggering leads to stress and pain.

Yet Another Reason to Legalize Marijuana

By Kristian Marlow on December 05, 2012 in The Superhuman Mind
Studies show our youth have been turning to dangerous synthetic cannabinoids to get high. Eliminate the temptation by relaxing drug laws.

Sex Addiction: Rejected Yet Again by APA

By David J Ley Ph.D. on December 05, 2012 in Women Who Stray
It was a fight to the finish: would sex addiction be in or out of the new "Bible" of psychiatric disorders? In the end, sex addiction was ruled as "not worth further research" by the American Psychiatric Association.

Quitting Cold Turkey: Better Than Smoking Cessation Programs

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on December 05, 2012 in The Human Beast
The vast majority of smokers who quit succeed by themselves. This raises an interesting dilemma for planned treatments both drug-based and behavioral. Are supposed help givers doing the opposite?

Opening the Heart of a Child

With the holidays approaching, expectations of peace, love, giving, receiving, and forgiving abound. My mind and heart naturally wander to thoughts of compassion and self-compassion and where these very critical values stand in our consciousness. Especially at this time of year when many feel they are supposed to be joyful yet are not.

Is Not Marrying Harmful to Children?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on December 04, 2012 in The Human Beast
The impact of marriage on social problems of children is one of the most important, and most researched questions in child development and family studies. Yet, clear answers are hard to find. Children of single parents fare much worse in terms of social problems in the U.S. Yet the same is not true in many European countries.

We Admitted We Were Powerless

It's not easy to admit we aren't in the driver's seat.

Narcissism vs. Authentic Self-Esteem

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on December 03, 2012 in Shame
Genuine self-respect grows from living up to our own standards. Narcissism is a defensive cover for an underlying sense of shame, the very opposite of authentic self-esteem.

Legalization of Marijuana Is Okay

By Lance Dodes M.D. on December 03, 2012 in The Heart of Addiction
Readers of this blog know that addiction is a psychological symptom, a compulsive behavior driven exactly like other compulsions, and readily understandable and treatable. This perspective can be helpful in thinking about the recent election, in which two states legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

Psychiatry Rejects Novel Sexual Disorder "Hebephilia"

By Karen Franklin Ph.D. on December 02, 2012 in Witness
Hebephilia, or the sexual attraction to young adolescents, was one of three highly controversial new sexual disorders proposed for the upcoming fifth edition of the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). All three were rejected.

Skill at Substance Use

By Stanton Peele on December 02, 2012 in Addiction in Society
Alcohol use has always been ubiquitous among human societies, while new drugs are regularly added to our pharmaceutical cornucopia - and increasingly so for young Americans in the form of psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Under these conditions, skill at use of substances is a necessary concomitant to modern life.

Compare and Despair

By Ingrid Mathieu Ph.D. on December 02, 2012 in Emotional Sobriety
We can get swept up in comparisons, looking at other’s lives from the outside and wondering why we aren’t fortunate enough to live such a rich existence. We can compare ourselves to our own desires, believing that if we were “better” we might find happiness in our dreams coming true. How do we stop the comparing and despairing to discover happiness in the present?

DSM 5 Is Guide Not Bible—Ignore Its Ten Worst Changes

By Allen J Frances M.D. on December 02, 2012 in DSM5 in Distress
The ten worst suggestions that were recently approved for DSM-5 are summarized and the recommendation made that clinicians and the public not to use them at all or use them with great caution.

Turn Your Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones!

Helen Keller once wrote: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” As we navigate through challenging times toward a better future, it’s useful to visit some tried and true ideas regarding life hardiness and resiliency....

Can Ecstasy Help Treat PTSD?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on December 02, 2012 in Media Spotlight
Veterans are taking a serious look at a promising new research that shows positive results in treating severe posttraumatic stress in patients using MDMA ("Ecstasy") in combination with psychotherapy. Will current drug legislation allow expanded treatment programs using restricted drugs?

I Never Want to Have Sex Again

The most frequent phone call to my office begins with these 7 dismaying words. Even young women say this. Hot women say this. In fact about 40 million women feel this. They all can’t be too busy for sex. Have you told your husband this? Has your wife told you this? Here’s how to analyze what’s going on.

Does Character Count?

By Stephen Gray Wallace on November 30, 2012 in Decisions Teens Make
School scandals shine a new light on the character of today's youth.

Flex Your Financial Fortitude This Holiday Season

Holiday spending is expected to reach a staggering $586 billion this year. How do you plan to keep yours under control?

Feeling Pain

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on November 30, 2012 in Fit Femininity
We are often encouraged to 'work harder' in our exercise sessions. It is sometimes difficult to know when one is simply pushing one's body and when one is damaging it by overdoing. But can one work hard without being in pain? What is the difference between 'good' and 'bad' pain?

Abuse of Corpse

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on November 27, 2012 in Shadow Boxing
Sexual preferences can take bizarre, even disgusting, turns. Those who prefer to get their kicks from bodies or body parts, no matter what the cost, offer a fascinating study in perversion and addiction.

Does Temperament Predict Addiction?

By A Guest Blogger on November 27, 2012 in Brainstorm
A new animal model of temperament reveals why some brains gravitate towards addiction.

Are You a Brain Porn Addict?

Advances in neuroscience are creating a host of news stories about the role brain's role in behavior. Although many new findings hold promise for greater understanding of the way our minds work, it’s important to put on your critical lenses before applying them to your own life.

Overcoming Shame:The Powerful Benefits of a Little Self-Love

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on November 26, 2012 in Feeling It
Are you highly self-critical? Do you beat yourself up over failures? Do you feel shame or a not good enough? We live in a society that regularly sends us the message to achieve more, work harder, win, be perfect, be the best. Our self-critical and competitive attitude is actually hurting us and new research suggests self-compassion may be a far superior alternative.

Stress: The Killer Disease

Stress Kills. We’ve heard it before. It’s common sense. But how does stress kill? As a physician, I tend to imagine stress leading to high blood pressure and heart attacks and anxiety or depression. But how could stress, alone, do all that? Sure, there are stress hormones that get out of whack, but how does stress kill?

Society's Changing View of Borderline Personality

How does society understand "Borderline"?