Essential Reads

Understanding Addiction With Electronic Registries

Disruptive technology with a $40 per patient clinical trial price tag.

What's Wrong with Treating the "Disease" of Addiction?

Although still prevalent, the disease model has outlived its usefulness.

Family-based Programs for Substance Abusing Teen Girls

How can we stem the growing trend of substance abuse in girls?

The Mysteries of Habit

Neuroscience studies reveal why some behaviors are so difficult to change

Recent Posts on Addiction

Ernst Fleischl von Marxow (1846-1891)

How Freud got his friend Ernst Fleischl von Marxow addicted to cocaine and lied about it.

Nora Volkow Can't Explain Why People Don't Become Addicted

By Stanton Peele on February 07, 2012 Addiction in Society
The latest study purporting to identify the inbred biological factors in addiction calls to mind age-old questions about the nature of science. We in America prefer neat-sounding—but useless—laboratory findings over identifying the factors that actually account for behavior.

Treating Depression With Deep Brain Stimulation

A recent paper in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a leading psychiatric journal, describes a study investigating deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of depression.

Self-Diagnosing Your Marriage Problems? Beware!

Eric Clapton's famed song suggests "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself." To diagnose and fix problems that come up in your marriage, sit down and look inward instead of pointing fingers at your spouse's errors.

Psychological Diagnosis: Dangerous, Desirable, or Both?

Assigning a psychological diagnostic label to yourself or others can harm your emotional health. It can tarnish your relationships. At the same time, diagnostic clarity also can be a great benefit. Proceed with caution!

Do I "Wiki-Meet" Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD?

I read an article about ADHD and seem to have many of those symptoms. Does that mean that I have the disorder?

Video Game Addiction: Does It Occur? If So, Why?

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on February 02, 2012 Freedom to Learn
The concept of "video game addiction" has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association, by many video game researchers, and by many psychotherapists who work with video gamers. I reject it too. Here's why; and here's how you might help someone you know who spends lots of time at video games and seems unhappy.

Addicted to Lies

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 01, 2012 Shadow Boxing
We're often surprised when people lie easily and persistently, even when it's clear they'll be exposed. Casey Anthony gained as much attention for this behavior as for her status as an alleged child-killer. What's behind it?

The Meaning of Recovery Has Changed, You Just Don't Know It

By Stanton Peele on February 01, 2012 Addiction in Society
Do you think recovery equates to abstinence? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, recovery is "A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential." A bit different from the 12 steps version of recovery, wouldn't you say?

"Casual Sex" You Say?

By Lynn Phillips on January 31, 2012 Dream On
The phrase “casual sex” turns out to be a most treacherously roomy category. It can include good sex, bad sex, safe sex, risky sex, sex alone or with others, sex with friends or strangers, sex with partners older or younger. But few who use the term seem to notice.

Is Anorexia a Disease, a Series of Bad Decisions, or Both?

By Emily T. Troscianko on January 31, 2012 A Hunger Artist
Genetic and environmental factors in the development of anorexia, along with the feedback loops between the physiological and the psychological in its progression, make anorexia a difficult condition to recover from. However, everyday decisions also play a role, not only in becoming ill but also in bringing about recovery.

Can Facebook Boost Your Social Brain?

Social networks exist not only in the virtual world, but also in our brains. There’s evidence that the two might even be linked. Regions of the brain involved in social relationships seem to be larger in people with larger and more complex social networks.

Post-Dahmer Stress Disorder?

Just because we've endured intense stress doesn't mean we now have license to harm others. No matter what an attorney might argue, PTSD does not erase the awareness of right and wrong.

Negative Self-Talk and Addiction Recovery

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on January 29, 2012 All About Addiction
Negative self talk finds its way into many people's heads and is very common in early recovery. So what is one to do?

Don’t Believe Everything Your Mind Says

By Shawn T. Smith Psy.D. on January 28, 2012 Ironshrink
The mind is always looking out for our safety, but we don’t have to believe everything that it says.

Are You an Addict?

Addictive behaviors are appealing because they offer immediate relief from psychological pain and anxiety. However, the relief is only temporary, never providing a lasting solution to our problems. When we "sober up," we find that our emotional pain is still there.

Lessons from Thumbsucking, the Earliest Addiction

What helps kids to cease sucking their fingers or thumbs? These same principles can prove useful for grownups who want to overcome mistaken-things-we-put-in-our-mouths like excessive food, alcohol and drugs, or cigarettes.

Sex Differences Along the Seven Deadly Sins: The Vatican Report

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on January 25, 2012 Homo Consumericus
Do men and women succumb to the seven deadly sins in similar ways? A study conducted by a priest reveals some interesting findings.

A Possible Cure For Pornography Addiction—In an Essay

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on January 24, 2012 The Pacific Heart
David Mura’s classic essay is an absolute must read for anyone interested in how male sexuality interacts with pornography and other sexual addictions. The essay goes right to the heart, and makes it possible to “cure” pornography addiction in about 10,000 words that stimulate deep reflection and maturation.

Declaration of Co-dependency: Face it, We're Addicted Through Love

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 24, 2012 Ambigamy
Set aside positive and negative connotations, the dynamical behavior underlying love and addiction are the same. In both cases we lose an ability to do something for ourselves and become dependent on someone or something else. The right question is simply who and what to love and be addicted to?

The American Dream: A Replay

By Peter Corning Ph.D. on January 24, 2012 The Fair Society
A popular theme in science fiction and Hollywood movies is the idea of a do-over in life. What if income had been distributed in this country over the past 30 years the same way it was in the 1950s and 1960s? It would be a very different country.

My Week with Marilyn: A Portrait of Mental Illness

Marilyn Monroe is synonymous with sexy blonde bombshell. She was at times a controversial figure, both for the scandals that followed her, and the objectification she brought to womanhood. But what was she like behind the scenes? A new film shares an intimate portrait of illness and self-doubt that shines a new light on the film star.