Compulsive Behaviors Essential Reads

Your Power Over Addiction

You can train your brain to feel good when you do things that are good for you. Follow these 3 simple steps and you will wire in a healthy comfort habit to replace an unhealthy one
Paul Nunez

Are Some Scientists Serious About Denying Free Will?

A brief look at the issues of consciousness and free will.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Holds Promise for Treating Addiction

By Christopher Bergland on January 24, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Vagus nerve stimulation can reduce cravings and may offer a radical new way to break the cycle of addictive behaviors, according to early findings from a preclinical study.

Can You Be Mindful and Still Feel Angry?

By Peggilee Wupperman Ph.D. on January 15, 2017 in Beyond Self-Destructive Behavior
Mindfulness will not turn you into a feel-good Zen zombie. It does not stop you from feeling negative emotions; it just helps free you from being controlled by those emotions.

How to Shop Smartly When Prices Are Changing Constantly

Rely less on memory & pricing cues, and more on price tracking technology.

Why Do Some People Do Self-Destructive Things?

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on January 01, 2017 in Fighting Fear
Many self-destructive behaviors are initially pleasant. Drug abuse is an example. But other self-destructive behaviors persist even though they feel bad. These are hard to explain.

Middle America and the Opioid Addiction Epidemic

The opioid addiction epidemic is raging through middle America, and its families.

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.

Life... Don't Talk to Me About Life

By Robert J King Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Hive Mind
The U.K. press recently picked up our paper about violence and gambling. Here's why they (and other traits) tend to go together and why this matters.

How Social Constructionism Created the Sex Addiction Model

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Standard Deviations
An ideological belief in the malleability of sexuality has given rise to the sex addiction movement.

Inside the Mind of the Munich Mass Killer

This kind of conundrum has led some psychiatrists to suggest mass or spree killers suffer from a rare disorder so far unclassified and unknown in the textbooks.

Misdiagnosis of a Behavioral Addiction

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on July 12, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Many people with behavioral addictions have been told that they have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

How Your Risky Behavior Affects Others

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on June 14, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Behavioral addictions impair function, can have legal and financial repercussions, and can lead to mental health issues such as depression and thoughts of suicide

Do I Have a Problem With Alcohol?

If you drink regularly, take this opportunity to evaluate how you are drinking and decide if it is time to make a change.
Image provided by Dan Greenberg

What Makes Me Tic?

It's awful to have an obvious disability, particularly in secondary school. Kids who struggle with Tourette's have a most challenging time. Here is a courageous success story.

Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks Do

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on December 25, 2015 in The Fallible Mind
How did the need to show off on social media come to trump common sense for sensing danger and one's instinct for self-preservation?

Social Media, the Network Effect and Procrastination

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on December 07, 2015 in Don't Delay
There’s an army of growth hackers working in the tech industry to hook you deeply into social media. Their job is to break down your self-regulation. The result? Procrastination.

Mass Killers Explained by Syndrome E (Evil)

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 06, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
Recently, Itzhak Fried hosted a conference on Syndrome E, an idea he published in 1997 to explain mass killers. Let’s examine the characteristics and alternative explanations.

What Makes Someone a Master Manipulator?

Among those afflicted with certain personality disorders, there are many who are master manipulators. Do personality disorders cause people to develop into master manipulators? The connection may not be as you expect.

Clutter vs. Hoarding vs. Collecting

By Barry Yourgrau on September 24, 2015 in Mess
"To hell with your problem, whaddya got for me there, baby?”

The Ego Diet

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 07, 2015 in Ambigamy
Appetite for praise is a lot like appetite for fatty foods. Both are hazardous to your health and both can be curbed with the right effort.

Objects and Memories...and the Pain of Letting Go

By Barry Yourgrau on August 24, 2015 in Mess
The Pain of Letting Go

Why Are the Candy Crushes of the World Dominating Our Lives?

What happens when an organic form of existence, after evolving for millions of years, meets the last word in planned and designed addictiveness? Darwin goes searching for the gas pedal in this evolutionary phenomenon of his.

The Meaning of the APA's Dealing With the Torture Scandal

By Mark B. Borg, Jr, Ph.D., Grant H. Brenner, MD, & Daniel Berry, RN, MHA on July 22, 2015 in Irrelationship
After years of deception, and opposing strong and clear dissent from within its very ranks, the APA finds itself in a particularly awkward position. What does a professional organization which has lost its moral compass do when the news breaks? What does its reaction to the current controversy tell us about the APA’s organizational character?

Addicted to Our Screens, or Merely Obsessed?

Digital Distractions and addiction to mediated images are imbecilizing America’s youth. The energy cost to our still Stone–Age brains explains how and why. Scientists debate whether we are addicted to our devices. What no one disputes is that our attention spans have gone to hell.

When Compassion is the Best Medicine

What a brain disease strikes, friends and family need support for the patient and themselves.

The Surprising Future Appeal of Everyday Experiences

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In Love and War
Typically it’s the big milestones that we document most diligently—the weddings, births, graduations, professional achievements. These are the events we expect we’ll most want to revisit down the road. But research suggests that revisiting ordinary, everyday experiences can bring us a lot more pleasure than we realize.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

How Healthy Food Could Make You Fat

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on January 08, 2015 in Critical Decisions
Say goodbye to the idea that what people weigh is solely a function of their deliberate choices!

Addiction as a Disease of Isolation

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on November 18, 2014 in Science of Choice
The anxiously attached person chooses the chemical shortcut to avoid pain and frustration, and becomes trapped there.