Addiction

For Former Addicts, Grief and Loss Can Haunt the Holidays


The holidays are a time to get together with loved ones, to reminisce about old times, and to anticipate the future — all things designed to bring joy. But if you have addiction in your past, these activities carry the potential to prompt different feelings: grief and loss.

That’s because addiction leaves so much damage in its wake, and the nostalgia and sentiment of the holidays seems to shine a spotlight on...
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General

Spotting & Responding to Severe, Potentially Violent Mental Illness

The Questions We’re Asking in the Orlando Aftermath…

In the wake of extreme violence in Orlando, FL, along with numerous other relatively recent mass shootings, one wonders if someone should have intervened with these troubled individuals before the violence occurred. But who is that someone, how would that person have known that intervention was needed, and what if anything could that person have done to help the troubled individual and potentially prevent tragedy?

A...
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Addiction

The Intersection of Sex, Drugs and Impulsivity


Humans are determined reward-seekers. It’s a built-in motivation that keeps us on the hunt for food, water, sex and nurturing — things that keep us alive and thriving.

We also universally prefer those rewards to come sooner rather than later. In some people, however, that preference is more pronounced than in others. And we have a word for it: impulsivity.

In large part, impulsivity is a reward deficiency — a tendency to value immediate gratification over future rewards,...
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Addictive Drugs

Using Medicine to Treat Alcoholism: Where We Are, Where We’re Going

A growing list of pharmacological options gives addiction recovery a boost
For as long as people have been drinking alcohol, there have attempts to use medicines to help them stop. Today, physicians who specialize in addiction treatment (American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Association of Addiction Psychiatry) use a variety of pharmacological approaches to help patients control their alcohol use, and the list of possibilities is growing rapidly. When used along with social support and psychological and...
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General

3 Things You Should Know If You’re Struggling With Anxiety

There’s no easy fix but you can take steps to get your life back
We can’t erase all anxiety from our lives, and we shouldn’t want to. A little anxiety spurs us to prepare and act, and keeps us alert to potential threats. But sometimes anxiety persists and deepens, becoming a dark cloud that dampens our pleasures and causes our world to shrink. Instead of helping us live life, it interferes with it.

When this happens, it’s time...
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General

10 Ways of Thinking That Drag You Down

Cognitive distortions hurt mood and behavior, but they can be overcome
Here’s a troubling truth about the human mind: It loves to be negative — it’s nature’s way of keeping us alert to danger — and those negative thoughts are often automatic and full of distortions.

That means you may find yourself being dragged down by thoughts that have little basis in reality, without even being fully aware what’s to blame. Such distorted negativity has consequences, sometimes...
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Mental Health

5 Gifts of Gratitude

When you’re sitting at the holiday table this Thanksgiving trying to decide what you’re thankful for, don’t forget to add this item to the list: gratitude.

The ability to feel grateful and to express it is one of nature’s greatest gifts, research shows, but the emotion doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It can be cultivated, however, by focusing on the positives in your life rather than allowing your attention to be captured only...
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