Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!

Archives for August, 2011

General

How Happy Is Happy?

Are you happy?

How happy?

On a scale of 1-5, are you a 5? Does that mean you’re happier than the person next to you, who put his happiness at 4? Are you sure? How do you know?

What if you have just come out of a major depression and are feeling pretty damn 5 about life for a change? Are you as happy as the woman who dances her way into every party, hands in the...
Continue Reading

General

What If Not Being Picked For The Team Is Good For You?

Here’s comforting news: When crappy things happen to us, it appears there’s a something deep inside us—so deep it’s beneath our consciousness—that says, “Cheer up, little soldier. Things aren’t that bad.”

An article in the journal Emotion details nine experiments conducted by a team of six researchers, including a couple who have caught my attention before: Roy Baumeister, who taught me how to put down a torch, and Jean Twenge, who writes...
Continue Reading

Crime

A Moment of Truth for Women in Violent Relationships

My newspaper this morning contained a terrible story about a local man who drowned two of his children. As usual, it appears he was getting revenge on a woman who was trying to extricate herself from an abusive relationship.

She was trying…but not hard. It seems she still wasn't sure.

The man has a history of family violence. He has drug problems, though he had just completed rehab and been declared ready to be...
Continue Reading

Body Image

Who Says You’re Fat?

I’ve noticed that one way to get a lot of hits on a blog post is to write about weight loss.

It’s not a bad way to sell books either. The week of August 8, three of the top ten books on the Publisher’s Weekly hardcover bestsellers list address weight loss.

Magazine racks are a flesh market: Fitness, Shape, Men’s Health, Health, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, all screaming A BIKINI BODY NOW!...FLATTER BELLY, THINNER THIGHS…and MELT...
Continue Reading

Aging

The Language of Dementia

New research from Penn State and the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging finds that caregivers of people with dementia are not listening to what the people they care for want.

The researchers interviewed 256 pairs of people. In each pair, one person had  mild to moderate dementia, the other was the caregiver.

From a press release from Penn State:
The researchers interviewed members of the pairs separately, asking questions related to how much...
Continue Reading

Cognition

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Numbers

Before I could even enroll in community college, at age 41, I had to take a couple of summer semesters of “developmental algebra”—which was called “remedial” back when nobody cared about self-esteem.

Yes, I anticipated it with as much horror as you might imagine. Not only that, but it was a 7:30 class. Every morning, all summer.

I figured if I could make it through that, college would be a snap.

My grasp of numbers is...
Continue Reading

Cognition

How Pavlov Messes With My Happiness

This article about “Happiness Hangovers” --about the letdown we often feel after good times-- sparked a little discussion on my Facebook page about the tick-tick-tick of the clock on the TV show 60 Minutes. The sound is, several of us agreed, a Pavlovian stimulus that triggers the here-comes-Monday blues.

Do you think the producers know how bummed that sound makes us?

The damn happiness hangover.

I start worrying about happiness hangovers while I should still...
Continue Reading

Aging

Like Mother Like Daughter Like Mother

According to research that will be published in the Journal of Consumer Behavior, women are more likely to buy clothes and make-up their teenage daughters like than the other way around.

A press release explains:
The study, conducted through questionnaires, sampled 343 mother-daughter pairs, with an average age of 44 for the mothers and 16 for the daughters. The researchers found that if a mother is young at heart, has high fashion consciousness and...
Continue Reading

Consumer Behavior

The World’s A Stage And Tourists Are The Players

It’s roughly 147,000 degrees here in Texas and it’s been that way for the past month, so if you’re looking for deep thoughts, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. My brain is poached. The best I can do is coherent, and sometimes not even that.

Mostly I’m thinking about how much I need a vacation.

My friend K is in the throes of packing for her vacation in Los Angeles, the hometown she...
Continue Reading