Something that has been controversial (and to some extent still is) within the mental health community is whether addiction is a disease or a choice. There has been a wealth of research over recent years that has really pointed in the direction that addiction is an actual disease. I have been wanting to write about this for a while, and something happened recently that makes this feel like an apt time to do so.
Most people have some idea of whether they are an introvert or an extrovert, but in my experience, most people don’t really understand what it means to be either. Most people simply think of extroverts as being outgoing and introverts as being shy. Although this can be true, the real distinction is in where each gets their energy from.
You’ve undoubtedly heard someone say they had a broken heart before. But is there more to that statement than an expression of emotional pain? Research has shown that extreme stress such as the loss of a loved one can actually cause physical changes to your heart that impairs its functioning.
The world of substance abuse is constantly changing. New drugs come around, new ways of using drugs, changes in laws etc. Every now and then I like to take the time to document some of these changes here. In this update I’m going to talk a little about a new(ish) substance of potential abuse called kratom, powdered alcohol, and a California proposition that would legalize recreational marijuana use.
This week, as I was driving in my car, listening to my baby crying for half an hour, I was inspired to write about something that has come up in therapy several times over the years: misophonia. Misophonia, literally, the hatred of sound, is a condition which causes sufferers to experience strong emotional and/or physical responses to particular sounds. Common trigger sounds include the sound of chewing, swallowing, coughing, crinkling, and other, primarily bodily sounds.
Do you ever have a thought or feeling that is hard to describe, and you wish there was a word for it? Turns out often times there are words to describe very complicated emotions, if not in English, then in another language. Words like this are an interest of mine. For some time now I have been wanting to make a blog post that presents some of my favorite obscure/foreign words for emotions.
Have you ever experienced something that was oddly satisfying in a way you just couldn’t explain? Those moments when things work out just right and it just feels good?
Sometimes I write my blogs around things that come up in sessions. Sometimes I have an idea brewing in my head for several weeks and write about that. Other times I hear or see something and feel like I have to share it with people. This week is one of the latter. While driving around with my wife this week I heard a beautiful piece on This American Life. The segment talked about grief and the needs of children going through grief and loss.
Beauty, and how society defines it, has changed a lot over time. I think this is a really important fact to realize. We tend to have really specific ideas of the ideal body type and sometimes we don’t realize that those ideals can be largely influenced by society and the world around us.
We hear about self-esteem and talk about it throughout our lives, but people rarely have a good understanding of what self-esteem is, how we get it, and what affects it. Self-esteem is a person’s internalized sense that he/she is valued and accepted. In short, it is a reflection of a person’s subjective sense of self worth. This contrasts with self-efficacy which refers to a person’s belief in his/her abilities to perform certain tasks. A lot of times people get these two mixed up because we tend to think of our self esteem being tied to our achievements and the things we are capable of doing. You might hear a person say “I have self esteem because I am good at soccer” when what they really mean is “I have self esteem because I know I am valuable to my soccer team and my family/friends who love me show up for my games.”