Celebrities Articles

What’s Behind the Popularity of Duck Dynasty?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

What's Behind the Popularity of Duck Dynasty?I never would have thought that a redneck family from West Monroe, Louisiana would be involved in one of the highest-rated reality shows on television, but I’ve clearly been proven wrong.

“Duck Dynasty,” which follows a family who manufactures duck calls for hunting season, has created a ‘duck nation’ of followers. Many may relate to the Robertson clan one way or another — whether it’s through their humorous antics, or Uncle Si’s endless array of hilariously entertaining shenanigans or one-liners (Si-isms).

And while I personally laugh with the utmost enthusiasm during each 30-minute episode (laughing with them, not at them; I think the gang is acutely aware of their comic relief), I’m honing in on their primal love for family and togetherness.

Brandon Marshall Fined for Speaking in Support of Mental Health

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Brandon Marshall Fined for Speaking in Support of Mental HealthThe National Football League recently fined Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall $10,500 for a uniform violation.

Marshall’s sin? He broke the league-sanctioned dress code for October — pink, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He did this by wearing green cleats in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week (which was Oct. 6-12 this year).

It’s not a big deal unless you know that Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011 and thought mental health deserved as much recognition as cancer.

Josh Marks from MasterChef Commits Suicide, Suffered from Bipolar, Schizophrenia

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Josh Marks from MasterChef Commits Suicide, Suffered from Bipolar, SchizophreniaSadly, among the 90-some-odd people who committed suicide in America on Friday, October 11, 2013, MasterChef contestant Josh Marks was among them.

People who watched the television show may remember Josh as someone who was known as a “gentle giant.” Josh, 26 and 7’2″, was known by his friends and family as someone who was kind, well-loved and thoughtful.

But the same month he lost to someone else on the final episode of MasterChef in 2012, he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And just last week, he was given yet another diagnosis — schizophrenia.

After struggling with poor treatment options, the stress of the TV show, and the brand-new diagnosis, it apparently was too much for Josh to bear any longer.

A Close Encounter with Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

A Close Encounter with Thich Nhat HanhI was eating my California wrap outside at a local coffee shop in Boston when without reason I began to weep. Tears began rolling down my face, which made me feel as if I were sitting in a steady rain. It was as if my eyes had suddenly sprung a leak or a nearby sprinkler had found me.

Initially I didn’t have any feeling, but within seconds after the tears began like a fountain, I felt what seemed like an inconsolable pain — a deep sorrow that grew in intensity. It was as profound and moving as any emotion I’ve ever had.

Within the space of a brief moment I had gone from enjoying my lunch at a sidewalk café on a beautiful late summer day in Boston to a crying, blubbering mess. What the hell was going on?

The Importance of Validation

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

The Importance of Validation On Oprah’s final episode of her wildly popular TV show, she highlighted the importance of validation: “I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show,” she said, “and all 30,000 had one thing in common. They all wanted validation.”

Validation. What is it? It’s getting feedback from others that “what I do and what I say matters to you. You hear me. You see me. You think of me. You thank me. You acknowledge my accomplishments. You appreciate my efforts.”

The opposite of validation? Non-recognition. “I don’t give a damn what you want, what you say, what you think. Who cares? You’re overreacting. You’re nuts. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Mindy Kaling’s Rules for Creative Writing (& Happiness)

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Mindy Kaling's Rules for Creative Writing (& Happiness)Like millions of others, I’m a huge fan of Mindy Kaling. She is one of the geniuses behind one of my very favorite TV shows, The Office (and also played the great character, Kelly Kapoor).

I also love her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). And I’m looking forward to binge-watching her newish TV show, The Mindy Project.

Mindy Kaling also gave one of my favorite happiness interviews here. One great passage is inside…

True Love & The Bachelorette: Is This For Real?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

True Love & The Bachelorette: Is This For Real?This guest article from YourTango was written by Dr. Bonnie Ray Kennan.

Come on, admit it. You watched it; I know you did.

This confession comes out in the privacy of my therapy office more than you can imagine. On Monday night you, along with so many others, curled up in front of the TV, grateful to have survived another Monday, and, popcorn in hand, watched the gut-wrenching saga of Des’ and her final choice between Chris and Drew.

This followed a tear-soaked shocker the week before when Brooks, in a first in Bachelorette history, left stunningly picturesque Antigua and a decimated Desiree because he just wasn’t feeling it.

Introducing Psychology & Pop Culture

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Introducing Psychology & Pop CultureMany of us enjoy exploring how psychology works within popular culture. I often find myself looking for larger themes in the stories that capture our imaginations — and attention (especially in our attention-deficit world).

That’s why I’m pleased to welcome you to Psychology & Pop Culture, with Brian Kong, Psy.D. Brian is a licensed psychologist who practices in Ontario, Canada. He currently works with individuals and couples struggling with mood, anxiety, or relational issues.

Is Dr. Phil Barking at the Moon? Is Brian Williams Arguably a Journalist?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Is Dr. Phil Barking at the Moon? Is Brian Williams Arguably a Journalist? It’s been a weird couple of weeks for people who suffer with a mental illness. During that time, people with a mental illness and their loved ones heard Dr. Phil brushing off a woman’s worries by declaring that her obsession did not mean that she was “insane” because insane people “suck on rocks and bark at the moon.”

Then, just a few days ago, NBC news anchor Brian Williams said of Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who held three women captive and raped them for a decade, that he was “arguably the face of mental illness.” Arguably? Arguably for whom?

Does Dr. Phil really believe that people with mental illness bark at the moon?

Should a news anchor such as Brian Williams be attempting to diagnose… well, anyone?

Jodi Arias Trial: The Importance of Forensic Psychology Guidelines

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Jodi Arias Trial: The Importance of Forensic Psychology GuidelinesI have served as a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist expert witness for over twenty years. It is of utmost importance that an even playing field be created in adversarial proceedings.

What is conducive to this is use of forensic guidelines as standards by all experts involved in a case.

The Jodi Arias trial depicts apparent omissions of important standards that could influence outcome of assessment. There was a lack of collateral interviews, which the Reference Manual for Scientific Evidence (RMSE) addresses.

In addition, there were other omissions that I believe are important to the outcome of the Jodi Arias trial.

Cory Monteith: A Wake-Up Call about Relapse

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Cory Monteith: A Wake-Up Call about RelapseCory Monteith, Glee actor, was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver recently from a heroin and alcohol overdose. He was frank about his long history of struggles with addiction beginning as a teenager, using “anything and everything” by the time he was 16. Most recently, he checked himself into rehab just this past March.

As a doctor who treats opiate addiction every day in my office in San Francisco, I see many accomplished people like Cory who are working hard to get and stay clean.

Unlike the myth of addicts being complete train wrecks — barefoot and disheveled — my patients are high-functioning. They are lawyers, computer programmers, housewives, construction workers and entrepreneurs. They work, raise families and contribute to their communities.

I help each of them plan for relapse because the likelihood is so high and the risks are so deadly. After a period of being clean, the body’s tolerance for opiates lowers and doses previously used become deadly.

Sadly, it’s not entirely surprising that Cory’s overdose came after a recent rehab.

Do ‘Real Housewives’ Make Real Friendships?

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Do 'Real Housewives' Make Real Friendships?It seems like there is a growing segment of the population who makes a weekly date (or, in some cases, multiple weekly dates, depending on how many versions they follow) with their DVR or with groups of friends to watch the “Real Housewives” television show phenomenon.

I have seen enough episodes to ask the question, “Why?”

What draws people to watch faithfully every week or watch every series every week? What satisfaction is had by watching women backstab each other, trash-talk each other behind each other’s backs, steal each other’s men, lie and manipulate others for attention, and flaunt their excessive lifestyles?

In short, what is to be gained by watching women treat each other so poorly?

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