Brain and Behavior

Building a Guilt-Free Relationship with Food through Mindful Eating

The primary role of food in young children’s lives is one of sustenance. Young children tend to eat when they’re hungry and push away food when they’re full. Food is a source of nourishment and joy, one of the many joyful things life has to offer.

This role can change as children grow, depending on the messages received. Some children may be told to finish everything on their plate even if they’re full, a lesson telling them they can’t waste food. Parents may restrict eating due to what they perceive is a weight problem for their children. These children may grow up feeling shame for eating, resulting in binge behaviors or eating in secret. Children may witness unhealthy habits, eating only processed foods or having a lack of structure around eating. This can result in making poor food choices throughout their lives or a lack of moderation with eating.

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Disorders

Are You Dieting Again?

Is food your enemy and your best friend? Do you despair when you catch sight of yourself in a mirror or even when friends applaud your slender figure? A nagging voice in your head warns, "Watch out! The pounds are just waiting to sneak in there."

Women in particular wrestle with how they feel about the weight and shape of their bodies. According to surveys, four out of five women in the United States are dissatisfied with how they look. Weight control is a hot topic in every magazine for women.

"It's not fair!" complained Janelle. "How come I suffer like this when my sister, Aunt Patti, and Carol at work eat exactly what they want and never step on a scale?"
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Addiction

Daily Rituals to Reduce Anxiety

Who among us has not experienced their fair share of anxiety? Whether it be from finances, school assignments, career troubles or relationship issues, we all - at least occasionally - get caught in the rainstorm that is anxiety. Some prefer to outrun this brewing downpour. I say, save your energy, and just bring an umbrella.

An anxiety umbrella can take many forms: medicine, therapy, self-reflection or alterations in one’s daily tasks that reduce the burden of anxiety and allow you to focus on more important matters. Here are a few examples that you can use when that cloud of stress turns threatens to turn into a perfect storm:

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Eating Disorders

9 Ways to Avoid Emotional Eating During the Holidays

For anyone with an inclination to use food as comfort -- which basically includes all of us -- the two months between Halloween and New Years provide one temptation after another.

For me it starts the hour the trick-or-treaters have left and I assess the supply of tootsie rolls, Kit Kats, and Reese’s Cups that did not make it into the pillow cases or plastic pumpkins of our guests. I tell myself they are absolutely off limits as I climb up on the kitchen counter to hide them in a place that requires much physical effort to get to.

Then come all the holiday festivities where everything I am not supposed to be eating and drinking (sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol) is there, available, in my face, taunting me … “come on, you know you want me … I can make you feel better.”
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ADHD and ADD

Psychology Around the Net: November 21, 2015


With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we're in the throes of the holiday season here in America; unfortunately, this isn't a happy time for all. However, psychologists have a few tips and tricks to keep your holiday blues in check.

Of course, we've also got the latest on sex and happiness, how a mother's age could affect her daughter's mental health, whether your child's ADHD medication puts him or her at risk for bullying, and more.

Have a happy Saturday!

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Bipolar

Psychology Around the Net: October 10, 2015


Today is World Mental Health Day 2015, and our bloggers here at Psych Central have worked tirelessly to bring you some of the most thought-provoking, enlightening mental health- and psychology-related posts around.

It's not just our job; it's our passion.

Fortunately, educating the world about mental health isn't just our passion, and today's Psychology Around the Net brings you tons of informational pieces on topics such as pop star Demi Lovato's mental health campaign, how some television shows miss the mark with mental illness, the British royals' active role in de-stigmatizing mental illness, and more.

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Bipolar

My Mental Health Journey in Surviving Cancer

I live with bipolar disorder, OCD, and migraines, and have recovered from complex PTSD, an eating disorder, and other difficult illnesses. I've survived homelessness, domestic violence, and other traumas. Still, when my doctor gave me a cancer diagnosis last winter, it was the hardest shock yet.

First I had to wait a few weeks to see my oncologists and get a treatment plan: six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. The wait was gloomy, filled with dread and fear. I told only close family, not wanting to spread bad news.
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Brain and Behavior

One Way to Lose Weight: The Do More Good Principle

One of the interesting things about losing a lot of weight is that everyone wants to know your secret. It is as if there were some magic potion that only a select few know about.

When I was 275 pounds, I used to scour the web and magazines for secrets to losing weight; I was a little obsessed. I came into contact with people who were successful with weight loss and would probe them for their secret. They usually said “diet and exercise.” That is definitely not what I wanted to hear. I would try one television “secret” after another, all of them promising swift and long-term weight loss. I became so desperate to lose weight that I was throwing my money (that’s all they are after) at these advertisements.

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Addiction

Understanding Orthorexia

"Ah, I can't do lunch, but would you want to grab coffee later on?" This is something I would say often to my friends. My circle was growing smaller. I rarely saw friends or even family. My apartment was my temple. The holder of all things healthy.

I prepared all of my meals after returning from my trip to Whole Foods. It was Sunday, my meal prep day, where I would hover over a stove baking bland free-range chicken, grass-fed steaks, organic broccoli and sweet potatoes.
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Addiction

How Connection Saves Us from Addiction

Humans suffer most when we lack connection. Take, for example, Tom Hanks with his volleyball, Wilson, in the movie "Cast Away." I was distraught when he lost Wilson and cried as though my personal friend had drowned at sea.

We will force connection with inanimate objects, if we must, because we’re hardwired to crave it, to need it.

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Anorexia

Is My Massage Therapist Judging My Body?

In the dim room I’m told to undress to my comfort level. When the therapist gets to my legs I blurt out, “Sorry they’re not shaved. I have a waxing appointment tomorrow.” She runs her forearm up the back of my thigh and I imagine my pockets of cellulite coagulating.

I imagine she’s observing my fat and judging me.

For anyone who’s ever struggled with body image, those words burn with an astute reflection. There were years when I constantly thought that people were observing my body and judging me.
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Alcoholism

Psychology Around the Net: June 13, 2015


Learn about the summer version of seasonal affective disorder, how creative people might carry genes for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the importance of proper nutrition regarding mental health, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Does Summer Make You Depressed? Although we often associate seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with the winter months, it actually affects some people during the summer months, with symptoms such as decreased appetites and insomnia.

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