Books

4 Books You Should Read This Springtime

Spring is finally here and we have a great set of book recommendations for you this year, many from authors and regular contributors to Psych Central. While we regularly review hundreds of new titles every year, we believe that some deserve special attention.

Books should remain an important component of your reading routine. While I understand the expectation that we can get all the knowledge we need by simply Googling it, most of what's online doesn't get into any given subject very deeply. And when you do come across the rare topic online that is in-depth, it is rarely well-edited (and often, well-written) enough to make consumption of the material as enjoyable as it is from a book. While I've switched how I read books in recent years (now mostly enjoying them on my Kindle), reading books remains something I set aside time to do nearly every day. You should too.

The books below cover a variety of self-help and self-improvement topics. So without further ado and for your consideration, here are some springtime reading recommendations that I hope you'll consider.

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Addiction

Why It Took Me So Long to Recover from My Eating Disorder

I remember sitting on the black leather couch in my therapist’s office, longing to be free from my eating disorder, when she said something to the tune of "there is no recovered. You get there and then you keep going."

I didn’t like that statement. I so desperately wanted to believe there was a finish line. If I went all the way I’d cross it, and the tape would rip and I could throw my arms up in victory and I’d be done.

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Anorexia

Secret Mia

I have been a binge eater for as long as I can remember, but I can remember specifically when it evolved into bulimia. I was 17 years old and almost 200 pounds. I hated to throw up so I did research to find a way around it and this is how I discovered laxatives. I still abuse laxatives and enemas almost 10 years later. It is a lot more controlled because I’m not in denial about the illness.

For the longest time, I referred to it as "my eating thing." I didn’t see it as a big deal because it had insinuated itself into my life as second nature. I would eat anywhere from 800 to 1,500 calories in one sitting and then take laxatives to purge.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Redefine Boundaries to Your Own Personal Freedom

“The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

- Tara Brach
I was in the heart of my Ph.D. program when I received the diagnoses: OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder.

It explained a lot, of course. All those years of anxiety, self-doubt, and intrusive thoughts were not normal after all. Eating to the point of gaining forty pounds in a few months was foreign to most people.

I wanted an explanation. Why me?

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Anorexia

Psychology Around the Net: February 28, 2015


Check out this week's Psychology Around the Net to learn more about smokers and their relationships to anxiety and depression, how your state ranks regarding the five aspects of life satisfaction, neurons that predict how we might react in particular situations, and more.

Neurons That Help Predict What Another Individual Will Do Identified: Scientists have located two groups of neurons in primates that: one that activates during cooperation situations and another that predicts how one will react.

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Anorexia

Self-Starvation: Who’s in Control of Your Prison Sentence?


Dusk fell over the Greek island with a soft strumming sound: the salty, minty sea breeze sighing over sand and stone and shattered shrines. Down village lanes gone bruise-blue with the dying day, the breeze collected kitchen smells: frying fish, fresh oregano, fluffy white bread, sweet-sour meatballs served in olive-studded sauce, ten thousand sticky pastries shaped like books and birds' nests -- and, everywhere, the soft attar of olive oil.

For the thousandth time that day, my hand raced to my pocket, tracing the contours of the peanuts and raisins I kept there in a small paper sack, replaced every few days when I'd eaten them, but never varying. They and sporadic bowls of rice were all I ate that summer.

I was living the dream: writing a book for a major publisher about goddesses in whom I believed. Yet I was fixated on food: on striding past some of the most delicious food on earth while eating as little as possible.
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Bullying

The Link between Bullying and Children’s Body Image

The U.K. government recently released the results of a nationwide survey to better understand public perceptions of body image. Shockingly, they discovered that 87 percent of girls aged 11- 21 think that women are judged more on their appearance than on their ability.

This is worrying. Evidence from academic experts shows that poor body confidence can have a devastating effect. From achieving at school to effectively dealing with bullying, healthy body image is important for children. (The term "body image" describes a person's comfort level with his or her body, their integrated sense of body and self, and the extent to which their personal value is tied up with their physical appearance.)

Whatever your role with children and young people, we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to give out positive messages about our bodies to further the fight against bullying.

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Addiction

6 Common Eating Disorder Myths

There are many myths around eating disorders which create barriers for sufferers wishing to seek treatment.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders, only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment. Yet, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders.

Here are six commonly held myths about eating disorders.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: January 10, 2015


Happy Saturday, readers!

As cliche as it might sound, we can't help but think of new beginnings when we think of a new year, and what better way to welcome new beginnings than by keeping up with all the new mental health news, research, and even opinions as we launch into 2015?

After all, we want to stay as healthy and informed as possible!

This week's Psychology Around the Net features research related to pets and their owners' personalities, gut bacteria and how it relates to anxiety, how childhood guilt can affect adult mental health issues, and more.

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Anorexia

How to Find a Therapist You Love

When I was struggling with my eating disorder, I’d have particularly awful days. Often, it involved me crying into my carpet and wishing I didn’t exist. In those moments, when life was heavy and pressing, I was willing to reach out for help, but I didn’t know where to begin.

My eating disorder was a shameful secret, so naturally I didn’t want to elaborate to the random secretary who answered the phone. I did leave an awkward message or two on a voicemail.

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Addiction

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty Life

Cultivating a healthy relationship with food can increase our zest and taste for daily life.

1. Notice how you feel. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and drop into what it feels like to be in your body. Does it feel dumpy, sluggish, drab, or low in energy?

Now, notice if there is a similar relationship to the foods you have been eating recently. For example, are you eating dumpy foods? Does your food look gray and dark? Overcooked, dull, lifeless? Simply notice if there is a relationship.

On a biological level, we are what we eat. Certain foods and their preparation carry potential vibrancy for increased flavor and life energy. See if adding more food with vibrant color and zest makes a difference.
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