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Can Buddhism Help with Sex Addiction?

This guest article from YourTango was written by Paldrom Collins. 

In the land of the strange but true, as a former Tibetan Buddhist nun I fell in love with and married a man who counsels sex addicts and who is a recovering sex addict himself. Joining him in his counseling practice has allowed me a look into the lives of many people who have struggled with sex and relationship addictions.

These relationships have also impelled me to contemplate how the grace and teaching that I received from my Tibetan teachers can supply guidance in how to work with the compulsions or addictions that manifest in our world today. A young woman called tonight, crying.

Her husband had promised he would stop accessing Internet porn. She had recently given birth to their first child, and on their home computer she discovered that in the previous few days her husband had visited dozens of porn sites.

What should she do?

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Best of Our Blogs: January 31, 2012

This may be a difficult time of year for some. You may be getting over the holiday hangover, grappling with the guilt from unmet resolutions, dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder and feeling anxious about the upcoming February holiday.

There's that and all the other things you're dealing with -- managing your emotions, getting unstuck, deciding whether to stick through your relationship or end it and learning how to accept yourself and your body. That's a lot of stuff to deal with.

The good news is that you don't have to solve every single problem today. The good news is that everyone is a work-in-progress and we have time to work through it. A therapist once said, "If the only thing you ever do in your life is to learn how to cope with all the things you've been through that will be enough."

I hope to pass that same message on to you. Each one of the posts below will help ease you into a different issue of your life. It may not miraculously change things, but if you read it and lean into it slightly, that will be enough.
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Video: On Cheating

Cheating in relationships. It's a problem that some studies have suggested as many as 1 in 5 relationships in the U.S. will face.

But what do you do when you face cheating in your relationship?

I'm pleased to introduce the first of a series of interviews and conversations with two of our resident therapists about a wealth of mental health topics. In this installment, Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. and Daniel J. Tomasulo, Ph.D., TEP, MFA answer the question about cheating and explore the various aspects of cheating -- including how different people define cheating differently -- in this latest video from Psych Central. It may help to read this article about cheating from Dr. Marie as well.

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Eating Disorders

Trying to Eat Better? Ask Yourself This Question

Are you a moderator or an abstainer?

In honor of many people's New Year's resolutions -- "Eat more healthfully," "Cut out sweets," "Lose weight," and the like -- I'm re-posting this quiz, to help you determine whether you're a moderator or an abstainer. When I figured out that I'm an "abstainer," it helped me tremendously in terms of eating better.

Often, we know we’d have more long-term happiness if we gave up something that gives us a rush of satisfaction in the short-term. That morning doughnut, that late-night ice cream.

A piece of advice I often see is, “Be moderate. Don’t have dessert every night, but if you try to deny yourself altogether, you’ll fall off the wagon. Allow yourself to have the occasional treat, it will help you stick to your plan.”

I’ve come to believe that this is good advice for some people: the moderators. They do better when they try to make moderate changes, when they avoid absolutes and bright lines.

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Signs of Low Self-Esteem

I used to beat myself up for everything, even when I’d do a good job. Because, you know, I could always do better.

I also used to say “I’m sorry” when a) I wasn’t sorry and b) at the weirdest times, like when someone would bump into me or when I’d want to express a difference of opinion. (Blogger and author Therese Borchard can relate. She gave exposure therapy a try for eliminating her apologizing addiction.)

And any time I’d make a mistake, big or small, I’d feel like I just committed a mortal sin. All mistakes were magnified and the guilt and shame made me want to crawl under a rock. Making mistakes became a gnawing cycle that also chipped away at my already unstable self-esteem.

Saying no to someone was painful, and there were many times that I just wanted to be alone.

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5 Relationship Skills for Conflicts

Being in a close, loving relationship is many things. It’s comforting, satisfying, challenging, enlightening, and fun. The one thing that a close relationship is not, however, is simple.

In the beginning of a new relationship, the time I think of as the Golden Days, your partner can do no wrong. Snoring is cute. Picking up the socks that end up all over the house is an act of love. The thought of a serious fight seems impossible -- until it happens.

The person you love the most, to whom you are closest, becomes irritating, stupid, or irrational. Suddenly the Golden Days are replaced with reality. You and your partner are shedding your pretenses. Neither you nor your loved one feels the need to impress the other. You are committed to each other. You’re comfortable together.

But the snoring starts to drive you crazy, and you resent the socks you have to pick up. Conflict arrives.

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How I Create: Creativity Coach and Author Gail McMeekin

Want to know how others get creative? What inspires them to pursue their craft? I always find it fascinating to see how other people cultivate their creativity and accomplish amazing things.

As such, here's the second installment in our series on all things creativity. Each month we talk with a different person about their creative process and get their tips for letting our own creativity flourish.

Below, we had the pleasure of chatting with Gail McMeekin, LICSW, a Boston-based national executive, career and creativity coach, a licensed psychotherapist and award-winning author. She’s the President of Creative Success, which helps creative professionals and entrepreneurs leverage their best ideas into heartfelt, prosperous businesses and fulfilling lives.

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Want To Feel Happier? Enjoying Childish Pleasures

My children make me happy for many reasons, of course. But it strikes me that one reason that they make me happy is that they encourage me to engage more deeply with the physical world.

Left to my own instincts, I’d drift absent-mindedly through the apartment, reading, writing, and eating cereal for dinner every night.

Through my daughters, I become much more alive to ordinary pleasures -- the comfort of our weirdly soft fleece blanket, the vanishing sweetness of cotton candy, the textures and colors of the Play-Doh, scented markers, and velvety pipe cleaners left scattered around the kitchen.

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Best of Our Blogs: January 27, 2012

It's very easy to fall down what I like to call the, "Woe is me rabbit hole." It can start innocently enough.

Maybe you're having a particularly difficult day or you're feeling tired, fed-up or emotionally exhausted. It's during these times that the question you've been ruminating on such as, "Why this?" can easily be turned into, "Why me?" Negative thoughts like these can be seductive. Spend enough time focusing on them and they can grow into self-pity. And even worse? When you start asking yourself, "Why even try?" you're on your way to self-sabotaging behavior.

When I'm in a downward spiral, distraction helps. What helps even more than that is reading about how others are not just surviving despite challenges, but doing inspiring, amazing things because of it. You'll find it this week in reading about how mindfulness is helping kids deal with stress, how you can take back control of your happiness and your career, and find new ways to heal and motivate yourself.

Bookmark these posts for a rainy day when you need a boost or help transforming your thoughts from, "Why me?" to "Why not me?"
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Faking ADHD for Special Treatment

You might ask, "Why would anyone want to fake attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?"

Many years ago, when ADHD was first proposed as a diagnosis, you would've been right -- few people would've bothered faking the diagnosis because it brought you little reward to do so.

But as ADHD diagnoses bloomed over the past two decades, so did special accommodations in the school systems for children and teenagers diagnosed with the disorder. And one of the primary treatments for attention deficit disorder is stimulant medication, something that can be used for less-than-legitimate reasons.

Could teens today really be faking ADHD to get into college?

Welcome to the world of unintended secondary gains and rewards.

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4 On-the-Spot Energy Boosters

It’s hard to get anything done when you’re dragging your feet. You might have a tough time concentrating on work or even play. Even participating in your favorite activity may not raise your energy.

Many factors can explain your sluggish system. Worrying excessively or feeling overwhelmed, unhappy or angry can deplete your energy, according to Kristin Taliaferro, Master Certified life and career coach. Your habits also can lower energy levels. Not getting enough nutrients, exercise or sleep slows you down.

Here are four simple ways to lift that lethargy.

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Johnson & Johnson Settles 3rd Risperdal Lawsuit for $158M

If companies are people, my friend, like Mitt Romney famously described in Iowa in August 2011, then we're feeling a little bad for our fellow person called Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of health care giant Johnson & Johnson.

They just got dinged with a $158 million settlement in a Medicaid fraud case in Texas for "making false or misleading statements about the safety, cost and effectiveness of the expensive anti-psychotic medication Risperdal, and improperly influencing officials and doctors to push the drug."

But we won't feel too badly, because Janssen got off easy with this one. They don't have to admit to any liability with the settlement, and Johnson & Johnson -- who made billions off of the sale of Risperdal -- will barely blink their corporate eyeballs as they make out the check.

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