New book questions ‘The Myth of Sex Addiction’

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March 30th, 2012

Is sex addiction for real? Or is it “nothing more than a pop-psychology phenomenon, serving only to demonize sex, enforce moral views of sex and relationships and excuse irresponsible behaviors?”

Those are the fighting words of psychologist David Ley, who, in his rousing new book, “The Myth of Sex Addiction,” expresses concern over the slippery ease with which America’s mainstream media and burgeoning “addictionology industry” have seemingly conspired to transform a debatable diagnosis into a foregone conclusion.

“There are real dangers inherent in the sex addiction concept,” Ley writes. “I believe that for the field of health care, medicine, and mental health to endorse and reify a flawed concept creates a very dangerous slippery slope of moral relativism, where any socially unacceptable behavior is labeled a mental disorder subject to psychiatric treatment.”

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Do we really give introverts a hard time?

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March 30th, 2012

t is often assumed extroverts do best in life, but according to a new best-selling book, introverts are just as high achievers. It claims there is a bias towards extroverts in Western society. So do we discriminate against introverts?

Barack Obama, JK Rowling and Steve Wozniak.

They might not immediately stand out as introverts, but according to Susan Cain, American author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking, they are.

That is because she says, contrary to popular opinion, introverts are not necessarily shy or anti-social, they just prefer environments that are not over-stimulating and get their energy from quiet time and reflection.

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Moms Say It’s Too Hard to Breast-Feed for the Recommended Six Months

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March 30th, 2012

A Scottish study finds that moms think the advice to breast-feed for six months is unrealistic. They call for scaling back expectations, but advocates say that’s the wrong approach.

The advice to breast-feed infants exclusively until they’re at least 6 months old is unequivocal: it’s healthier for mom, and it’s healthier for baby. But it can also be really hard.

A recent Scottish study that consisted of multiple interviews with 36 mothers and some of their relatives — 35 of whom intended to breast-feed their babies — concluded that the widely touted recommendations are in fact “unhelpful” and overly idealistic.

The study, published in an open-access publication of the British Medical Journal, acknowledges the health benefits of breast milk that have prompted many governments — including the U.S. — to urge moms to nurse their infants. But they argue that scaling back expectations is necessary if more mothers are going to give it a try.

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Will living alone make you depressed?

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March 26th, 2012

(Health.com) — It’s long been known that elderly people are more prone to depression and other mental-health problems if they live on their own. New research suggests the same pattern may also be found in younger, working-age adults.

In a study of nearly 3,500 men and women ages 30 to 65, researchers in Finland found that people who lived alone were more likely that their peers to receive a prescription for antidepressant drugs. One quarter of people living alone filled an antidepressant prescription during the seven-year study, compared to just 16% of those who lived with spouses, family, or roommates.

“Living alone may be considered a mental-health risk factor,” says lead author Laura Pulkki-Råback, Ph.D., a lecturer at the University of Helsinki’s Institute of Behavioral Sciences. The study was published today in the journal BMC Public Health.

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How Getting Tipsy May Inspire Creativity

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March 26th, 2012

A new study finds that men who got moderately drunk on vodka cranberries did better on tests of inspired thinking.
From Billie Holliday and Amy Winehouse to Coleridge and Kerouac, artists have long claimed alcohol and other drugs as muses for their creativity. But is there really a connection between intoxication and inspiration?

Increasingly, science is confirming that altered states of consciousness — whether induced by drugs, alcohol, sleepiness, travel or anything else that removes us from our usual way of seeing the world — do indeed improve creative thought. The inhibition of what researchers call executive functioning, which includes focus and planning — abilities that decline when we’re under the influence — may be what lets us generate new ideas and innovative solutions, instead of remaining fixed on the task at hand.

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