Addiction and a lack of purpose

How the opioid epidemic is related to a "purpose deficient" culture. As you are no doubt aware, presently the United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic. There are many reasons for this - one of the most obvious being the reckless over-subscription of opiate-based painkillers by doctors, leading to dependency. But on a psychological level, we have to take into account the strong relationship between addiction and the lack of a sense of purpose. To some extent, addiction is the result of a lack of purpose. It's partly the consequence of experiencing what the psychologist Viktor Frankl called the 'existential vacuum' - feeling as though there is no purpose or meaning to your life. With a strong sense of purpose, we become very resilient, able to overcome challenges, and to bounce back after setbacks. We are also better able to...

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Extrinsic goals vs intrinsic goals: The reasons why there is a rise in children’s mental disorders

There's a reason kids are more anxious and depressed than ever. Rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America have been increasing steadily for the past 50 to 70 years. Today, by at least some estimates, five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago. This increased psychopathology is not the result of changed diagnostic criteria; it holds even when the measures and criteria are constant. The most recent evidence for the sharp generational rise in young people's depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders comes from a just-released study headed by Jean Twenge at San Diego State University. Twenge and her colleagues took advantage of the fact that the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a questionnaire...

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Don’t Deny Girls the Evolutionary Wisdom of Fairy-Tales and Princesses

The view from moral high ground is best enjoyed after the check (for whatever you're moralizing against) clears. Rather like animal-rights activists who own a string of steakhouses, Disney film stars Kristin Bell and Keira Knightley spoke out recently against the bad examples they feel Disney princesses convey to girls. (Bell voiced the role of Princess Anna in Disney's 2013 animated film Frozen, and Knightley stars as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney's new live action feature, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.) Knightley even used her Nutcracker promo tour to reveal that she's banned certain Disney films from her own home. The Little Mermaid is one prohibited flick, and Cinderella is another - because, Knightley explains, Cinderella "waits around for a rich guy to rescue her." Of course, Knightley and Bell aren't alone in their disapproval. There's been a...

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Slowly but surely, psychology is accepting that faith might play a role in treatment

For anyone who took a college course in psychology more than a decade ago or who is even casually acquainted with the subject through popular articles, a close examination of today's field would undoubtedly prove surprising. The science that for most of the 20th century portrayed itself as the enlightened alternative to organized religion has taken a decidedly spiritual turn. Bowling Green State University professor Kenneth Pargament, who in 2013 edited the American Psychological Association's Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality, notes just how dramatically his profession's attitude towards faith has changed in recent times. As a young academic interested in the connection between mental health and religion, he would "go to the library once a semester and leisurely review the journals" only to be disappointed by how little his colleagues had to say about it. But "no more," Pargament...

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Dr. Mark Sircus: The cannabis cure for cancer

This quick overview of the science backs up the assertion that every cancer patient and every oncologist should put medical marijuana on their treatment maps. There should be no more confusion about whether or not marijuana is effective for cancer patients. Medical marijuana is chemotherapy, natural style, for cancer patients. The two forms of hemp oil, one with THC and CBD and the other CBD alone (which is pretty much legal everywhere) provide the body with chemo-therapeutics without the danger and staggering side effects. There are many chapters in my book about cancer patients using marijuana, but in this one we present a quick overview of the science that backs up the assertion that every cancer patient and every oncologist should put medical marijuana on their treatment maps. What you will see in this article is reference to many scientific...

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