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The Skinny on Cocaine: Why Drug Causes Weight Loss May Surprise You

There is a widespread assumption that cocaine use suppresses one’s appetite and thereby contributes to weight loss, and that during withdrawal, the “rebound” from this effect leads to rapid weight gain. However, new research from the University of Cambridge has provided evidence against this assumption, and while the overall effect is essentially the same, the …

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Surgical Anesthesia Appears to Treat Drug-Resistant Depression

Treatment-resistant depression is a form of major depression marked by a poor response to the treatment options typically used to address depression symptoms. When depressed people fail to respond to standard medications called antidepressants, doctors frequently rely on a form of controlled brain stimulation called electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). However, for a number of reasons, some …

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Can You ‘Catch’ Depression?

Empathy is the term that psychologists use to describe the ability to mentally place oneself in another person’s “world” and see life from his or her perspective. Some aspects of empathy depend on rational thought processes in the brain, while other aspects depend on the brain’s emotional processes. According to the results of a new …

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Beating Addiction Out of You … Literally

You’re made to lie down on the sterile medical bed with your buttocks exposed, and advised—helpfully—to grip the bed to help you cope with the pain. Then you receive 30 lashes with a willow branch—right across the backside—enough to leave a mark, but not enough to draw blood or cause lasting damage. You’d be forgiven …

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Seven Myths About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It is estimated that about 2 percent of the population suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But despite the attention it has received in the media and from medical professionals, this condition is still not fully understood by most people and, consequently, there are many mistaken beliefs floating around about what OCD is, who is most …

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‘Bath Salts’ More Addictive Than Meth, Study Finds

“Bath salts” is the common, collective nickname for a group of artificial, mind-altering drugs sold illegally or illicitly throughout various parts of the United States. All of these drugs contain at least one form of a group of amphetamine-related substances called synthetic cathinones. Doctors and mental health researchers are well aware of the severe health …

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Geriatric Alcoholism: A Story About Denial

Let’s start off with full disclosure: I am a psychotherapist and have worked in addiction and mental health settings for a couple of decades. I am no stranger to identifying and naming alcoholism when I see it, which does not exactly make me popular at cocktail parties or family gatherings. Sometimes, however, being able to …

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Depression Puts Women at Increased Risk for Domestic Violence, Study Finds

Domestic violence is the collective term for a range of behaviors designed to assert or maintain control over a partner in an intimate relationship. While men and women can both become targets of this type of violence, women remain far more susceptible than men. Doctors and mental health researchers already know that exposure to domestic …

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Compulsive Gambling and Women: The Truth About a Hidden Addiction

Regardless of the specific type of addiction or dependency we are speaking of, in almost every instance it will be seen as an equal opportunity destroyer of lives that is not constrained by barriers related to age, gender, socioeconomic background or personal history. But problem gambling is different in the respect that it is seen …

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