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New ebook pricing

Notice that the new pricing of the ebook listed in the right column won’t take effect until tomorrow.

Final Version of Manus

Today I submitted the final version of On Romantic Love to Oxford University Press. It’s going into production on Tuesday.

onromanticlove

The Breakup Cleanse App is FREE in April

buapp

For the rest of April, we’re offering The Breakup Cleanse App for FREE on iTunes. Download it HERE and let us know what you think. We appreciate reviews, especially since this is our first therapeutic love app. We hope even those who have not recently broken up can get something out of it.

Adolescents are Prone to Love Addiction

Adolescence spans from roughly age twelve to as late as twenty-five, with the late teens and early twenties sometimes called ‘emerging adulthood.’ During this important and exciting phase of life, individuals transition from being children to being adults. Specific aspects of physical, social, and personality maturation affect the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of adolescents. Here I briefly consider how the adolescent brain makes young people susceptible to love addiction. By ‘love,’ I mean the physiological and psychological experience associated with one’s judgment that she has “fallen in love.” I mean the thrilling, intoxicating stage of new love.

Read more »

Q&A: Dear Social Actor

Dear Social Actor,

While your main question is how to kill your libido, you might benefit from addressing issues that make you want to do that: (1) feeling disconnected from people and (2) obsessing about women and compulsively acting on these obsessive thoughts. 

One form of self-therapy to consider is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can be helpful to those with mild cases of depression or anxiety. If you weren’t being facetious about being a “self-diagnosed schizoid” and believe you have a severe mental illness, you should set up an appointment with a clinical psychologist. 

You say: “I’m a loner and used to being ignored by people who have no practical use for me…I’ve accepted that and have decided to become a recluse.”

You say only those who want to use you pay attention to you. How do you know that’s true? Unless your social interactions always involve someone trying to overtly, or subtly, manipulate you, you must have interactions in which people don’t try to manipulate you. In those cases, if you think people still have an angle, you might be having a cognitive distortion called ‘mind reading.’ Read more »

Can Animals Love?

cat-loveWhether animals can experience romantic love is unknown. But there is some evidence that they are capable of experiencing the same range of emotions as we can. The brains of many mammals are surprisingly similar to the human brain. Take as an example the brain of a cat. A cat’s brain is small compared to ours, occupying only about one percent of their body mass compared to about two percent in an average human. But size doesn’t always matter. Neanderthals, the hominids that went extinct more than twenty thousand years ago, had bigger brains than Homo sapiens, but they probably weren’t smarter than the Homo sapiens that beat them in the survival game. Surface folding and brain structure matter more than brain size. The brains of cats have an amazing surface folding and a structure that is about ninety percent similar to ours. This suggests that they could indeed be capable of experiencing romantic love. But we will probably never know for sure. Read more »

What is a ‘psychological disorder’?

When it comes to navigating personal relationships, it’s to our advantage to be sensitive to mental health issues. Our mental health as well as the mental health of those we love is crucial to successful interaction. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around one in four adults in the United States is diagnosable for one or more psychological disorders in a given year. 

It’s not easy to determine what is a psychological disorder. The DSM-IV explains, “…the concept of mental disorder (like many other concepts in medicine and science) lacks a consistent operational definition that covers all situations.” 

Psychologists define a psychological disorder broadly as psychological dysfunction in an individual that is associated with distress or impairment and a reaction that is not culturally expected. When considering if something is a symptom of a disorder, consider the three Ds: Is it psychologically dysfunctional? Is it distressing or handicapping to the individual or others? Is it associated with a response that is atypical or deviant

Psychological dysfunction refers to the cessation of purposeful functioning of cognition, emotions or behavior. The comedian Maria Bamford has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which Read more »

On Romantic Love

It won’t be long before my book on romantic love comes out. I am handing in the final draft today. In the meantime you might want to check out the breakup cleanse app for iPhone. It’s rather simple in its approach, as we are still experimenting with it. Later updates will have fanciful graphic and more choices. I think one virtue of the app, as it appears right now, is that you receive several pop-ups each day, making the app seem like a bit of a companion.

The Breakup Cleanse iPhone App (Just 99¢ on iTunes)

It’s a new year, though some of us may have heartache leftover from 2013. If you find yourself pining over an ex, maybe it’s time for a breakup detoxification. Those familiar with Dr. Brit‘s work know she co-wrote The Breakup Cleanse: 28 Day Miracle Mind-Body Heart Break Recovery System, which advises people on how to cope with grief caused by a breakup. Now we‘re pleased to announce The Breakup Cleanse App for iPhone, which presents material from the book in a timed, interactive, digital format.

The Breakup Cleanse App acts as a life coach over a 10-day program. Each morning, afternoon and evening, Read more »

Gain Self-Knowledge by Practicing Mindfulness

Previously we explained how ignorance of our own personalities can impede our personal growth and relationships. Blind spots to self-knowledge, or what I’m calling ‘self-blindness,’ is so common it seems basic to the human condition. How can we overcome it? First, we can indicate barriers to self-knowledge, and second, practicing mindfulness may help us gain self-knowledge.

criticalstress.com

criticalstress.com

Those familiar with Buddhism might be confused with the idea of getting ‘self-knowledge’ through ‘mindfulness.’ There are Eastern traditions that consider mindfulness part of the path to realizing there is no permanent, individual self to know. However, for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume we have personalities capable of knowing. Let’s assume you and I each have tendencies of mental states and behaviors that don’t change drastically day-to-day without a distinct cause.

According to self-perception theory, people come to know themselves by observing their states and behaviors during given situations over extended periods of time. For instance, remembering my prior reactions to being near steep drops, I can guess that if I’m standing near a gorge or on a precarious bridge, I’ll feel uneasy. I also know if I’ve had two beers, I’m likely to speak louder than if I were completely sober. Self-blindness occurs when there is insufficient information of the personality or when the information available is incorrectly understood. Psychologist Simine Vazire’s work (2010) offers two barriers to self-knowledge Read more »

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