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The 10 Best Addiction Recovery and Mental Health Articles of 2012!

2012’s Top Ten Addiction and Mental Health Articles

More than a million people came to ChooseHelp over this past year to find answers to problems and to cultivate mental and emotional health. We’re grateful you came and if even a small percentage of you found something here that made a positive difference (if you chose help in some way) then the year’s been a huge success.

Thank you for coming!

We salute your bravery in tackling mental illness, we applaud you for reaching out for lasting peace and happiness and we respect and admire each and every person who works to overcome substance abuse and addiction.

So In celebration of this last year’s positive energy – of the recoveries sustained, the information that eased your anxieties or helped you to understand a loved one…taking that first courageous step into treatment - here’s a recap of the year’s most loved and talked about resource articles.

The 10 Best Articles of the Year!

70 Reasons Why Life is Better without a Heavy Marijuana Habit 

There’s no denying it…recovery takes grit – and if the payoff’s not equal to the effort involved, is it even worth doing?

Well, according to a group of reformed heavy marijuana users talking about how life perks up once past addiction, there’s no doubt that hard work earns a reward and that physical and mental health, relationships, creativity, memory and so much more improve significantly once you get out of that smoky haze and into the clarity.

Looking for the motivation to quit your marijuana habit? Read on to find 70 great reasons to get started.

Forget Revenge – Learn How to Forgive to Beat Anger and Feel Better

We imagine that revenge brings satisfaction but research says it only increases anger and keeps you focused on past hurts.

Forgiveness, however, can truly set you free. In fact, people who forgive more easily are demonstrably healthier and happier than people prone to grudge holding.

But though forgiveness is healthier and makes you happier – it’s rarely easier and it rarely comes naturally.

Read on to find a 5 step how-to guide on forgiving (without necessarily forgetting).

How Stress Erodes Your Memory – And What You Can Do to Improve Your Recall

Dealing with too much? You probably already know that a high-octane, super caffeinated, nerve-jangling life isn’t great for your physical health, but if you need another reason to maybe slow down a bit, consider that elevated chronic stress also degrades your short and long term memory systems.

Find out why under stress it’s so easy to misplace your house keys and forget that shopping list, how chronic stress can harm short term memory encoding and ultimately increase your odds of dementia and most importantly, learn tips and tricks to improve your memory and safeguard your future cognitive health.

How Long to Stay on Suboxone – Advice from a Suboxone Doc

You can’t deny that Suboxone saves lives.

But do you use it as a short bridge to abstinence or as a longer term life-jacket over a lasting recovery?

Medication management is always controversial (see the comments on this article as proof of this!) and you’ll rarely find consensus of opinion, but according to one renowned doctor, Suboxone works best as a long term – or even permanent – medication.

Find out why you should consider longer use and how to know when (if ever) you’re ready to give it up.

The Neurological Model for Food Addiction – How the Over-Consumption of Food Causes Addiction-Like Changes to the Brain 

Is food addiction real?

Well, according to National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers armed with MRI machines, food and drugs do very similar things inside the brain.

They postulate that the excessive consumption of highly palatable food can lead to changes to the brain’s dopamine systems which make resisting future over-consumption quite difficult.

So can you really get addicted to something that’s necessary for basic survival? According to NIDA director Nora Volkow, there’s really very little doubt that you can. She says, "The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it. We are finding tremendous overlaps between drugs in the brain and food in the brain."

Why Does Drinking Release the Rage? Understand Alcohol-Related Anger and Aggression 

You’re a mild mannered guy until 8 shots of tequila has you brawling in a parking lot over some imagined slight!?!!

How does alcohol lead to anger, why does it facilitate aggression and why is that some people get mean when they drink and others don’t?

Does alcohol bring out the worst in you? Read on and find out why.

How to Handle Negative Emotions without Drugs or Alcohol 

The serenity of the recovery lifestyle easily bests addiction and all its accompanying traumas.

In recovery you have fewer problems, but you still have some problems – the rain still falls, people may still treat you poorly and some days you’ll just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

And if you’re used to erasing problems with alcohol or soothing hurts with pills then you may feel unsure about handling negative emotions without falling back to these old destructive habits.

If you can’t handle distress you can’t maintain recovery. Luckily you can take steps to improve your distress intolerance. Find out how.

8 Burnout Busting Ways to Improve Your Job Satisfaction Level (Career Change Not Required)!

Is your job stressing you out?

Be careful, too much stress compromises your health and happiness and job burnout erodes your effectiveness and saps your energy.

If things are serious, you may want to consider a job-change, but if that’s not a reasonable option, there's still a lot you can do to reduce your work-stress and to protect yourself from burnout.

Here are 8 ideas to get you started.

Ready to Quit Marijuana? Learn Coping Skills to Improve Your Odds 

If you’re one of the millions of smokers addicted to marijuana you know how hard quitting can be.

Fortunately, researchers learn a bit more every year about what helps most. Want to quit for good? Well according to the research, to maximize your odds you need to prepare certain coping strategies.

Thinking about making a quit attempt? Read on and get prepared first and increase your odds of lasting success.

How to Spot and Treat Psychosis in the Pre-Illness Phase (It Never Has to Get Fully Symptomatic)

About 3 people in a hundred are going to experience a first episode of psychosis at some point in life.

Prior to full blown psychosis – most of these people are going to experience a few months of the prodromal phase.

If you can initiate treatment during this phase you can greatly reduce the severity of the psychosis, and in some cases – you can stop it before it even starts.

Read on to learn how to spot psychosis in this pre-illness stage.

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