Ariel Castro ‘was not born a predator, he became one’: doc

I have written before that there is no original evil left in the world; everyone is just recycling pain. Ariel Castro was, of course, wrong when he claimed, bizarrely, Thursday that there was “harmony” in the house where he kept three women hostage, repeatedly beating and raping them. But he was correct when he stated……

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FURY FUELED BY EMPTINESS

GEORGE Sodini, the man who opened fire in a Penn sylvania health club Tuesday night, felt decimated by his own mother and very likely killed because of it. Sodini wrote an online diary that tells us a fair amount about who he was and gives us a window on why he would fire dozens of……

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Economy brings home depression

A whole new group of patients is finding its way to my office. People in their 20s are suffering from symptoms of depression after having moved back home to seek shelter from harsh economic conditions. Many of these people are having problems with their parents, who question whether their lack of motivation is due to……

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FOUNDATION FOR BUILDING CHARACTER

LATELY, scores of parents have been contacting me with concerns about their children’s characters. Their sons and daughters seem focused on browsing the Internet, instant messaging compulsively and buying gadgets and clothes — but not on testing themselves intellectually, communicating from their hearts or serving others. Our children can craft profiles of themselves on social……

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How to stay safe from predators

Headlines about predators like Anthony Sowell, whose “House of Horrors” in Cleveland contained the remains of at least 11 victims, are evidence that too many people put themselves in harm’s way by interacting with dangerous individuals. I’ve evaluated and treated murderers, kidnappers and rapists — and know some of the signs to look out for……

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REFLECTION ON REJECTION

REJECTION is a normal part of life. But coping with it or learning from it? That’s another thing entirely. Now, with so many people out of work and finding it hard to get jobs, rejection – and our reaction to it – has become especially important. Even as adults, rejection has a way of cutting……

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FOOD ADDICTION A REAL AFFLICTION

A lot of men and women have been turning up in my office lately because they haven’t been able to lose weight through diets or exercise. Some are only 10 pounds overweight, whereas others are overweight by 30 pounds or more. The diets have plenty of recipes and the gyms have plenty of equipment —……

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Past imperfect

During the past 17 years I have treated thousands of patients, including the homeless, government officials, men and women of every race, children, the elderly, minimum-wage employees and Fortune 500 CEOs. The central issue with which most have struggled is whether their likes and dislikes, talents and dreams, fears and hopes were identified and respected……

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THIS TALK DOESN’T HAVE TO KILL YOU

WHAT’S harder to talk to your kids about than sex? For many families, it’s death. Some of us feel as though telling our children the truth about death will scare them or leave them psychologically scarred. Our anxieties about death feed the trouble we have talking about it. Our religious beliefs might point us to……

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PAYING ATTENTION TO ROOT OF ADHD

I’VE treated at least a few hundred people with at tention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The symp toms included lack of attention to detail, trouble listening, difficulty organizing tasks, a tendency to lose things, fidgeting and interrupting others. But each of these people had lived through painful or confusing life events that left them reluctant to……

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The psychology behind goodwill

EMPATHY — the capacity to feel the emotions of others as one’s own — is the glue that binds people. It’s the psychological software that allows us to worry about a friend’s economic troubles across the country or cry at a movie. It’s also one major reason humans extend themselves to those less fortunate. Empathy-driven……

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It’s mind over marriage

Marriages are difficult — almost all of them. This should come as a relief to any husband or wife out there who thinks that the lack of emo tional intimacy and physical passion that has set in after five or 10 years together means that something is wrong with his or her marriage, in particular…….

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KEEPING THE FAITH AFTER INFIDELITY

INFIDELITY is often treated as the atom bomb of marriage problems. When an affair is discovered, many people assume the only solution is divorce. But it doesn’t need to mean the end of a marriage. Instead, it can turn out to be the beginning of a closer union. Anger, jealousy, sadness — this is par……

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SIX SIGNS YOU’VE FOUND TRUE LOVE

THEY say all you need is love — and having practiced psychiatry for 16 years, I can say it’s at the center of the biggest question people struggle with: Have I found love? In my life, have I been really, truly loved? So many of us are told in childhood that we are loved —……

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Look inward to unlock secrets

In an age dominated by quick fixes, e-mail and Twitter, it’s easy to keep wearing masks that make us strangers not only to one another, but also to ourselves. What’s the antidote to this kind of estrangement? Introspection. These questions are the beginning of a journey that can reintroduce you to yourself. Here they are:……

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SOBERING TRUTHS ABOUT ALCOHOL’S SUBTLE GRIP

OVER the course of my work, I end up treating many patients for alcohol abuse. But in the beginning, very few of them actually come to me worried about whether they might be alcoholics. Most of them come for help with depression, marital discord, stress at work or anxiety. Many of these men and women……

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TAKE A CHANCE TO FIND A FRIEND

THESE days, the things that pass for friendship make me think that people have forgotten about the real thing. People busily count their Facebook “friends” (my own profile has collected just shy of 600 of them) or they’re busy getting instant messages from pals who are really just bored and can’t stand feeling alone —……

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LOVE’S AFTERLIFE

PEOPLE are stories. Our lives proceed through childhood to adolescence and then into adulthood, much like chapters of a book. One experience builds on another. That’s why figuring out what we want, why we want it and how to get it can seem so complicated. It isn’t just about understanding one’s circumstances now — it’s……

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DIVORCE INTERRUPTUS

THE lousy economy has become an unexpected ally of mine in the part of my practice devoted to couples therapy. Much of my success in this arena has depended on convincing couples on the threshold of divorce to slow down and consider alternatives to lawyering up. I encourage them to wonder with me whether theirs……

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TEXT PIX GIVE TEENS KICKS

AS many as 20 percent of American teenagers now do it: send nude or partly nude photos of themselves via text message. It’s sleazy, to be sure. But what many people might not know is that it can also be illegal. When the photos are of underage individuals, it technically represents distribution of child pornography,…

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