Tag Archives for: "Psychology & Counseling"
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Genre(s): Health Fitness & Dieting | Psychology & Counseling
Anorexia. Binge eating. Exercise addictions. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In his memoir, Battle for Control, Doug Erlandson has written the compelling story of his lifelong battle with the demons that have sought control of his life.
Born into a highly ordered household dominated by a father who displayed obsessive-compulsive behaviors of his own, Doug had seemingly outgrown many of his youthful compulsions by the time he was in high school, and during his college years he seemed headed for a normal adulthood. While in graduate school he lost more than one hundred pounds through diet and exercise, and by the time he became a member of the philosophy department faculty of the University of Nebraska at age twenty-five he was in excellent physical condition.
But the dieting and exercising that had brought him to this point soon were out of control, and within two years of becoming trim his life was dominated by both food and exercise addictions. Although he eventually conquered his anorexia and his subsequent binge-eating disorder, other food and exercise addictions such as rigid eating habits and excessive running continued to plague him through more than four decades.
In addition to these addictions, other compulsions, some amusing, others tragic, have dominated his life. For example, Doug has kept a journal obsessively for more than fifty years. At one point he was writing entries more than a year in advance to make sure that he would not miss a day of writing. He also details how excessive concern about spending money caused him to set the thermostat at sixty in the winter and eighty-five in the summer despite having ample funds to live far more comfortably.
Doug’s addictions and compulsions have continued despite a religious conversion in his early thirties and being nearly killed by a ruptured aneurysm in his late fifties. While the latter, along with knee-replacement surgeries (necessitated because he destroyed his knees through excessive running), have forced him to modify his exercise regimen, seemingly nothing to date has broken his addictions and compulsions.
Doug makes it clear that he is not condoning or glorifying his behavior. He is honest about his struggles and the inner voices that are sending him the negative messages to which he continues to listen. He is also brutally frank concerning the effect his behavior has had over the years on his wife and children and how his compulsions have produced anxiety when faced with activities (such as travel) that might upset his routines.
Although Battle for Control is primarily descriptive, Doug also discusses the personality traits that underlie his obsessions and compulsions and shows how his having a highly sensitive and conscientious nature have played a contributory role in his personality disorder. However, as he is quick to admit, these natural bents do not exonerate his conduct.
In an extensive “Epilogue,” Doug argues that despite his ongoing compulsions, he has reason for optimism. His own greater awareness of his issues and their underlying causes has allowed him to modify his behavior so that his various compulsions are no longer as debilitating as they once were. Moreover, through a greater awareness of his underlying tendencies, he is learning to channel them in a way that is positive rather than negative.
Battle for Control is a must read not only for those who suffer from food and exercise addictions or from obsessive-compulsive tendencies but also for their family members and friends. It will also be of interest to psychologists and other healthcare professionals who specialize in treating individuals with food and exercise addictions or Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. Anyone with an ongoing interest in these issues will find it a fascinating case study.
Genre(s): Science Fiction & Fantasy
A Young Adult fantasy novel, The WishKeeper tells the story of a fairy named Shea and how her broken wings and inability to fly have kept her from being the one thing she always wanted to be – a WishKeeper.
We, WishMakers, all have a WishKeeper assigned to us that protects and guides our wishes to fulfillment. Teenage, broken-winged Shea is determined to become one.
Shea is a rebellious, punk rock dressed, tattooed teenage fairy with two mangled wings that draw ugly stares more often than sympathy. She is not looking for sympathy though, and would rather break a WishKeeper’s pointed nose than accept an understanding pat on her handicapped back. Living with her disability for most of her angry life has kept Shea out of the Keeper force and therefore a loner (which she is perfectly fine with…or so she says). Until the day her family WishMakers, Grayson and Miranda, made a second True Love Wish, she was barely a blip on a WishRadar. The last time a True Love Wish was made, her mother destroyed it and the explosion ripped the wings from Shea’s back.
All Shea wants is to prove herself – despite her disability, despite her anger, resentment and the all-too obvious chips on her shoulders – that she can be better than any WishKeeper. She sneaks off to the human world with the naive intent to wrangle a type of wish even the most skilled Keeper barely can. She’s entitled, selfish, and has only one intention: wrangle a True Love Wish no matter the consequence.
Further annoying her, a WishKeeper recruit named Thane is tasked by her military father to babysit her, or at least that’s how Shea sees it. Through their impossible adventure in a land Shea had only ever dreamed about, she battles the difficult discovery of painful family secrets, a wish-mongering ex-king and his cursed zombie-like fairies, and the acceptance of her parents’ imperfections as well as her own.
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy
To Willie Jones, human beings are wonderfully unique pieces in a glorious puzzle. To human beings, Willie Jones is an unrealistic dreamer. Freshly fired from the 47th in a long line of wacky jobs and down to his last penny, Willie is dangling by the thinnest of threads.
To Melanie Worth, life is a precise series of movements – one leading safely to the next. Unable to step away from her lifelong plan to marry her grade school sweetheart, Melanie is about to make the biggest mistake of her life.
Enter The General – Melanie’s headstrong, hot dog loving Pug. When Willie catches The General in the most unexpected of ways, it sets in motion a chain of events that place Willie and Mel on a collision course with destiny. But will fate be enough to bring these two soulmates together? Or will The General have to take matters into his own paws?
Genre(s): Mystery Thriller & Suspense
Andrew Banks is hired by sixteen-year-old Mercedes Vega to work his first case. He soon learns that Carlos Vega, her father, is mixed up with the wrong people. He finds himself in Bellaire, one of the wealthiest parts of Houston, only to discover that not all of its residents are as innocent as they look. He must stay a step ahead of the Bellaire millionaire he’s pursuing before it’s too late for the entire Vega family, and for him.
Genre(s): Action & Adventure
For Corbett Griffith III, divorce and two busy parents mean goodbye city life, hello great outdoors. With their busy Chicago careers and schedules, his parents just don’t seem to have any time for him. When his mother sends him to his uncle’s Wisconsin fishing resort for the summer, Corbett feels that there’s no one pulling for him or caring what happens to him.
But all of that changes at Whispering Pines Lodge, Corbett learns he is never really alone, thanks to his Uncle Dell, who takes care of him, and his new friend Pike, who pulls him into one mischievous adventure after another. It’s a summer of change for ten-year-old Corbett–even his name changes, when a cute girl calls him "Griffy," a nickname he likes enough to keep.
When Griffy catches two elusive walleyes, he is surprised to discover how much he likes fishing. Eager to test his newfound skills, he and Pike are stunned to hear that a seventy-pound muskie is on the loose. They resolve to catch the ferocious fish, no matter what. For Pike catching a world record muskie would be about the sport. For Griffy it would be about something more. Maybe, just maybe, if he caught that fish is parents would take notice.
Think alligator. Think prehistoric beast. Think mean.
Will they be able to catch the muskie and stop it from attacking anyone or anything?