This article on Details.com explores seasonal affective disorder (SAD), specifically what it is, how it happens, and five simple strategies on how to fend it off. Within the article, Dr. Sack explains, “although seasonal depression is more common in women than in men, when men do deal with it, they tend to experience more severe symptoms.” He then goes on to provide some tips on how to prevent/deal with SAD including, embracing winter weather workouts and getting more vitamin D. Additionally, Dr. Sack stresses that waking up earlier and going to sleep earlier during the winter months, “can help you maximize the amount of light in your day, while also shifting your biological clock so that you don’t feel sleepy mid-day and bright-eyed at night.” Read the entire article here.
Betting on the Fantasy World, in U.S. News & World Report, discusses how fantasy sports, and sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, offer online gambling games like poker and daily fantasy sports and the affects they have on those who play them. Dr. Sack says, “Until recently, various kinds of sports betting tended to be much more limited…People were either doing it with their bookie or going to Las Vegas.” He adds, “When you make [gambling] more available, more people will be casual gamblers, and of those casual gamblers, there are going to be some by virtue of genetics or stress or underlying psychological issues, like anxiety or depression, who are going to become addicted.” Read the entire article here.
In Happiness and Health, on WomensHealth.com, Dr. Sack says, “Multiple studies confirm that cultivating positive emotions has enormous benefits for our mental and physical health, boosting our immune systems and making us more resistant to illness,” and that, “They also lower stress, depression, and heart disease risks, and even potentially increase our lifespan.” Read the entire article here.
Dr. Sack discusses USC coach Steve Sarkisian’s troubles with alcohol in BYU Would Be Logical Next Step For Former USC Coach Steve Sarkisian on KLS.com. The article discusses Sarkisian’s admission into rehab for alcohol addiction, what the next steps are in his treatment/recovery, and the growing trend of athletes recently seeking help for alcoholism. Read the entire store here.
In “Marijuana Use—and Abuse—in the U.S. Has Doubled in the Past Decade” in Newsweek, Dr. Sack discusses a study that was just released in JAMA on the increasing rates of marijuana use disorders. The general findings are that use of the drug has doubled between 2001 and 2013 and that diagnosis of abuse and dependence has increased from 1.5 percent to 2.9 percent. Read more here.
In 10 Habits Keeping You Depressed (and How to Break Them) on Livestrong.com, Dr. Sack provides expert commentary for seven out of the ten slides included within this piece focusing on habits that contribute to depression – and tips on how to break them. Insights provided by Dr. Sack can be found on slides – #2: You Drink Alcohol or Use Drugs to Cope, #3: You Isolate Yourself, #4: You’re Obsessed with Social Media, #6: You Don’t Get Enough Sleep, #7: You Make Poor Nutrition Choices, and #8: You Don’t Make Exercise A Priority. View the entire slideshow here.
In an article titled “Addiction and Depression: The Vicious Cycle” featured in the Health section of About.com, Dr. Sack discusses the connection between addiction and depression. He begins the piece by explaining that while it is not always clear whether addiction and depression comes first – or vice versa – there is one important factor to note: “When substance use co-occurs with mental illnesses such as depression, the issues can feed off each other, causing negative effects to multiply.” Read the full article online.
In an article titled “This Is Your Body on Booze” featured on MensHealth.com, Dr. Sack talks about how alcohol affects your brain. He states that alcohol doesn’t actually kill your brains cells, but can alter levels of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that control your mood, perception, and behavior. Read the entire article online.
In an article titled “How Bad Is Booze, Really? 6 Crazy Facts About Drinking Alcohol” featured on DailyBurn, Dr. Sack helps address some of the myths and truths about alcohol. Dr. Sack provides the second and fifth tip.
In tip 2, “You could be counting carbs all wrong,” Dr. Sack explains that beer has the most amount of calories, however by opting for a light beer, it’s still the same amount of wine or liquor. Dr. Sack also explains that while choosing hard liquor, be careful what you mix with because sodas and juices are higher in sugar and carbs, making the drink higher in carbs/calories.
In tip 5, “Alcohol might not actually be helping you sleep better,” Dr. Sack notes that while alcohol may help you sleep now, it can disrupt sleep homeostasis, the process that helps your body regulate sleep. Additionally, if you start relying on alcohol to help you sleep, this can lead to problems down the road.
Read the full article online.
In an article titled “A Woman’s Health on Weed” featured in the February issue of Glamour Magazine, Dr. Sack helps debunk the myths and bring to light the truths surrounding Marijuana. Dr. Sack talks about whether or not pot is safer than tobacco or booze, and whether or not teens should discourage their parents of smoking pot. Dr. Sack explains that while pot is less damaging than cigarettes, smoking marijuana can harm your breathing and affect your ability to operate a vehicle. Dr. Sack also notes that because the potency has tripled since our parents were younger, smoking can cause anxiety and addiction in older adults. Read the full article online.