I think that I may take a stroll, And buy myself a toilet roll. At home it will be safely stowed, With the other pallet-load. — Pam Ayres Panic buying is common during disasters like the coronavirus pandemic. Before a winter storm, for example, somewhat irrationally, consumers tend to strip grocery store shelves bare of the so-called holy trinity of bread, milk, and eggs. In contrast, when a hurricane is about to hit, indulgences such as liquor and Pop-Tarts, and bottled water are popular purchases. After an earthquake, especially a severe one , pretty much everything in the grocery store is fair game for panic shoppers. What's more, panic buying of any item can even break out without any reason at all, simply based on rumor . As I've written on this blog , panic buying does not make for smart shopping decisions. In fact, it can have severe negative ramifications on consumers’ personal finances. This begs the questions: Why do consumers panic buy? And … [Read more...] about Why Are We Panic Buying During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Key Points: Hearing that they have "degenerative disc disease" can frighten many people into pursuing spinal surgery. But rather than being pathological, degenerating discs and decreased spinal flexibility are normal parts of aging—and may not be responsible for any pain that the patient is experiencing. Surgery can be helpful for some patients with structural spinal problems. But it comes with risks and positive outcomes aren't guaranteed; thus, it should only be pursued when absolutely necessary. Surgeries being performed for axial neck, thoracic, and low back pain on normally aging spines was a major reason I quit my spinal surgery practice in 2019. Not only was the success rate low, patients were often much worse after the surgeries and few physicians were willing to take care of them. At the same time, I was witnessing hundreds of patients consistently break free from chronic pain using evidence-based treatments and they usually did not require surgery. … [Read more...] about Spine Surgery: Proceed at Your Own Risk
Source: Goffkein .pro/Shutterstock Many people who have struggled with alcohol or drugs or behaviors such as gambling often say they had a voice inside them whispering, “I have a problem.” The voice may get louder after a particularly epic blowout. It may get louder when a person feels a drabness or disappointment about the monotony of her daily use. Sometimes it is others who have expressed concern about our behaviors and health. We internalize those voices too. Very few people easily and quickly accept the conclusion that they have a problem. To the contrary, many of us struggle mightily against it and craft a variety of arguments to demonstrate that we don’t have a problem. Many of these arguments rely on misdirection, moving the focus onto someone or something else. Here are six of the common arguments I’ve heard (and, okay, I've made some myself). 1. All my friends drink/use more than I do. The misdirection here is to what my friends are doing, rather than what … [Read more...] about 6 Ways People Deny a Drug or Alcohol Problem
Overcome brain blindness and regain cognitive clarity. Source: Faisal Rahman/Pexels In Part 1, we explored the dynamics of the Dunning-Kruger effect and its harmful impact on mental health and relationships. In Part 2, we will explore the question: If brain blindness poses such a threat, what can we do to circumvent it? Researchers Rollwage, Dolan, and Fleming in their 2018  study found that people who hold more extreme/radical beliefs are usually are less aware of the weaknesses of their view, have a low level of insight, and dogmatically stick to their viewpoints even when presented with disconfirming evidence. Researchers believe this is due to low metacognition , meaning they aren’t able to reflect on their own thinking and performance. Those who possess more moderate views are able to be realistic about their own viewpoints. A good case in point is the ending scene from the documentary Behind the Curve on Netflix. Throughout the movie, filmmakers follow the … [Read more...] about Overcoming Brain Blindness