letters – Letter to the Editor

Taking Aim At Jealousy

David M. Buss’ article, “Prescription for Passion” (June 2000), trivializes a true bond between honest hearts, and supports the maintenance of one of the biggest lies in relationships. Many people romanticize their jealousy by seeing it as a part of “true love.” But what if jealousy has nothing at all to do with love? What if jealousy is a reflection only of insecurity and possessiveness? How could it be part of a mature, committed relationship for a husband to pretend to be jealous, or for one partner to try to get the other to be jealous? What on earth does intimacy have to do with dishonesty?

Only honesty opens the space for true intimacy. We can start by being honest about jealousy.

Foel Rothaizer Ph.D. Boulder, Colorado

I found “Prescription for Passion” by David M. Buss to be very disturbing. It highlighted the positives of jealousy and glossed over the negatives. How can Dr. Buss say jealousy is so wonderful, when there has been such a dramatic increase in domestic abuse? I would recommend that PSYCHOLOGY TODAY read the essays before printing them! I have one entitled “Lobotomy: The Lost Art.” How quickly can you publish it?

Thom Parker New Hampshire

Rewarding Awards

A gigantic thanks for selecting Celinda Jungheim as one of PSYCHOLOGY TODAY’s Mental Health Award winners. It was a wonderful idea to highlight persons who have made a distinct contribution to the field of mental health by doing something to make people feel and function better.

Shirley Sachs Executive Director Recovery, Inc. Chicago, Illinois

That’s What I Have!

I am a guy in my late twenties and was amazed to read your article “Killer Workout: The Dark Side of Diet and Exercise” (June 2000), on “activity anorexia.” I have been suffering from this for four and a half years now, fighting each day to release myself from its stranglehold.

It started when I became really competitive in sports. I would play soccer, run 10K races, almost any sport. Exercising each day enabled me to release myself from the day’s workload. It all worked well until diet and nutrition became all-important and before I knew it, I had lost 28 pounds and become ill. My muscles deteriorated and have still not recovered.

I would love to be able to exercise and run and enjoy that side of life again. But first I must overcome this terrible disease and enable my body to recover. How can I get my strength back? I believe I need someone to encourage and guide me.

John Wall San Jose, California

Editor’s Note: For help, call the American Anorexia Bulimia Association at 212-575-6200, or log onto www.aabainc.org.

Inspiration for Cancer Treatment

I am writing in regard to the article featured in the April 2000 issue entitled “Mind Over Cancer,” by Rebecca Clay. I found this article to be very encouraging both to myself, as an aspiring psychologist, and to our population of cancer patients. This article demonstrates the direct impact that psychological treatments could have on the lives on this group of people, as well as their often overlooked families. I find the studies discussed in this article of great use, and I hope that PSYCHOLOGY TODAY will continue to feature such articles so that the public can be made aware of these astonishing breakthroughs.

Delicia Straughter Pensacola, Florida

Poor Diagnosis

As a domestic violence and sex offense prosecutor, I found Dr. E.’s advice to Monica in New Mexico (June 2000) incomplete and irresponsible.

Monica wrote that her husband had abused drugs and alcohol and behaved violently for over three years. After completing a 30-day inpatient rehabilitation program, her husband asked to resume visitation with his sons. Monica asked, “is it possible he is better?”

The short answer is “no.” While Monica’s husband may be clean and sober, in all likelihood he has not addressed his problem with violence, which requires a different kind of intervention. Stopping substance abuse does not mean stopping violence. Dr. E should have told Monica that unless her husband takes responsibility for his violence and successfully completes a batterers’ treatment program, he is not better–and she and her children are not safe. (And even batterers’ counseling does not always work.)

Dr. E should have first and foremost advised Monica to get her sons into counseling, if they are not already. Children who witness domestic violence are six times more likely to attempt suicide, are 50% more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to engage in criminal acts. Moreover, children who witness family violence continue the cycle of violence as adults. Monica should balance these realities with allowing her sons to visit their father.

For more information on domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.

Amy Salvin Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlington, Virginia

PT’S ADVISORY BOARD

Richard C. Atkinson, Ph.D., President, University of California

Nathan H. Azrin, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Nova University

Gordon Bower, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., C.S. and D.J. Davidson Professor, Claremont Graduate University

Albert Ellis, Ph.D., President, The Albert Ellis Institute

Gregory A. Kimble, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Duke University

Ellen Langer, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Elizabeth Loftus. Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Washington

Robert J. Sternberg, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

COPYRIGHT 2000 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group