Tag: Dr. Cecelia Mylett

Inside the Evolving Issue of Addiction

CAST Centers very own Dr. Cecelia Mylett and Robert Oppenheimer were interviewed as alumni of the University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Please read excerpts of their insight about the evolving issues of addiction below:

At CAST “is we treat the whole person. Where they are, what got them here and what they want to change. People are coming in here in pain, shame and suffering that they may not be aware of, but they know it’s affecting their lives and loved ones.”

Because some individuals seeking help from CAST come from affluent backgrounds, they may have used substances for quite a while before being confronted about the problem, according to Robert Oppenheimer, MSW ’92, a clinical therapist at CAST. “The nature of addiction,” Oppenheimer said, “is a lot of secrecy.”

To read the entire article, please visit the USC website.

Reframing Negative Thoughts

40 Things to Stop Believing About Yourself After 40. CAST Centers Dr. Mylett gives us one tip to frame negative thoughts:

“Thoughts like this one are a feeling, not a fact, says Cecelia Mylett, Psy.D, LCSW, Clinical Director at CAST Centers. Acknowledging the feeling behind it—loneliness, depression, frustration—can help you recognize what your brain is really saying and not get bogged down in self-doubt.”

To read the full article, go to Reader’s Digest.

What is Deipnophobia?

Earlier this month, our very own Dr. Cecelia Mylett was quoted in Women’s Health Magazine on the topic of deipnophobia.  It is not a word or a phobia we hear too often, even in a professional clinical setting.  However, just because we do not hear about, does not mean the phenomena does not exist.  What is deipnophobia?  What is its association with other phobias?

Defining the Undefined

The DSM-5 provides clinicians the criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. Mental disorders have a range running from substance use disorder to depression, from anxiety to PTSD. However, the DSM-5 does not describe deipnophobia specifically.  

What people are describing in the term deipnophobia is the fear of dining or dinner conversations.  So, if it is not explicitly defined in the DSM-5, how does one diagnose or describe deipnophobia?  

Using the DSM-5, deipnophobia would be classified broadly under Anxiety Disorders.  More specifically, the differential diagnosis may either be Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) or Specific Phobia.  If the situation is feared because of negative evaluation by others, it would be considered a Social Anxiety Disorder.  Otherwise, deipnophobia would be a related to a Specific Phobia.

Symptoms and Manifestations

Symptoms appear consistent with anxiety symptoms, which include avoiding the situation, fearfulness of being criticized, embarrassment, racing heart, sweating, nausea, and feeling trapped, to name a few.

Although deipnophobia is associated with dinner, mealtime, or eating, it is not the actually eating that is the phobia.  Rather it is the fear associated with social interactions during mealtime.  Individuals experiencing this type of specific fear may intentionally avoid dinner or other mealtime social gathering altogether.  

Managing Deipnophobia

Embrace your deipnophobia, don’t ignore it.  It is your brain’s response to a perceived threat, which is the flight or fight response.  But when you embrace it, focus your thoughts to the “present”.  You can say to yourself, “I’m okay right now, in this moment, I am okay.”  Take a deep breathe, pause, and exhale.  

Shift your focus to the present moment.  Focus on what is going well, such as “the food great.” We all have anxious feelings.  Decide what is a real threat, or a perceived threat, and move forward.

‘I Have A Severe Phobia—Here’s What It’s Like’

Dr. Cecelia Mylett was quoted in Women’s Health regarding how certain conditions, like deipnophobia, are considered either social anxiety or a phobia.

“If the situation (in this case, dining with others) is feared because of negative evaluation by others, it would be considered a social anxiety disorder,” says Cecelia Mylett, Psy.D., clinical director of CAST Centers, a mental health and substance use disorder treatment center in West Hollywood. “Otherwise, deipnophobia would be considered a specific phobia—a significant fear of a certain object or situation.”

To read the full article, please see Women’s Health.

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