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Tag: Mental health

The mind creates ghosts

Patrick McGrath's new novel isn't his best. But it's another example of his extraordinary talent for dissecting our inner lives, and for blurring the fine line between sanity and sickness
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

Those seeking to explain the actions of Josef Fritzl have resorted to stock ideas—that he is insane, evil or a product of his culture. Yet for all his depravity, he remains one of us
Alexander Linklater  

Bipolar nation

A big shift in our understanding of mood disorders is under way, with many depressed people now being reclassified as bipolar. But is trading antidepressant drugs for mood stabilisers a sign of progress, or just the latest diagnostic fad?
Annie Maccoby Berglof  

Happiness studies

Interest in promoting happiness has grown to the point where there are calls for it to be taught in schools. But there is no formula for happiness, and attempts to teach it may conflict with other things schools want to…
Adam Phillips  

Confessions

Ten years ago, in a feat of bravado designed to impress a girl, I vandalised a restaurant where I'd worked. Was this act inspired by animus against the restaurant, or something else?
William Skidelsky  

Out of mind

The psychiatrist saw William just once. He'd been depressed, but now seemed better, so the psychiatrist sent him away. Then, five weeks later, he opened the local paper
Robert Drummond  

In sickness and in hope

We have always told tales about suffering and healing, yet our ideas of "medical narrative"—the kind of stories we tell about illness and treatment, and the stories our society constructs around medicine—are young and evolving. Here, Michael Blastland, Francesca Happé…
Michael Blastland  

Confessions

As my mental health declined, I started fantasising that I was related to Goebbels. Soon it all became too much and I swallowed 100 pills—but now things are slowly getting better
CAR Hills  

Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis, the foul-mouthed father of cognitive therapy, is a modern Diogenes. Now severely ill, and at odds with the institute he founded, he remains convinced of the value of Stoic wisdom
Jules Evans  

Out of mind

Alice thinks she's depressed, but her erratic behaviour may be better explained by the diagnosis nobody wants & borderline personality disorder
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

Section 3 of the Mental Health Act is our most authoritarian piece of legislation. Why is it used so much on black patients?
Robert Drummond  

Out of mind

A dying man is depressed, so he gets prescribed anti-depressants. Is this absurd? A strong dose of belief might have the same effect
Alexander Linklater  

After Freud

On his 150th anniversary, Freud's legacy is being dismantled by the ideas of his greatest challenger, Aaron Beck. Cognitive therapy is now the orthodox talking cure in Britain, and the government wants more of it. But with cognitive science comes…
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

A Cambodian woman is paralysed just like her husband, but she has not had a stroke. She is in a grey region of "conversion disorders"
Alexander Linklater  

Rehabilitating Freud

Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis have taken something of a battering over the last few decades. On the 150th anniversary of Freud's birthday, here is the case for the defence
Robert Maxwell Young  

Out of mind

Mick, John and Leonard are all chronic alcoholics. Are they just "addictive personalities," or can they make up their own minds?
Alexander Linklater