Mental health


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Photo by Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum

Essay/
Mood and emotion
Radical acceptance

The painful feelings you avoid grow twisted in the dark. By facing your sorrows and struggles you can take back your life

Joshua Coleman

Photo by Guido Mieth/Getty

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Rewiring your life

A radical therapy based on eye movements can desensitise painful memories, heal hurts and aid transformation at warp speed

Deborah Korn

An Afghan man comforts two men injured in an insurgent attack in Kabul, May 2011. Photo by Hossein Fatemi/Panos

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Mental health
We heal one another

When a person is in distress, we can draw on deep, evolved mechanisms to calm the storm, through attention, touch and care

Brandon Kohrt

Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Mental health
The seed of suffering

The p-factor is the dark matter of psychiatry: an invisible, unifying force that might lie behind a multitude of mental disorders

Alex Riley

Charles Boyer plays opposite Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 film adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s novel Gaslight. Photo by Getty

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Mental health
Turn off the gaslight

The skilled manipulator casts a shadow of doubt over everything that you feel or think. Therapy can bring the daylight in

Ramani Durvasula

Photo by Trent Parke/Magnum

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Mental health
Deluded, with reason

Extraordinary beliefs don’t arise in a vacuum. They take root in minds confronted by unusual and traumatic experiences

Huw Green

Photo by Martin Roemers/Panos

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Mental health
Unboxing mental health

Our system for diagnosing mental disorders doesn’t work. The transdiagnostic model offers a humane, clinically sound alternative

Melissa Black

Prisoner-patient William Porter, convicted of housebreaking and theft. From the Perth Criminal Lunatic Department Prison Register. December 1898. Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, HH21/48/3

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Human rights and justice
Criminally insane

The insanity defence offends the conscience, has no basis in modern psychiatry, and penalises poor and black defendants

Susan Vinocour

Photo by Anush Babajanyan / VII for UNICEF / Redux / Headpress

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Escaping a toxic childhood

A new therapy helps survivors improve their lives by facing the psychological impoverishment that often accompanies abuse

Steven N Gold

Saint Catherine of Siena (c1612) by Juan Bautista Maíno. Courtesy the Museo del Prado, Madrid

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Illness and disease
Unholy anorexia

Medieval mystics starved the body to feed the soul. Understanding this perfectionist mindset could help treat anorexia today

Paul Broks

Photo by Mark Cornick from the Soho Nights series

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Mental health
My psychosis

It was one terrifying, exciting night of delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. What would it teach a future psychologist?

Tom Hartley

Detail from Interior (with Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin) (1910), by Wassily Kandinsky. Photo by AKG London

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Therapy that sticks

Quick-fix psychotherapies have been hailed as the gold standard. But depth therapies can be far more enduring and profound

Linda Michaels

Photo by Getty Images

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Illness and disease
Traumatised by the cure

Survivors of life-threatening illness can be left in profound fear and distress. Are they suffering from a form of PTSD?

Liza Gross

Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots celebrates a 12-yard touchdown against the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI on 5 February 2012. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Sports and games
Invisible tattoos

Many athletes are propelled by childhood trauma to succeed, but it’s a toxic myth that healing the wounds blunts the edge

William D Parham

Ostend, Belgium, 1988. Photo by Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos

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Mental health
Depressive realism

We keep chasing happiness, but true clarity comes from depression and existential angst. Admit that life is hell, and be free

Julie Reshe