Mental health


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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

Photo by Cavan Images/Getty

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Cradled by therapy

Why therapy works is still up for debate. But, when it does, its methods mimic the attachment dynamics of good parenting

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

Photo by Jean Gaumy/Magnum

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
The awe of being alive

Existential therapy explores the darkest corners and craggy edges of the many-sided self. The result is true transformation

Kirk Schneider

Photo by Martin Parr/Magnum

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Personality
Spot the psychopath

Psychopaths have a reputation for cunning and ruthlessness. But they are more like you and me than we care to admit

Heidi Maibom

Photo posed by a model. Phillip Suddick/Getty

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Philosophy of mind
The problem of mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes itself as value-neutral but it is loaded with (troubling) assumptions about the self and the cosmos

Sahanika Ratnayake

Light amongst the murk. Photo by Gabriele Diwald/Unsplash

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Medicine
In defence of antidepressants

The backlash against antidepressants results from a suspicion of medicine, and misunderstands the very nature of depression

Vasco M Barreto

Photo by Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

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Neuroscience
Now you see it

Our brains predict the outcomes of our actions, shaping reality into what we expect. That’s why we see what we believe

Daniel Yon

‘My scrupulosity has helped me avoid some serious missteps, from factual errors to half-baked arguments.’ (Image posed by a model). Photo by Georgijevic/Getty

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Mental health
The red thread of obsession

Evolved human capacities for vigilance and worry are both exacerbated and rewarded by the intense pressure of modern life

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Marie-Lou Neron/Getty

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Neuroscience
Brain, heal thyself

Neurofeedback can put thoughts in your head and help you conquer phobias – even when you’re unaware of what it’s doing

Sara Kimmich

Anna, aged 15. Photo kindly supplied by the author

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Mental health
Total eclipse

Even with loving parents and caring therapists, a child whose diagnosis came too late can lose the fight

Deanna Csomo McCool

Photo by Peter Marlow/Magnum

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Sailing into the storm

Acceptance and commitment therapy teaches us how to live a values-driven life even in the face of dark emotions and trauma

Joseph Trunzo

Photo by Robert Brook/Science Photo Library

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Mental health
Do antidepressants work?

Depression is a very complex disorder and we simply have no good evidence that antidepressants help sufferers to improve

Jacob Stegenga

Photo by Tommy Trenchard/Panos

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Wellbeing
Breathtaking

From first cry to last sigh, we do it without a thought. Yet the benefits of conscious breathing are truly remarkable

M M Owen