Mental health


Latest Popular


Addiction Ageing and death Childhood and adolescence Cognition and intelligence Consciousness and altered states Family life Gender and identity Language and linguistics Life stages Love and friendship Mental health Mood and emotion Neurodiversity Neuroscience Personality Pleasure and pain Psychiatry and psychotherapy Self-improvement Sex and sexuality Sleep and dreams Social psychology Spirituality Teaching and learning Technology and the self Wellbeing

Photo posed by a model. Phillip Suddick/Getty

Essay/
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

Photo by Charles Gullung/Gallery Stock
Essay/
Childhood and adolescence
Childhood, disrupted

Adversity in childhood can create long-lasting scars, damaging our cells and our DNA, and making us sick as adults

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Photo by Martin Parr/Magnum

Essay/
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 by Kosuke Okahara
Essay/
Addiction
Why self-harm?

Cutting brings relief because emotion and pain criss-cross in the brain. Can we untangle the circuits and stop self-harm?

Carrie Arnold

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

Essay/
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 Quim Llenas/Cover/Getty
Essay/
Human rights and justice
Why men rape

It’s not a profound mystery, or explained by deep psychosocial complexity. For rapists, rape is easy. And that must stop

Sandra Newman

Photo by Eve Arold/Magnum
Essay/
Self-improvement
Don’t think too positive

Fantasies about the future have a troubling effect on achieving actual goals. If positive thinking doesn’t work, what does?

Gabriele Oettingen

Luc gives Tonnin Smit a kiss at their home in Geel, Belgium. It is traditional in the town for families like the Smits to take in people who suffer from mental illness. Photo by Gary Porter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Essay/
Public health
The Geel question

For centuries, a little Belgian town has treated the mentally ill. Why are its medieval methods so successful?

Mike Jay

Deep in the woods, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is an ages-old tradition in Japan. Photo by National Geographic

Essay/
Wellbeing
The healing power of nature

The idea that immersing yourself in forests and nature has a healing effect is far more than just folk wisdom

Rebecca Lawton

‘You never stop grieving...’ Laurent Fignon lost the 1989 Tour de France by eight seconds after more than 3000 km of racing. Photo by Jean-Yves Ruszniewski/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Essay/
Self-improvement
Don’t beat yourself up

Learning to be kind to yourself when you (inevitably) make mistakes could have a remarkable effect on your happiness

Mark Leary

Photo by Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Essay/
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

Photo by Constantine Manos/Magnum

Essay/
Public health
A mad world

A diagnosis of mental illness is more common than ever – did psychiatrists create the problem, or just recognise it?

Joseph Pierre

Participants in a traditional Ayahuasca ritual of spiritual and physical healing in La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia in 2014. Photo by Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty
Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
Model hallucinations

Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?

Philip Gerrans & Chris Letheby

Photo by Cavan Images/Getty

Essay/
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

From ‘The Lost Head and the Bird’ by Sohrab Hura. Courtesy of Magnum Photos
Essay/
Mental health
When the self slips

Individuals living with depersonalisation disorder bring vivid insight to the question of whether the self is an illusion

Anna Ciaunica & Jane Charlton

Photo by Jean Gaumy/Magnum

Essay/
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 Paul Paper/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Gender
Was I raped?

Brutal assaults by strangers are unambiguous. But what should a woman do when she is the victim of an ‘almost rape’?

Tove K Danovich

Photo by Tommy Trenchard/Panos

Essay/
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

Photo by Getty
Essay/
Architecture
Streets with no game

Boring cityscapes increase sadness, addiction and disease-related stress. Is urban design a matter of public health?

Colin Ellard

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty

Essay/
Addiction
The 12-step dogma

The new science of addiction makes 12-step programmes seem like folk medicine. Is the concept of a higher power obsolete?

Rebecca Ruiz

Riding the storms; detail from artwork by Kinuko Y Craft. Photo by National Geographic/Corbis
Essay/
Mental health
Learning to fall apart

My OCD had been creating vivid, painful rituals for years. So could Buddhist ritual give me a means to fight back?

Matt Bieber

Detail from Farewell (1914) by August Macke. Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Essay/
Mental health
The usefulness of dread

My anxiety has been lifelong but I would not wish it away. It has made me the philosopher – and person – that I am today

Samir Chopra

US Marines from Charlie Company at work in the north east of Fallujah, Iraq, November 17, 2004. Photo by Jerome Sessini/Magnum

Essay/
War and peace
The unforgiven

When soldiers kill in war, the secret shame and guilt they bring back home can destroy them

Kevin Sites

Photo by Robert Brook/Science Photo Library

Essay/
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

Light amongst the murk. Photo by Gabriele Diwald/Unsplash

Essay/
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 Gallery Stock
Essay/
Illness and disease
The disremembered

Dementia undermines all of our philosophical assumptions about the coherence of the self. But that might be a good thing

Charles Leadbeater