Tagged: mental health

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[Publication] Hystoriographic Metafiction

This article investigates the possible reasons for and significance of British twenty-first century fiction’s return to periods in which the field of mental health came into being and developed into a splintered discipline, contested by neurologists, alienists, pathologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. Through an analysis of Sebastian Faulks’ Human Traces (2005), Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2002) and Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006), this article aims to situate twenty-first century fiction within an interdisciplinary critical framework of questions: if, as Freud feared in his Studies on Hysteria (1895), psychoanalytic case histories can “read like short stories” (231), can novels in turn read like case histories of the societies and cultures of which they are products? If texts such as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1848), Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White (1860), or Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1862) were able to “put the many concerns Victorians had about insanity into dramatic perspective” (Appignanesi 87), then do their twenty-first century counterparts perform the same role with regards to issues surrounding women as practitioners and patients within the field of mental health in Britain at the turn of the new millennium?

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It’s Normal to Feel Shit Sometimes

  For many of us, acknowledging that we may be suffering from a mental health issue can be a long, difficult process. What can be even more difficult, though, once you have acknowledged your problem and are trying to deal with it, is to recognise and be comfortable with those bad periods in your life – however long or short – that are just that. Bad patches that we all go through and which define our human experience. Today’s positive thought is a reminder to myself that it’s ok, and perfectly normal, to feel shit sometimes. There are...

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Be More Maya

There are lots of things I could say about Maya and the role she plays in my life, and I’m sure you’ll hear much more about her as this year progresses because she’s a big inspiration for me when it comes to positive thoughts. But for today, let me tell you that Maya is neurotic, obsessive, and very anxious. No points for guessing that, yes, she’s a Collie X, and some of these traits are part of her breed, though not in the way in which they manifest in Maya. Maya hates not being able to control where people are...

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The Art of Not Giving a Shit

  It’s taken me a long, long time to master the art of not giving a shit. I used to get furious, desperately frustrated, sad, and anxious over things people said or did, or stuff that happened, when really that stuff and those people had very little real impact on me, my work, or my life. I think it’s the most valuable skill we can learn: to not be affected by things that don’t matter. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it. But it really is a challenge if you struggle with issues such as anxiety, and a lack...

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Face Your Fears

I’ve been trying to make this thought sound less dramatic, but somehow “Get Comfortable with Discomfort” didn’t quite sound right, and also vaguely reminded me of adverts for constipation remedies. The reason I was looking for a better phrase is that this note isn’t really about what I’d call “fears”. It’s about the things that make you uncomfortable, to a greater or lesser degree, on a daily basis. I’ve had to face a lot of those things over the past year or so, especially when my ten-year relationship ended. All the issues with which I have always struggled all...

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The Good Stuff: A Year In Positive Thoughts

I have never made New Year’s resolutions, but yesterday I decided that there was one to which it was worth committing. As of today, I am keeping a diary of positive thoughts. Every day, I’ll handwrite one positive note. About myself, about something I’ve realised, or about something for which I’m grateful. It may be a very general thought, or it may be very specific and personal. It may be about something I’ve long felt is one of my strengths, or it could be a positive take on something with which I have struggled in the past and continue...

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