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A Happier, Healthier You: The Welldoing How To Guide

A Happier, Healthier You: The Welldoing How To Guide

This is just a quick post, to proudly announce that we have published an eBook: A Happier, Healthier You: The Welldoing How To Guide We have collected contributions from a wonderful array of experts, psychologists and writers, who offer their best advice on subjects that will – we hope – serve to make life less stressful and more enjoyable and balanced for you too. This How To Guide is all about your mind and body, with advice ranging from how best to start the day, how to build inner strength, how to find the job you love - and everything in between. And it's...
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Doctors Dissected: What are Doctors really Thinking?

Doctors Dissected: What are Doctors really Thinking?

As I sat down to write about the relationship I have with ‘my GP’ I realised I couldn’t. Last summer I had cause to visit a general practitioner several times, I am asthmatic and although my condition is manageable day-to-day sometimes I need additional care. I saw three different doctors in the space of six weeks. One was a locum covering for holidays the other two were regulars at the surgery.  All were professional, helpful, concerned. But they, like their approaches, were all different and that was just over one short season. Even if we live in the...
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Great Myths of the Brain

Great Myths of the Brain

Have you noticed how often the word brain pops up in newspapers and magazines, TV programmes and radio shows lately? For a number of reasons  – from the devaluation of traditional organised religion through to advances in research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) –  the brain is having a media-sexy moment. But that doesn’t mean everything you read about it is true. At least, not entirely. This is what prompted editor of the renowned British Psychological Society’s Research Digest Christian Jarrett to write Great Myths of the Brain, published...
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OCD: A Life Lost In Thought

OCD: A Life Lost In Thought

I have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for more than twenty years, but I could not have written this sentence until a few years ago. In fact, the first time I did write that I had OCD I deleted the email that contained the words without sending it. Then, after I did send it, I deleted it from my Outbox. And from my Trash folder. And then I rebooted the computer, just to make sure. Things changed a few months later. That original email had been to a literary agent about an idea for a book on OCD. When I subsequently signed a deal to write the book...
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Writing Fiction Airs My Demons

Writing Fiction Airs My Demons

Writing is a form of therapy. The creative act seems as necessary for my mental health as a social life and exercise. And beyond that, I find that my deeper, darker soul emerges in my novels in ways I never expect… We all know that diary and letter writing can be cathartic  -  and certainly my own teenage diaries were where I worked out the passions and indignities of life – but writing longer fiction works as therapy on several different levels. I’m not proposing that we should all attempt to write full-length novels, because it’s horribly difficult and takes...
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Culture Tip: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

Culture Tip: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

This week's Culture Tip is the first, and may possibly be the last, to incite in me an urgent need to increase dental flossing. Joshua Ferris’s new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour follows anti-hero, Paul O’Rourke, who is a Red Sox fan, an avowed atheist and an acclaimed New York dentist with a thriving practice. He is a man who cares deeply about oral hygiene and his pain at his patients’ dental deterioration is palpable. He is impotent in the face of a prolific alter ego who, it seems, might just be a kinder, nicer and far from agnostic him. Paul...
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"Head in a Car Crusher": Understanding Autism

"Head in a Car Crusher": Understanding Autism

When I first started to work with people on the autistic spectrum, I was given a very bad piece of advice: because the brains of people with autism were damaged, one should not listen to what they had to say. The implication was that they had nothing useful to contribute. I repeat this now only because it highlights how completely our perspective on autism has been challenged and redirected by the autobiographical accounts of such courageous people as Temple Grandin, Donna Williams and many others, presenting us with the view from the inside. Starting as a...
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Culture tip: The Reason I Jump

Culture tip: The Reason I Jump

Knowing what we’re really thinking is an elusive enough goal, knowing what someone else has on their mind is harder still, and what if that person thinks in an entirely different way? That’s often how the minds of people with autism are depicted: qualitatively different and impossible to understand. The Reason I Jump breaks through a lot of the misconceptions surrounding autism and gives an insight into how the author, a person with autism himself, sees the world. Translated, and featuring a forward, by acclaimed author David Mitchell, the book is a combination of...
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