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In this photo James Holmes and his defense attorney Daniel King sit in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center, June 4 2013. Andy Cross/Pool/Reuters

James Holmes trial puts sanity on the stand

Jurors will likely be presented with conflicting notions of sanity and insanity. And they will be forced to confront widely held cultural assumptions about mental illness and violence.
The process of therapy is challenging and takes courage. Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Explainer: what is cognitive behaviour therapy?

If you or someone you care about experience an emotional problem it won't be long before you hear that cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, is probably the treatment of choice.
Some fathers with mental illness feel discriminated against for their – perceived or actual – inability to meet the traditional paternal responsibilities of provider, protector and role-model. momento mori/Flickr

Fathers with mental illness deserve better than stigma

Where there is mental illness, there’s almost invariably social disapproval and discrimination. And a report released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies today shows fathers with mental illness…
Compared to other antisocial people, psychopaths lack empathy and are less able to understand punishment. Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock

Why violent psychopaths don’t ‘get’ punishment

The psychologist David Lykken once wrote that most violent crime could be prevented by cryogenically freezing all males aged 12 to 28. Although this option might be appealing at times for high school teachers…
People with social anxiety disorder believe they will be rejected when others see how anxious and awkward they are. rashmi ravindran/Flickr

Explainer: what is social anxiety disorder?

Most of us would admit to feeling shy from time to time, or anxious about public speaking: the larger the crowd the greater the terror. It’s also not unusual to feel awkward while making small talk with…
Pensive: Winston Churchill in 1946, by Douglas Granville Chandor. Cliff1066

Winston Churchill and his ‘black dog’ of greatness

It was 1930. Winston Churchill was a 55-year-old Conservative Party politician who had been a member of parliament for three decades. He had eventually risen to the position of chancellor of the exchequer…
Adolf Wölfli drawing from 1926: a prolific artist. Wikimedia/Kulture Online

Outsider art can refashion how we think about mental illness

Organisations such as MIND work tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health problems and real progress has been made in destigmatising mental illness through campaigns such as Time to Change and Black…
It’s normal to feel distressed after a such an attack, but this generally reduces in the following days and weeks. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Social supports build resilience and reduce distress after trauma

People in Sydney and the broader community are feeling shocked, anxious, and sad about the actions of a lone, unstable person that led to the tragic loss of lives in the siege early this week. But there’s…
Disclosing mental illness in the office can be difficult. But it doesn’t need to be. Image of office worker via KieferPix/Shutterstock

Risk and respect – what to know about disclosing mental illness at work

Deciding to disclose information about a non-obvious disability at work is complicated and potentially risky, no matter what you do for a living. For people with a mental health issue, like bipolar disorder…
People who experience compassion fatigue are taking on the issues they witness without an appropriate outlet. Mr.Nikon/Shutterstock

Compassion fatigue: the cost some workers pay for caring

Health and social workers often choose their profession because they want to help people. But seeing trauma and suffering on a regular basis can have a deep impact on these workers. “Compassion fatigue…
Shifting descriptions. Words by Shutterstock

Is schizophrenia a ‘real’ illness?

In an attempt to move away from the traditional language used to describe psychosis and schizophrenia, the British Psychological Society (BPS) has launched an update to its thinking on this issue. The…
Physician attitudes towards mental illness can reflect the general public’s prejudice. Image of man on stairs via Dariush M/Shutterstock

Stigma about mental illness steers medical students away from psychiatry

Mental illness is a major public health problem in the United States. Suicide alone takes the lives of 38,000 Americans each year, more than double that from homicide. Medical and surgical patients who…
Too stringent an approach to assisted dying risks locking people with mental illness out of the right to make decisions about the end of their lives. Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Should people with acute mental suffering be allowed to die?

Euthanasia advocates often assert a distinction between dying with dignity (good) and suicide (bad), drawing on the community’s twin commitment to both permitting euthanasia in some circumstances, and…
Sharon Stone, in Basic Instinct, dramatised the catastrophic actions of a clever yet unhinged woman. EPA/ Peter Foley

Assertive female sexuality is pathologised time and again

Mental illness and women’s sexuality are frequently aligned – on screen and off. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, pathologised women’s sexuality. Indeed his definition of a woman as someone…

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