A few months back I was giving a philosophy workshop in a mental health charity. It was one of my less popular events – only one person turned up, a Romanian man who had recently moved to the UK and was finding it tough. We talked about Socratic philosophy, about the idea of engaging your Read more…

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Here’s a piece I wrote for Wired UK. I am trying to feel my way towards a pragmatic attitude towards revelatory experiences, that avoids the black-and-white dichotomy of either ‘definitely a message from God’ or ‘definitely a symptom of mental illness’. But this pragmatic position may perhaps end up offending both believers and non-believers…  Recently Read more…

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In a 1961 study called Disasters and Mental Health: Therapeutic Principles Drawn From Disaster Studies, the sociologist Charles Fritz pondered: “Why do large scale disasters seem to produce such mentally healthy conditions?” Fritz noted that disasters often seemed to bring out the best in people – calm, courage, organization, interconnectedness, self-sacrifice – while these virtues Read more…

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Psychiatry is at war with itself. The battlefield is the forthcoming publication of the DSM 5 – the latest version of the diagnostic manual that defines mental illnesses for the industry. At stake is the authority of psychiatry, and our society’s whole approach to the mind and mental illness. This is the second of a Read more…

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Psychiatry is at war with itself. The battlefield is the forthcoming publication of the DSM 5 – the latest version of the diagnostic manual that defines mental illnesses for the industry. At stake is the authority of psychiatry, and our society’s whole approach to the mind and mental illness. This is the first part of Read more…

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