Lone wolves?

The recent attack on the Finsbury Park mosque by Darren Osborne has rekindled the whole argument regarding so-called ‘lone wolf’ terrorists. The Times was the first out of the gate with the headline “Jobless ‘lone wolf’ Darren Osborne held over attack on Finsbury Park mosque”. Other media reports were quick …

Culture and mental health

There was an interesting article in the Healthcare Network section of yesterday’s Guardian by Yasir Abbasi, a British south Asian Muslim psychiatrist working in the NHS, regarding the importance of recognising and understanding different cultural beliefs and how these can become intertwined with mental health problems. 1 Abbasi gave two examples …

Mad, bad, or…..?

What was rather striking about the (British) media’s response to the recent knife attack in Russell Square, London, where a nineteen year old Norwegian national of Somali origin murdered an American woman and injured five others1 was that as soon as it became apparent that the perpetrator was suffering from …

Physician, heal thyself?

For a while now The Guardian has been running a blog entitled Views from the NHS frontline in which a range of health professionals comment upon their experiences of working in the NHS.  What’s quite telling is that a significant number of these articles relate to the mental health problems …

A new (dis)order?

I recently posted a piece on depersonalisation and conversion disorders.  The post initially focused on an article in The Guardian which looked at  the phenomena of depersonalisation, and had interviewed three people who had experienced a sense of feeling estranged in some way from their bodies and from the world.  …

Depersonalisation and conversion disorders: old wine in new bottles?

There have been a couple of interesting articles relating to mental health that have caught my eye recently.  They both highlight a longstanding trend within psychiatry (and, unfortunately in some parts of the psychoanalytic world) to redefine various forms of human suffering and disturbance as ‘disorders’.   This seems to directly …