A culture of madness?

In the 1960s and into the 1970s the psychotic individual increasingly became positioned both as ‘victim’ and ‘anti-hero’.  Psychiatrists such as Ronald Laing and his colleagues argued that schizophrenia was caused by dysfunctional (if not outright pathological) family relationships, in which the schizophrenic subject found themselves in an impossible, no-win …

That royal ‘Nazi’ salute

Perhaps what’s most fascinating about the furore surrounding the Sun’s acquisition of film footage1 from the early 1930s which appears to show the future queen Elizabeth, her sister Margaret, their mother, and their uncle Edward giving Nazi salutes is not so much the ‘revelation’ that Edward was an admirer of …

…..and the pursuit of Happiness

If you were a marketing executive you might seriously struggle to sell psychoanalysis.1 And one reason for this difficulty might be that psychoanalysis has never promised to make anyone happy.  At best, to paraphrase Freud, it can only hope to convert neurotic suffering into everyday misery.2  If anything psychoanalysis is …

Baby boomers and ageing

There were two interesting articles in The Observer last weekend: one by Tracy McVeigh was about the rise of the ‘silver splitters’ (those couples who divorce in later life); 1 and the other by Yvonne Roberts was about the possibility that the baby boomers, the so-called ‘have-it-all’ generation, may be facing …

The pursuit of happiness?

Recently I’ve wrote about enjoyment in an age of austerity.1  But what about happiness? This might seem a strange question: after all, isn’t enjoyment just another word for being happy? Not really. After all, it’s quite possible to enjoy being very miserable, in the sense one can gain a great …

Enjoyment in an age of austerity

There is a lot being written about the politics and economics of austerity at the moment, especially as the economic downtown appears to show no signs of abating. Also, the real effects of a sluggish economy and government cutbacks are taking time to manifest themselves. However, there appears to have …