The Wounding Power Of Narcissistic Shame

Narcissistic Wounding

History is littered with people whose behaviour has been so outrageously self-serving that they have become poster boys and girls for narcissism and you really don’t have to search too hard or too far back to find them.

Adolf Hitler is perhaps the most obvious and dangerous example from the last century, but the most recent ex-President of the United States of America is a more contemporary example who deserves to share the same sentence.

In between there are plenty more celebrities, both minor and major, whose public behaviour and verbal outpourings can easily be described as being narcissistic.

From Joan Crawford’s emotionall...

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It’s Christmas – Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect £200

Christmas mental health

Christmas, eh? Sleigh bells softly ringing, snow on the ground, a fire crackling in the grate. A bronzed turkey alongside a studded glazed ham. Little sausages wrapped in bacon. The perfect tree. The perfect presents. The perfectly perfect pine-scented Christmas you ever did see, or even imagine.

Look, we all need a bit of a pick-me-up after the year we’ve had (and if you’re wondering what sort of year we’ve had, check out my blog on how to stay sane in a world of pain for the litany of misery we’ve endured), but there’s no point in being totally delusional about it.

Christmas is never perfect.

There. I’ve said it.

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How To Support Yourself When Suffering From Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder

If you follow these articles regularly, you’ll know that recently I’ve covered some fairly dark subject matter – from why Facebook and the metaverse pose a threat to your mental health and how the relentless onslaught of bad news is driving anxiety and depression to record levels.

This piece also deals with some dark thoughts, but this time the darkness is literal, rather than metaphorical.

As I write this, we’re now just three weeks from the shortest day of the year. This is, of course, a ludicrous description since it has just as many hours as the other 365 days of this year – it’s just that marginally more of the 24 that make up December 21st are spent in the dark.

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How To Stay Sane In A World Of Pain

how to stay sane

Now, more than ever before, it seems as though we’re being buried under a relentless torrent of news that paints a pretty miserable picture of a world in which there appears to be precious little cheer.

The litany of bad news is extensive.

The surge in Covid cases that is overwhelming Western Europe and plunging society back into lockdown; the deaths of 27 migrants whose boat sank in the English Channel; an imploding energy market putting utility companies out of business; rocketing fuel prices; the ongoing climate crisis; allegations of Tory sleaze; children murdered on the streets of London and parents murdered in their homes …

The list goes on,...

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Why The Metaverse Will Open Up A Whole New World Of Pain

Metaverse

There were two Facebook-related stories that found their way into the news over the last couple of weeks. You likely saw one and missed the other – but together they represent a grim warning about the role social media will play in our future mental health.

The biggest story of all revolved around Facebook’s announcement that it was now funnelling the majority of its time, money and effort into what we currently know as the metaverse. I’ll get to that in a minute.

The second story – the one you may have missed – is immediately more sinister on its own, but when viewed through the prism of a voraciously expanding social media monster that’s high on ambition and low on morality takes on...

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Don’t Look For Happiness, Look For Relief

Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

As humans in a modern and consumer-led society, we spend a lot of our time chasing things we don’t have.

This might be the pursuit of material things that amplify our social status – money, property, a smart car or that holiday in the Seychelles, for example – but they’re often less tangible things such as health and happiness.

Happiness is the biggest dream that humans chase, although in most cases we don’t really understand what happiness looks like or feels like. Often – and wrongly – we seek to define it by our identifiable material achievements.

How often have you said or thought, if I could just earn another £x / buy a bigger hous...

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We Need To Talk About Post Traumatic Growth

Post Traumatic Growth

It’s strange how fast perceptions change.

A couple of years ago I was writing about all sorts of mental health issues that I thought the world’s governments needed to address. I think all those things still need to be addressed. It’s just that back then I didn’t think they could possibly get any worse.

Turned out I was spectacularly wrong about that. F***ed up beyond all recognition, or FUBAR, to give it its wonderful military acronym, barely covers the abyss-like depths into which the pandemic plunged our collective mental health in 2020.

Of all the things that were worrying me at the back end of 2019, rising diagnoses of post-traumatic stress d...

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How To Manage The Grief That Comes With An Empty Nest

Empty Nest Syndrome

Over the next couple of weeks a strange and unfamiliar sound will ring out in homes all over the UK: the deafening noise of silence in an empty void once filled with other treasured and familiar sounds. This, for thousands of families, is the soundtrack of a newly-empty nest.

The next fortnight sees an exodus for more than half a million teenagers (682,010, if you want to be a stickler for accuracy) setting out on the next stage of their life journey and leaving behind what has been, in most cases, the 18-year emotional safety of family life.

One thing is certain. There will be tears. Tears shed silently (and maybe not so silently) behind the closed doors of halls of residence flats, along with t...

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What To Do If You’re Concerned About Your Friends Mental Health

Friends Mental Health
  For this blog I teamed up with the fantastic SOS Silence of Suicide Organisation (https://sossilenceofsuicide.org/) and we wrote a Q&A together on how best to support someone if you are concerned about their mental health   1. What are some of the major red flags to look for which suggest your friends might be struggling with their mental health? 

 

Any unusual changes in behaviour. These may include drinking more than usual or other substance abuse, increased anger or anxiety, withdrawal and isolation, any marked decrease in time spent with fri...

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What Matters Most In Life Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire (aka Trusting Yourself)

Trusting Yourself

‘What matters most in life is how well you walk through the fire.’ – Charles Bukowski 

Charles Bukowski was an acclaimed author of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and a rampant alcoholic. Consciously or otherwise, he knew a thing or two about self-trust. 

Widely regarded as one of the leading influencers of 1950s and 1960s American pop culture, his work represented a life-long exercise in self-exploration characterised by life choices and decisions that the majority of apparently ‘right-minded’ people would likely consider ill-advised even in today’s socially-entrepreneurial society.

In good mental health, self-trust...

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