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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Why You Need To Stop Believing The Lie That Children Are Resilient

Childrens Resilience

There are many ways in which our lives have been altered – perhaps irretrievably – over the past year, and from the perspective of their impact on global mental health, many of them concern me greatly.

But of all the dangerous guff that’s been spouted, the notion that children are somehow completely unaffected by the pandemic and are able to simply shrug the experience off is by some distance the most worrying.

I’m not sure where the myth that children have an apparently impenetrable resilience originated. But it’s an insidious and damaging belief about child welfare that, unchecked, serves only to legitimise emotional abuse.

Resilience is a blood brother to fear, so in order to understand how resilience works it’s necessary to un...

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Radical Self-Care In Treacherous Times

Self Care

The arrival of lockdown number three has surely come as a surprise to absolutely no-one. Whatever your view may have been on the politics of the pandemic, the one thing that simply can’t be denied is the seismic upward shift in hospital admissions.

By the second week of December anyone with even half an eye on the rapidly growing trend could have foreseen the inevitable evaporation of the de-restricted Christmas we had been promised. 

As sure as night follows day, and just 24 hours after the Prime Minister’s December 18th proclamation that it would be ‘cruel’ to renege on that promise, so Christmas was cancelled. ...

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The Power of Acknowledgement

Healing A Broken Heart

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about conflict and how people often choose to deal with confrontation and disagreement by offering a non-apology – usually a version of I’m sorry you feel that way.

I’ve written about this before, so anyone who follows my articles and social feeds will know my thoughts on the importance of us somehow (no matter how painful it can feel) accepting responsibility for the way we might make another person feel.   It’s not easy but it’s so healing when you can hear each other.      

The friend I was speaking to – we’ll call him Steve – told me a story.

Nearly...

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Why This Government Is Acting Like An Alcoholic Parent

Broken Trust Concept

Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP)

Definition: A mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse or elder abuse.

Stockholm syndrome

Definition: A psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.

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