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 …

Mental health and the military

Although most people probably associate psychological problems amongst the military with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those serving in the forces can suffer from a whole range of problems including anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, psychotic illnesses, and relationship problems.  And it is not only about currently serving personnel, …

Trauma, PTSD and military veterans

On Monday night the BBC broadcast a Panorama special programme which looked at the growing problem of suicide amongst serving soldiers and ex-soldiers (veterans) in the British military.1 Through its own research the Panorama team established that in 2012 a total of 50 soldiers – 29 of them veterans – …

Ordinary madness

There is a myth within our culture, and within mainstream psychiatry and psychotherapy, that most people are (relatively) ‘normal’.  To be fair, psychoanalysts are more likely to say that most people are ‘neurotic’, or that by ‘normal’ we mean neurotic, but essentially it amounts to the same thing.  To put …