We need to talk about male suicide – and not just when celebrities suffer | Richard Taylor

15/08/2017 Richard Taylor 0

Our society fears seeing men as vulnerable or weak, which makes the stigma around suicidal feelings even worse for those seeking help

I was doing what everyone does with their phones when they’re bored – refreshing social media feeds to the point where minutes turn to hours and suddenly it’s 3am and you’re eating cereal – when I saw Chester Bennington’s name trending. I scanned for facts hoping that his reported suicide was another sick example of fake news being spread on social media.

Related: Male suicide: Gender should not be a death sentence | Simon Gunning

We’re being told to do an awful lot of waiting when we frankly don’t have much time to waste

Related: The bold new fight to eradicate suicide

Continue reading…

Edinburgh festival shows examine mental health – with sticky tape and silliness

14/08/2017 Lyn Gardner 0

After the recent fringe hits Every Brilliant Thing and Fake It ’Til You Make It, a new crop of theatre productions are taking startling approaches to exploring mental illness

At the 2014 Edinburgh fringe, the trailblazing Every Brilliant Thing – written by Duncan Macmillan and performed by Jonny Donahoe – talked to us about depression in a refreshingly warm, open and honest way. A year later, Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn’s Fake It ’Til You Make It tackled the taboo subject of male depression and was one of a number of fringe shows exploring mental distress. This year there are so many that a new award has been introduced for shows about mental illness. Talking about it, particularly depression, is the new coming out. As Viki Browne says at the end of her show Help!: “Don’t keep it a secret.”

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

Continue reading…

why do men suffer depression in silence?

13/08/2017 Kevin Braddock 0

When Kevin Braddock hit rockbottom, he had every intention of killing himself. He recounts what happened next – and reveals why so few men ask for help

It was a Monday when Robin Williams killed himself three years ago – Monday 11 August 2014. His death was shocking even if in hindsight it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the world’s funniest man might also be the most sorrowful, too – a person despairing to the point of ending it all.

It’s a date I remember well, because I’d spent the previous day trying to do the same thing. I was in the psychiatric ward of the Berlin hospital which I’d been manhandled into by friends the day before, and I was waiting to see the doctor who’d asked me to promise that I wouldn’t kill myself.

Facebook allowed me to ask for help, but any recovering I’ve done has been social in the original sense of the word

Continue reading…

The human cost of the pressures of postdoctoral research

10/08/2017 Pete Etchells 0

A paper on conformal algebra has recently caused a stir on social media. Not because of the science, but rather the heartfelt plea in the acknowledgements

Every scientist knows how difficult it is to get a research paper published; reviewers may take exception to the way a study might have been run, or the way the data are analysed, or how the results have been interpreted. It’s part of the process, and hopefully, the end point is a more scientifically useful paper, something that adds new meaning to a research discipline.

When Oliver Rosten sent a new paper to the Journal of High Energy Physics (JHEP), ultimately it wasn’t rejected because of the science – this was deemed sound. It was because of the acknowledgement:

Related: For academics with depression, the student feedback process is hell

Related: Studying a PhD: don’t suffer in silence

I think the first phrase is too much: I guess there were more basic problems in Dolan’s life than the pressure put by physics work. Certainly people, say in businness [sic], behave more brutally than in academia. The second phrase could be OK but a bit out of place: in a scientific paper we discuss about science, not about life.

Continue reading…

Thank you, Sinéad O’Connor, for showing the messy reality of mental illness | Paris Lees

09/08/2017 Paris Lees 0

People tend to only talk about their mental health struggles after the event. The Irish singer’s Facebook video is difficult to watch, but vitally important

Three cheers for Sinéad O’Connor, who has this week torn down the glossy facade of the public debate around mental health. The video the Grammy-award-winner posted to her Facebook page on Monday – a motel room recording that has caused concern around the world – is not easy viewing. Seeing her desperate call for help and her honesty about suicidal feelings is excruciating. And not just because we know that she was once one of the biggest stars in the world. She expresses her pain so passionately you can almost taste it.

Related: A moment that changed me: listening to, rather than trying to fix, my suicidal wife | Mark Lukach

Related: Have I got depression? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Jay Watts

Continue reading…