The urban epidemic – loneliness.

That people are feeling lonely in today’s world seems ironical. We are better ‘connected’ than ever—at least on social media. Today, one gets the instant gratification of sharing something with others and watching the ‘likes’ and comments come in. Duke University psychologist Jenna Clark and her team have pointed at the superficiality of what they call ‘social snacking’, where one browses the Facebook timelines of other people for a sense of belonging. “Social media just gives the appearance of intimacy,” says Dr Vishal Sawant, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist. “A few years ago, if we got bored in a place like Mumbai, we would go call a friend. But now we open our laptops. Something has got to give.”

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Rahul Pandita & Lhendup G Bhutia — OPEN

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When a Stress Expert Battles Mental Illness


Mental illness is an illness. It can happen to anybody. A stress expert shares his experience.

Even so, it’s hard to come to terms with an illness that affects my mind. When I injure my body, it’s easy to say “my calf is pulled” or “I have a stress fracture in my heel.” But if I don’t have control over my mind, I can’t help but wonder who am “I.” I’ve found some consolation in meditation, which has helped me realize that perhaps “I” am the awareness that lies underneath not just physical pain, but also thoughts and feelings.

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Brad Stulberg — Outside

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How to Support Mental Health Through Urban Planning


I never knew that mental well-being could be supported through urban planning.

Living in a city is both good and bad for mental health. There are economic, cultural, and educational opportunities in cities that you might not find in more rural areas. But there are also theories about how living in an urban area negatively affects mental well-being. One has to do with sensory overload. You’re encountering many people, and your brain is being very stimulated. Some scholars argue that this is problematic for mental health in the long term. We’re still waiting to see how this research plays out.

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Mimi Kirk — CityLab

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Mental illness is at last getting the attention, if not the money, it needs


A much needed change.

Those pressures have become even more evident in recent days. On January 7th the Red Cross claimed there was a “humanitarian crisis” in Britain’s hospitals. The NHS’s medical director for acute care denied this but admitted that staff were under “a level of pressure we haven’t seen before”. According to leaked documents seen by the BBC, nearly a quarter of patients waited longer than four hours in accident and emergency (A&E) rooms in the first week of this year. One in five patients admitted for further treatment endured a long wait on a trolley or in a hospital corridor—twice the rate normally seen. With not enough mental-health care provided in the community, recent research has found that the number of people with mental illness coming to A&E doubled between 2011-12 and 2015-16.

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The Economist

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Bryony Gordon recommends the best books on Depression


Mental health is a serious issue. The more we read and discuss about it the more it helps. In today’s needull, Bryony Gordon recommends 5 books that are related to depression and reading these books helped her.

People do feel the same way as you. And what I learned when I started to write about my own mental illness was that it is through all the people who then started to write to me—hundreds of people saying: ‘me too’, if not with OCD, then other forms of mental illness—I realised that it was actually very normal to feel weird. To me, that is why it is so important to talk about your experience in mental illness no matter how shameful it may feel at the time because not only do you then show people what mental illness is, you also give it less power over yourself.

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Bryony Gordon — Five Books

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Psychotherapists in Mental Health


Today, I came across rarest of articles which highlight the role of psychologists in mental health in India. Psychologists though important link in the treatment of mental health issues globally, seem to stay in the background very often in India. People still confuse psychologists with psychiatrists, even when their roles vary within mental health. This article seems to throw more light on how psychotherapy as profession is gaining visibility. The article also suggests approaching good quality psycho-therapist and not to pick one that “Google throws first”. The article overall reflects increase in awareness of mental health issues but also brings to light long standing issue of stigma.

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Jerry Pinto — The Hindustan Times

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