Paris Jackson Cyber Bullying

Therapy London

There was an article in the Independent recently highlighting the effect of cyber bullying and trolling on Paris Jackson.

This is not an isolated incident, as many celebrities have had experiences of cyber bullying or being trolled.

I recently undertook a study on our behavior online and why some of us troll. Anonymity was discussed but many saw the need to illicit their trolling behaviour on others so that they can get their frustrations out into the world; including not only the artist but their online social circle.

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My response to: Real Men Do Do Therapy

men do therapy

It was interesting to see this month’s GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) leading with an article (Real Men Do Do Therapy) on psychotherapy, Therapy and counselling for men by Loise Chunn the founder of Welldoing.org
The British ‘stiff upper lip’ has seen men choosing not to come to therapy, instead feeling obliged to deal with any issues  themselves which usually involves keeping it locked in their head and using addictions,  legal and illegal drugs (to name a few) to ease their emotional pain.  

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Trolling and Virtual Identities

trolling

In recent times, ‘trolling’ has become a part of the digital world and has become a part of many of our virtual identities.

These are actions that many of us wouldn’t even think of being a part of in the physical world, yet seem normal in our virtual world and become part of our social identity.

A recent article in the Evening Standard by Benjamin Cohen highlights the trend of Trolls sending sexually explicit pictures of themselves to strangers on social media.

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Tens of thousands of Londoners hooked on web porn and games

Internet_addicts_

Are you finding yourself spending more and more time on your laptop, tablet or smartphone?

An article in the  Evening Standard newspaper recently addressed the growing trend in Londoners becoming addicted to the the internet. Ten’s of thousands of us are “hooked on web porn and games” – to name but a few of the internet-based activities people partake in.

London is a busy place and as a result, we need some downtime to distress after our busy day. We spend so much of our working life on some kind of technological platform at work, that it seems only natural to continue using technology when we finish.

I can hear many of you say, ‘well what’s the problem with using my phone to distress after a long day at work?’

Unlike reading a book or a newspaper, the apps on our smartphones and on the internet are laced with addictive mechanics that keep us coming back again and again.

You didn’t lose that game of Candy Crush because you picked the yellow candy chain over the purple one, but because the game mechanics did not want you to continue.

Forget for a moment apps with addictive game mechanics built in; how about phone calls and text messages?

Do you find yourself checking and rechecking your phone for messages even when on the tube with no signal? You do that because you have no one watching you, checking up on you or judging you.
It’s your virtual world in which you can do and be whoever you want, with no consequences. It slowly becomes easier and more comfortable to live within the medium of the virtual world rather than the physical one.

Mirrored by comments in the article by the Psychiatrist Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones who states:
“We see people who prefer their virtual life to daily reality, who can arrive extremely obese and haven’t moved for weeks, or I have seen people who are extremely thin and malnourished.”

The ease of the virtual world becomes all consuming. We don’t need to impress the opposite sex because there is pornography to suit any taste. We can feel powerful by humiliating someone on Twitter or levelling up on World of Warcraft. Our virtual identities become more important than our physical ones.

This is not isolated to London, but is happening up and down the country.  When one worried mother contacted the psychologist she stated “When I contacted Henrietta she said I was the fifth person that week.”

With the London lifestyle so fast paced, competitive and stressful it does not surprise me that we seek a quick technology fix to quell our anxiety.
Just like drugs (legal and illegal) we must learn to notice when we are in control of it or whether it is in control of us.

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5 ways Room (Movie) draws parallels to the Oedipus complex

room

 

I recently saw Room (Original novel and screenplay by Emma Donoghue) which follows the story of a mother and son (Jack, aged 5) trapped in a room by a male abductor.

 

The story is told from the perspective of the 5 year old who was born there and has never been in the outside world. He has lived within the confines of the four walls his entire life.  His only  relationship is with his mother, who gives her undivided attention; cooks cleans and cares for him.  He makes sense of the outside world through 2 or 3 TV channels , which to him, is an  imaginary world – ‘magic TV land’.

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Anti-depressants ‘no more effective than counselling’

antidepressants

A study  published in the British Medical journal (BMJ) has found that anti-depression drugs are no more effective than counselling.

 

The rate of prescription drugs tackling depression has doubled in the last 10 years with “57.1 million prescriptions dispensed in 2014. Yet in my experience the amount of counselling services have dropped in recent years due to, as many of them say ‘ lack of funding.’

The report states that sometimes, people have to take the anti-depression drugs instead of counselling because of “limited access to counselling, where there are often long waiting lists”.

 

With more and more people requiring mental health services, why is it that funding has been cut for services that many people suffering with depression want and need. The Professor of Psychological Medicine  at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, states that the highest rates of recovery are from those having both together. 

It seems that we are letting down the people in need of mental health services when, in fact, the need for mental health services is rising.

 

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Avatars: Resurrecting passed loved ones

Avitar hologram

I was struck by an article I read in the Daily Telegraph (27/10/15) on the ambition of an animator and tech developer, Simon Keown

He was speaking at an exhibition in Prague on the ability to create a 3D avatar of a passed loved one, through rendering pictures and videos.

This loved one would be interactive and able to ‘know’ what you have been up to by connecting to your social media feeds and apps.

The quote by Benjamin Franklin comes to mind “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”.

Soon, for the living at least, that view might be outdated.

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Facebook Offline Advertising: What’s the Point?

facebook-logo

Facebook is a place where friends go to make meaningful connections.

 

I was reading the newspaper and as I finished, I noticed the advert on the back page – Bold blue background with a small letterbox picture of a couple, with the word ‘Friends’, written underneath. At the bottom of the page was the Facebook logo. Very odd, I thought, everyone knows about Facebook, why would they need to advertise?

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