This tag is associated with 52 posts

Fatigue: the problem most people don’t understand

If you’ve never experienced extreme fatigue, then it’s difficult to appreciate. It’s all too easy to say that someone is “lazy” if they complain of no energy or go for a lie down at two in the afternoon. For a long time, many doctors haven’t understood it. For people who are constantly exhausted, us doctors … Continue reading


The vaccine controversy that isn’t controversial

Polio is a disease that should be long dead by now. Some readers will be old enough to remember rooms full of ‘iron lungs’ – grotesque life-support machines that did the breathing for children left paralysed by this deadly infection. With their small heads poking out through a tight rubber seal, steam engine-like contraptions sucked … Continue reading


The Science of the Midlife Crisis – a modern myth?

They say that life begins at 40. If that is true, then I have four and half years coddled up in the womb of young adulthood before I am birthed into the cold harshness of ‘middle age’. We tend not to think too much of being ‘middle aged’, and we all know someone who has … Continue reading


What’s going on in the mind of a spree killer?

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited onto BBC Breakfast News to review the Sunday papers. Arriving at the studio in Salford, Manchester, at 6am, the producer presented me with a foot-high pile of the day’s newspapers and instructed me to pick five stories to talk about on air. All should be from different … Continue reading


The time I saw demons: let’s remove the stigma of mental health

‘The witch’ first started speaking evil thoughts into my mind when I was working in a hospital in Gambia, West Africa. To everyone else she was a concerned-looking 50-something woman crouching over a feverish relative. My supernatural sensitivities told me otherwise. Utterly oblivious, I was suffering the horrifying symptoms of schizophrenia and was utterly convinced … Continue reading


Mario turns 30! How playing video games can be good for us (sometimes)

Happy Birthday Mario! The large-nosed plumber, famous as Nintendo video game character who jumps down pipes and collects mushrooms, has just turned just turned thirty*. And he now the iconic video game star has a real reason to jump for joy. Research is increasingly showing us that video games could be good for us, which … Continue reading


Don’t forget to vote: it’s good for body and mind

Waiting for the general election has been a bit like waiting for Christmas. The hype keeps building but the big day never seems to arrive. Rather than greetings cards, however, ‘vote for me’ flyers have been piling up on the door mat. And instead of wall-to-wall seasonal specials, television viewing has been nonstop politics. Come … Continue reading


Is owning a dog is good for you? Separating howling myths from tail-wagging truths

There are some things in life no one ever teaches you. Like the etiquette of dog walking. As a reluctant dog owner of two years, the strange world of dog walkers still mystifies me. Should I let my dog sniff another dog’s crotch? Should I apologise when my dog barks at a stranger? Will the … Continue reading


The health benefits of generosity – it really is better to give than receive

Christmas is a time for giving. This week, we will give more to charity than at any other time of the year. For, all the fundraising carol singers, shopping-bag-packing Brownies, and charity tin-shakers make it hard for even the stingiest of scrooges to keep their wallets buckled shut. But a couple of weeks ago, I … Continue reading


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