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This week's editors

Cat Tully and Allie Bobak introduce this week's theme: Participation and foresight – putting people at the heart of the future

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The politics of mental health


Demons and angels: strongman leaders and social violence

Politicians who live in an angry narcissistic fog pose a threat to democracy and peace.

Can contemplating death improve the quality of life?

Deep reflective thought about death can bring us closer to self-compassion and concern for the well-being of others.

Welcome to another year of transformation

We need your help to expand our coverage of deep-rooted personal and political change.

After the violence and videos, therapists learn to treat racial trauma

From specialized clinics for African Americans to social media events that take the shame out of sharing, there's a growing movement to heal the psychological scars of racism.

How war trauma is passed down through families

After VE Day, a look at how trauma can transcend generations, and the need for peacebuilding work to overcome the consequences of conflict.

Transforming the politics of makeup

Drag is everywhere. Drag is looks you created and looks you woke up with. At heart, the transformative nature of makeup is about allowing your curious self to flourish.

Why does happiness inequality matter?

According to a new report, income inequality isn't the only thing we should be concerned about.

How to decolonise mental health services

UK mental health service providers are still failing to deal with race and ethnicity.

Staying alive: Kate Bornstein gives the finger to cancer, suicide, and the gender binary

"Once you break down a huge fucking binary like gender, no other binaries seem to make sense": an interview with the much-loved trans author and artist.

I stopped eating animals because of human rights

What does the meat industry do to people’s mental health?

Workaholics anonymous: four ways to take time out

Being an effective, productive employee was everything I dreamt of. Until illness caught up with me and I had to learn to take a break.

When resting is resistance

Activists fixate on the future: impatient for the world we want to see. But falling into the capitalist trap of ceaseless productivity leads to burn out.

Work less, play more

The 40-hour work week is an ingrained part of our culture, but it does very little to enrich our lives. Here's how to do away with the nine-to-five.

Madness and oppression

What if emotional sensitivities were seen, not as mental illnesses to be cured, but as gifts to be managed in ways that help people thrive?

Why does religion turn from beauty into beast?

Trauma and abuse are common in faiths supposedly built on love. What's going on? 

We need to talk about PTSD

Using the hashtag #PTSDChat to spread the word, I paint the trauma of war veterans, rape survivors and first responders.

Politics as therapy: they want us to be just sick enough not to fight back

On 10 October it is World Mental Health Day. I used to be outgoing, but a descent into crushing depression left me housebound. After Occupy I started asking: how does social environment shape our psychology? CW.

Seven everyday things poor people worry about that rich people never do

It isn’t just poor people’s lives which differ from rich people’s lives – it's poor people's thoughts that differ from everyone else's.

It's ok for you to be fat but not for me: life beyond anorexia's lies

Recovery is about a compassionate way of being in the world, love and community. Content warning: disordered eating, suicide attempts.

The problem with safer spaces

When you make your trauma a crucial aspect of your identity, it becomes harder to heal from it.

The dangers of radical self-love

Positive thinking is no basis for social transformation. Better to seek out the truth than live in someone else’s fairy tale.

Racism is not a mental illness

Racism isn’t all in individual heads; it doesn’t just reveal itself in interpersonal relations. History, politics, and economics matter.

Cheer up ‘Bifo’—history hasn’t ended yet

What’s the relationship between capitalism and mental health? A review of Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi’s Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide.

Don’t punish yourself to make the world a better place

Why do Westerners go to extremes in following Eastern spiritual paths?

The corruption of happiness

Anger and injustice need hearing, not treating. Unhappiness can be healthy.

Can money be a force for good?

There is more money in the world than at any other point in human history, so why doesn’t it reach the places that need it most?

How group therapy taught me to survive oppression

There is no guide to how to discuss your most painful experiences with strangers. Group therapy becomes a microcosm of the world.

In Lebanon, young people are challenging mental health stereotypes

Tradition, corruption and political negligence continue to stigmatise mental illness, but the new generation is transforming old taboos.

From Gaza to the UK: mental health isn't just a medical problem, it's political

We have to interchange ‘mental illness’ with words like ‘suffering’, and emphasise political action alongside psychological intervention.

Lea's story: my days as a mad girl

In immaculate clinics people are segregated, held down, drugged, often with no other purpose than to control them and get them out of the way. Content warning: eating disorders, self harm, medical abuse.

It's off to fucking work we go: the politics of workplace misery

Not only is psychological distress in the workplace seen as normal, it is valorised. As more stress equals more success, misery becomes desirable.

Graphic novel: The United States vs Pvt Chelsea Manning

Clark Stoeckley's graphic account from inside the Chelsea Manning trial is released today, marking its first anniversary. We exclusively excerpt Chelsea Manning's testimony on her treatment in prison. Content warning: state violence, discussion of suicide. 

I was arrested 75 times: how violent policing destroys mental health

Police harassment drove me into hospital. Why aren't we questioning their tactics? This is the final article in Transformation's series on the politics of mental health. Content warning. 

Panic and the city: I thought I was dying two or three times a week

There was no apparent trigger to my panic attacks, they were caused by the capitalist city itself. Part of Transformation's politics of mental health series. Content warning.

What’s normal? The politics of psychiatric labeling

Psychiatrists are consistently expanding the boundaries of mental illness using scientific claims only weakly supported by the evidence. Are they mad? Part of Transformation's politics of mental health series.

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