Posted in Blog

Conceptual and Historical Paradigms in Psychology: A Critical Analysis

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is concerned with a variety of internal processes such as attention, perception, memory, learning, problem solving, language, thinking and reasoning. Obviously, these processes are not directly observable. Cognitive psychologists aim to understand them by observing the performance of people in various tasks – by observing their behaviour.

The most common analogy to describe early cognitive psychologists’ views was the comparison of the human mind with a computer. Both have a hardware – a series of permanent structures where information is processed or transformed – and a software, or the instructions that guide the functioning of the hardware. Basically, when a stimulus is presented to the system, it causes certain internal cognitive processes to occur, until the system produces the desired response or output. This view, known as the information processing approach, was very popular in the 1970s.

It was argued that the process was fundamentally affected by the stimulus input in what is often described as bottom-up processing, and that only one process could occur at any given moment in time – this is known as serial processing. But soon it was evident that task processing often involves top-down processing: the way our mind operates in the presence of a stimulus is strongly influenced by our knowledge and expectations. Read what it says on the screen: you will have no difficulty to identify the word, even when some ‘E’s have been replaced by 3s. Also, it soon became evident that, at least in some circumstances like when we perform a highly practiced task, our internal processes do not operate serially or one at a time, but in parallel. If you have a driving license, you may remember how at the beginning you had to think carefully one step after the other, whereas after a time you find yourself pressing the clutch, changing the gear and observing the mirror at the same time.

The accumulation of theories and research findings, but also the enormous technological and medical advances in past decades, have had an impact on cognitive psychology. Nowadays, we can differentiate at least four main approaches to human cognition:

  •       Cognitive psychology can now be defined in a more restrictive manner as the scientific approach to the understanding of human cognition by the use of behavioural science.
  •       Cognitive neuroscience involves using evidence from behaviour, but also of the human brain, to understand our cognition.
  •       Cognitive neuropsychology involves studying brain-damaged patients to gain an understanding of normal human cognition.
  • Computational cognitive science focuses on the development of computational models of our behaviour and mental functioning to improve our understanding of human cognition.

But just like psychoanalytic therapy derived from psychoanalysis, and behaviourist principles were applied to behavioural therapy, cognitive therapies are the therapeutic correlates of cognitive psychology – although rather loosely.

Cognitive therapy is an active approach where the therapist adopts a very directive role through a small number of strongly structured sessions.

Cognitive therapies focus on cognition – beliefs, attributions, expectancies – and on the mediating role that cognitions play between the events in our life and our reactions to them. Their therapeutic approach is based on the principle that, as erroneous or inadequate cognitions are at the base of psychological distress, behavioural change can be achieved by modifying the underlying cognitions.

There are several different cognitive therapies, however two of the most popular approaches are: Albert Ellis’ rational emotive behavior therapy, and Beck’s cognitive behavioural therapy.

Albert Ellis developed rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in 1955.

Albert Ellis

REBT is based on the premise that our reactions to the events taking place in our lives are mediated by the beliefs that we hold. To illustrate this, Ellis replaced the behaviourist SR (stimulus-response) format by an ABC format in which:

A. Something happens.

B. You have a belief about the situation.

C. You have an emotional reaction to the belief.

For example:

A. Your discussion question does not receive any follow-on post from your classmates

B. You believe they don’t reply because ‘I am not good at expressing things, and that is not going to change’.

C. You feel depressed.

The goal of REBT is to help people change their irrational beliefs into rational beliefs. This is achieved by the therapist challenging the client’s irrational beliefs with questions such as:

Do you think you are the only one who is not good at expressing things?

Is not having follow-on posts such a terrible thing?

Just because you want something, why must you have it?

Where with different beliefs, your emotional response might be different:

A.  Your discussion question does not receive any follow-on post from your classmates.

B.  You believe they don’t reply because the topic of your post was ‘not interesting’.

C.   You feel motivated to do better next time.

Also, on the premise that emotionally healthy human beings develop an acceptance of reality, even when reality is highly unpleasant, REBT therapists help their clients develop unconditional self-acceptance, other- acceptance and life-acceptance.

The third big name in cognitive therapy, Aaron Beck presented his approach to the treatment of depression in 1967, and in the following decades he and his followers extended their approach to other emotional disorders.

Beck’s cognitive therapy also argues that sustained erroneous thoughts are at the root of many psychological disorders, but he proposes a different methodological approach to these erroneous thought and to their change.

According to Beck, we all possess a variety of beliefs about the world, others and ourselves, often learned through interactions with the world and with others during our childhood. Those beliefs may be central (such as ‘I am less intelligent than the others‘) or intermediate, in the form of attitudes and assumptions (such as ‘being less intelligent than the others is terrible‘).

People tend to selectively focus on the information that confirms their beliefs, rejecting or not considering information that contradicts them. Beliefs are therefore maintained even when they are inexact and dysfunctional. They can be activated by different life events in the form of automatic irrational thoughts, which affect the person’s emotions and behaviour.

Depressed Man

Beck summarises irrational thoughts in a number of categories or inferences, including amongst others:

  • Dichotomous or ‘all or nothing’ thought: ‘Either I am perfect or I am horrendous’.
  • Magnification of the negative and minimisation of the positive:

‘I didn’t get the mark that I expected, therefore I will never be able to succeed in this subject’ or ‘I got a distinction, but only because the assignment was very easy’.

  • Overgeneralisations: I didn’t feel comfortable in the meeting, which means that I am not good at making friends’.
  • Personalisation, or tendency to think that everything others say or think is related to you: The teacher didn’t smile to me this morning, I must have done something wrong’.
  • Mind reading, or believing that you know what the others are thinking: ‘He is thinking that I cannot complete the task’.

The first step in Beck’s cognitive therapy is to identify the client’s automatic beliefs and to dispute them with questions such as:

What is the evidence for and against this idea?

What is the worst scenario here?

Could you resist it?

What is the most probable and realistic outcome?

Once the client is conscious that their thoughts are irrational, they are invited to replace them with alternative rational thoughts, through guided exercises complemented with behavioural experiments and other cognitive and behavioural techniques. These may include training in social skills, problem-solving, relaxation, systematic desensitisation, psychodrama or role playing, amongst others.

 

Copyright—Laureate Online Education © All rights reserved, 2000-2016. The Module, in all its parts—syllabus, guidelines, technical notes, images and any additional material—is copyrighted by Laureate Online Education B. V. Last update: 20 December 2016
Image: ‘Noam Chomsky’ by John Soares, uploaded to Commons by Stevertigo, then modified by Verdy p. (This version was initially uploaded by Stevertigo.) [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons
Image: ‘Albert Ellis’ Permission granted by the Albert Ellis Institute
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Label #4: Mental

I was going to vlog yesterday, but then I watched Sinead O’Connor’s desperate video and became far too emotional.

 

And then I had a couple of seizures.

 

Sinead’s video resonated with me for two reasons:

  1. because you rarely hear celebrities speak so publicly about their pain, IN THE HOUR OF THEIR PAIN.    
  2. because her story is so aligned with mine. Both of us have been abandoned by our families, due to our health issues. My Epilepsy diagnosis, for my family was the last straw, because for years they had dealt ((or rather, avoided dealing) with my undiagnosed mental health issues.

I was diagnosed with depression in University, however it was clear that I was unhinged way before that.

For obvious reasons.      

But I had nobody to turn to.  

Nobody to talk to.

As soon as I was eighteen, I fell into the arms of the first guy who paid me attention, and my life became a tragedy of secrecy, sex, drugs, alcohol, depression, suicide ideation and attempts, and undiagnosed seizures.

While I was away at University, it was easy to keep my problems in a box away from my family, however after graduation, a Film and Literature degree with no work experience and therefore jobless, I was forced to move back home. I would secretly drink in my room, while sobbing, not understanding what was wrong with me – both physically or mentally.

No GP would listen to me.

I couldn’t talk to my family, so this was when I started to roam the internet, to sneak out and meet guys for rendevous’. Or on nights out with friends from University, I’d hook up with random guys and go back to theirs. For meaningless sex.

At some point the GP finally prescribed me anti depressants, but I still wasn’t talking to anybody.  I wasn’t offered the option by the GP, or my family. My mother had no idea, because of her religious stance – I couldn’t speak to her. My sister just expected me to stop. If I loved her enough I would stop. Because it was that simple. She didn’t want to talk about it.

Then each time I tried to talk to my mother, she would refer me to God, who would respond to my needs.  

 

Sinead is now alone. For being mentally ill.

I was once alone too.

Yes we are a burden, but we are sick; Sinead said this in her video and I’ve said this previously myself: you wouldn’t abandon us if we had cancer. My sister wouldn’t have told me that she didn’t want to “deal with me anymore” if I’d had cancer. My mother wouldn’t have told me that it was my “fault” that I’m sick, if I had cancer.

 

Sinead wouldn’t have been alone in a motel room, crying out for help to the world, instead of surrounded by her family, if she had cancer.

 

When are we going to get real about mental health?  

 

Why do people have to die, for us to talk about it? When Chester Bennington from Linkin Park died, we promised to change our ways, but now I’m ashamed to write that when Sinead’s video went out, people were mocking her.

 

Mocking her.

 

What the FUCK is wrong with you people?

 

Again I ask, if it was somebody sick from chemo, would you mock her? Or would you commend her on her bravery instead? Because I think that she’s fucking brave. There were days after my suicide attempt, when I wanted to do it again, when I didn’t want to live, when the seizures were crippling and the black dog was seductively calling me to the grave.   

 

I’m still on a waiting list to see a personality specialist.

I’ve been waiting over six months now.

 

Thankfully I finally have a healthy family that I have carefully selected myself. They keep me going in the interim.
I hope that Sinead’s family come to value her for the diamond that she is.    

Posted in Blog

My Survival

The key to my survival – Part One: my partner. 

For the first time in a while, I’m smiling, I’m dancing, I’m cooking (I love cooking), I’m reading, I’m listening to music and singing.

My partner’s been so patient with me, particularly while I’ve changed my mind AGAIN about my living arrangements. I’ve been so candid here on my blog, so I want to be more explicit on what happened during my psychotic episode which led me to want to live away from my partner.

I no longer felt safe around anybody, but particularly around the person I loved most in the world. I constantly felt paranoid and unsafe – everything he said triggered some kind of fear which now in the light of reason and medication, I can find no reason for.

All of this was because I was bullied in my job and when I eventually tried to stand up for myself, I was suspended. I had put EVERYTHING into this job and prioritised teaching over everything, including my health at times. When I was suspended, I felt like I had been left with nothing, because I knew I was going to lose my job and because of this, I tried to kill myself.  I put ALL of my value and self-worth in a vocation – a vocation I had grown up wanting to do and was more than qualified to do regardless of my colour, or where I grew up, even if I did have epilepsy.

They don’t work anyway right?

After my suicide attempt, the psychiatrist instructed me to stop taking the antidepressants I had overdosed on, because in his words: “They don’t work anyway right?” and in the midst of my brain fog, I agreed.

My GP thinks that the psychosis could’ve been caused by this; my epilepsy team think that the psychosis could’ve been caused by the postictal state from the grand mal seizure I had a week after my suicide attempt.

Whichever the medical cause, I will always know the people who caused this.

I wanted to die

On that night I took those pills, in that moment, I did really want to die and I really saw no other way out.

On that night, I’d also had an argument with my partner – in the weeks before we’d found the perfect home together, but with my career and now my relationship in the organ grinder, I felt that I had nothing left to live for. In my depressed state, I guess I overreacted about the argument, however this was a BIG argument.

I didn’t say much, in fact I think I’d already taken the pills when my partner came into the bedroom to get a quilt to sleep on the sofa. But then as I felt myself drifting off, I sent him a message, telling him what I’d done and he saved me.

And we’ve been through every step of hell together.

We even broke up more than once and then finally for good, which lasted an entire day. However, thankfully, as I’ll go on to mention in part two of this post, I had some friends to counsel me in my darkest time when I found it difficult to make sense of what was going on in my own head, because even when I have wanted to die, simultaneously I’ve never had somebody by my side cheerleading for me to live so loudly.

Genie Cheerleader.gif

Which is why I’ve decided that the home we found together, is where we are going to live together.

Things were never easy for me
Peace of mind was hard to find
And I needed a place where I could hide
Somewhere I could call mine

Genesis – No Son of Mine

And I think I’ve finally done it…

The key to my survival – Part Two: I mustn’t forget my friends. 

The friends who have stood by me in my sickness and my madness, who haven’t even batted an eyelid that I’ve changed my mind about my partner so many times – during my bad times, I must’ve told them some crazy things about him, only to find out a week later that it was all down to psychosis and they didn’t even mind, because they loved him so much and were just ecstatic that we were back together! Furthermore, the security of knowing that they know me well enough, to know when I’m not myself and when I am, brings me so much peace.

The love has been unreal!

I’ve also made some incredible new friends via social media, who again have been with me every step of the way. My job was making me feel intensely lonely – a loneliness I hadn’t felt since my teens and I did some reaching out, while some even did some to me which saved me. I’m still finding it an unrelenting feat to trust people, so the fact that these people have broken past my barriers speaks volumes.

Hugs

I’ll be forever thankful xoxo

The key to my survival – Part Three: My Amazing Three Uncles. 

I rarely see them. My mum completely cut off all communication with them when we were younger and to this day, I still don’t fully understand the reasons why because when we were younger, my uncles were the fathers my sister and I never had. When I moved to London and just before I stopped talking to my mum and sister, I reached out to my oldest Uncle and since then, even though I rarely see them (especially since I started Teacher Training), I talk to my three uncles via Whatsapp or on Facebook. My youngest uncle in particular surprised me because after my suicide attempt, concerned about my cryptic Facebook updates, he phoned me and has been a shoulder to cry on since. I’m a hard nut to crack and I really didn’t realise how much so until this whole experience, but he REALLY cracked me. I loved him so much more for that.

I’m not fully recovered yet – I’m not sure how long it will take, or if I’ll ever get there. All of these components: love, friendship, mentoring, support have all been empowering towards the healing of my mental health.

I know that I’m never going to be the same person that I was a year ago… I’m forever changed and that girl is forever gone. It’s sad because I never got a chance to say goodbye to her. However I’m looking forward to this new journey: moving into my new home, seeing where this new unplanned future takes me and learning to live every day as it comes.

Posted in Blog

You Left Me High and Dry

When you become sick, your sickness becomes your lover, your best friend, your brother, sister – your life.

It has to.

I have to get to know my epilepsy in order to learn to live with it, I’ve realised that now, so when I became sick my priorities had to change and there are people who will stick by you in that, and others who won’t be able to.

For some insane reason, even only knowing me for ten months (TODAY IS ACTUALLY OUR TEN MONTH ANNIVERSARY BABY!!!)

Anniversary GIF.gif

– at my worst for the majority of our relationship, my partner has chosen to stick by me. There are friends who have drawn closer to me, to hold me up as if they know I’m about to fall before I even know it… amazing!

And then there are the ones on the other hand, who just don’t get it.

When my oldest friend found out that I had epilepsy, I think she was so shocked because we didn’t know. We’d grown up together and yet we hadn’t known. And then she didn’t know what to say. It was made even more difficult with her living in a different country when I was diagnosed. We went from talking everyday to sporadically and my updates would just be… well depressing, while her’s would be vague.

I remember when she got annoyed at me once while I was still living at my mum’s and I moaned about another friend leaving me to go travelling (I’d already been – I just couldn’t afford to do it again) and she snapped back:

“Not everything is about you, you’re always complaining. Just do something about it.”

I couldn’t: I was sick, but hadn’t been diagnosed yet and most of my money was going to my mum.

But since then, I’d been trying to make an conscious effort to ask her about her life, so I would get annoyed at her for being vague!

I also recall when I needed relationship advice while with my ex: I didn’t know what to do, she was happy to talk it out for hours and by the end of the conversation I’d decided that I was going to end things. However, then I spoke to him we decided to work things out and when I told my friend, she became annoyed that we’d wasted all of that time talking for nothing.

Yet I’d spent years of my time talking it out with her about her relationship and never once thrown it in her face. Until now I guess.

 

Things have been tough this year, and she hasn’t stepped up to the plate. I’ve found her flippant to my agitations – particularly when I opened up to her about work.

After opening up to her about my suicide attempt and the reasons behind it, she sent me a peculiarly flippant text afterwards, which I found upsetting and she didn’t respond.

 

That was about three weeks ago now.

 

Then last weekend I really thought that things had ended for good with my partner and I – a million things were going through my mind: I have to look for a new place because I cannot stay here, I’ve got nowhere to go, I’ve got no job (I’ll explain this fully in a later post), no money. I was beginning to feel incredibly suicidal again. At that moment I sought help from the Crisis Team who managed to talk me down from the “ledge”, however the following day I sent her and another close friend a text to let them know about me and my partner and having to find a new place urgently.

 

She never replied. She still hasn’t.

 

Perhaps she never will.

 

Thankfully I have the people around that respond, who don’t think that I’m too much of a burden to bear.

 

I’m so sick and tired to saying sorry for being sick and tired.

 

I went to see my GP yesterday and it was revealed to me that I had a psychotic episode, triggered by the abrupt withdrawal of antidepressants after my suicide attempt. For some context, I started taking these antidepressants because of my job and at the time of my suicide attempt was on the highest dose; I stopped taking them after my overdose and then after my grand mal seizure, the Psychiatrist came to visit me at home and said to me:

 

“well if you don’t think they’re working, just stop taking them”.

 

The antidepressants I was taking were extremely strong, he knew this, and as a medical professional he would’ve known what would’ve happened when I abruptly stopped taking them, which is what did happen – I became a horrible, psychotic monster. I had no idea how to differentiate between reality and fiction, my home had become my prison, every single sound was amplified to maximum. I’ve never experienced anything like it and I was so thankful that I wrote down my experiences on a piece of paper to take to my GP.

 

In the midst of this, my friend hasn’t been there.

 

Who do I blame for this one? Epilepsy, or mental health?… Or teacher training?!

Another On Bites The Dust.gif

Posted in Blog

Labels #5: Kid A (My Depression)

Thom Yorke gif.gif (Image Source)

This was never part of the original concept when I decided that I wanted to blog a series on labels. I knew that mental illness was going to be part of the series, however I didn’t expect to be writing about Radiohead. Now, I cannot imagine how it couldn’t have ever been part of the original concept.

I’ve suffered a few breakdowns, however my most recent one has been the worst and music has always been key in saving me. In trying to write this piece, I’ve been also trying to recall the first time I actually ever heard of Radiohead, but in all honesty I can’t remember. I can recall hearing them from the distance of the TV or the radio as a child while in another room, but never really hearing them. This obviously came from my dad, who was the indie-rock influence in my life.

However, it wasn’t really until my early teens that I really heard them.

Radiohead.bends.albumart

(Image source)

By this point, I was incredibly lonely, incredibly aware of my alienation from my family as well as my school friends and I heard The Bends and suddenly heard people speaking my language. 

For almost twenty years, their lyrics, their melodies and their rhythms, make me feel safe, secure and understood. My mother thought that I’d discovered a cult because she couldn’t comprehend how I could blindly follow “this man” (Thom Yorke – she never seemed to see the rest of the band: Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien and Philip Selway haha) without any question, but when it came to God, there was always such stubbornness in my heart, dispute and henceforth chaos brought into her home?

OK Computer

(Image source)

I was disgustingly late to the OK Computer party. When I went to University in 2004, even now I cringe with shame to admit it. I spent all of my student loans and grant on a sound system and all of the CDs I could get hold of – including all of Radiohead’s back catalogue of music.

I have a Radiohead song for EVERY significant moment in my life:

  • “High and Dry” – The Bends (the song the boy who had taken my virginity the week before serenaded me with – he did by the way, leave me high and dry, soooooo many times!)
  • “Fake Plastic Trees” – The Bends (the song we sang in the SU bar – somebody put it on the jukebox when we were tired of hearing pop crap, we thought that only our table would love it but the majority of the bar ended up singing along and getting pretty emosh!)
  • “All I Need” – In Rainbows (the song playing when I realised that I was in an extremely unhealthy relationship and I wanted to go home. This song probably saved my life at that time)
  • “Sail To The Moon” – Hail to the Thief (the song playing when I found out in the newspaper that the brother of one of my close friends from University had passed away)
  • “Daydreaming” – A Moon Shaped Pool (the song I played the very first weekend I left the house after I was suspended from work this year. It was the first time I had left the house in days, after feeling like I was about to reach a point of “no return” in my state of mental health. I also felt like a fool.) https://play.google.com/music/preview/T2d2sp4rw6mczxgid6xoxoai2yu?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#
  • “I Promise” – OKNOTOK Computer (the moment I realised last weekend, that I needed to get better and that I not only needed to get better for myself, but also my partner).
  • “The Gloaming” – Hail to the Thief (actually used to be one of my least favourite songs on that album, until I saw the band live in Victoria Park, London in 2008 where they played this and it BLEW my mind. Now it’s a song I use to take me back to my happy place when I need to desperately retreat from the real world).
  • “How to Disappear Completely” – Kid A (again because of the live performance – this was the In Rainbows tour and I never expected them to perform this song which had become my mantra over the last year, due to how my mental state had deteriorated. I felt like everybody was watching me and judging me all of the time because I was such a failure and so I just wanted to disappear. Plus I couldn’t believe that after working SO hard to get to University, I was back living with my fucking mum again. Because of this performance, I now cry with happiness every time I hear this song.
  • “Pyramid Song” – Amnesiac (“there was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt”… this is how I feel EVERYTIME I listen to this song.

 

It’s funny because after watching Radiohead’s set, at Glastonbury over the weekend and crying all the way through it, I shared on Twitter that I couldn’t believe that they had warned me and yet I’d STILL missed the signs to how shit my life would be??? 

Simultaneously, I always feel like I’m surrounded by an army while I’m listening to Radiohead (You and Whose Army). This is going to sound absolutely insane, but they’re the only people who have never let me down, neither have they ever lied to me.

I officially identified myself as “Kid A” when I was forced to return home following that awful relationship breakdown I mentioned before. I didn’t really talk to anybody about what had happened to me – I just withdrew into myself and Kid A became my soundtrack. I can still remember floating along the streets of Kent, on the fast-track buses, absolving my sins into the music instead talking to my friends and family, who I didn’t feel like I could confide I  anyway because

(a) they wouldn’t understand and

(b) they would only judge me – which they later on  admitted that they did.

I also constantly felt like a “Subterranean Homesick Alien” (OK Computer), continuously waiting to be invited home.

Because this wasn’t it.

Radiohead_-_Hail_to_the_Thief_-_album_cover

(Image source)

The Bends and Hail to The Thief got me through the first year of University, when I was having seizures and spending loads of time in bed, and needed to be pumped up because I had no idea what was happening and these two albums became the drugs that I needed when I was lying in bed. On the days when I wasn’t crying over the boy who had stolen my virginity, I was crying about losing my mind because it was the reasonable explanation for what was happening to me: “Everything is broken

Nice Dream” was my lullaby:

“They love me like I was a brother, gave me sunshine, make me happy….”

It didn’t matter if I couldn’t be part of the crowd mentally (and I was really struggling mentally), Radiohead had me covered in the tortured serenity of my dungeon.

Over the years I’ve been able to come back to Radiohead. There hasn’t been a moment in my life I haven’t wanted them or needed them.

At times, they give me the guts and strength to feel morally superior. Look at the state of our politics – I love their very frequent references to animals, pigs in particular when it comes to politicians, and the year Theresa May came into power, they came out with the anthem “Burn the Witch”. They always know what needs to be said! Which is why I always want and need them in my life.

moon-shaped-pool-radiohead

(Image source)

“Pleasure and despair, as band allow themselves to be beautiful again….”

I’m going to see them in Manchester next week. This will be my second time seeing them and I am beyond excited.

I would love to say that they came back just for me: A Moon Shaped Pool came out shortly before my last relationship ended haha and this Manchester gig is exactly what I need after the shit I’ve been through this year.

⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗

Tuesday 5th September 2017

I’m currently listening to Moon Shaped Pool now…

I never posted this piece. So much has changed since writing it. I’m a completely different person now. For a start, I’ve realised that I’m a black woman and a white man cannot possible comprehend what I’m feeling. This is going to sound pathetic, but I feel like I’ve gone through a break up but I’m not the only person of colour to have gone through the same process. A couple of friends who have grown up in the UK listening to indie / alt rock felt this particular genre helped them profoundly in our adolescent years, however we became older and more aware of our colour and culture, and therefore more aware of a DISCONNECT. We all also struggled with mental health issues during our adolescent years, had nobody to turn to and so relied heavily upon musicians who we felt could understand our narratives eloquently. Then suddenly, in our late twenties / early-thirties, society gave us a rude “awakening”, and those narratives we relied heavily upon for so many years were no longer ours.

It’s heartbreaking: I didn’t ask to be born in an area where I was the only person of colour; I didn’t ask to grow up among white-British culture and henceforth grow up culturally confused (I shouldn’t have to defend being here either). 

I recall telling a close friend, who is South-East Asian and a Radiohead fan, that I’m angry at Radiohead: they’re incredibly political, but heavily so in white politics, or anything closely linked to British politics.

Do we mean so little to them? 

But then what can we expect from a bunch of white boys from Oxford?

So I have to decide, for somebody where music is so interwoven with her mental state and identity, am I just here for the music and then do I “keep it moving”? Or do I cut ties completely…..