Real Life

Mental health

Can you spot a psychopath?

MILAT; 971104; PIC ADAM PRETTY; SMH NEWS; PIC SHOWS IVAN MILAT HAVING A GOOD LAUGH LEAVING THE SUPREME COURT TODAY AFTER HIS APPEAL.

Tom Chivers We think of psychopaths as killers, alien, outside society. But, says the scientist who has spent his life studying them, you could have one for a colleague, a friend – or a spouse

Women who work as abortion doulas

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NICOLE ELPHICK Do we need more doulas who can give to support those undergoing terminations?

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Real life

I am a North Korean defector

Yeonmi Park speaking on SBS's Insight.

Yeonmi Park I lived in North Korea for the first 15 years of my life, believing Kim Jong-il was a god. I never doubted it because I didn't know anything else. I could not even imagine life outside of the regime.

Real life

I say 'I love you' all the time

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Melisa Martin After her near death experience, Melisa Martin would rather have said it too often, than to never be able to say it again.

Real life

Scammed while online dating

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Jenny For a chance of happiness, one woman put everything on the line.

Real life

You can be nice and get the job done

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Sarah Whyte There is more than one way to get ahead.

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Gym addiction

'I'm addicted to exercise'

Sarah Hickls admits

Sarah Hicks My name is Sarah Hicks and I'm addicted to exercise. I currently spend two to four hours a day, seven days per week exercising.?

Shine a light

I witnessed domestic violence and didn't turn away

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Susan Metcalfe Susan Metcalfe finds out what happens when you put aside the fear that tells us not to get involved.

Watch: adorable video of boy finding out he's going to be a brother

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Every life-changing moment should come with a sweet, quiet video like this.

'They took us to a prison'

A school excursion to a maximum security prison

10902480.jpg PRIVATE SCHOOLS;961216;AFR NEWS;PIC MICHELE MOSSIP.GENERIC.YEAR 9 GIRLS AT AQUINAS COLLEGE MENAI....SAVED NEWS 970506.
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SARAH OAKES There are all kinds of reasons we choose the subjects we do in high school.

Real life

Five things you should never say to someone with an eating disorder

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CHLOE ANGYAL Some guidance for concerned friends and family.

Images of joy

15 Joyful Photos of India's Vibrant Holi Festival

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Spring is being ushered in across the Hindu world.

Gender roles

When you identify as 'genderqueer'

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Marion Cory Marion Cory expresses her masculinity by pumping iron at the gym, blurring the gender divide.

Banned from school for having an eating disorder

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KASEY EDWARDS 16-year-old British girl Lottie Twiselton has allegedly been excluded from her school because she’s recovering from anorexia.

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How to break up with a friend

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CLEMENTINE FORD It's not easy. But sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

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Hardest goodbye

The unique grief of losing a four-legged best friend

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Andrea Black She knew it was coming but Andrea Black finds that dealing with the death of a pet can be a long road.

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Real life

Am I too crazy to work in mental health?

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Polly Chester Sometimes experiencing mental illness can make you a better mental health practitioner.

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I went to an American Apparel casting call

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Alana Schetzer And this is what happened next.

Ageing is a goddam privilege

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09:  Fashion icon Iris Apfel attends the Ralph Rucci show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at 151 West 26th Street on February 9, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Wendell Teodoro/WireImage)

SARAH MACDONALD It’s not about deteriorating gracefully, or with attitude.

Real life

This is what a miscarriage actually feels like

GW: Laura Jackel portrait for a memoir she has written about suffering a miscarriage.  Pic Danielle Smith Wednesday 17th October 2013

Laura Jackel Mother of one Laura Jackel describes her heartbreaking ‘missed miscarriage’ – discovering her baby had died when she went for the 12 week scan.

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Real life

Why Chinese parents don't say I love you

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CANDICE CHUNG Asian families don't tend to openly display their affection. But is it necessarily a bad thing?

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Real life

My childhood in a detention centre

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SARAH DARMODY Fearing for your life isn’t just the fear of death alone. It’s the fear of having no life.

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Pill dangers

The unspoken side effects of Yaz

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Hannah Kohlman Hannah Kohlman suffered a major pulmonary embolism after taking the pill. Here is what she wishes she had known.

Happy v meaningful

Would you rather have a happy or meaningful life?

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Sarah MacDonald What if the two goals aren't as compatible as we think?

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My indigenous heritage

Why I prefer the term 'black'

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CELESTE LIDDLE When I am asked what term I prefer people to use when describing my indigenous heritage my short answer is "Black".

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Playing cultural catch-up

Doing the big cultural catch-up, and loving it

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PAUL CHAI It may surprise you from the above pasty-white byline photo, but I have recently been getting in touch with my Asian heritage.

Why I don't want to be 'normal'

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Carly Findlay Carly Findlay on why it's okay to be proud of having a visible difference or disability.

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The pleasures and sorrows of moving homes

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SARAH MACDONALD At what stage in life does our home mean most to us?

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The hardest decision to make at 40

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Kathrine Ley What happens when you are faced with an irreversible decision later in life?

Real life

I am surrounded by sexy, naked women

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KATE FRIDKIS I'm not even looking for naked women and I'm seeing them everywhere. I can't avoid them if I try.

Saying goodbye

When you're too late to say goodbye

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Charity Norman While she has no regrets about emigrating, Charity Norman is dreading a certain phone call from her family in the UK.

Healing power of whinging

The healing power of ranting

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Alice Williams Who says you have to be a 'negative person' to enjoy a good, cathartic rant?

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Real life

15 things never to say to a special needs parent

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Dr. Darla Clayton, Psy.D. Friends, acquaintances, family members and complete strangers are remarkably comfortable questioning and commenting on various aspects of our lives.

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Moving on

Throwing out your CDs and DVDs. Is it time?

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DOM KNIGHT They used to be your most-prized possessions, a mark of your exceptional taste and indie-cred. but times have changed. "I can admit now that my CD collection was assembled to impress women".

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Tough choices

The quest for a baby name

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KATE FRIDKIS "I spent the entire evening on my computer, reading lists of thousands of names. I canceled some plans. My daughter needed a name!"

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Silent grief

I never had the chance to grieve for my mother

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Annie Young Annie Young's unborn son took priority but she paid a price.

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BFFs

How to keep a BFF for, well, ever

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JULIA BAIRD A friend who understands your hopes and desires will never stop being your friend.

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Male escorts

The women who hire male escorts

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BENJAMIN LAW And the men who fulfill their needs.

Growing up Asian in a white household

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Yeong Sassall Some people argue that cross-cultural adoption isn't 'natural'. But adoptee Yeong Sassall begs to differ.

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Dr Catherine Hamlin

How Catherine Hamlin brought safe birthing to Ethiopia

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SARAH MACDONALD We salute the dedication of a woman who has devoted her life to clean, safe births.

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90s nostalgia

Why we can't let go of our teenage trinkets

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JUDITH IRELAND The belief that somewhere, the universe should be holding on to evidence of our undiscovered genius.

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Foster care

'My mother fostered 155 children'

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Candice Fox What it's like to share your childhood with a revolving door of some of Australia's most disadvantaged and damaged children.

Awkward men's fashion

An ode to short shorts

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 26:  Fashion designer for Monsier and Madone Gaulthier Lefeure wears Twins for peace shoes and a Moniser and Madone shorts, jacket and shirt on day 1 of Paris Collections: Men on June 26, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/FilmMagic)

Dominic Rolfe Men's shorts are shrinking, Dominic Rolfe wonders where the hemline will be drawn.

Girl's hope-filled letter to her future self discovered after her death

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SARAH BERRY She pictured herself graduating from high school, going to college and having children. She told herself it would all be OK and not to worry if life didn't work out the way she planned.

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How many friends can you count on?

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Judith Woods And what people actually mean when they say, "You must come to dinner!'

Parent's hood

The pleasures and sorrows of living with your in-laws

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PIP DOYLE What it feels like to have your partner's middle aged parents as housemates for six months.

Is polygamy the next frontier?

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John Schwartz Polygamy as a lifestyle choice, and a reality television brand name.

Social experiment

I posted grateful status updates on Facebook for one year and my life changed

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Lynne Scrivens Lynne Scrivens made radical changes to her life last year. She changed jobs, moved cities and committed to writing what she was grateful for each day on social media.

Body image

The low-grade misery of wanting to be thinner

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KATE FRIDKIS How persistent self-disapproval can erode our happiness and our confidence.

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Pets of the year

40 Instagram pets that captured our hearts in 2013

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Laura Vitto Forget Miley, Pope Francis and Beyoncé — the real stars of 2013 were the famous pets who wagged their adorable tails all over our Instagram feeds.

Christmas sadness

When Christmas is unbearably sad

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ELLY VARRENTI "Why bother going to the trouble of stuffing a bloody turkey now that the worst has happened to my family."

Going viral

Today's happy cry: Miley the dog

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Miley the husky was left on a trash heap by her former owners, and in the months she'd lived there she had developed countless wounds and ailments. Happily, this moving video shows her recovery.

Real life

Growing up with a bipolar parent

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MARLAINA READ Writer Marlaina Read on why having a mental illness doesn't necessarily make someone an unfit mum.

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Real life

'I am a real victim of child pornography and it affects me every day and everywhere I go'

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[Trigger warning: graphic description of sexual abuse]

What it means to be a godparent today

Baby boy sitting on grass and holding daisy flower, smiling

DOM KNIGHT Dom Knight is enjoying his new role as a secular godfather.

Is bromance dead?

Are best-friendships harder to come by for men?

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Katy Waldma The best male friendships were once seen as "sublime and spiritual" so why do so few men have BFFs now?

I'm proud to be a 'gayby'

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Rowan Savage Rowan Savage on the joys and frustrations of growing up with lesbian parents.

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Unspoken dangers

When de-racialisation surgery goes wrong

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RUBY HAMAD The unspoken dangers of cosmetic surgery that's aimed at "Westernising" non-Caucasian features.

Girls' weekend

Do you need a girls' weekend away?

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FILM STILLS OF 'THELMA & LOUISE' WITH 1991, GEENA DAVIS, SUSAN SARANDON, RIDLEY SCOTT IN 1991
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SARAH MACDONALD Sitting in a family wagon amidst the grot of ground-in food and broken toys we may not look like Thelma and Louise in a convertible but we sure feel like it.

Secretive behaviour

Can an obsession with 'privacy' ruin a relationship?

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SONJA EBBELS What happens when partners have different tolerance for secrets and privacy?

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