Arts and Entertainment

For a long time, the mentally ill were dumb and mute in literature. Inarticulacy surrounded those lumped together as Bedlamites: Jane Eyre’s classic “madwoman” in the attic, for instance, served as little more than a plot device, a thing to fear and loathe that got in the way of a Gothic romance.

The brain of a person shortly after diagnosis with schizophrenia (top) showing it relatively unscathed. Five years later, there is substantial loss of grey matter (above). Damage starts in the outer regions of the brain and spreads to all parts over the years. Patients with the worst tissue loss tend to have the worst symptoms

Scientists shocked to find antibiotics alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia

Chance discovery of link between acne drug and psychosis may unlock secrets of mental illness

Jeremy Laurance: 'Wireless medicine' helps solve one of doctors' biggest problems - getting patients to take drugs

Such implantable devices could save some people with schizophrenia from losing their minds

The film Girl, Interrupted: our fear of people with mental illness is misplaced, says Dennis O’Donnell

Memoirs of a Psychiatric Orderly: Behind locked doors

As a psychiatric orderly, Dennis O'Donnell encountered violence and despair – but also strength and compassion. His new book offers a moving insight into this unseen and little reported world

Harriet Walker: Guess what? Women don't want it all

There's something about January that brings out my inner housewife. Not that I have a sudden urge to iron pillowcases, you understand; simply that I'd rather not have to get up and go to work. I can only imagine how this malaise really starts to pinch when going to work also entails leaving behind small people who dote on you and want to hold your hand all day and going to work is an irritating eight hours away from a home that takes 24 hours to maintain.

Man guilty of killing lawyer at Tube station

A man who pushed a leading human rights lawyer in front of a Tube train was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Free-thinker Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

The death of a free-thinker

Patrick Cockburn pays his tribute to the wit, warmth, and humanity of his friend Christopher Hitchens

Man jailed for killing girlfriend

A man who killed his girlfriend by putting a plastic bag over her head was jailed for 10 years today.

Leading article: A $10,000 question that shows where the Republicans are going wrong

For a country that – in the eyes of many outsiders – unashamedly celebrates people who get their hands on great wealth, Americans can be oddly touchy on the subject of money.

Mull Historical Society, Bush Hall, London (4/5)

When Colin MacIntyre was a young man on Mull, he’d look out at the Atlantic dark and feel he was on the edge of the world.

'Cannabis causes chaos in the brain'

Cannabis causes chaos in the brain as nerve activity becomes uncoordinated and inaccurate, a study has found.

The Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards: the Nominees, Various venues, Edinburgh

The shortlist meeting for the awards this year was record-breakingly lengthy and no wonder, what with a rather unwieldy list of eight newcomer nominees. Many of the buzz acts made the cut, and of the main six nominees (Adam Riches, Andrew Maxwell, Chris Ramsey, Josie Long, Nick Helm and Sam Simmons), four have already been reviewed on this page and Simmons is covered below.

Russian colonel who tortured Chechen girl to death is given a hero's funeral

A former Russian army colonel convicted of the torture and murder of an 18-year-old Chechen girl was given a hero's burial yesterday, after he was shot dead by unknown attackers in Moscow last week.

People born in spring are 'more likely' to become anorexic

The trees are in bud, the hedgerows full of blossom and lambs are gambolling in the fields – but spring may be the worst time for human babies to be born.

Poly Styrene: Singer who blazed a trail for punk’s feminist revolutionaries

As a dumpy, frumpy,almost willfully unsexual girl from Brixton, with braces on her teeth, Poly Styrene was a perfect candidate to find herself through punk; turning this personaon its head into an art form, she became one of the movement's principal female figures, her song "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" a feminist rallying cry.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
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Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all