Image via author // Summer, 2021.

Once, after dinner, a friend told me I was “personable” with the newcomers without telling them anything juicy about myself at all. I’ve realised the same is true on Medium.

I’ve written a lot. I’ve written on Medium for well over 1.5 years, from The Startup to The Post-Grad Survival Guide. (RIP.)

But I don’t often write personal stories.

(Blame the quintessentially English allergy to vulnerability or public emotion. We are a Very Healthy Nation, thanks for asking!)

It’s time to change that by introducing myself properly.

If you’re a newcomer — hello! …


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Lucidity sounds so ridiculous, fantastical and outlandish that the scientific community doubted it actually existed until a 1978 study proved that yes, it’s real.

“Lucidity, noun: The ability to think clearly, especially in intervals between periods of confusion or insanity.”

Lucid dreaming is attaining clarity and awareness inside the confusion of a dream. When a person attains lucidity in a night’s sleep, they are aware that they are dreaming.

There are different levels to this. Perhaps every few weeks, if we are lucky, most of us will have a moment in a dream where we question: wait a second. This…


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ADHD is more common than ever, and nobody knows why.

In 1997–1998, 6.1% of under-18s were diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Now, 11% of Gen Z meet the same criteria. Some argue this is due to constant notifications and screen-time rotting our attention spans; others that nothing has changed beyond wider recognition. Either way, cases have nearly doubled within the past 20 years. For two-thirds of these adolescents, symptoms will persist into adulthood.

ADHD exists on a continuum, like any other aspect of mental health: some will experience intensive disruption to their lives, while others excel in their fields with a…


Corsham Court, Wiltshire, England. A classic example of an aristocratic stately home. Image via Unsplash

At 18 years old, I left a northern mining town for one of the top 50 universities in the world. I left with a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy — a plastic golden ticket — still in my pocket. A tongue-in-cheek parting gift.

Needless to say, I experienced a little culture shock.

(It was the literal caviar left to spoil above the fridge for me...)

I never came back as quite the same person.

Class doesn’t dictate the life of any British person — but I realised, in that year, it shapes every single one of us.

A Warning

First things first, I…


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Do you remember the War on Drugs?

“These substances are deeply dangerous and harmful to public health. Particularly, the minds of our youth.” Constant media exposure. Moral panic. Public outcry.

I don’t remember — the war I was born into was on Terror. We live in the legacy of both.

We have plenty of research to show substances like cocaine are highly damaging.

It’s ironic that the growing pile of evidence for the damage caused by other substances is not treated with the same serious crackdown.

Meet 3 underrated, everyday substances that nevertheless have a harmful effect upon the human…


High self-esteem is healthy for us. Narcissism is not.

Narcissism is characterised by a level of self-obsession so extreme that it interferes with maintaining normal relationships. We can all love ourselves a healthy amount — narcissism isn’t self-compassion, but self-obsession.

Narcissism falls on a continuum. Only ~1% of the population meeting the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

There are two pathological kinds of narcissism recognised in research: overt and covert.

Overt narcissism is the grandiose, caricature kind of arrogance we may be familiar with in a certain Very Stable Genius ex-president.

It’s more common in men, and children who…


You are literally not allowed to do this, but it does look cool. // Image via Unsplash

We can blame the Queen’s Gambit.

Or maybe my dad sitting me on the floor when I was 8, and patiently explaining that no, the little pawns can’t take the other pawns after they’ve just moved.

Whatever the reason, I’m into chess. Both physical and virtual.

I’ve racked up 100+ hours of play.

Not enough time to be good (1000+ hours). Definitely not enough time to ever dream of becoming a Chess Grandmaster like Bobby Fisher or Magnus Carlsen (10,000+ hours + single-minded child prodigies).

But, you know. Enough time to know my way around the board.

And make my…


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Over the course of my degree, one of my favourite lecture series was called “Personality & Individual Differences”.

Each week, we’d file into the lecture theatre to learn about the scientific study of personality. History, methods, theories, criticism, evidence, findings, breakthroughs.

Those lectures exposed a lot of myths. Unsurprisingly, most personality tests are scientifically worthless.

(Nods sagely over my “Which Game of Thrones House Do I Belong To?” Buzzfeed quiz.)

All was not lost. In this sea of psuedoscientific corpses, one theory survived the storm of research looking stronger than ever.

This theory is called OCEAN. …


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There are two ways love can end. Slow decay, or sudden collapse.

I learned the first way via the death of my grandmother (2019), and the latter with the loss of my best friend (2020). A little like the Great Freeze or Big Crunch theories of the universe.

Does talking about something often enough ever make it make sense? Is there a point where you truly have cried the last tear — is grief a finite water reservoir, so much liquid allocated and ready for each person?

As a 1999 baby, I am long since conditioned by the music channel…


Image via Unsplash

In June 2021, I was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

I’d had my suspicions this was the case since I was 17 years old.

There were a lot of interesting words thrown around along the way. Each word implied symptoms were just part of my personality. A character flaw.

Whimsical. Ditzy. Quirky. Clever, but lazy. Cute. Creative. Bizarre. Dementia-esque. Energised. Warm. Messy. Reckless. Bright.

A lot of blonde moments for a non-blonde.

When I scored 3/10 on a language term test aged 17 — due to forgetting the test even existed that week — I was kept behind…

Hannah Davies

Brit Psychologist (MBPsS, BSc). Gen Z. Writer of words.

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