51:59 | News and current affairs
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Insight

SBS

Can We Think Ourselves Sick? A twinge in your back; a sudden headache; a feeling of numbness in a limb; an inexplicable lump. Would you ignore the unusual feeling? Or assume the worst? For many Australians, just ignoring such feelings is not an option. Formerly known as hypochondriasis, illness anxiety disorder can see people become preoccupied by the possibility that changes in the body might be the sign of serious illness. They experience high health anxiety. Stephanie Huynh convinced herself that a lump in her back was cancer. When half of Slava Prakhily's face went numb, she was certain it was multiple sclerosis. Often these thoughts can lead us to consult Dr Google, in search of a diagnosis. The tendency to head to the internet when we're feeling sick is so common it even has a name: cyberchondria. But can the stress of a possible illness exacerbate symptoms? Is it just the anxiety that's making us feel worse? Or can the internet actually help? For others, the power of the mind over the body is less simple. Kimberlee Allen experiences non-epileptic seizures, but her brain scans are clear. Miranda Licence was suddenly unable to move in her legs without explanation. Just because there is no obvious cause, however, does not mean nothing is wrong. This week Insight asks: how much power do our brains have over our bodies? Is that power strong enough for us to think ourselves sick?

52:12 | News and current affairs
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Insight

SBS

Who gave a major boost to the minor parties in this election and why? Voters are turning away from Labor and the Coalition in droves, with the most recent election seeing nearly a quarter of Australians cast their ballot for minor party or independent candidates. Just last week, Senator Pauline Hanson returned to Parliament after an 18 year absence, with almost 10% of Queenslanders giving One Nation the nod. With support across the country, three of her fellow party representatives join her in the Senate. First-timers are also in, including former media personality Derryn Hinch, while more experienced politicians like Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie have confirmed their popularity outside the major parties. Eleven cross benchers will join the nine Greens senators with a voice in some of the most important legislation in Australian history, including marriage equality and Indigenous recognition in the constitution. Is Australia seeing the “Trump effect”, as some experts have called it, where populist policies are providing comfort to voters amidst perceived threats and crises? Are these new politicians more relatable, seemingly plucked from of everyday life?  Are the old guards of Australian politics out of touch with the wants and needs of a significant portion of the population? With swings from the Greens to Pauline Hanson, from the Nationals to Nick Xenophon, the Liberal Party to Derryn Hinch,  Insight asks recent voters: why have they have come to find solace in minority representatives?

51:23 | News and current affairs
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Insight

SBS

What happened to the fathers who had no say in forced adoption? The father's voice has often been ignored in the adoption process. Before the 1980s it was even common practise to omit the father's name from the birth certificate, leaving the father and his biological children on an uphill battle if they ever wanted to make contact. Although practises have changed, the scars remain and the ramifications are still being felt for many fathers and their children today. Gary Boyce's girlfriend, Jane, fell pregnant unexpectedly in 1972 when he was just 18 and she was 17. Jane's parents took matters into their own hands, preventing Gary from seeing her and making Jane give the child up for adoption. Gary was completely cut out of the process and had no say in what happened. The weight of it all caused Gary and Jane to split, and Gary has carried the guilt of what happened throughout his life. Paul Jennings was only 14 when his girlfriend became pregnant. Far too young to appreciate what was going on, he felt as though the whole situation wasn't real. He kept the news from his parents and his girlfriend was sent away to have the baby. Eight years ago Paul reached out to a post adoption support agency to find his son. We rightly hear a good deal about the mothers' experience in these situations, but what about the fathers? Attitudes and policies have changed over the years to incorporate the father's voices, but scars remain from the years in which they were left disempowered and disenfranchised. Even reunification today does not always heal them.

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