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The Big Read: Aliens/Alienation

Learn more about "Detective McLevy's Casebook" and the #NapierBigRead

Photograph of a lone woman holding her head in her hands."23. Happiness is not out here. It is in there."

- The Humans, p. 272

The plot of The Humans concerns an alien coming to earth in disguise for the first time. But the book also features many characters struggling with alienation. Matt Haig described how he felt when writing the book, "Back then, human life felt as strange for me as it does for the unnamed narrator."

Stress, anxiety, and even alienation are all natural human emotions. However, it is important to recognise when these emotions become overwhelming and start to interfere with your life, and to seek help accordingly. 


The Edinburgh Napier University Counselling team offer support for students who may be experiencing stress, anxiety or other issues due to personal circumstances or academic pressures

At times, everyone suffers from stress, gets depressed, angry, anxious, or confused. Sometimes, a good friend or a relative can help. However, there are times when these problems do not go away or emotions become overwhelming. These are the times when a Counsellor can help. Counselling can help you explore and clarify problems and issues that matter to you. It may help you develop resources and skills to cope with difficulties. It may help you get through a distressing time in your life.
The Counsellor will listen to, and try to understand what you are really saying, to accept you and respect your feelings. He or she will not tell you what to do, but help you make your own decisions. Counselling is not only about problems. It also offers opportunities to get to know yourself better and to develop your potential as a person.

The Edinburgh Napier University Counselling team are based at Merchiston but offer support across all three campuses. You can get in touch with them at

Your first year at University is a time of great change, but it doesn't need to be a stressful one. The following resources are useful if you are looking to cultivate healthy habits.

Just for a bit of fun, here are some resources on aliens and study of extra-terrestrial life.

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Getting Help

Matt Haig

In this powerful edition of the radio programme Four Thought, recorded at the Hay Festival, the writer Matt Haig describes how words helped him live with depression. Broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 24 Jun 2015 at 20:45.