Train Psych, Anyone?

Published on July 7, 2015

I've been thinking today of trains. Trains are weird places, don't you think? Especially crowded ones. 


In numerous occasions, I'd have speaking tours before Koreans and Filipinos in Seoul (also in other parts). Whenever I'd ride their trains, I'd be with fellow Filipinos. Like in the Philippines where MRT is always overcrowded with people, trains in Seoul can be so full during peak hours there isn't room to turn around. One time, my fellow Filipinos and I had a big laugh together. And the Koreans, with whom we occupy common space, would just stare and frown at us. Strange.

I've been reflecting that a passenger train is a microcosm of the world today. You're crammed in close with lots of people. Yet nobody talks. You try hard not to touch others. No smiling. No eye contact allowed without consent. Anonymity, isolation, and independence are the uniform of the day inside trains. It's a most amazing thing if you think deeply about it. Healthy social interaction, relating to people, gets diluted by the "train mentality."

I read of an article in Psychology Today entitled "The Age of Indifference" written by psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo. He pulls no punches as he writes:  "I know of no more potent killer than isolation. There is no more destructive influence on physical and mental health than the isolation of you from me and of us from them. It has shown to be a central agent in the etiology of depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, rape, suicide, mass murder .... "

That hurts. Yet we must come to terms with this observation. We must come down hard on it. The need is so huge!

Stop the train. I'm getting off.

Category(s):Adult psychological development, Emotional Intelligence, Social Isolation

Written by:

Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist

Dr. Angelo Subida is a clinical psychotherapist, author, and speaker. He is author of books "Inner Healing," "Secrets Of Your Self," "Chess and Life," among others, blogs, and articles. He has appeared frequently as an expert on psychotherapy/life recovery issues on national television, radio broadcasts, print media, and webcasts, including GMA 7, TV 5, ABS CBN 2, Q-11, 700 Club, Radyo Veritas, Inquirer Radio, Smart Parenting Magazine, Business Mirror, among others, and has served as resident therapist/counselor for parents and kid-artists in the highly popular ABS-CBN 2 Voice Kids TV singing reality show. Dr. Subida is an eclectic, multidisciplinary therapist and originator of his own revolutionary high-tech, high-touch counseling plus model. His areas of specialization include parent-child therapy, clinical infidelity treatment, relationship/marital counseling, separation/divorce therapy, anger management, depression, addictions, psychotherapy-spirituality integration, and innovative chess therapy. For more of Dr. Subida, you can find him at

Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist belongs to Dr. Angelo O. Subida Psychotherapy Clinic in Philippines

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