Madness Radio: Voices And Visions from Outside Mental Health explores 'madness' from beyond conventional perspectives and mainstream treatments, featuring survivors, authors, advocates, professionals, and artists.
Hosted by Will Hall, Madness Radio launched in 2005 on Valley Free Radio and aired more than 150 shows since then. We're heard on KBOO in Oregon, syndicated on other stations through Pacifica, and podcasting on iTunes and Google Play. Check our About page.
Madness Radio Producer is Nina Packebush. Thanks to past Producers Leah Harris and Jeremy Lanzman.
Madness Radio is now an affiliate of Mad In America Radio!
Check out www.madinamerica.com.
Madness Radio is creative commons copyright! Please copy, post, and share freely. And get involved: send topic ideas, leave comments, ask FM stations to air us, leave an iTunes review, or make a donation.
Does a diet without animal products improve mental health? Why can changing to plant based nutrition be so hard to sustain? And are people’s food ethics a symptom of eating disorder or neglected self care? Sabrina Louise, a vegan educator, consultant at Portland Community College, and ecstatic dance DJ, discusses how to transition away from eating animal products while avoiding common mistakes that can undermine health.
How can people come off psychiatric medications in the safest way? What are the key lessons and vital ingredients for leaving psychiatric care? Is there life after meds? Laura Delano spent 14 years as a psychiatric patient before she left behind her psychiatric diagnoses and reclaimed herself. Today she is Director of the Inner Compass Initiative and The Withdrawal Project, working to support drug withdrawal and build community beyond the mental health system. www.theinnercompass.org withdrawal.theinnercompass.org https://bit.ly/2ISZuzh
What’s it like to be a teenager in a psychiatric hospital? What’s it like to be a queer pregnant teenager? And is it true that friends do make the best medicine? Nina Packebush explores these questions and more in her groundbreaking debut young adult novel, Girls Like Me. Girls Like Me is an In the Margins 2018 recommended book and a Lambda Literary Finalist. Nina is a queer-identified, grown-up teen mom, writer, zine maker, and mental health advocate – as well as Madness Radio Producer. www.ninapackebush.com
Is psychosis a journey and a breakthrough to somewhere more authentic? Should unhappy people be made to adjust to a mad society? Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing was a fierce critic of the mental health system, and saw madness as a rational adaptation to irrational family and social constraints. Laing’s compelling prose, acute intellect, and spiritual insight made a huge cultural impact worldwide, shaping the psychiatric survivor movement and calling to overturn social conventions during the U.S. war in Vietnam and the revolutionary 1960s. How are Laing’s provocative insights about politics and culture still relevant today?
Michael Guy Thompson, a psychoanalyst and founder of the Gnosis Retreat Center, worked with R.D. Laing in London and has created hospital alternative sanctuaries for people struggling with experiences called psychosis. He directs the annual R.D. Laing in the 21st Century Symposium at Esalen Institute. www.gnosisretreatcenter.org www.michaelguythompson.com
Is madness breakdown or initiation into a spiritual calling? Crazywise is a documentary film that explores the meaning of psychosis from the perspective of traditional cultures and shamanism, following the stories of people struggling with extreme states, spiritual awakening, and the mental health system’s failures. Filmmaker Phil Borges is an award winning photographer and filmmaker whose work has appeared on National Geographic and Discover. www.crazywisefilm.
How can seeing visions and hearing voices be transformed into a spiritual gift for healing? What does the initiation ordeal into becoming a shaman involve? Gogo Ekhaya Esima was diagnosed with psychosis and confined in psychiatric hospitals before she became an initiated Sangoma healer in the Zulu tradition of South Africa. Today she is a certified Peer Recovery Specialist in mental health, a trauma survivor, and a spiritual teacher and was recently featured in the film Crazywise.
What is it like to hear voices — and are all voices harmful or can they also be helpers? What does voice hearing say about the human mind – and the society we live in? And how can we support people who hear voices? Lisa Forestell has heard voices since she was a child. She is an organizer with the Hearing Voices Movement and with the Western Massachusetts Learning Community, a mutual support initiative run by and for people with lived experience of unusual and extreme states of mind labeled as “mental illness.” http://www.westernmassrlc.org/
Is mindfulness meditation about calming the mind and accepting things as they are? Or is it a force for social change and challenging oppression? Can meditation help us become intimate with our wild, primal and untamed creative force? Nirali Shah, certified UCLA mindfulness facilitator and teacher at Spirit Rock, has spent thousands of hours meditating, as well as serving in one of the largest slum communities of Asia. She currently teaches with technology companies such as Google as well as academic institutions and non-profits, with a focus on re-wilding the self.
Now available as an audiobook! Based in more than 10 years work in the peer support movement,The Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 52-page guide is used internationally by individuals, families, professionals, and organizations to support reducing and coming off psychiatric drugs. Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, psychiatric drug withdrawal, information for people staying on their medications, and much more. Audiobook read by Guide author Will Hall.
A ‘harm reduction’ approach means not being pro- or anti- medication, but supporting people where they are at to make their own decisions. Written by Will Hall, with a 55-member health professional Advisory Board, more than 50 collaborators involved in developing and editing, and now available in 14 languages.
What is it like to flee a war-torn country as a child? What lasting psychological effects do refugees face? Can peer support and trauma informed care lead to lasting recovery? Khatera Aslami Tamplen, an Afghan-American and the Consumer Empowerment Manager for Alameda CountyBehavioral Health Services in California discusses war trauma, the activist struggle to end involuntary commitment, and the value of letting people have a say in their own mental health recovery. pocc.org/ https://copelandcenter.com/facilitators/khatera-aslami
Are psychiatric treatments, experts, and medications the best way for traumatized communities to heal their mental health problems? Could indigenous practices, including traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, offer a different way forward — through grassroots community development?
Herman Garcia is the Vice President and Ryan Bemis Founder of Crossroads Community Supported Healthcare, which offers practical skills training to local healers in the violence-stricken communities of Ciudad Juarez and Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico. Joined by health promotors Maria de Jesus, Sister Maria de Rosario Cordova, and Gloria of the Rahrami indigenous group, they discuss supporting communities harmed by the War on Drugs, severe poverty, and inequality. Thanks to Cynthia Pompa for translation.
Are beliefs in witchcraft and “voodoo death” not real? Do magical explanations of disease mean people are primitive and less educated? Or are stories and beliefs at the heart of reality for all cultures – including yours?
Frank Bures, author of The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes, looks beyond travel literature’s colonial superiority and explores how meaning, perception, and belief shape what we think of as “real” in disease and health.
How does the legacy of colonialism affect mental health in India? Are women’s rights, spiritual freedom, and ant-colonialism intertwined? Do women who choose a path of spiritual renunciation have the same freedom as men? Where are human rights more respected: in traditional temples, or in hospital locked wards?
Bhargavi Davar’s mother Bapu was a psychiatric abuse survivor persecuted for her religious devotion. Bapu’s struggle inspired Bhargavi to found the Bapu Trust, where she leads advocacy for mental health reform and community development throughout Asia. Bhargavi is also a lead organizer with INTAR, the International Network Towards Alternatives for Recovery.
What if psychotic experiences express historical and intergenerational trauma? Does one person’s emotional crisis reach beyond their own individual mind? Could synchronicities and meaningful coincidences guide recovery instead of just being “symptoms”?
Naas Siddiqui, a psychiatric survivor and therapist in training who founded the Spiritual Emergence and other Unusual Experiences student group, descended into altered states after withdrawing from psychiatric medications. She discovered how her Bangladeshi heritage shaped her madness, and found a unique pathway to use her visionary states to heal personal and family trauma.
What if psychiatry recognized that schizophrenia does not exist? How might diagnostic categories (left over from the asylum era) be replaced by spectrums of experience that show how psychotic experiences can also be normal? What if services were oriented around individuals, not the statistical groups of “evidence based” research? And could the mental health system as we know it, which defines health as the absence of disease symptoms, be replaced with a new definition of health, health as empowerment in life?
Jim van Os, professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology at Maastricht University and member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science with more than 700 publications, is one of the top one percent highly cited scientists in the world. His research combines with the experiential knowledge of people with lived experience of psychosis to envision a radically new direction for the mental health system.