Madness Radio: Voices And Visions from Outside Mental Health brings you personal experiences of 'madness' from beyond conventional perspectives and mainstream treatments, and features survivors, authors, advocates, professionals, and artists.
Hosted by Will Hall, a survivor of schizophrenia diagnosis, Madness Radio launched in 2005 on Valley Free Radio in Massachusetts and aired more than 150 shows since then. We're also heard regularly on KBOO in Portland Oregon and other stations, and syndicated through Pacifica. Our podcast can be found on iTunes. Check our About page to learn more.
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Celebrated US President Abraham Lincoln also suffered from life-threatening depression. Did he view his “melancholy” as a treatable illness, as a punishment from God — or as a source of his gifts? How did Lincoln’s extraordinary leadership abilities arise from his struggle with extreme pain?
Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness, explores the famous President’s battle with despair, suicide, and intense sorrow, and discusses what people with depression – and the medical establishment empowered to treat them – can learn from Lincoln’s suffering. www.shenk.net www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/10/lincolns-great-depression/304247/ www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/06/what-makes-us-happy/307439/ www.shapell.org/manuscript.aspx?lincoln-mccullough-civil-war-condolence
What if you were the only one seeing coded messages, covert realities, and elaborate plots all around you? Does that make you out of touch with reality, “paranoid” and “psychotic?” Or is it real — but you are just so upset that everyone thinks the problem is you instead?
Tim Dreby, a psychotherapist and author in the San Francisco Bay Area, endured a life-threatening — and real — encounter with gangsters, police, and political conspiracy. He also survived a schizophrenia diagnosis, and today leads support groups for people facing overwhelming intuitions, coded messages, and conspiracies, helping them heal from trauma and regain control of their lives. www.hiddenthoughtspress.
In schizophrenia really an “incurable illness” — or a state of chronic terror? Are there ways for psychotherapy to reach people in different realities? And does Freudian psychoanalysis offer a humane and empowering approach?
Bert Karon, psychoanalyst since 1955, co-author of the classic textbook Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia, and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University, outlines psychoanalysis and discusses how his talking cure helps people diagnosed psychotic and schizophrenic.
Are there ways to reach people in states of madness? How do talking with ghosts, hearing voices, and seeing visions — as well as enduring family turmoil — relate to psychotic crisis?
When Dina Tyler discovered the meaning of life in an altered state, the treatment she received only inflicted further trauma. Dina instead embraced her madness as a guiding force for recovery, and found a way to leave labels and medications behind. Today she works as a counselor to youth experiencing psychosis, communicating across different realities with people driven away from traditional care.
Dina is the co-director of the Bay Area Mandala Project, co-founder of Bay Area Hearing Voices, and works with an early psychosis intervention program in Alameda County, California.
How does widespread pornography impact our mental health? Should sexuality be private — or do we need greater openness and honesty? And can we move beyond either/or debate towards meaningful conversations that might lead the way towards healing and self-acceptance?
Nica Noelle, director and performer in adult films, pioneer of the ‘real sex’ and romance genres, and winner of the Feminist Porn Award, discusses the complexity of living in a world with sexually explicit media.
What if ordinary families could provide care for people psychiatry has given up on? Is there a way out for people stuck long-term as mental patients? Can human relationships and living together be more effective than medications, diagnosis, and hospitals?
Carina Håkansson’s values wouldn’t allow her to work in the traditional psychiatric system in Sweden. She left to create the Family Care Foundation, providing foster homes, therapy, and supervision for people with psychosis and extreme emotional distress. What can we all learn from this visionary — and simple — solution?
How do we recover from childhood violence? When Lauren Spiro was 14, her father was murdered. Eighteen months later, she began to have unusual spiritual experiences and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Today she works to promote peace and healing in communities, fulfilling the vision she had in her extreme state.
Lauren is co-director of Emotional CPR, associate director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, and her new memoir is Living For Two: A Daughter’s Journey from Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace.
What if researchers collaborated with patients rather than treating them as “informants” and objects of study? Nev Jones survived her mother’s frightening extreme states — and then her own mind unravelled into different realities. She was herself diagnosed with schizophrenia, and began a lifelong exploration of the uniqueness of madness.
Today Nev is a post-doctorate fellow at Stanford University, founder of Chicago Hearing Voices and the Lived Experience Research Network, and part of the the movement to create alternatives to professional control of research on psychosis.
Adverse effects from prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America. How can we know if the pills we take are actually safe? What can we do if they aren’t?
Dr. David Healy, internationally renowned psychiatrist, whistleblower, and author of 20 books, discusses industry corruption of pharmaceutical regulation and proposes better ways to protect patients and prevent harm.
If madness isn’t like other illnesses, what is it? Should psychiatry have the power of legal coercion? How can the legacy of Thomas Szasz inform new ways of helping people?
Tomi Gomory, associate professor of social work at Florida State University and co-author of Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs, explores thinking beyond the medical model of emotional distress.
How is the legacy of colonialism impacting American Indian mental health today? Does the Indian Health Service meet the needs of the people on tribal land? Can Native peoples revitalize cultural traditions and reverse centuries of racism?
David Walker, mixed-heritage Cherokee, psychologist working at the Yakama Nation, and author of the award-winning novel Tessa’s Dance, discusses healing the deep wounds of intergenerational trauma in Indian Country.
Does psychotherapy cover up issues of power and social justice? Are talk show therapists providing help, or blaming individuals for their problems?
David Bedrick, counselor, attorney, and author of Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology, discusses how to discover profound meaning in our struggles by taking the time to understand the deeper context of our lives.
Why are so many trauma survivors, especially women, diagnosed “borderline?” Is the label useful — or sexist and degrading? How can people who live through intergenerational violence be understood and supported — instead of discounted and silenced?
Rita Marshall, human rights activist and former psychiatric inmate from a family of holocaust survivors, examines the social and political context for the controversial “Borderline Personality Disorder” diagnosis.
How can family members help a relative in extreme crisis — instead of worsening the situation? Is there a way out of treatment power struggles and arguments about “insight”? And what do families need to change about themselves?
Psychiatric survivor Krista MacKinnon, formerly at Toronto’s Family Outreach and Response program and now Director of Families Healing together, discusses practical methods for turning family relationships into tools for healing.
Are Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan and other benzodiazepines really more addictive than heroin? How can these common drugs for anxiety actually worsen the symptoms they’re prescribed to treat? What are the dangers of protracted withdrawal?
Matt Samet, former professional rock climber, Outside Magazine writer, and author of Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape From Benzo Madness, discusses his recovery journey from psychiatric drug addiction.