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.
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After taking the psychedelic drug ayahuasca Martha Sneyd went into an extended altered state diagnosed as psychotic. Her terrifying ordeal ignited a spiritual initiation that eventually brought gifts of awakening, insight, and compassion. How did Martha emerge from her ecstatic journey through a mythic, archetypal world to become an advocate and teacher? What lessons can we learn about the dangers — and potentials — of psychedelics and of altered states of consciousness labeled “madness”? Today she is a mental health case worker in the UK National Health Service, co-director of an interdisciplinary research team, and voice for more humane and spiritual treatments for madness.
What is at the root of world violence? How does psychiatry re-create dynamics of humiliation and shame that drive people crazy? Is there a just and equitable way out of the spirals of attack and counterattack tearing humanity apart? Evelin Lindner was nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work internationally to overcome the roots of violence and war. Her Dignity and Humiliation Studies initiative is showing a new way to treat each other — from our most intimate relations to our international foreign policies — and also in our response to mental health crisis.
Audiobook mp3 of Introduction and Chapter 1 “Persons and Experience”, from The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise, by R.D. Laing, read by Will Hall. (Additional chapters also available on youtube and forthcoming.)
What does it mean to be called “crazy” in a crazy world? Listen to the free audiobook of the Preface to Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness, written and read by Will Hall.
Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness reveals the human side of mental illness. Based on ten years of Madness Radio interviews, more than 60 voices of psychiatric patients, scientists, journalists, doctors, activists, and artists create a vital new conversation about empowering the human spirit. Outside Mental Health invites us to rethink what we know about bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, medications, and mental illness in society.
Voice hearers, mystics, visionaries, and mad people are found throughout the scriptures of Judaism. What does Jewish theology have to teach us about madness and psychiatric diagnosis? How can modern Judaism show the way to new responses to extreme and altered states, in our communities and ourselves? Caroline Mazel-Carlton is a survivor of psychiatric crisis diagnosed as psychosis, Director of Training at the Wildflower Alliance – Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, Hearing Voiced and Alternatives to Suicide support group facilitator/trainer, and part of the Jewish Renewal movement studying to be a rabbi.www.westernmassrlc.org/ https://aleph.org/
What are the key ingredients of alternative mental health programs – and what makes them different and successful? Connor Tindall followed his calling to become a a therapist after confronting mistreatment by a psychotherapist as a teen. He went on to work at the innovative Soteria House Alaska, a hospital alternative where compassionate respect for residents — and much less use of medications — meant a chance to explore the meaning in madness and find real paths to healing. Connor discusses how awareness of power imbalances, the inspiration of the women’s movement, and his difficult psychdedelic drug trips all shaped his vision of a new kind of psychotherapy.
Has modern psychiatry lost its soul? How can dreams, storytelling, and imagination help people in emotional crisis – including psychosis and madness? What lessons can we learn from shamanism, the placebo effect, and the importance of the doctor’s “bedside manner’? George Mecouch MD, psychiatrist, Jungian therapist, and author of While Psychiatry Slept: Reawakening the Imagination in Therapy, discusses how to recover the lost art of healing in an era dominated by technology.
How is psychotherapy different when the therapist is also a survivor? What vital lessons must therapists learn from people who have experienced psychosis? If therapy is an imbalance of power between therapist and patient, how can therapists avoid the misuse of power and protect clients from harm? Olga Runciman, voice hearer, psychiatric nurse in locked wards, and survivor of a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, brings her experience with recovery to her work as a psychotherapist in private practice.
What does healthcare become when science is limited by a mechanistic, machine view of reality? How does a mechanistic view shape concepts of mental health and illness – and deny the fundamental aliveness of human beings? What does the study of living systems teach us for creating a different, more holistic vision? Fritjof Capra, theoretical physicist, systems theorist, and author of several international bestselling books including The Tao of Physics, The Web of Life, and most recently The Systems View of Life (co-authored with Pier Luigi Luisi), discusses a shift in scientific consciousness with far reaching implications for our understanding of mind and mental illness. www.fritjofcapra.net www.capracourse.net Photo: Basso Cannarsa
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.