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 (on pause at the moment!), have been syndicated on other stations through Pacifica, and currenrly podcasting on Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes and Google Play. Check our About page.

Madness Radio Producer is Jenka Soderberg. Thanks to past Producers Nina Packebush, Leah Harris and Jeremy Lanzman.

Madness Radio is now an affiliate of Mad In America Radio!
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Listen to recent shows below, subscribe on the right, browse by topics, search by keyword, or list all 175+ shows by date and title. Shorter versions are also available.

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.

Economic Austerity and Mental Health | Mary O’Hara | Madness Radio

First Aired 09-04-2015 | 3 comments | Add comment

Is mental health about individual diseases, or the health of communities and countries as a whole? How do economic policies after the 2008 crisis impact disability rights, suicide rates, and community wellbeing? Are cuts in social spending really necessary for economic growth, or do they cause more problems in the long run?

Guardian columnist Mary O’Hara, author of Austerity Bites, discusses the devastating impact of austerity economic policies in Europe, the scapegoating mindset behind social spending cuts, and the dangers of pursuing similar policies in the US and globally.

Journey Through Mania | Oryx Cohen | Madness Radio

First Aired 08-29-2015 | 8 comments | Add comment

Psychiatric survivor leader Oryx Cohen was at a national conference when a seizure suddenly launched him out of his body and into a visionary state of madness. Avoiding medications or hospitalization, friends held a hotel room vigil for Oryx for many sleepless nights, and then drove him 4 days across country to safety.

What surprising lessons – about the usefulness of medications, support, spirituality, and his own trauma – did Oryx learn? How can the fear of manic psychosis turn into healing?

Evolution of Mind | Maxine Sheets-Johnstone | Madness Radio

First Aired 06-01-2015 | 2 comments | Add comment

Is thinking a cognitive process of information input and output? Or do consciousness and emotion take place in our bodies – animated, moving, and responsive to the environment? And what would Darwin think of today’s focus on brains and neuroscience – is there an evolutionary way to understand the mind instead?

Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, dancer, philosopher, and author of more than 70 journal articles and 9 books, including The Corporeal Turn: An Interdisciplinary Reader, The Primacy of Movement, and The Phenomenology Of Dance, explores her understanding of the evolution of mind.


Lincoln’s Depression | Joshua Wolf Shenk | Madness Radio

First Aired 01-28-2015 | 2 comments | Add comment

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.

Special Messages | Tim Dreby | Madness Radio

First Aired 12-31-2014 | 15 comments | Add comment

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.

Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia | Bert Karon

First Aired 11-01-2014 | 15 comments | Add comment

In schizophrenia really an “incurable illness” — or a state of chronic terror? Are there ways for psychotherapy to reach people in different realities? And can talk therapy 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.

Communicating With Psychosis | Dina Tyler

First Aired 10-09-2014 | 12 comments | Add comment
Dina Tyler

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. She was awarded Peer Specialist of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health in 2015!

Family Homes | Carina Håkansson

First Aired 07-01-2014 | 1 comment | Add comment
Carina Håkansson

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?

Healing Connection | Lauren Spiro

First Aired 06-01-2014 | 2 comments | Add comment
Lauren Spiro

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.

Redefining Research: Nev Jones

First Aired 04-01-2014 | 2 comments | Add comment
Nev Jones

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.

Risky Pills: David Healy

First Aired 03-01-2014 | 1 comment | Add comment
Dr David Healy

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.

Medical Coercion: Tomi Gomory

First Aired 01-01-2014 | 1 comment | Add comment
Professor Tomi Gomory

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.

Indian Country Psychology: David Walker

First Aired 12-01-2013 | No Comments Yet | Add comment
Author David Walker

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.

Psychology of Power: David Bedrick

First Aired 11-01-2013 | No Comments Yet | Add comment
Author David Bedrick

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.

Understanding Borderline Trauma: Debra Shulkes

First Aired 10-01-2013 | 3 comments | Add comment

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.

Note – this is an interview with psych survivor activist Debra Shulkes, who asked at the time that her name be disguised. Debra recently passed away from an illness, and her friends agreed to reveal her name on her interview.


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