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 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.
Are elders living with forgetfulness, Alzheimer’s, and dementia unreachable? Are there parallels with states called psychotic? Can meaning be found in the confusion of brain injury and coma?
Stan Tomandl, MA, DiplPW and author of Coma Care & Palliative Work, and An Alzheimer’s Surprise Party: Unveiling the Mystery, Inner Experience, and Gifts of Dementia, explores communicating with memory loss and how to make an end of life transition with dignity.
Why did the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual become so controversial? Is it possible to alleviate human suffering without classifying it as a mental disorder?
Gary Greenberg, psychotherapist, author of Manufacturing Depression and The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, and journalist for Harper’s, the New Yorker, and Rolling Stone, discusses the politics behind psychiatry’s new Bible.
How do psychiatric labels shape our perceptions of others – and ourselves? Are there better ways to understand emotional distress? Does the “peer movement” offer real alternatives — or present new problems? Sera Davidow, psychiatric survivor, director of the peer-run Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC), and co-producer of the new film “Beyond the Medical Model,” discusses the politics of language and innovative programs to truly help people in distress.
Is trauma also a source of creative inspiration? Can sexual passion be a force for healing? And do we have to live in either/or boxes — or is there somewhere else?
Artist and activist Jacks McNamara, co-founder of the Icarus Project radical support community, discusses their recently-published anthology Inbetweenland, including poetry about being a genderqueer person, surviving with a broken heart, and how to travel the path from madness to the wounded healer.
Why does the same psychiatric drug help one person – but harm another? Do psychiatric medications “work” by chemistry alone – or through expectation, placebo, and social factors? What is the difference between prescribed medications and mind altering substances like alcohol?
David Cohen, social work professor at Florida International University and co-author of Your Drug May Be Your Problem, discusses the role of social context in constructing how we experience psychiatric medications.
Is a champion athlete more powerful than madness and psychiatric medications?
When Meaghan Buisson said she wanted to break the world record for inline skating, her psychiatrist thought she was mentally ill. Two years later, she won the title — only to face the even greater challenge of self-harm, starvation, and psych meds withdrawal. Buisson now directs BodyWhys Canada, supporting youth with peer education.
Is poetry the way to truly understand madness? Do rituals and music — such as Ireland’s tradition of keening — have the power to heal emotional suffering?
Susan McKeown, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and folklorist, supported her partner through an extreme state. She began a journey to uncover intergenerational trauma in her family and in the history of her native Ireland, and was inspired to take poems about madness — by Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke, James Clarence Mangan, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others — and set them to music in her album “Singing in the Dark.”
Can people’s behavior really be explained by neuroscience and our evolutionary needs as hunter-gatherers — or is this just a popular fad? Does understanding the brain really solve the mysteries of being human?
Neurologist Dr. Raymond Tallis, philosopher, Academy of Medical Sciences Fellow, and author of Why the Mind is Not a Computer and Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity, exposes the bad science and faulty logic behind pop obsessions with the brain and evolutionary psychology.
Is it possible to navigate the “multiple worlds” that emerge during psychotic experiences? Are voices and altered states also like a shamanic journey, needing guidance to find your way?
Anusuya StarBear has heard voices and gone through altered states her whole life. A tragic near-death experience 20 years ago left her with severe and chronic physical pain — and the calling to be a healer. Today visionary painting and Native American spirituality transform her pain into a creative pathway as a Process Oriented therapist, coach, and energy healer.
What if people struggling with madness could explore their emotions in a supportive sanctuary? Do frightening ‘psychotic’ experiences have the power to transform and heal? Is breakdown also breakthrough?
Michael Cornwall became a therapist after surviving his own crisis — without medication or psychiatric treatment. For more than 30 years he has worked in the tradition of Carl Jung and R.D. Laing to support people to go through psychotic states in medication-free community settings, including John Weir Perry’s Diabasis House in the 1970s.
What do you do when medications for your emotional problems become worse than the problems themselves? Laura Delano went to a psychiatrist at age 18, and for the next decade was prescribed nineteen different psychiatric drugs. After devastating physical and emotional effects, she began a journey to become medication free — and re-discover who she is. What lessons did she learn?
Laura blogs regularly about her experiences at Mad in America, works for a mental health agency in Massachusetts, and is an advocate for drug alternatives and safe withdrawal.