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 200 shows since then. We've been broadcast on KBOO in Oregon, syndicated on other stations through Pacifica, and currenrly podcasting on Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, Pandora, and Google Play. More info on our About page.
Check out the Madness Radio book! Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness gathers edited show interviews and additional content, and is available in print and as a free download.
Madness Radio is an affiliate of Mad In America Radio!
Check out www.madinamerica.com. Theme music courtesy Bonfire Madigan. Thanks to past Madness Radio Producers Jenka Soderberg, Nina Packebush, Leah Harris and Jeremy Lanzman. And thanks to our 190+ Madness Radio Kickstarter donors for supporting the show!
Listen to recent shows below or find us in your favorite podcast app, subscribe to be notified of new episodes on the right, browse by topics, search by keyword, or see a list all 200+ shows by date and title, in the archive. (Shorter versions are also available.)
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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. (Alternate 58 min version here.)
The Families in Mental Health Crisis Act HR 2646 — The Murphy Bill — proposes drastic changes to US mental health policies. Will the Murphy Bill curb violence and improve care? Or will more forced treatment, medication, and hospitalization only enrich pharmaceutical and medical industry power and reinforce stereotypes at the expense of real human needs?
Leah Harris, psychiatric abuse survivor and organizer for the Campaign for Real Change in Mental Health Policy, completed an investigative report on the Murphy Bill’s potential impact on people in crisis, how the gun manufacturer lobby is involved, and the role of Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
www.realmhchange.org http://www.ndrn.org/en/issues/mental-health/protect-paimi.html www.proteus.com/press-releases/u-s-fda-accepts-first-digital-medicine-new-drug-application-for-otsuka-and-proteus-digital-health/
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. http://www.theguardian.com/profile/maryohara www.austeritybitesuk.com
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?
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. http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Movement_as_a_Way_of_Knowing
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. fightingforfreedominamerica.
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.
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!