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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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.
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.
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.