Welcome to the Mad in America podcast, a new weekly discussion that searches for the truth about psychiatric prescription drugs and mental health care worldwide.
This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change.
On the podcast we have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking psychiatric care around the world.
For more information visit madinamerica.com
To contact us email firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Funk - WHO and the Sea Change in Mental Health
Michelle Funk is the Unit Head of the Policy, Law, and Human Rights at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at the World Health Organization. She has created and leads the WHO Quality Rights Initiative that aims to assess and improve human rights standards in existing services and advance the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
In this interview, we discuss the launch of the new “Guidance on Community Mental Health Services: Promoting Person-Centred and Rights-Based Approaches.” The document is grounded on the principles of recovery and rights-based approaches. It presents successful examples of best practices in mental health service provision respecting dignity, moving to zero coercion, and eliminating neglect and abuse. Among the best practices showcased in the document are Open Dialogue as practiced in Tornio, Finland, Soteria Berne in Switzerland, Afiya House in Western Massachusetts, Basal Exposure Therapy in Norway, and Hearing Voices Support Groups.
The Guidance builds on the momentum created by the critical voice of Dainius Pūras, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Puras criticized the dominance of the biomedical model in the Mental Health field and highlighted the harms associated with ignoring the social determinants of health that impact a person’s mental health, such as violence, poverty, lack of proper nutrition, housing instability, lack of universal health coverage, discrimination and others.
In our conversation, Michelle Funk described the process of engaging stakeholders and persons with lived experience throughout the design and development of the document, the challenges of ensuring geographical representation given the global inequalities, and the hopes for the future.
Ilana Mountian - Discourse, Drug Use, and Psychiatry
Ilana Mountian is a researcher drawing on psychoanalytic, critical, decolonial, and feminist philosophies. She is the author of Cultural Ecstasies: Drugs, Gender, and the Social Imaginary, exploring discourses around drug use, gender, and drug policy. She is currently working on a book that will be published later this year by Routledge about otherness and mental health, focusing on immigration, drug use, and transsexuality.
Mountian is a member of the Discourse Unit, a group led by well-known critical psychologists Erica Burman and Ian Parker. The Discourse Unit is dedicated to providing teaching resources for qualitative and feminist work, producing radical academic work, and developing critical perspectives in action research.
In addition to her work as a researcher, Mountian is a psychoanalyst and a postdoctoral lecturer at the University of Sao Paulo Brazil and Manchester Metropolitan University.
In this interview, she discusses intersectionality and drug use, the disease model of addiction, psychiatric labels, and psychiatry's place in creating “otherness.”
Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal - Post Withdrawal Experiences
This week on the MIA podcast we are providing the audio taken from our recent psychiatric drug withdrawal town hall held in May 2021.
For our third discussion, we are examining protracted problems that can arise after psychiatric drug withdrawal. Sometimes referred to as post-acute or post-withdrawal syndromes, these experiences can include chronic health problems and sexual dysfunction. What do we know and not know about responding to long- term health problems after coming off psychiatric drugs?
For references and slides mentioned in the discussion, visit this link: https://www.madinamerica.com/pdwref/
Adele Framer resides in San Francisco, USA. A survivor of 11 years of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, in 2011, under the pseudonym Altostrata, she founded the peer support site SurvivingAntidepressants.org, currently containing more than 6,000 longitudinal case histories from its 14,000 members. A widely recognized patient advocate, she is a lay expert in psychiatric drug tapering and withdrawal syndromes.
Will Hall is a schizophrenia diagnosis survivor and longtime organizer with the psychiatric survivor movement. He is a PhD candidate at Maastricht University and lead researcher on the Maastricht World Survey on Antipsychotic Drug Withdrawal, and author of the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, as well as host of Madness Radio and a co-founder of the Hearing Voices Network USA.
David Healy is a Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton Canada. He has been raising concerns about withdrawal from antidepressants since the mid-1990s and was an expert witness in a successful legal case about withdrawal and dependence in 2004. He figures we have made little or no progress sorting the issues out and now have a major public health crisis on our hands.
Nicole Lamberson is a physician assistant as well as a patient suffering protracted harm following a rapid medical “detox” from prescribed benzodiazepines/Z-drugs & other psychotropic polypharmacy. She co- founded The Withdrawal Project, serves on the Medical Board of Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, & does outreach for Medicating Normal-The Film.
Hannah Pickard - Responsibility Without Blame in Therapeutic Communities
Hanna Pickard is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. She is also appointed with the William H. Miller Department of Philosophy, the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Her expertise is deep and spread across a wide variety of disciplines. As an analytic philosopher, she specializes in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychiatry, moral psychology, and clinical ethics. She also worked for a decade at The Oxfordshire Complex Needs Service, a specialist service in the NHS for people diagnosed with personality disorders and complex needs. Her work tends to address the sticky debates that arise in clinical practice.
She has over 35 academic publications and has co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction. Pickard maintains an important thread between clinical work in the real world and her philosophical writings, attending to topics like the nature of mental disorders, delusions, agency, character, emotions, self-harm, violence, placebos, therapeutic relationships, decision-making capacity, the self and social identity, and attitudes towards mental disorder and crime.
In this interview, she discusses her novel and possibly controversial model for understanding addiction, the numerous shortcomings of the neurobiological model, the importance of centering patient agency, and her work in therapeutic communities.
Katrina Michelle - Psychedelics, Transformative Experiences and Healing
Katrina Michelle is a psychologist and the founder and director of The Curious Spirit, a transpersonally oriented psychotherapeutic practice that encourages transcendent personal exploration to remedy psychological suffering. She is a holistic psychotherapist currently serving as faculty at Columbia University School of Social Work and The Institute for the Development of Human Arts.
In addition to her practice, she also serves as the director of harm reduction for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and formerly worked as the executive director of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). To demystify awakening experiences through storytelling and art, she is also producing the film When Lightning Strikes.
Beginning in the world of traditional social work, Michelle was drawn to transpersonal psychology after her own spontaneous spiritually transformative experience. She now works to help create communities capable of holding these often difficult experiences, as western societies often lack the language and cultural understanding needed to integrate them into daily life.
In this interview, we discuss the place of psychedelics in psychotherapy, how spiritually transformative experiences can be mistaken for ‘mental illness,’ and the various resistances we have to these experiences.
Hannah Zeavin - Questioning the Moral Panic Around Teletherapy
Hannah Zeavin is a leading scholar investigating how mediated communications and technology impact our intimate relations. Her most recent work tackles teletherapy and digital mental health communications, which have seen a boon throughout the pandemic.
Zeavin is a Lecturer in the Departments of English and History at the University of California, Berkeley, and affiliated with the Berkeley Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society. Zeavin is also a visiting fellow at the Columbia University Center for the Study of Social Difference. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU in 2018.
Her first book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy, will be published by MIT Press this summer. Zeavin serves as an editorial associate and author for numerous publications, including the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. She is also a co-founder of The Science, Technology, and Society Futures Initiative.
In this interview, she discusses her upcoming books and all things mediated communication, teletherapy, and technology. Zeavin approaches human relationality, including therapy, from the perspectives of literature and media studies. She explores the history of psychoanalysis and other forms of therapy, garnering fresh insights into our relationship with technology and each other–without the usual moral tenor of psychologists.
She also draws upon her research to discuss how care may take unexpected forms through technologies, enabling distanced intimacy and social change that transcends the psychology of the individual. We close by addressing the feminization of care labor, care as a cover for capture and control, and shifts in how we understand care, now and in the future.
Brilliant, thank you, I understand so much more now thanks to these podcasts
If you are going to take or are taking psychiatric drugs list to this podcast to find out what really happens to your brain and body in the long term.
This podcast is essential listening for anyone taking or thinking about taking SSRIs or any other psychiatric drug. James has done an excellent job of raising awareness of the serious issues involved in the over-prescription and dangers of this class of drug. It is also a much needed source of information and support for anyone struggling with side effects or withdrawal symptoms. James, the work you have put into this is very much appreciated - thank you!