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28th June 2017: Asylum Magazine 30th Anniversary Conference Party

Please come and help us celebrate the 30th anniversary conference of ‘Asylum Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry’ in the community and promote the ideas which it has represented over the many years it has been running. Asylum magazine is 30 years old now and year after year it has been a platform for people who have had something critical to say about psychiatry.  Read more

Culture Bound Syndromes: Contextualising and Historically Locating Mental Illness by Sonia Soans

I still remember the day we went through the ICD- 10 in the clinical psychology class. Our professor, a practicing and competent clinical psychologist, talked us through the various symptoms that constituted a mental illness. Mental illnesses such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) schizophrenia and depression were assumed to be universal. Extensive studies have been conducted around the world documenting these illnesses. We finally got to the section on culture bound syndromes. Read more

Relationships with families, carers and friends (others?) by John Sawkins

There is always a potentially difficult relationship between service users, carers and professionals. Open dialogue seeks to address this issue through allowing every party in the relationship to have a frank interchange, based on honesty and mutual respect. Hence it is disingenuous to attempt to misrepresent the idea of showing “insight”. Read more

Podcast: Mad Studies at 2016 Lancaster Disabilities conference Introduced by Prof Peter Beresford and Dr Brigit McWade

On the 6-8 September 2016 the Lancaster Disability Studies Conference took place at the University of Lancaster.  Having got a sponsored place to attend the conference with a poster presentation, another thing which I did was audio record the conference to add to the Mad World archive as a part of the Ragged University project. Read more

Rowland Urey talks about Psychiatry: Philosopher And Your Friend In Recovery

The grown up person is not a child., the grown up person is an ALIENATED human being, because we do not experience ourselves as the SUBJECT and ORIGINATOR of our own acts. We are FORCED to overcome our Situations for we cannot live as totally alienated humans and remain SANE.

For we have been EMOTIONALLY and SOCIALLY traumatized by our OBJECTIVE life activities reflected SUBJECTIVELY In our HUMAN CONDITION and PSYCHE. Mental Distress is nothing more than a manifestation in humans of a greater malaise brought about by Modern day living Alienation and Isolation. Read more

Historical Source: Medication Into Submission; A Review of Mental Seduction and Menticide by Alex Dunedin

This article takes an excerpt of an important book for both its historical context and it’s content.  In the field of Mad Studies – an emerging area of study in academia which, although a part of formal education, extends well beyond its borders – the ideas presented in the book hold a high degree of relevance.  In this book ‘Mental Seduction and Menticide; The Psychology of Thought Control and Brainwashing‘ by Dr Joost Abraham Maurits Meerloo, various notions of mental coercion are discussed in context with the dangers of totalitarianism and domination of the individual. Read more

A Word For The Social Model of Madness: Psychiatry and The Family by Alex Dunedin

When Shakespeare writes about how family and friends drive us mad, and treat us badly, it is great art – when a psychologist suggests it, then it is an outrage; this is a contradiction we find in our culture. The implications of openly accepting that close and dear ones as a source of malevolence and psychological trauma are extensive. It is the love that we dare not speak its name… Read more

What Every Woman Knows: Society By Gas Light

In their bedroom, Gregory becomes impatient and humiliates his wife about making a spectacle of herself in public:

  • Gregory: I’ve tried so hard to keep it within these walls – in my own house. Now, because you would go out tonight, the whole of London knows it. If I could only get inside that brain of yours and understand what makes you do these crazy, twisted things.
  • Paula: Gregory, are you trying to tell me I’m insane? Read more