Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

Is madness all in the mind?

Posted by soveda on November 18, 2008

I’ve been banging on about mental illness and stigma on this blog for a few posts and I’m sure it it getting very dull for people but I’ll go on and on anyway.

I was just pondering the rationalle behind the programe “Horizon: How mad are you”. I read on the BBC website that is was all about showing people that you can’t see who has a mental illness just by looking at them. Now I have no problem with that concept, I just have a sneaking suspicion that there are better ways of doing that than a glorified reality TV gameshow.

Cards on the table, I tried to watch the programme but I just couldn’t get past the awful Big Brother style opening and portentous music. So I can’t comment on the programme itself, I heard “all in the mind” today where they interviewed one of the “expert panel” and he implied that he was not as happy with the content of the programme as he could have been.

So is this sort of programme educational or exploitative?

(I understand that the individuals with a mental health diagnosis were for the most part in remission/fully treated at the time of the programme, surely this means that they were not “mad at the time?)

For a more measured post have a read of JDCs blog, and while you’re there read all the other posts, there is quite some thinking going on.

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2 Responses to “Is madness all in the mind?”

  1. jdc325 said

    You’re far too kind – but thank you Soveda.

    The show had good and bad elements, I thought. One thing that was said at the end of the second show was that for people who have had an episode of some psychiatric disorder, we should not look at all their future actions in the light of “a poorly understood label”. If this is the sort of thing people take from the show then it may have been worthwhile. Still feels a bit inappropriate to deal with the stigma of mental illness in the context of a show such as this one, mind.

  2. soveda said

    It sounds rather poorly thought out with an apparently noble aim. So not an epic fail just a missed opportunity then.

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