The Voice of the Mad – new podcast series starting soon

With only two more podcasts to go in this first series on the history of psychiatry, we can start to look ahead to a second series which we will begin to broadcast soon after the first series has ended.

This second series, which comprises 26 podcasts, uses extracts from the writings of those with mental problems, or their reported speech, between the 17th and 20th century to explore a range of mental disorders ranging from autism and depression to schizophrenia and obsessive stalking. Seen through original historical manuscripts and printed sources, the series documents individual, family, and social crises related to mental disorders, including suicide, crimes of violence, protection of vulnerable adults, religious mania, and admission to lunatic asylums and the experience of living in them.

The series aims:

1) To provide a balanced and historically reliable account of how sufferers from a wide range of mental disorders and handicaps experienced their afflictions, by using their own writings or those of others who quoted them.

2) To balance the usual bias in the history of psychiatry towards medical practitioners, by focusing on patients and their families and friends.

3) To raise awareness of attitudes towards mental health and the experience of those suffering from mental disorders or disabilities among the general public, by using historic examples.

4) To bring to the fore the significance of a knowledge of history to present day understandings of mental problems and ways of dealing with them.

The first episode in the new series will be broadcast on Tuesday June 27th.

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