RESOURCES

 

Here are some recommended organizations and media to do with mental health/illness / madness etc. If you don't see something here, chances are I do know about it but I am choosing to not recommend it. The majority of the media we encounter about "mental health" is lacking in scientific basis and also overlooks the humanity of those labeled deviant. This is not a small error. For many more of my thoughts about the media's errors when it comes to mental health, please read my long essay published on Mad in America.

My essay about Britney Spears for The Cut also is worth a read if you want a quick primer on the overall situation. And of course I recommend, to anybody really, my own book! And my own podcast! Which will teach you about all this but also make you laugh.

Organizations / Websites

Especially if you know someone in crisis or are generally invested in these questions because of yourself or a loved one, here are a few good places to start: 

Mad in America – largest media organization covering these issues 

Wildflower Alliance – large alternative mental health care provider in Western Mass; I wrote more about them here. Their website has many excellent resources and during COVID many support groups are online 

Hearing Voices Network USA – non-judgmental, peer support groups for people who hear voices, see visions or have other "unusual or extreme" experiences; learn more and find a group in your area. To locate Hearing Voices groups for those outside the US visit Intervoice.

MindFreedom – survivor-founded organization devoted to liberation and justice

Peer Respites – alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization

International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) – resources on cults and other high control groups, including situations of domestic abuse

of particular interest perhaps for mental health care professionals:

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS)

International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP)

Podcasts

Mad in America podcast

How to Survive the End of the World

Generation Cult – focus on high-control groups and exit from such systems

The Cure for Chronic Pain – deep exploration of role of emotion and trauma in bodily ailments, including chronic pain 

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

Books

Here is a piece I wrote for Electric Literature with some additional book recommendations. 

Novels

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

Memoirs

On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System by Judi Chamberlin

The Loony-Bin Trip by Kate Millett

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

 

Other Nonfiction, by topic 

Many of these books cover many topics but I've tried to categorize them here

Care Farms 
For an intro to this concept, listen to my 99% Invisible story about care farms

Farming for Health: Green-Care Farming Across Europe and the United States of America edited by Jan Hassink and Majken van Dijk (complication of academic papers from a variety of disciplines documenting and analyzing this model) 

Electroshock / ECT

Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You To Know about Shock Treatment by Linda Andre

The Electroshock Quotionary compiled by Leonard Roy Frank (download for free)

The History of Shock Treatment edited by Leonard Roy Frank 

Hearing Voices Movement

Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery by Dr. Marius Romme, Dr. Sandra Escher, Jacqui Dillon, Dr. Dirk Corstens, Prof. Mervyn Morris, eds.

Young People Hearing Voices by Dr. Sandra Escher and Dr. Marius Romme

Mad Pride / Psychiatric Patient Civil Rights

On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System by Judi Chamberlin

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Dr. Seth Farber

We've Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health, L. D. Green, Kelechi Ubozoh, eds.

Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness by Will Hall

Talking Back to Psychiatry by Dr. Linda J. Morrison (sociological study of the movement)

Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry by Dr. Peter Stastny and Peter Lehmann, eds.

Peer Respites

(alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization) 

Peer Respite Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Building and Supporting Peer Respites by Sera Davidow

Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance by Deborah C. Fort, Dr. Loren Mosher, and Voyce Hendrix

Psychiatry / Psychiatric Drugs

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off of Psychiatric Drugs (available for free online)

Psychiatry and the Business of Madness: An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting by Dr. Bonnie Burstow

The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker

Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform by Robert Whitaker and Dr. Lisa Cosgrove

Schizophrenia

(see also: Hearing Voices movement)

Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Our Treatment of Psychosis by Dr. Paris Williams

Self-Care

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Do What You Want: A Zine about Mental Wellbeing by Ruby Tandoh and Leah Pritchard

The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

Shame

The Power of Vulnerability (audiobook) by Dr. Brené Brown (and all her other books)

Suicide (alternatives to) 

Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein

Things To Do Instead of Killing Yourself (comic) by Tara Booth and Jon-Michael Frank

Trauma 

Polysecure: Trauma, Attachment and Consensual Nonmonogomy by Jessica Fern

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

The Mindbody  Prescription by Dr. John Sarno