This week I was one of three contributors with personal experience of things that often get called ‘psychosis’ (hearing voices, seeing visions and paranoia) on the BBC Documentary ‘Why Did I Go Mad?’. The title, suggested by one of Jacqui Dillon’s voices, was deliberately provocative in order to challenge what we mean by madness and – ultimately – show that there is a great deal of sense and context in those experiences often dismissed as ‘mad’. The challenge is that we don’t always get to hear those stories.
Whilst the documentary provided a whistlestop tour around a range of ideas and approaches, it was great to show that it can be OK to talk to voices (via the inherently relational ‘Talking with Voices’ approach or the hi-tec Avatar Therapy). More than this, it showed that a range of life experiences can be bound up with our experience of voices, visions, distressing beliefs or psychosis. This may not sound groundbreaking to many who read my blog, yet for a mainstream BBC programme – it was.
In the coming weeks I’ll write more about the process of filming it and my reflections on the varying reactions I have witnessed. For now, I’ll simply share the documentary itself (which can be viewed on iPlayer this month) and a range of reviews so you can judge for yourself.
Also – i’m running a 1 day event with the amazing Jacqui Dillon in July entitled: Making Sense of Madness – An emancipatory approach. If you want to find out more, see: www.madness-london.eventbrite.co.uk.
Why Did I Go Mad? BBC Horizon
You can watch this programme on iPlayer during May 2017: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08pltgy
The following are some of the TV, radio and magazine appearances Jacqui and I engaged in around the documentary.
Jacqui and I headed up to Media City to appear on BBC Breakfast. An interesting experience, it was good to think about people hearing a fresh approach to hearing voices whilst eating their cornflakes. The main message – voices can have meaning, and people can find many ways of living with them.
Jacqui and I woke up early on Tuesday 2 May and spoke with 5Live hosts Rachel Burden and Nicky Campbell about hearing voices.
Radio BBC London
Luke Mendham (episode producer) and I spoke about the documentary, psychosis and hearing voices on BBC London’s Drivetime.
Radio BBC Solent
Surrounding Press – Reactions & Reviews
BBC Radio 4 Thought for The Day: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p051xd21