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Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health

The Mad in America podcast, hosted by James Moore, examines mental health with a critical eye by speaking with psychologists, psychiatrists and people with lived experience.

When you hear such conversations, you realise that much of what is believed to be settled in mental health is actually up for debate. Is mental health a matter of faulty biology or is there more to it? Are the treatments used in psychiatry helpful or harmful in the long term? Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable? With the help of our guests, we examine these questions and so much more. 

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care and mental health. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking mental health around the world.

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Apr 24, 2024

Arthur Kleinman is a towering figure in psychiatry and medical anthropology. He has made substantial contributions to both fields over his illustrious career spanning more than five decades.

As a Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard University's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Kleinman has profoundly influenced how medical professionals understand the interplay between culture, illness, and healing. His extensive body of work includes seminal books and numerous articles that have become foundational texts in medical anthropology. These writings explore the crucial role of personal and cultural narratives in shaping medical practices and patient care.

In recent years, Kleinman has increasingly focused on critiquing the prevailing practices within psychiatry, particularly the over-medicalization of mental health issues and the neglect of broader social and personal contexts that significantly impact patient care. His critiques advocate for a more nuanced and compassionate approach to psychiatry, one that recognizes the importance of individual patient stories and the socio-cultural dimensions of mental health.

In this interview, Kleinman explores critical issues facing modern healthcare. He discusses the often-overlooked narrative of patient experiences, critiques the mechanistic approaches that dominate U.S. healthcare, and offers insightful reflections on the global mental health movement.


Thank you for being with us to listen to the podcast and read our articles this year. MIA is funded entirely by reader donations. If you value MIA, please help us continue to survive and grow.

To find the Mad in America podcast on your preferred podcast player, click here