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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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May 22, 2024

Milutin Kostić is a practicing Serbian psychiatrist trained in the tradition of biological psychiatry who has become a new figure in the critical psychiatry movement. Affiliated with the Institute of Mental Health in Belgrade, Serbia, he is currently a Fulbright scholar working alongside Lisa Cosgrove in Boston to challenge established norms in psychiatry and psychology.

Kostić utilizes his extensive training and traditional research methods to question the fundamental assumptions of his field. For example, Kostić critiques the flawed premises of genetics research in depression, arguing that it overlooks the heterogeneity of human experience. He uses analogies to illustrate how psychiatry often pathologizes normal human emotions, drawing parallels to how medical conditions are misunderstood when the context is ignored, like trying to treat the lungs alone in a society overrun by air pollution.

We will also discuss his latest study, which emphasizes the benefits of de-medicalizing experiences of depression rather than quickly resorting to diagnoses and subsequent treatments with medication or psychotherapy. His research also sheds light on the effects of biological narratives on patient perspectives, the complexities of drug dependency, and the profound impact of psychiatric diagnoses on individual identity.


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.

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© Mad in America 2024. Produced by James Moore