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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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Oct 21, 2017

This week we interview David Mielke. David is a psychology graduate and teacher in a California high school who has become increasingly concerned about the number of children that he teaches that have a psychiatric diagnosis and how many are on psychiatric drugs.

In this interview, we discuss David’s experiences as an educator and how teachers can empower students to have more confidence in themselves.

In the episode we discuss:

  • How David studied psychology and then came to be a teacher at Culver City High School in California.
  • How an experience witnessing electroshock therapy made an indelible mark on his approach to educating.
  • How David knew from interacting with his students that most often their struggles were because of difficult circumstances such as issues at home rather than brain diseases in need of diagnosis.
  • How David has witnessed many of his students have internalised their diagnostic labels.
  • The relationship between a psychiatric diagnosis and learned helplessness.
  • The tensions that may arise between school policies and guidance, teachers and parents when a psychiatric diagnosis is involved.
  • The power inherent in psychotherapy to connect with and support people in difficulty.

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© Mad in America 2017