About a year after her participation in the groundbreaking Comedy Central documentary series the Comedians of Comedy
, Maria Bamford
was on stage at the Friars Club in LA when a heckler began shouting at her. What happened after that isn’t entirely clear, other than Bamford had a breakdown, walked off stage, and disappeared. She was found three months later selling clock radios on the sidewalks of Detroit. A fellow homeless person, who was also a Comedy Central fan, recognized Bamford and eventually her parents were contacted. They brought her back home to Deluth, Minnesota and began to get her help. Maria decided to document her recovery in a series of short videos called The Maria Bamford Show
, which were first posted to the TBS networks' now abandoned Super Deluxe
Web site. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Jan 26, 2013 -
"There are plenty of reasons to recover from addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma....But comedians are perverse people who often don't care about any of those things. So maybe this will convince them, and maybe this will convince me: get better — so you can get funny."
In a frank, personal, and revealing article, essayist Jaime Lutz interviews comedians Marc Maron
, Eddie Pepitone
, Paul Gilmartin
, and Anthony Atamanuik
about the uneasy relationship between mental illness and comedy.
posted by scarylarry
on Dec 14, 2012 -
is a beloved weekly Buenos Aires radio show run by psychiatric patients that breaks down boundaries between the "interned" and the "externed." During his Argentina tour, radio supporter Manu Chao
invited a few Colifatos to join him. LT22 Radio La Colifata
is 94 minute a documentary (in Spanish) shot over ten years that celebrates the station and the tour.
posted by madamjujujive
on Nov 14, 2012 -
Did you know? Today is World Mental Health Day.
World Mental Health Day was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992 to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world. The World Federation for Mental Health
has more information about this year's theme, Depression: A Global Crisis
. Meanwhile, the Alternatives conference
also starts today in Portland, Oregon. Now in its 26th year, this conference is the U.S.'s oldest national mental health conference organized and run for mental health consumers, offering tons of workshops on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods. How will you celebrate World Mental Health Day? [more inside]
posted by docjohn
on Oct 10, 2012 -
"Beyond the Brain" In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies
on Sep 20, 2012 -
"If you think health care in America is bad, you should look at mental health care," says Steve Leifman, who works as a special advisor on criminal justice and mental health for the Florida Supreme Co
" Fifty years ago
, the U.S. had nearly 600,000 state hospital beds for people suffering from mental illness. Today
, because of federal and state funding
cuts, that number has dwindled to 40,000. When the government began closing state-run hospitals in the 1980s
suffering from mental illness had nowhere to go. Without proper treatment and care
in the last place anyone
wants to be." Of course, it's not just a problem confined
to the US.
posted by dave78981
on Apr 1, 2012 -
"What was really most healing, for me, besides the drugs, was meeting my own people, my tribe. When you meet each other the relief of knowing you’re not alone and that you both feel like the walking dead. It’s such a relief to be with someone who will never say, “Perk up.” Black Dog Tribes
is a (beta) social platform for people with depression created by Ruby Wax
posted by lucia__is__dada
on Dec 6, 2011 -
"Transient is a black comedy
about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Sep 3, 2011 -
“The irony is [that Greg’s parents] were saving this for him,” she says. “Every little baby bottle, every little scrap, every rock that you see. In their minds they were doing it for him. And it’s just turned into this beast." Inheriting the Hoard
is the story of Greg M., a man whose parents were hoarders, and his year+ struggle to clean out the house they left behind. [more inside]
posted by Georgina
on Aug 8, 2011 -
The Brain on Trial.
Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania." [more inside]
posted by Eideteker
on Jul 15, 2011 -
MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness is a multi-platform media project that explores severe mental illness in America.
The one-hour television program
zeros in on wrenching and confounding situations that are playing out every day in homes and hospital ERs, on city streets and school campuses, in courtrooms and in jails, as Americans struggle with the challenges of severe mental illness.
The distinguished panel includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nobel Prize winning neurologist Eric Kandel, along with attorneys, doctors, legislators and other experts in the field. Several
of the panelists have personal
, as well as professional experience, in living with mental illness.
A Fred Friendly Seminar
posted by prefpara
on Apr 21, 2010 -
Out of Control
is a 45 minute documentary that was recently broadcast on The Fifth Estate
program on Canadian TV. It is the story of "Ashley Smith . . . a troubled 19-year-old [who] choked herself to death with a strip of cloth at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ontario." The documentary features video shot inside Ashley Smith’s cell. It is a sad and at times disturbing look at the difficulties of dealing with a prisoner with mental illness. [Language and some images are NSFW].
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Jan 9, 2010 -
No matter their approach, the typical French physician who accepted the notion of male hysteria continued to think that its victims were in some way sexually abnormal: "Thus, despite Charcot's innovative work, the male victim of hysteria in late-nineteenth century French medical imagination was still frequently envisioned as an effeminate heterosexual, an overt homosexual, or a physical or emotional hermaphrodite." If not different sexually, male hysterics were said to be different in other ways, such as race or nationality, among whom African, African-American, south Asian, Arab, or Eastern European Jewish men predominated. Outside of France, other methods of denial appeared, such as the suggestion that male hysteria was restricted to Frenchmen. The medical literature of the time is full of evasions and denials and contradictions of the truths that Charcot had quite obviously demonstrated.
- Macho Misery
, an extensive and interesting review of Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 26, 2009 -
Imagine if you were the only person on earth; if no one else could understand you except yourself. No matter how hard you tried, you could never make contact with the outside world, not for long at least. This is the life of a Schizophrenic
, in a simulation created to understand what a typical trip to the pharmacy is for a patient suffering from Schizophrenia [previously
], you will experience for a few minutes what life is all about for people afflicted with this disease. (via) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy
on Sep 11, 2008 -
First-hand accounts of the impact and stigma of mental illness. Moving subject matter presented in a way that updates traditional newspaper reporting.
posted by GuyZero
on Jun 23, 2008 -
Suppose you have a problem with your thinking, your mood, or your relationships. Come in, sit down, and let the internet help. Meet MoodGym
and its newer sister site, e-couch
. [more inside]
posted by sondrialiac
on Jun 15, 2008 -
became one of the most famous British illustrators of the late Victorian and Edwardian era after trying to cheer up his wife Emily by drawing portraits of their pet cat, Peter
. In addition to publishing a popular children's book about kittens
, he was a founder
of the U.K's National Cat Club
who was instrumental in promoting the Cat Fancy
movement, which encouraged Britons of all classes to view cats as lovable pets instead of household pests. Unfortunately, after Wain's wife Emily died of breast cancer, Wain gradually went mad due to psychosis
and late onset schizophrenia
, ending up in London's notorious Bethlehem Hospital
(the etymological origin for the word bedlam
). While at Bedlam, Wain continued to draw, but his cat portraits transformed into pure geometric abstraction
and psychedelic fractals
, but some see harbingers of madness in cryptically titled works, such as Early Indian Irish
and The Fire of the Mind Agitates the Atmosphere
. For more insight on Wain, check out this 1896 interview
and this short film
dramatizing the progression of Wain's schizophrenia through his art.
posted by jonp72
on Aug 12, 2007 -