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Crazy Making

Crazy Making

By Dr. Simon Adam
Crazy Making presents a variety of topics related to mental health and mental illness and will engage in discussions ranging from depression, to mad studies, to critical mental health movements, to the politics of the DSM.
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The Friendly Spike Theatre Band with Ruth Stackhouse
In this episode, I speak with Ruth Stackhouse. She is founder/director of The Friendly Spike Theatre Band, a Mad/Disability People's Theatre, in Toronto. Her unique name stands for 'double mercy', Ruth (Ruth) Stackhouse. She has helped create and present many productions throughout the course of the company's thirty year plus trajectory. She holds an associate degree from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, an Honours BA from The School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University, and a Master of Arts from The School of Critical Disability Studies at York University. Her work toward a Mad/Disability Culture is recognized by the City of Toronto Access Award, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
December 24, 2021
The monster of psychiatry with Dr. Lauren Tenney
In this episode, I am joined by Dr. Lauren Tenney. Lauren is a psychiatric survivor, activist, artist, author, and academic, first involuntarily committed in 1988 at age 15. Her/Their work aims to expose the institutional corruption, which is a source of profit for organized psychiatry, and to abolish state sponsored human rights violations, such as murder, torture and slavery. Lauren holds a PhD in environmental psychology. Books mentioned: The Routledge International Handbook of Mad Studies Racism in Psychology: Challenging Theory, Practice, and Institutions
December 24, 2021
Disabled/mad/fat bodies: A critical psychiatry look
In this episode, I speak with Dr. Fady Shanouda (he/him). Dr. Shanouda is a critical disability studies scholar who draws on feminist new materialism to examine disabled and mad students' experiences in higher education. His scholarly contributions lie at the theoretical and pedagogical intersections of disability, mad, and fat studies and include socio-historical examinations that surface the interconnections of colonialism, racism, ableism, sanism, and queer- and transphobia. Fady also created and hosts the podcast, Disability Saves the World, where he interviews disabled, mad, and fat scholars, activists, and artists. He is an assistant professor at the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's and Gender Studies at Carleton University, where he conducts his work diversely positioned as a queer, disabled, fat, PoC, immigrant and settler, living, working, and creating on the ancestral and traditional territories of the Algonquin nation.
December 24, 2021
The pill that steals lives
In this episode, I speak with Katinka Blackford Newman about her experience with being on psychiatric medications, and the havoc they wreaked on her life, causing a black hole of misery, pain, and loss. She has subsequently come off the medications, regained control of her life, and fully recovered. Recovered from the medications, that is. Katinka is an award-winning documentary film-maker, journalist and author. She is inspired by extraordinary stories about ordinary people and is passionate about exposing miscarriages of justice. Trained at the BBC, Katinka has made films for all the UK terrestrial channels and in the US for Discovery, National Geographic, and Animal Planet. She has directed full drama-documentary shoots in challenging environments such as Peruvian prisons and jungles in the Philippines. Her work includes intimate observational documentaries on sensitive subjects such as child abuse, addiction, incest and murder within a family.  Awards and nominations include the Mental Health Media Award, Broadcast Best Documentary, BAFTA Best Factual Documentary and an International Emmy. She is the author of a best-selling book, The Pill That Steals Lives, exposing the link between anti-depressants and mass killings. The book is published by John Blake Publishers. She also runs the website
June 15, 2021
Disability, race, and mental health
This episode marks the fourth episode of a series on child and youth mental health. I speak with Cindy Jiang, a doctoral student at York University in critical disability studies. At the time of this interview, Cindy is working on the development of the website Madness Canada. Check it out.
June 15, 2021
Intersectionality and youth mental health with Dr. Nazilla Khanlou
This episode marks the third episode of a series on child and youth mental health. I speak with Dr. Nazilla Khanlou. Nazilla is an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Women’s Health Research Chair in Mental Health at York University. In my conversation with her, Dr. Khanlou helps us understand some of the most pressing issues facing young people today, particularly people with intersecting marginalized identities such as disability and racialization. She talks to us about resilience, but not the individualized way we understand it, rather, a more complex notion of the concept, drawing attention to the structural dimensions of resilience and coping.
May 13, 2021
Youth, identity, and mental health
This episode marks the second episode of a series on child and youth mental health. I speak with Sharry Taylor about youth mental health, particularly, how identity develops in young people in the context of mental health and illness. She takes us on a journey of what it might be like for the developing young person as they grapple with making sense of what it means to have disruptions in their mental health. Sharry is a schoolteacher and doctoral student at the University of Toronto, engaging in research on identity theory and identity development in the context of youth mental health.
May 06, 2021
Losing a child to psychiatry: Julie's story
This episode marks the first of a series on child and youth mental health. I speak with Julie Wood about the psychiatric drug complex, Big Pharma research and politics, and the impact of psychiatrization on children and youth. Julie Wood spent most of her working career as a chartered accountant. After her son died in 2008 as a consequence of taking prescribed psychiatric drugs, she embarked on a journey to discover how this could have happened. She met with and learned from several high profile critics of the status quo, and through them, became involved in raising awareness of the truth about these medications and the harm that they do. She is currently editor of and an editor with David Healy and Joanna Le Noury of a recent book titled Children of the Cure available from Samizdat Health Writer’s Co-operative.
March 27, 2021
Launching Crazy Making with Dr. Marina Morrow and Efrat Gold
In this inaugural episode, we hear from Dr. Marina Morrow and Efrat Gold on their important work in critical mental health and the possibilities for alternative approaches that extend beyond biomedical psychiatry. We discuss coercive and damaging practices within the psychiatric discipline, as we take a close look at the role of global research collaborations in efforts to critique and resist psychiatric power and advance mental health care and policy in line with human rights legislation. We likewise engage in discussions related to the discourse of eugenics post World War II and its impact on the development of the psychiatric profession, its establishment as an institution of social control, and its legitimization and ‘facticity’ as discipline within the broader jurisdiction of medicine. Dr. Marina Morrow is a Professor at the School of Health Policy and Management in the Faculty of Health at York University. In her work, Marina uses critical mental health and intersectional approaches to better understand the social, political, and institutional processes through which health and mental health policies and practices are developed and how social and health inequities are sustained or attenuated for different populations. Marina strongly supports public scholarship and the work and activism of the Mad movement and Mad scholars. She is the lead editor on a recent book called Critical Inquiries for Social Justice in Mental Health, available from the University of Toronto Press. Efrat Gold is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, engaging in mad and disability studies. Through her writing and activism, she challenges dominant views of mental health and illness, moving towards contextualized and relational understandings of suffering and distress. Gold critiques psychiatry, focusing on those most vulnerable and marginalized by psychiatric power, discourse, and treatments. Her work is staunchly feminist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive. Through explorations into norms, meaning-making, and constructions of legitimacy, Gold unsettles psychiatric hegemony by returning to the sites where psychiatric certainty has been produced.
March 11, 2021
Crazy Making presents a variety of topics related to mental health and mental illness and will engage in discussions ranging from depression, to mad studies, to critical mental health movements, to the politics of the DSM. Some salient questions that we might ask here are: 1. Who benefits from the existence of psychiatry, and to what degree? 2. Who/what is disadvantaged by the existence of psychiatry? 3. What ways are there of conceptualizing human suffering other than those framed by the medical model? In this podcast, we learn from critical mental health scholars, psychiatric survivors, the mad community, antipsychiatry activists, dissident professionals, advocates, anarchists, humanists, posthumanists and assemblages of many other subversive critics. Dr. Simon Adam is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at York University, Canada, long-time mental health advocate and critical psychiatry activist. He is a researcher on the politics of mental health and mental illness, examining the implications of the medicalization of the human condition. Listen to us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Reach out to us by email at and follow us on Instagram. This podcast is written and hosted by me, Simon Adam, and edited, mixed, and mastered by Umang Antariksh Sagar. The music piece in this podcast is called Thinking Music by Kevin MacLeod. Link: License:
January 29, 2021