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Mysteries of Mental Illness

MYSTERIES OF MENTAL ILLNESS explores the story of mental illness in science and society. The four-part series traces the evolution of this complex topic from its earliest days to present times. It explores dramatic attempts across generations to unravel the mysteries of mental illness and gives voice to contemporary Americans across a spectrum of experiences.

DECOLONIZING MENTAL HEALTH dismantles the racism that underscores the mental healthcare industry. By focusing its gaze on the transformative work of therapists and individuals of color, it calls for a redressal of the ways in which we define psychiatric illness and health. The digital series discusses what a more responsive mental health care system should look like.

Episodes

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About Season 2021

Mysteries of Mental Illness explores the story of mental illness in science and society. The four-part series traces the evolution of this complex topic from its earliest days to present times. It explores dramatic attempts across generations to unravel the mysteries of mental illness and gives voice to contemporary Americans across a spectrum of experiences.

  • Episode

    Evil or Illness

    Treatment of mental illness over history has been trial and error and, today, doctors still search for answers. Follow the story of Cecilia McGough, who struggles with persistent hallucinations and delusions. Learn about Lorina Gutierrez's mysterious condition, referred to as 'Brain on Fire', and Virginia Fuchs, an Olympics-bound boxer living with OCD.

  • Episode

    Who’s Normal

    Learn how science and societal factors are deeply entwined with our ever-shifting definitions and diagnoses of mental health and illness. Follow the stories of Ryan Mains, an Iraq veteran struggling with PTSD, Mia Yamamoto, California’s first openly transgender lawyer, and Michael, a Harlem based pastor and healer living with depression.

  • Episode

    The Rise and Fall of the Asylum

    Until a few decades ago, the United States relied on mass confinement in mental asylums, for the mentally ill, as well as extreme treatments, from lobotomy to coma therapy. Today, at Cook County Jail in Chicago, more than one-third of inmates have a mental health diagnosis. Meet the detainees whose lives hang in the balance and discover the harsh realities of care both in and out of jail.

  • Episode

    New Frontiers

    Look at today’s most cutting-edge treatments for mental illness, and explore one of the most urgent fronts on the battle against mental illness: the fight for inclusion – a society more open to all kinds of minds and behavior, and free from stigma, based on the understanding that mental health exists on a spectrum.

Specials

  • Episode

    Decolonizing Mental Health

    A preview of Decolonizing Mental Health, an original digital series that dismantles the racism underscoring the mental healthcare industry. By focusing its gaze on the transformative work of therapists and individuals of color, it calls for redressal of the ways in which we define psychiatric illness and health.

  • Episode

    Dr. Vivian Jackson | Decolonizing Mental Health

    Having diverse practitioners is an advantage but Dr. Vivian Jackson believes that it doesn't solve the various levels of disparity within mental healthcare. She believes, for services to work, they have to be placed in spaces where they’re received well. Her formulation of 6 As asks questions that provide a holistic approach to tackling the multi-pronged inequity of mental health services.

  • Episode

    Idris Mitchell | Decolonizing Mental Health

    Idris Mitchell did everything there was to do on the Yale campus, until a diagnosis of bipolar disorder made him miss his finals, lose the perfect 4.0 and feel invisible. What does success mean to a Black queer man who had to be kept away from his pens? How does he turn around and adapt to a constant process of grieving for his previous self, while always being in pursuit of beauty and joy?

  • Episode

    Lloyd Hale | Part 1 | Decolonizing Mental Health

    Lloyd Hale was 13 when his first symptoms of schizophrenia appeared. He was smoking too much weed, he was told. Growing up in the projects, the intersecting matrices of race, poverty and incarceration prevented appropriate treatment while the larger society willfully ignored his welfare. Here’s his story of recovery, resilience and refusal to “sleep it off.”

  • Episode

    Lloyd Hale | Part 2 | Decolonizing Mental Health

    Lloyd Hale was 16 when undiagnosed schizophrenia led him to commit a crime that put him in prison. This is where he heard an overworked correction officer say the words that changed his life: “You don’t have to do this alone.” Now, a peer support specialist living in recovery, Lloyd spends his time making sure no one around him feels alone in their struggle against the voices in their heads.

  • Episode

    Natasha Stovall | Decolonizing Mental Health

    For Natasha Stovall, whiteness is the real elephant in the room. Through culturally responsive care, she intends to address the colorblindness and race-agnostic nature of therapy, especially when it comes to white clients. She makes race the touchstone for effective and just therapy which consequently deconstructs the 'whiteness = greatness' fallacy in white psyches.

  • Episode

    Shawna Murray-Browne | Decolonizing Mental Health

    Before Shawna Murray-Browne’s brother was murdered, she dreamt about it. It was a residue from the trauma of seeing so many Black men being killed around her. This turning point in her career as an integrated psychotherapist made her focus on empowering communities of color to access ways of nurture, care, and healing, that the racist-capitalist society keeps away from them.

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