Asylum is a quarterly produced radical mental health magazine.
Asylum Summer 2021 includes a number of powerful reflections on extreme states of distress.
Paul Rousseau’s Fragmented diary of seven weeks provides a powerful insight into the experience of depression and near suicide. In Healing from Dissociation, Sam Ruck tells us about supporting his wife’s ‘multiple personalities’ whilst staying out of the mental health system. This provides a stark counterpoint to Caught in a Trap where Liam Kirk explains what happened when he took part in a psychiatric trial to try and come off anti-psychotics. A case of psychiatric sabotage perhaps?
In Disorder, my arse! J Hamilton urges us to reject the language of disorder, in favour of seeing survivors as ‘re-ordering’ our personalities, in the content of adverse life events. Drawing on her own experience, Emma Goude sees psychosis as a ‘soul process’; an idea reflected both in a brief piece by Michael Rush – co-direction of the Spiritual Crisis Network – and in Ann Carroll’s writing on her soul companion, the Man in the Moon.
Claire Barnard compares the current focus on well-being to an advertising campaign, whilst Kate Quinn tells us about Heavy Metal Therapy, an alternative ‘anti-wellness’ project. WY Elegans, in his piece on mental health helplines, describes how another widely promoted approach can have limitations where structural issues go unaddressed. We include two important pieces on the Black Lives Matter movement and the criminal justice system by Bruce Saunders and Jerome Sewell. Dorothy Gould writes about a recently founded group – Liberation – calling for full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD).
Adrienne Wilkinson introduces our latest selection of poetry, drawing out themes of transformation.A recent book by Ann Lund prompts Phil Virden to revisit Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy‘. This issue also includes reports of an event on psychedelics and madness, the Stop SIM campaign, and a new project on radical mental health zines. Finally, our readers have unearthed two new hidden gems too. Please keep them coming!
Disorder, My Arse! – J. Hamilton
News and Reports
Heavy Metal Therapy and ‘Anti-wellness’ – Kate Quinn *** SAMPLE ARTICLE ***
Well-being? Well-Bleurgh! – Claire Barnard
Welcome Psychosis – Emma Goude
A Voice in the Silence – Michael J. Rush
Near Suicide: A Fragmented Diary of 7 weeks – Paul Rousseau *** SAMPLE ARTICLE ***
The Man on the Moon – Ann Carroll
Full Human Rights for People with Mental Health Diagnoses – Dorothy Gould
Book Review – A User’s Guide to Melancholy – Phil Virden
Hidden Gems: Reader’s suggestions
Healing from Dissociation – Sam Ruck
Who you gonna call? – WY Elegans
Compulsory – Mieke Lippstreu
Caught in a Trap – Liam Kirk *** SAMPLE ARTICLE ***
I Can’t Breathe either – Bruce E. Saunders
Black History and the Struggle to Free Our Minds – Jerome Sewell