Trouble 17: Mad Worlds

  • Posted on: 5 December 2018
  • By: thecollective


Mental Health in all its complexities is a topic that impacts just about everyone… and yet is rarely talked about. Ableism, rooted in an assumed mental wellness, is prevalent even among communities that fight against other oppressive social norms such as hetero-patriarchy and institutionalized racism. For those of us experiencing depression, psychosis or any other form of madness, our struggles usually remain invisible and unacknowledged until they boil over into full blown crisis. When this happens the massive coercive potential of the state is used to force us back into line. If we are lucky enough to escape the prisons and psych wards that form the double-edged sword of carceral psychology, we are often left traumatized, heavily medicated and likely to face further institutionalization down the road.

In this month’s episode of Trouble, subMedia talks to people who are pushing back against this reality. Refusing to accept the notion that mental unwellness is the result of one person’s brain chemistry they instead recognize the fundamentally social and interconnected nature of people and our problems. Rather than allowing interventions to remain the territory of psychiatrists and police, our guests are reclaiming traditions, experimenting with self-therapy collectives and building relationships rooted in care and trust that form the resilient foundations so necessary for communities engaged in struggle.

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Year 2018
Length 33 Mins
Categories Trouble

Trouble #17: Mad Worlds from sub.Media on Vimeo.



We're either all crazy, or none of us are, that's the fact of being a cognitive being in a crazy world.

(in the first half) isn't really in focus but I think this documentary short's first half is somewhat passe. One masked person seems to want to say that western society is succinctly based on anti-black, capitalist, racist standard foundations and states until those are destroyed there is no actual solution. So here, I'm wondering if the focus on what ails society and the world and the challenges to stability they impose as well as the material conditions being scary vitiates the solution. The documentary indicts the notion of hyper-individualized social life and laments the loss of rituals and traditions that connect us to things that are meaningful to us and help to integrate us stably into a community. The docu appears meant to be for an audience of that society which espouses materialistic values and conventional attitudes rather than those who are deep in the struggle against conformity. It seems like an inversion or maybe more accurately overexposure to hear from mostly/basically stable individuals who are part of the mental health community and pasting images of what it looks like to be in that chaos (drug use, shelters, hospitals, street life/protests, historical injustices). Why not interview more people who are ill or actively emerging through some of the praxises mentioned?? Would that be too awkward or not flow along with the honestly annoying soundtrack? Before the promotion/purchase option at the end, some of the prescriptions given are: understand the history, pros and cons of the mental health system, connect with people who have experienced mental illness, be willing to seek out non-accredited/non-traditional healers, address the social conditions that cause mental unwellness, support less coercive and step-down approaches to cases of mental illness and focus on what you can offer rather than what an individual may need. At the very end, a critical psychiatrist suggests finding non-hierarchical and non-secretive ways of being with one another facilitates success stories and thereby hope for those whom transformative processes have thus far failed in that direction. The end is particularly funny from my jaded perspective. If anything, for me personally, this was at least a general perspective to consider while working out the impulse to start a project that subverts the AA model, which has become more and more unsatisfying in real life, year after year. It seems to suggest though, that by fighting systems of power we're more likely to find access points to alternative communities (sing-alongs, movie screenings, discussion groups, older lifeways perhaps) well, at a glance. For all that though, sorry, it was pretty boring. Hate to end on a down note so

"Hell to the ye-yah and flibbetygibbit good god damn whodathunkit whodoyaknow!"


"rarely talked about" from the first line in the piece. This is a conflated bit of stretch isn't?

How is sanity measured or defined? I find the political and religious leaders and their followers all insane. So madness is/can be, a difficult and obscure mental state to recognise , most adults have some degree of imbalance and instability in their inner chemistry just from diet alone, and add stress from other factors.
Other factors to consider, 1, the body requires adrenaline to flush the physiological susceptibility to the build up of pathological toxins and a weakening of the immunity system.
2, The indoctrination of false beliefs and myths.
3, The neglected dimension in a materialistic culture is in the realm of the spirit and inner emotional framework which is sound and intact at birth when we have been attached closely to the mother beingness and acquired the symbiotic gravity to cling and seek close relationships.
The chasm between the individual and a toxic society is like a gauge that offers a quick diagnosis of the patient, and one sees madness all around, daily, amongst the so-called sane. One should not be dismayed. Even the ones like Stirner were concerned with the sanity of being ones own person, is not this the point where ,from the moment of sane birth the battle to retain ones sanity begins, and to be ones own person, yet at the same time be part of a wider community, without being conforming to any codified behavioral model which destroys and frustrates the sanity of just being ourselves.

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