how mad are you?

How Mad Are You?BBC Horizon’s version of the 21st century’s most popular parlour game …Guess My Diagnosis!

Staged like a “reality” TV show, ten volunteers are whisked away to Hever castle in south of England, to participate in a series of “tests” supervised by Resident Psychologist Dr Peter Kindermann.

Five of the participants have a history of  living with a diagnosis of mental illness , five have none.

Lurking furtively in the shaddows are a panel of three learned experts whose role is to guess which of the ten have a diagnosis and which do not..

And guess what? they get it wrong at least as often as they get it right…

So, if the experts get it wrong how come we think we’re right when we do it on even less evidence?

I dare  you to watch  this two hours without getting sucked into the game…go on, time yourself, see how long you can resist.

Thing is, this kind of medicalised, diagnostic thinking and labelling of human behaviour – both each others’ and our own – is now becoming so all-pervasive in our culture that it is difficult to recognise the extent to which we do do it…

We’re at risk of seeing each other not as human beings but as walking collections of symptoms and diagnoses: and one diagnosis is never  enough -being human is w to be seen as  some curious curation categorised collection of comorbid  diagnoses and disorders.

And according to the bigbookofmentaldisorders there is now no human behaviour that is not classifiable as some kind of “disorder” -Yes folks it’s truly inclusive – we’re all in there somewhere.

What a strange species we’re becoming that we think this way and regard each other in this way.

Mad, eh?



How Mad Are You?

BBC Horizon 2008,  two parts..
part 1


part 2

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This entry was posted in anxiety, compulsive behaviours, making sense of "mental illlness", mania & depression, obssessve thoughts, The Mad Ones and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to how mad are you?

  1. Fascinating! And the volunteers were such wonderful examples of how people with a “mental illness” can function superbly.


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