Not As Crazy As You Think Podcast  By  cover art

Not As Crazy As You Think Podcast

By: Jen Gaita Siciliano
  • Summary

  • Mental Health is attainable for anyone--especially those labeled with mental illness. Join artist, memoir writer, and bipolar psychiatric survivor, Jen Gaita Siciliano, as she challenges our world's current limited understanding of mental illness in interviews with artists, healers, educators and shamans, who offer fresh perspectives on mental health and creativity. Episodes also include Jen's personal writing on living as a bipolar creative, as well as news commentary that exposes psychiatry as an incompatible paradigm with the true landscape of the human mind. If you are ready for a new narrative on the mental realm in a place that celebrates crazy and cool without penalty, then Not As Crazy As You Think is for you!

    © 2024 Not As Crazy As You Think Podcast
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Episodes
  • Journeys Beyond the Frontier: On Treating and Interacting with Psychosis, A Conversation with Psychiatrist Mark Ragins (S5, E17)
    Dec 27 2023

    In the episode, "Journeys Beyond the Frontier: On Treating and Interacting with Psychosis, A Conversation with Psychiatrist Mark Ragins (S5, E17)" I connect with Mark at the ISPS Conference at the University of Delaware where he was giving a talk, on the subject of psychosis and how those who suffer with it are treated by the medical field. Mark has a humanistic and compassionate approach when dealing with those who are sometimes the most feared and avoided characters in the area of mental illness, those with severe mental illness (SMI), and particularly psychosis. He invites in a new paradigm of relating to these patients, and views them as people, not diagnoses. In his embracing of using personal narrative to tell one's own story, he unveils a certain path to get to the healing: making meaning of own's own life in their own words.   

     Learn more about Mark at:  markragins.com

    Mark Ragins, MD was the Medical Director for 27 years at the Mental Health America Village in Long Beach, California, an award-winning model of recovery based mental health services, before leaving in 2017 to become the only campus psychiatrist at CSULB and in 2022 joined the Department of Health Services mobile clinics and street medicine teams working with homeless people on the streets throughout LA county.

     His recent book, Journeys Beyond the Frontier: A Rebellious Guide to Psychosis and Other Extraordinary Experiences, is based on the true stories of more than 30 years of clinical work with some of the most underserved and difficult to engage people in our community. A true pioneer and leader of person-centered, recovery-based psychiatry, Mark has also won a number of awards in his field, including the American Psychiatric Association’s Arnold Van Amerigan Award in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s John Beard award for his outstanding lifetime contribution to psychiatric rehabilitation, and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California’s recovery practitioner of the year.

    #mentalhealth #mentalillness #psychosis #livedexperience #psychsurvivor #unhoused #homelessness #substanceabuse

    Please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.com
    Don't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJen
    Connect:
    Instagram: @ jengaita 
    LinkedIn: @ jensiciliano
    Twitter: @ jsiciliano


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    41 mins
  • The New Language of Neurodiversity, Decolonization, Depathologization: On Location at the ISPS Conference with Six Voices on a Mission (S5, E16)
    Nov 28 2023

    In the episode, "The New Language of Neurodiversity, Decolonization, Depathologization: On Location at the ISPS Conference with Six Voices on a Mission (S5, E16)," I go on location to connect with The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS), which is a pioneering organization with almost 70 years of advocating for transformative psychosocial understandings and approaches to psychosis that restore personhood, dignity, and well-being. The weekend-long conference held at the University of Delaware from October 27th-29th gathered clinicians, researchers, advocates, and people with lived experience, who are deeply invested in advancing psychological and social approaches to “psychosis,” while moving beyond frameworks of deficit and disease.

    Connecting with a community of likeminded individuals, who recognize that the mental health system needs transformation beyond the biomedical paradigm was a riveting experience. In the following interview, I speak with six speakers at the event who give a message of hope and hold a more humane vision for an alternative mental health paradigm.

    Vesper Moore is an indigenous political activist, leader, organizer, public speaker and educator in the psychiatric survivor and Disability Rights Movements. Vesper has brought the perspectives of mad, labeled "mentally ill," neurodivergent, disabled people and survivors to national and international spaces. Vesper works with both the US government and the United Nations in shaping strategies around trauma, intersectionality, and disability rights.

    Dr. Calvin Chatlos is professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, with certification in adult, child and adolescent, and addiction psychiatry. Dr. Chatlos has presented at national and international conferences and is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

     Since 2007, Sean Blackwell has been researching and teaching about the spiritual dimension and healing potential of bipolar disorder. His book, "Am I Bipolar, or Waking Up?," published in 2011, describes his own bipolar awakening, subsequent hospitalization, and complete recovery in 1996. Follow Sean on YouTube or at his website: bipolarawakenings.com.

    Oryx Cohen is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Empowerment Center. He serves as president of the board for the Massachusetts Transformation Center and We R H. O. P. E., and is a master Emotional CPR trainer. Oryx co-produced and is a subject in the award-winning social action documentary Healing Voices, which was released in April 2016. You can follow his message on Instagram and on Tik Tok @ NECempowers.

    South African Joshua Roberts combines his lived experience, with his Bachelors of Psychology and Masters in Theology to create a synergy between the inner / outer worlds. He's the COO of Inspired Mind Mental Health and works with NAMI and the National Empowerment Center. Josh's website is: InspiredMindMentalHealth.com Follow Josh on: Instagram,  LinkedIn or YouTube.

    Mija Bradford is a clinical therapist working in private practice since she graduated from Northwestern University Counseling Program in 2021.  At six, Mija was introduced to the subtler energies in life and answered the healer's calling. Mija comes from a lineage of African diaspora healers that have suffered from collective generational trauma. 


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    1 hr and 46 mins
  • An Interview with Tanya Frank, Author of Zig-Zag Boy: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood (S5, E15)
    Oct 17 2023

    In the episode, "An Interview with Tanya Frank, Author of Zig-Zag Boy: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood (S5, E15)," Tanya lends her powerful voice to the show, sharing her insight and experience with the mental health industry.  Tanya’s association with the mental health system began in 2009 when Zach, Tanya’s son, was diagnosed in 2009 after his first episode with hearing voices.  Both Zach and Tanya were not happy with the treatment offered, and Tanya opens up about his forced drugging and coercive hospitalization, as well as the alternative treatments that lent hope and relief. 

    Tanya also shares differences and similarities in mental health approaches to treatment between the US, the UK, and other nations that are moving onto a more compassionate path, who utilize programs such as Open Dialogue and the Soteria Network.  Tanya acts as an advocate for families with experience of psychosis and stresses the importance of such support. While she acknowledges the power of the institution, she sees a new revolution emerging, consisting of a growing movement of critics of the status quo, as more people come forward to share their own stories and challenge the current paradigm. Tanya’s compassionate perspective and courageous heart gives hope to all who have lost faith in a system, that for so many survivors, not only proved unhelpful but aggressively harmful. Tanya’s book is so beautifully written with honesty, rawness, and openness, and her presence on the podcast is equally moving and enlightening. 

    To buy Tanya's book, go to:
     https://www.amazon.com/Zig-Zag-Boy-Memoir-Madness-Motherhood/dp/0393531880

    Bio:
    Tanya Frank gained her MFA in Creative NonFiction at the University of California, Riverside. Her debut book, ZIG ZAG BOY: MOTHERHOOD, MADNESS & LETTING GO (Spring 2023) was an editors pick in the New York Times Review of Books. Tanya currently lives in London where she teaches and mentors writers with lived experience of psychosis. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The Washington Post and in various literary journals. She is the recipient of a 2022 Develop Your Creative Practice Award from the Arts Council England.

    To learn more about Tanya, go to her website at: https://www.tanyafrank.com/
    or follow her on Twitter: @TanFrankUK

    #mentalhealth #mentalillness #psychosis #bigpharma #forceddrugging #livedexperience #psychsurvivor #forcedhospitalization #schizoaffective #DSM #ZigzagBoy

    Please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.com
    Don't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJen
    Connect:
    Instagram: @ jengaita 
    LinkedIn: @ jensiciliano
    Twitter: @ jsiciliano

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    1 hr and 18 mins

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