Asylum Magazine (Volume 27 No 1) Spring 2020

ASYLUM is a big fan of Madlove. Madlove is a big idea. Genuine asylum, designed by people who have experienced the mental health system, is close to our hearts and roots. So, we are delighted to feature an update about this exciting project.

As well as spreading the Madlove around, Asylum is also a space for dialogue and debate. Samei Huda has become a thorn in the side of psychiatric critics and, in this issue, he takes the critical psychiatry movement to task. To promote discussion, we invited friends of Asylum, Joanna Moncrieff and Duncan Double, who are also members of the Critical Psychiatry Network, to respond.

Meanwhile, psychiatry continues to come under scrutiny. Peter Beresford suggests there might be a disturbing alliance between right-wing populist politics and psychiatric thinking. Rupert Whitaker highlights how 18th century psychiatry still pervades 21st century services. John Zurn urges us to recognise the ‘secret suffering’ which continues to be hidden in, and by, the mental health system. At the policy level, Matt Smith makes a case for a Universal Basic Income to address structural inequalities underpinning public suffering.

In a moving personal account, Eleanor Higgins makes sense of her own experience of madness and those who supported her. In lighter pieces, regular contributors, ‘Alastor Nemesis’ and Mark Bertram pay tribute to memorable characters who feature in their own versions of ‘recovery’. Sonia Soans reflects on  the teachings of a discredited psychologist and Darcy Leigh records her involvement in organising two Mad activist groups.

Whilst some people organise, others express their activism through other means. Asylum continues to be enriched by a diverse range of creative contributions, including graphics and poetry. We conclude this issue with a review of Shy Radicals, a ground-breaking book about another big idea and a new kind of politics. Asylum magazine shares its aim of creating space for a quieter, but no less radical, mental health politics.

Download Volume 27 No 1



5 years of Madlove – The Vacuum Cleaner (AKA James Leadbitter)    ***SAMPLE ARTICLE***

Critical Psychiatry – Dead Ends and Avenues of Opportunity  –  Ahmed Samei Huda     

In Defence of Critical Psychiatry – Joanna Moncrieff and Duncan Double            

A fond memory of squatter’s rights and a funny High Court Judge – Mark Bertram   

Encountering the Other Side of Madness – Eleanor Higgins           

The Mental Health Case for Universal Basic IncomeMatt Smith      ***SAMPLE ARTICLE

It snipped at my heart

The Secret Suffering of the Mentally Ill  – John F Zurn     

Letter – Chris Andrews             

The Messiness of Mad Organising – Darcy Leigh    

What is it like teaching Eysenck in 2020? – Sonia Soans    

STRAIGHT JACKET – Reviewed by Dolly Sen            

FROGS FOR PATTI SMITH – Reviewed by William Park        

THE MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY – Reviewed by Jeremy Spandler

The Psychiatrisation of Politics  – Peter Beresford   

Poems – David Icenogle, Frankie Konieczki, Mark A.Murphy and Steve Popkin             

18th Century Psychiatry in 21st Century Courts: Has much really changed? – Rupert Whitaker           

Dexter, the Serial Killer CPN – Alastor Nemesis          

SHY RADICALS – Reviewed by Ian Parker          

Sample articles

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