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You know it feels like I’m going insane
I’ve done everything you told me to take away the pain
And then you change my medication again
Getting harder to tell just who or what’s insane...

— The Levellers

What can one expect to find in the Madhouse? Well, madness, of course. Various views of what constitutes sanity and insanity, the experiences of both, and strategies for coping. Of particular interest here are ecopsychology — the theory that our personal and cultural madness may be rooted in alienation from nature; mood disorders such as depression and anxiety; activist burnout and how to deal with it; and the culturally relative nature of many of our definitions of “mental illness”.

Too many web sites that address the topic of madness fall into one of two polarized categories: self-help or family support sites, which are generally completely uncritical of mainstream psychiatry and unquestioning of the medical model of mental illness; and radically anti-psychiatry sites which, while often insightful in their critiques of the mental health system, are notably short on viable alternatives for people struggling with very real problems.

The Madhouse will be neither of these. I want this to be a place where people can find both challenging ideas and practical coping strategies. Nothing is off-limits — neither mainstream resources nor radical critique. The only absolute criterion is that everything remain rooted in, and truthful to, personal experience.

The Madhouse can be viewed as a stand-alone site, but it is also part of a larger entity called Wild Ideas, an online celebration of the Wild in all its forms, from the familiar sense of wilderness and wild nature, to looser interpretations in the contexts of spirituality, sexuality, politics and consciousness. It's the newest area of Wild Ideas, and is still quite underdeveloped at the moment, but will be expanding as time goes on.

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Regarding navigation, the menu at the top, just below the title graphic, shows the other areas of Wild Ideas. The menu at left shows the different sections of the Madhouse (note: right now, there isn't much more to the Madhouse than this page and the Web Reviews).


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