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Are We All A Little Psychopathic?

By NPR Staff | 02/06/2013

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unquiet Mind.

About Jon Ronson's Talk

Is there a definitive line that divides "crazy" from sane? With a hair-raising delivery, Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, illuminates the gray areas between the two. His talk includes live-mixed sound by Julian Treasure and animation by Evan Grant.

About Jon Ronson

Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker who dips into every flavor of madness, extremism and obsession. In his latest book, The Psychopath Test, he explores the unnerving world of psychopaths — a group that includes both incarcerated killers and, one of his subjects insists, plenty of CEOs. In his books, films and articles, Ronson explores madness and obsession of all kinds, from the U.S. military's experiments in psychic warfare to the obscene and hate-filled yet Christian rap of the Insane Clown Posse. He wrote a column for The Guardian and hosted an essay program on Radio 4, and contributes to This American Life.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Where Do Mental Illness And Creativity Meet?

By NPR Staff | 02/06/2013

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unquiet Mind.

About Joshua Walters' TED Talk

Comedian Joshua Walters, who's bipolar, walks the line between mental illness and mental "skillness." He asks: What's the right balance between medicating craziness away, and riding the manic edge of creativity and drive?

About Joshua Walters

Walters is a comedian, poet, educator and performer, whose work explores language, creativity, beatboxing and madness. He incorporates elements of spoken word and beatbox into his shows in a mashup of comedy, intimate reflection and unpredictable antics. In the past two years, Walters has performed in theaters and universities throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East. His eclectic combination of performance disciplines and his activity as an educator in mental health have given him a national platform and audience. In 2002, he co-founded the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance Young Adults chapter in San Francisco, one of the few support groups in the country that's specifically for mentally ill young adults. As a facilitator, Walters developed humor to address the subject of mental illness, reframing it as a positive. Walters speaks as a mental health educator, and has engaged in mental health advocacy at conventions and in classrooms nationwide.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

What's It Like To Have A Psychotic Episode?

By NPR Staff | 02/06/2013

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unquiet Mind.

About Elyn Saks' TED Talk

"Is it OK if I totally trash your office?" It's a question Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn't a joke. A legal scholar, Saks came forward in 2007 with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassionately.

About Elyn Saks

Saks asks bold questions about how society treats people with mental illness. As a mental health law scholar and writer, she speaks for the rights of mentally ill people. It's a gray area: Too often, society's first impulse is to make decisions on their behalf. But it's a slippery slope from in loco parentis to a denial of basic human rights. Saks has brilliantly argued for more autonomy — and in many cases, for a restoration of basic human dignity.

In 2007, deep into her career, she dropped a bombshell — her autobiography, The Center Cannot Hold. In it, she reveals the depth of her own schizophrenia, now controlled by drugs and therapy. Clear-eyed and honest about her own condition, the book lent her new ammunition in the quest to protect the rights and dignity of the mentally ill.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.