DiscoverLook Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined
Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

Author: BC Schizophrenia Society

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"Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” is a groundbreaking podcast brought to you by the BC Schizophrenia Society and supporting partners. Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of BCSS, and co-host Melissa McKenna, Marketing and Communications Manager at BCSS, speak with medical experts, families, and people with lived experience of mental illness to dispel myths and get to the truth. Be prepared for frank conversations, up-to-date medical information, immersive sound design, and stories of hope and resilience. This podcast is for anyone whose life has been touched by mental illness. In other words, it’s for everyone.
28 Episodes
Get ready for Season 4 of Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined. This season, we're diving deep into the 'big questions' that families can face during different stages of the mental illness journey. From recognizing initial symptoms to the pursuit of a diagnosis, navigating the complexities of symptoms to the search for effective treatment, and addressing the daunting task of dealing with serious mental illness. Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of the BC Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) along with co-host Melissa McKenna, Marketing and Communications Manager at BCSS, bring you personal stories of individuals living ‘close’ to schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses—providing a unique and personal perspective. That's not all – we talk to experienced researchers and medical professionals across the globe who will shed light on the latest developments in the field. As we unravel these narratives, we'll start to see how they're intertwined with broader questions about the social impact of mental illness and the role it plays in all our lives. The journey begins in the New Year on January 3rd. We invite you to join us. Stay tuned and hit subscribe so you don't miss an episode!See for privacy information.
Does a person's race affect the treatment they may receive for a serious and chronic mental illness? As we have heard through our discussions with experts, people living with schizophrenia, and family members—conscious and unconscious biases can play a huge role in how a person is treated within the health care system. Multiple studies and reports have also illustrated that systemic racism influences access to, and the experience of, mental health care for racialized Canadians. The treatment of serious mental illness for racialized Canadians is a huge topic—not something that can be covered in only one episode—but we’re going to start the conversation today with Dr. Amy Gajaria, a clinician and Associate Director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.Resources:Dr. Amy Gajaria - BioWhat’s race got to do with it? A proposed framework to address racism’s impacts on child and adolescent mental health in CanadaSee for privacy information.
Like any prescription medication, Abilify, Risperdal, Clozapine, and other anti-psychotics have side effects. And like any medication, they are prescribed to help a person manage an illness. Anti-psychotics can help with a number of different illnesses, but often used to help manage a person's symptoms of schizophrenia, including paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. However, there’s a movement that wants to shift mainstream thinking away from using medication to manage the symptoms of a serious mental illness. It's encouraging people to accept and live with the symptoms of serious mental illness, symptoms like voices, hallucinations, and other symptoms. It’s a controversial topic and we’ve brought back a familiar voice from our first season – Dr. Diane McIntosh, Psychiatrist and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. In this episode, we talk about the use of medications in treating serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Resources:Dr. Diane McIntosh - BioBlindsided - Dr. Diane McIntosh's podcastAntipsychotic Selection Is Important for Reduced Nonadherence in SchizophreniaLook Again Season 1, Episode 5: The Truth Behind Psychiatric MedicationAnti-Psychotic Medication - CAMHSee for privacy information.
Television and film like to portray people with schizophrenia as young, white men. And yet, in real life, schizophrenia is not as seen on TV — especially for women. Scientists are now seeing how illnesses like schizophrenia can impact men and women differently, which means more research needs to be done around women and serious mental illnesses. Does this affect women getting an accurate diagnosis or accessing care? And what additional stigma or discrimination might a woman experience?We will cover all of these questions and more with this episode's guest, Dr. Araba Chintoh, associate professor in the University of Toronto's psychiatry department and a Clinician Scientist at the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute in the Schizophrenia Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She's a researcher and clinician committed to exploring the knowledge gaps around treatment resistant schizophrenia, and assessing the differences in the diagnosis, prognosis, adherence, and treatment of psychosis and serious mental illness for women.Resources:Dr. Araba Chintoh's bioWhy is schizophrenia different in women - Discover MagazineWomen and psychosis - CAMHSee for privacy information.
It’s not easy to talk about the effect schizophrenia can have on one’s family members, especially a sibling. It can have a significant emotional, psychological, and physical impact on loved ones, as they balance their love for their family member and the sharme around this disease. In this episode, we have a very honest, frank, and vulnerable conversation with Yusuf Faqiri about his brother Soleiman who lived with schizophrenia until 2016, when he died in an Ontario jail. Yusuf shares his own journey coming to terms with his brother's schizophrenia, the important role his mother played in their family, and how leading with compassion can show us that people are more than their illness.Resources:Family Support Groups- BC Schizophrenia SocietySibling Support Group - BC Schizophrenia SocietyYusuf Faqiri - TwitterYusuf Faqiri Op-ed - The Globe and MailFamily Toolkit - HeretoHelpThe Story of a Family Forever ChangedA Brother's View - Rethink Mental IllnessSee for privacy information.
If you’re the child of a parent who lives with mental illness, you can be faced with a lot of tough challenges. You may feel overwhelmed, sad, scared or even angry. You may resent your parent for not being like the other parents. Or you could also wind up as a caregiver and try to fix everything. In her lifetime, Dr. Grace Cho, author of her memoir Tastes Like War, says she has had three mothers. The mother of her childhood, before schizophrenia. The mother of her adolescence, a woman who is visibly deteriorating mentally. And the mother now, a woman trapped by schizophrenia and the voices and delusions that it brings. In this episode, Dr. Cho reflects on her journey from teenager to adulthood and how her mother’s schizophrenia shaped the direction of her life and her work. She talks about the social factors that left her mother feeling vulnerable and the stigma that prevented her from getting treatment. And how she found a way to build a loving relationship and connect with her mother.Resources:Grace Cho's Book: Tastes Like WarKIC Children's BookletKelty Mental Health Resource CentreSupporting Children of Parents with Mental Illness in the Classroom (Heretohelp)See for privacy information.
While there's no way to predict whether a person with a mental illness will become violent, there's still a common understanding that those diagnosed with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are unpredictably aggressive. This can be seen in how people living with mental illness, substance use, and violence are portrayed through the news, TV, or movies. But these misconceptions can fuel the stigma towards people living with severe and persistent mental illness. How do we address the role that violence plays in the lives of people living with a mental illness and everybody else around them? In this episode, we speak with Dr. Rakesh Lamba, who is the medical director with BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, and someone with a wealth of experience conducting risk assessments with Correctional Services Canada and the Parole Board of Canada.Resources: Schizophrenia - Warning Signs of VoilenceDr. Rakesh Lamba’s bioPHSA Forensic Psychiatric Services See for privacy information.
It is not an easy decision to call the police or an ambulance to take a loved one to a psychiatric facility - all in the hopes that they get the treatment they need and deserve. But sometimes people with an untreated mental illness lose insight into the fact they are ill and will not accept voluntary treatment, even when their illness may be causing harm to themselves or others. The BC Mental Health Act allows people experiencing a serious mental health crisis to get help through involuntary treatment. But what's the impact of that decision on a family member? And what happens to someone once they are admitted to a psychiatric facility? In this episode, you'll meet Vanessa Nelson. Vanessa’s daughter, Mira, was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 18 and is now 22. In these few years, Mira has been involuntarily detained under the BC Mental Health Act many times. This is Vanessa's journey through the twists and turns of her daughter's mental illness and the role involuntary treatment has played in keeping her daughter alive.Resources:BC Mental Health Act in Plain LanguageWhat does it mean to be certified - Here2helpDemystifying the Mental Health Act - Webinar by BCMHSUSSee for privacy information.
In its third season "Look Again: Mental Illness Re-examined" wades into some controversial territory. Launching Oct. 12th, join us every two weeks as we dive into some hot topics -- involuntary treatment, the consequences of refusing medication, how race and gender impacts diagnosis and treatment, just to name a few. Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of the BC Schizophrenia Society (BCSS), challenges you to "look again" and reconsider your beliefs, perceptions and understanding of serious mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia. Expect candid conversations with people living with mental illness and leading experts about the harmful stigma that is still attached to mental illness. No topic is off-limits this season. This podcast is for anyone who wants to keep these discussions alive, and shining a light on how we are all touched by the effects of mental illness—whether we know it or not.See for privacy information.
Most people have seen movies or TV shows that have used schizophrenia as part of their story. But how often do we stop to think about what those representations actually mean or look like? Do they portray the experience of people living with schizophrenia accurately? As studies have shown, schizophrenia is one of the conditions that the general public views most negatively and generates a lot of stigma. Societal stigma is one aspect, but for those living with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, there's an additional challenge of managing their own internalized stigma when it comes to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, there are people living with schizophrenia who are trying to change that. One of those people is Adria Roberts, who works as a mental health peer support worker. It's a job she says gave her hope and helped her regain her life after her diagnosis. In this episode, she shares how she came to terms with her diagnosis.Resources: Lost in Reality: Hearing Voices - Adria Roberts' TEDxChilliwack Talk Read: Into the Eye of the Storm - The Chilliwack Times (pp: 1, 23) Follow Adria on Twitter: @adria_the Watch Adria on CBC's 'You Can’t Ask That' – S2E4: Schizophrenia See for privacy information.
Since we kicked off our second season talking to someone who embraced her diagnosis of schizophrenia — we thought it would only be fitting to end this season with another guest who also doing her own heavy lifting when it comes to educating, creating awareness, and breaking myths about schizophrenia. In this episode, Faydra will be introducing you to Lauren Kennedy. She's a mental health advocate, social worker, wife, a step-mother to two children, and mom to a new baby. But Lauren also lives with schizoaffective disorder. Through her YouTube channel, Living Well with Schizophrenia, Lauren engages with viewers and followers alike as a means to increase knowledge and compassion around schizophrenia. And through it all, she shows there is no shame in having a severe and persistent mental illness., embracing her journey of self-acceptance – flaws and all. Resources for show notes: Living Well with Schizophrenia (website) Living Well with Schizophrenia (YouTube Channel) Living Well with Schizophrenia (Instagram) See for privacy information.
In many cultures around the world, mental illness is still highly stigmatized and rarely talked about. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at how mental illness is viewed and talked about in the South Asian Community, one of the largest ethno-cultural groups in Canada. Talking about mental illness, getting help, or even getting diagnosed is hindered by generational gaps, language barriers, and perceived taboos, just to name a few. In this episode, we’ll hear four voices sharing their personal experiences of serious mental illness within the South Asian Community, and speak to Kulpreet Singh, founder of the South Asian Mental Health Alliance. Since 2010, Kulpreet has been tackling these disparities and trying to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health -- and serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia by leveraging the expertise and influence of second-generation South Asian Canadians. This is going to be an honest talk about how culture can play a role in how mental illnesses are seen and treated, in particular within the South Asian community. Resources for show notes: South Asian Mental Health Alliance Advocates call for more targeted mental health support for South Asian Community during pandemic (CBC News) Silence on mental illness nearly killed Karandeep Gill. Now her honest is helping others (CTV News) Need to Culturally Adapt and Improve Access to Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions for Canadian South-Asians: A Call to Action (Community Journal of Mental Health) See for privacy information.
Schizophrenia. It's neither new nor rare and in fact it's existed for centuries — and it's the one mental illness that seems to be synonymous with madness. And despite being around for a long time, virtually everything we know about schizophrenia has been learned in the past 200 years — and mostly in the later parts of the 20th and 21st centuries. With the help of Dr. Adrian Preda, this episode takes us on a brief historical journey of schizophrenia – from then to now – and the stigma that exists around it. Dr. Preda is a psychiatrist and professor at the University of California, Irvine Medical Centre, School of Medicine whose clinical work and research focuses on schizophrenia and other psychotic and cognitive disorders. In December 2020 Dr. Preda wrote an article about the concepts of schizophrenia highlighting the historical debate on one particular theory around “lumpers” and “splitters”. Resources for show notes: Adrian Preda -- Biography The Schizophrenia Concept Timeline Highlights Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox Krapelin Revisted: Schizophrenia from Degeneration to Failed Regeneration Eugen Bleuler and the Schizophrenias: 100 Years After The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease by Jonathan Metzl The Troubled History of Schizophrenia: How Race Shaped An Illness (NAMI Presentation) See for privacy information.
Throughout this season, we have taken a deeper look into serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, and dived in headfirst to talk to professionals and family members about the subject. But what if I told you that symptoms of schizophrenia are also experienced by people with autism? Even more revealing, people with autism are at a higher risk of developing schizophrenia. If a person has both a developmental disability and a mental health problem, such as schizophrenia, they have a dual diagnosis. Research has shown that 70% of people with autism have at least one mental health problem, with 50% having two or more. Today, many professionals in the autism community are calling for a change to how they approach clinical care. Some believe that mental health assessments should be an integral part of treating people with autism. And no one understands the value behind these assessments as well as the difficulty of getting a proper diagnosis more than our guest Dr. Stephanie Ameis from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Ameis is a clinician scientist, psychiatrist, and Associate Director at the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression. Dr. Ameis specializes in neuro-imaging, which is taking detailed pictures of the brain using MRI scans. And through her research, she hopes to better understand how to improve their mental health journeys. But for patients with both autism and Schizophrenia, this can be difficult since their symptoms are so similar. Signs of early schizophrenia can be mistaken for pre-existing autistic behaviours and with the added stress of the pandemic, many are left struggling to cope with their new mental health problems. We'll be getting into that and a whole lot more in this episode. Resources for show notes: Stephanie Ameis – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) The Social Ties Between Autism and Schizophrenia (Spectrum News) Autism Spectrum Disorder and Schizophrenia Are Better Differentiated by Positive Symptoms Than Negative Symptoms. (Frontiers in Psychiatry, June 2020) See for privacy information.
A Family Forever Changed

A Family Forever Changed


People learn from personal experiences. 1 out of 100 live with schizophrenia and until host Faydra Aldridge's sister was diagnosed with it, she thought it was something that only happened to others. But it isn’t, it's something that happened to and affected her family and affects almost every one of us in some way either directly or indirectly. This episode is a little different as you'll get to be a part of a very real and candid conversation between Faydra and her mother Linda as they revisit the impact of Carissa Lynn's mental illness on her and her family. Resources for show notes: Learn more about BCSS Family Support Groups Listen to the “Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” episodes touching on anosognosia See for privacy information.
Researchers have estimated that about 80 percent of the risk for developing Schizophrenia is hereditary and yet that doesn't mean people with that genetic component in their family history will actually develop the disorder. Sometimes Schizophrenia risk increases through a random mutation that is not passed from parent to child. In this episode, we'll be looking at the role genetics plays in the development and onset of Schizophrenia. Is it all about your genes? Or are there other potential risks that can trigger it? To help answer some of these questions we'll be talking to two people — Dr. Robert Stowe, a behavioural neurologist in the UBC Neuropsychiatry Program and a member of the Genetic Testing Task Force of the International Society for Psychiatry Genetics; and Courtney Cook, who works as a genetics counsellor on UBC's MAGERS project. Resources for show notes: Dr. Robert Stowe: Metabolic and Genetic Explorations in Refractory Schizophrenia (MAGERS) Project (2021) Genetic Counselling at Adapt Clinic GenCOUNSEL: Genetic Counsellors and Geneticists for privacy information.
Hidden In Plain Sight

Hidden In Plain Sight


Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. In particular, the cognitive losses that can be associated with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Anosognosia is a medical term meaning 'to not know a disease.' This occurs for people with brain injuries as well as mental illness, and means someone is literally unaware of their own mental health condition or they can't see it accurately. This lack of insight is not a rejection of a diagnosis or denial because they don’t want to face the facts, but an honest inability to consciously to see and understand that their behaviours and experiences are indicators of something wrong. While it's a common symptom, it's also one of the more difficult aspects to understand for those who have never experienced it. What causes anosognosia? How do people put their hands up and ask for help if they can't see it? What are the cognitive losses associated with schizophrenia and what can people do about them? These are some of the questions we'll be tackling on this episode with Dr. Mahesh Menon, a clinical psychologist with Vancouver Coastal Health, and based at the BC Psychosis Program and the Mood Disorders Program at UBC Hospital. Additional Resources Mahesh Menon Bio ( Anosognosia ( Eliminating Barriers to the Treatment of Mental Illness ( Lack of Insight Into One's Mental Illness or Anosognosia ( Cognitive Remediation Programs in BC ( “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” – book by Dr. Xavier Amador ( “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” – TedTalk by Dr. Xavier Amador ( Cognitive Losses in Schizophrenia ( See for privacy information.
It Could Be Me...

It Could Be Me...


Mental illness touches everyone's lives, whether we want to admit it or not. And yet, mental illnesses like schizophrenia are rarely discussed publicly. That lack of conversation is what our guest is hoping to change. Meet Michelle Hammer, a mental health advocate, entrepreneur and graphic designer. She challenges the idea that schizophrenia should be hidden and hush-hush with bold eye-catching designs. Michelle shares her personal journey around mental illness, what it looks like to let everyone know you have schizophrenia and how she started her Schizophrenic.NYC to start conversations about mental illnesses. No topic is off-limits for this native New Yorker. Schizophrenic.NYC: Instagram: YouTube: Twitter: @SchizophrenicNY --- MORE on the important distinction between identity-first vs. person-first language Language Matters: Mental Health Commission of Canada (2020) Saying ‘person with schizophrenia,’ not ‘schizophrenic,’ can affect clinician beliefs, study finds for privacy information.
Brought to you by the BC Schizophrenia Society and supporting BC Partner organizations, "Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” returns for a second season this fall beginning October 27. This time the podcast goes deeper with the subjects we tackle, the guests we talk to and the research we dive into — we're pushing you to really look at what it's like to live with mental illness. Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of BCSS, will speak with medical experts, family members, and people with lived experiences of mental illness. Not only will there be focus on the personal, but the clinical and the cutting-edge research. It's real conversations with real people — breaking down stereotypes on how mental illness is viewed, researched, and treated.See for privacy information.
It's not easy to live with a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia, and the future sometimes seems daunting and hopeless. But many people living with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, are able to lead full and rewarding lives. It may not be what one imagined, but then life never is. In this episode, host Faydra Aldridge speaks with Erin Emiru, a scientist and young mother who has Schizophrenia, about what’s it like to live with this disorder that may be “incurable” -- but definitely treatable. There are many journeys through mental illness, and there is so much cause for hope. Today on Look Again -- hope is what it’s all about.  Erin Hawkes Emiru Bio When Quietness Came, a Neuroscientist's Personal Journey with Schizophrenia When Neurons Tell Stories A Layman's Guide to the Neuroscience of Mental Illness and Health Courage to Come Back Awards - List of 2019 Award Recipients See for privacy information.
Comments (1)

Shiela Bishop

I love this Podcast. Please post more.

Aug 28th
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