Barriers of the Mind
More and more Australians are experiencing the effects of mental illness, either directly or indirectly. One Australian in ten will receive treatment in a psychiatric hospital during his or her life. Every day a hundred people attempt suicide. This series sets out to show, in an informative and sensitive way, what mental illness is, its effects and the most common treatments.
Ep 1 - Getting Anxious
This episode introduces common terms and explains them, including the differences between psychiatrists and psychologists. It also examines the way in which abnormal anxiety can effect people's lives. It concentrates on problems such as phobias and obsessions, and examines the work done to help people with specific problems such as agrophobia. The program also examines treatment methods such as Cognitive/ Behavioural Theraphy and Psychotherapy, and features the work of both Sydney and Brisbane hospitals.
Ep 2 - Depression
This program looks at the concept of depression as an illness and examines how it can be caused by stress or result from apparent abnormalities in brain biochemistry. It features behavioural, drug and electric shock treatment as practised in both Sydney and Brisbane Hospitals and psychiatrists give their reasons for choosing one treatment over another. Chronic depressives talk about their experiences, both in terms of the illness itself and its side effects.
Ep 3 - Schizophrenia
Examines the devastating mental illness of schizophrenia where people are often driven mad by delusions and hallucinations which break their contact with reality. It examines the experiences of schizophrenics in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and the various dilemmas which are encountered because of the heavy drug treatment used against the complaint.
Ep 4 - Putting People Away
A look at how the health care system for treating mental illness has developed because of the introduction of drug treatment in the 1950s. It traces the move away from custodial style mental institution to the more relaxed psychiatric unit often found in modern hospitals. It also examines the consequences on important issues connected with mental illness, such as the conflict between involuntary treatment and civil liberties. Patients in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, who have either been treated involuntarily, or are currently being treated against their will comment - as do their doctors.
Ep 5 - Summing Up
Huw Evans and series producer Mark Hamlyn chair a discussion on the series and on psychiatry in general. Others taking part are Dr. Larry Evans and Dr. John Grigor, and a panel consisting of Jan Eastgate (Citizens Committee on Human Rights); Jean Suluma (SOMA); Meg Smith (Manic-Depressive Self-help Group); Dr. Greg Woods, QC (Public Defender's Office); and Shane Rendalls (PALA Society).
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