NAVIGATING THE SPACE BETWEEN BRILLIANCE AND MADNESS

Sascha Altman DuBrul has been documenting and fomenting underground culture and radical people’s movements since he was a young teenager.  From the anarchist squatter community in New York City to the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico, to the Earth First! road blockades of the Pacific Northwest to the rise of the Global Justice Movement, he’s been a pioneer in urban farming and creative mental health advocacy. He is the co-founder of the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library and the Icarus Project, a radical community support network and media project that’s actively redefining the language and culture of mental health and illness with over 12,000 members and dozens of peer based supports groups all over the world. http://theicarusproject.net.  Among certain crowds he is well known as the bass player of the classic 90s punk band Choking Victim.

Sascha Altman DuBrul From Burning Man to Bellevue Hospital

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September 9, 2014

Every year around this time my thoughts turn to my friends participating in Burning Man. Burning Man is founded on these 10 principles. Stories I have heard over the years have often made me wonder when and how society condones public displays of madness. Stories from burners have often reminded me of some of my own emotional crises, and I wonder about expeditioning to places where what would be called madness by a psychiatrist may be completely normal, acceptable, and encouraged.
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Sascha Altman DuBrul Making Sense of Being Crazy in a Crazy World: A Community Poll

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December 27, 2013

Hey Mad in America Community! Happy New Year! I want to share an exciting project with you that’s going on at The Icarus Project. Members of The Icarus project have been imagining maps and roads and labyrinths that would lead us in our journey and ground us in the moment. These have been called “wellness maps” or “mad maps” – reminder documents we create for ourselves and the people around us about our wellness goals, warning signs, strategies for health and who we trust to look out for our best interests when we’re not at our best. As I’ve been saying for years, “The act of figuring out what it means personally to be healthy is about learning to leave a trail back to how we want to be. The clearer we articulate it, the easier it is to get back there.”
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Sascha Altman DuBrul Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness: A Counter-Narrative of Psychic Diversity

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November 5, 2013

It was an awesome experience to give a TEDx Talk at my old school, because, frankly, it was an acknowledgement by an elite institution that I’ve done something in my life worth listening to. I hope you appreciate my talk and share it with others. So many people who are affected by the mental health system in North America today have no idea how much the rise of the DSM and biopsychiatry has to do with the Reagan era and neoliberal economic policies that reshaped the whole language and culture of mental health. It’s like a bulldozed neighborhood with shiny new buildings, after a while people forget how they got there and they just seem “normal.”
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Categorized in: Blogs, Featured Blogs, Non-drug Approaches, Recovery/Empowerment, Videos

Sascha Altman DuBrul I Talked About Mad in America on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show!

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April 24, 2013

Hey I did an interview this morning on WNYC about my new book, Maps to the Other Side, and told the thousands of listeners to check out the Mad in America website if they want strong and articulate views on what’s happening in the world of mental health. I have this exciting feeling that the Icarus Project underground culture is breaking up out of the pavement and crossing paths with the mainstream. Check out the interview here and tell me what you think!
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Sascha Altman DuBrul Making Plans for the Long Flight –

Re-visioning Icarus’ Next 10 Years

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April 5, 2013

It’s been the kind of contemplative, hibernating winter that’s left us ready for an action-packed spring. Jacks and I spent two months living in a little house in the woods finishing our first solo books and revising the classic Icarus text Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness
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Categorized in: Blogs, Community, Featured Blogs, Non-drug Approaches, Recovery/Empowerment

Sascha Altman DuBrul Icarus Project Celebrates Our 10th Anniversary with Visions of Paradigm Shifts in Mental Health Culture

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September 7, 2012

We’ve managed not only to survive with our scar songs, mad wisdom, and crooked beauty, but by 2012 to grow into an international community of activists, artists, healers, scholars, lovers, fighters, and dreamers!
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Sascha Altman DuBrul A Collective Human Potential Movement

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July 16, 2012

A Mental Health Recovery Movement is a good start, but frankly I am more interested in a movement that uses the language of “transformation,” a movement that recognizes the powerful of our collective potential to transform the world, that isn’t willing to compromise our visions of a better world, has the ability to capture many people’s imaginations, and is capable of building coalitions across many boundaries.
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Sascha Altman DuBrul Mad Pride and Spiritual Community: Thoughts on The Spiritual Gift of Madness

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May 13, 2012

Let our Mad Pride movement be grounded in humility and kindness for each other in our diversity of life experiences, a recognition that social movements need good communicators and organizers more than charismatic leaders and messianic visions, and that the beautiful language we use to describe ourselves is only as powerful as the grounded actions we take to back up our words.
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Categorized in: Answering the Critics, Bipolar, Blogs, Community, Uncategorized

Sascha Altman DuBrul Generative Narratives and the Counterculture Psychiatrists

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March 6, 2012

For outsiders like me who are really critical of mainstream psychiatry, the first thing to understand is that “community psychiatry” is a counterculture within the larger culture of biomedical psychiatry. When I say “counterculture” I don’t mean these people had flowers in their hair or face piercings.
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Sascha Altman DuBrul Unraveling the Biopsychiatric Knot: the Future History of the Radical Mental Health Movement

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February 7, 2012

I did the research for this article to try and make sense of this story I carry around with me about being someone who is seen as mad, who struggles with what this society considers a serious “brain disorder.” My hope is that by the time you finish reading my words you will have more tools to analyze this hyper-complicated world around you.
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Sascha Altman DuBrul A Counter Narrative for Psychic Diversity

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January 7, 2012

This is a paper I recently wrote for Prescott College with the help of my friend and mentor, Dr. Bradley Lewis. I’m finishing up my BA degree after many years in the school of life, and it’s been very gratifying …
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Sascha Altman DuBrul Happy New Year From The Icarus Project!

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January 2, 2012

I want to begin by thanking Bob Whitaker for the invitation to blog on this site. I am honored to find myself amidst this fascinating cast of characters. I hope to be something like a cultural emissary from the world …
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