I was very deeply touched interviewing Grainne Humphry about her former partner John Hunt’s ongoing incarceration in the Irish psychiatric system, and about her own struggles with extreme states. Grainne was herself swept up in madness after working as a successful punk rock musician led to a downward spiral of recreational drugs and sleep deprivation. In her psychotic state she could have suffered even worse were it not for the loving acceptance of her family. They guided her back to health with ongoing faith in her capacity to learn and grow from the experience — in sharp contrast to what happened to her partner John, who did not have a supportive family and comes from a less privileged background. Grainne was courageous to do this interview: I was struck by her strong love for John and her very deep sensitivity to the violence she has witnessed him undergo in the name of treatment. She is a shining spirit and an example of a caring family member. Let us all lend our hearts and passion to the international campaign to free John Hunt and to ensure that no one ever has to suffer the abuses he has suffered.
You can listen to the whole interview on the latest episode of Madness Radio:
Chemical Crucifixion: Grainne Humphry
Could a young man’s overwhelming visions of Christ and apocalypse be a creative response to life trauma, rather than signs of paranoid schizophrenia? Does madness unfold differently depending on whether it is supported – or feared? Irish activist and punk musician Grainne Humphrys, herself a survivor of an extreme state, discusses the campaign for the release of former partner John Hunt. John has been incarcerated and drugged against his will since 2005, sparking international outcry.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.