This week on MIA Radio we interview Olga Runciman. Olga is an international trainer and speaker, writer, campaigner, and artist. She co-founded the Danish Hearing Voices Network and sees the role of the Hearing Voices Movement as post-psychiatric, working towards the recognition of human rights while offering hope, empowerment, and access to making sense of individual experiences.
Olga was a psychiatric nurse working in social psychiatry but today she is a psychologist and since 2013 she has had her own private practice in Denmark, working with people who have been labelled schizophrenic or psychotic. Olga is herself a psychiatric survivor and a voice hearer too.
In this interview, we discuss Olga’s professional and personal experiences of the psychiatric system and how she now helps and supports healing and recovery in others.
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In the episode we discuss:
- How Olga became a specialist psychiatric nurse in Denmark, believing at the time the reasons given for psychiatric diagnoses.
- How she came to see that there was little evidence or corroboration to underpin the diagnosis and treatment that she witnessed.
- How Olga was also a voice hearer but kept this hidden from her psychiatric colleagues.
- How, when experiencing stress and trauma, Olga came to be admitted to a psychiatric ward, diagnosed as schizophrenic and treated with a cocktail of psychiatric drugs.
- Olga’s experiences of the antipsychotic drug Clozapine.
- How Olga came to stop her psychiatric drugs which she had been taking for ten years.
- Psychiatry’s story of hopelessness and chronic illness that is so often sold to patients.
- How Olga now views her work from a post-psychiatry perspective.
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