Malingering Normal

Notes on Wellness and Madness in the 21st Century

Knots that are us: psychosis and the family

Photo from Tennessee State Archive online image collection.

Photo from Tennessee State Archive online image collection.

My earliest memory of a state mental institution was when I was seven. I was visiting my mother at Central State Hospital in Nashville Tennessee. It was a frightening and chaotic place that remains a part of the landscape of my childhood memories. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Hall on the anti-identity identity politics of madness

Awhile back I posted on emergent tensions in identity politics and self-positioning within the ‘mad movement(s).’ Of course, this issue also affects folks caught up in self definition, psychiatric labeling, and treatment who might not even be aware of a ‘thing’ being referred to as a ‘mad movement.’ Read the rest of this entry »

‘mad’ identity, medication, co-optation, mom etc.

Lately I’m even more unsettled than usual in conversations about the politics and practices surrounding ‘madness:’ talk where I might occupy any number of roles including doctoral student, nascent researcher, counseling and psychotherapy practitioner, family member, ‘survivor’, ‘service user’, ‘mad’ person, friend. You name it.

What follows will be in three parts:

  • Some thoughts and questions on these issues.

  • An edited transcript of a recent discussion with my mother on this topic.

  • An excerpt from a recent list serv exchange I was in, also on this topic.

    Read the rest of this entry »

DSM Shaped Hole in My Heart

The pretend credibility of the DSM has been picked apart by all sides, leaving some wondering if they should wait to buy their purple beast on clearance before it’s shipped off to the incinerator of failed publishing endeavors. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Generations in the Asylum

Moccasin Bend


In the 1960’s my mother was a patient in Moccasin Bend, a state mental institution in Tennessee. In the 1990’s, I became a patient there.

In 2008 I created this video as part of a larger project. The project was a place-based exploration of Moccasin Bend, both in terms of these experiences, but also in terms of land use.
Read the rest of this entry »