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The Mental Illness Metaphor

Tom Shakespeare on why we deploy the language of mental illness to connote all the things that are wrong about the world. He says he does it himself! But he says we must stop.

Tom Shakespeare on why we need to rethink our use of the mental illness metaphor.

Is President Trump really "mad"?, he asks. Is Brexit "bonkers"? Or is the latest government policy "schizophrenic"?

He says we all do it. "Within five minutes of starting to write this talk, I find I'm doing it myself!"

But he says we need to break the habit since it shows a profound lack of understanding towards people with real mental health conditions.

Producer: Adele Armstrong.

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10 minutes

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