Not As Crazy As You Think Podcast

Jen Gaita Siciliano

Mental Health is attainable for anyone--especially those labeled with mental illness. Join artist, memoir writer, and bipolar psychiatric survivor, Jen Gaita Siciliano each Wednesday at 6pm, as she challenges our world's current limited understanding of mental illness in interviews with artists, healers, educators and shamans, who offer fresh perspectives on mental health and creativity. Episodes also include Jen's personal writing on living as a bipolar creative, as well as news commentary that exposes psychiatry as an incompatible paradigm with the true landscape of the human mind. If you are ready for a new narrative on the mental realm in a place that celebrates crazy and cool without penalty, then Not As Crazy As You Think is for you!

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Recovery from Schizophrenia with Tracey Higgins, Author of The Girl On the Bridge (S4, E13)
3d ago
Recovery from Schizophrenia with Tracey Higgins, Author of The Girl On the Bridge (S4, E13)
In the episode, "Recovery from Schizophrenia with Tracey Higgins, Author of 'The Girl On the Bridge' (S4, E13)," Tracey shares her personal story of healing without psych meds from her bout with schizophrenia. Her story offers hope to those who suffer from the most troubling form of madness for both patients and psychiatrists, one that is often treated with disrespect and disdain. Psychiatry believes there is no recovery for schizophrenics or bipolars, but Tracey's road to recovery proves this is a false narrative. By looking through a trauma lens, schizophrenia can be witnessed in its early onset of the acute phase, as a state of terror, which makes people suffer a loss of identity and disintegration of the self. Tracey assures there is meaning in the world of voices and hallucinations. They provide markers to help people analyze their trauma, offering clues to unpack, which can help set a new path. The stories of schizophrenics and bipolars largely go unheard, as psychiatrists don’t listen to the language a patient may use to find meaning in his delusions. Tracey's unique story gives people hope and inspires courage in one's own ability to heal. Full recovery is possible from schizophrenia, Tracey asserts, and medication does not need to be part of the treatment.Follow Tracey on Twitter @TraceyHiggins92Checkout her website: her book:UK #schizophrenia #westernpsychiatry #alternativehealing #mentalillness #mentalhealth #sexualabuseDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Recovery from Schizophrenia with Tracey Higgins, Author of The Girl On the Bridge (S4, E13)
3d ago
Recovery from Schizophrenia with Tracey Higgins, Author of The Girl On the Bridge (S4, E13)
In the episode, "Recovery from Schizophrenia with Tracey Higgins, Author of 'The Girl On the Bridge' (S4, E13)," Tracey shares her personal story of healing without psych meds from her bout with schizophrenia. Her story offers hope to those who suffer from the most troubling form of madness for both patients and psychiatrists, one that is often treated with disrespect and disdain. Psychiatry believes there is no recovery for schizophrenics or bipolars, but Tracey's road to recovery proves this is a false narrative. By looking through a trauma lens, schizophrenia can be witnessed in its early onset of the acute phase, as a state of terror, which makes people suffer a loss of identity and disintegration of the self. Tracey assures there is meaning in the world of voices and hallucinations. They provide markers to help people analyze their trauma, offering clues to unpack, which can help set a new path. The stories of schizophrenics and bipolars largely go unheard, as psychiatrists don’t listen to the language a patient may use to find meaning in his delusions. Tracey's unique story gives people hope and inspires courage in one's own ability to heal. Full recovery is possible from schizophrenia, Tracey asserts, and medication does not need to be part of the treatment.Follow Tracey on Twitter @TraceyHiggins92Checkout her website: her book:UK #schizophrenia #westernpsychiatry #alternativehealing #mentalillness #mentalhealth #sexualabuseDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Getting Real with Jessica Schiller Silverman, Podcaster & Spiritual Wellness Expert: On Trauma, Self-Love, and Purpose (S4, E12)
Sep 25 2022
Getting Real with Jessica Schiller Silverman, Podcaster & Spiritual Wellness Expert: On Trauma, Self-Love, and Purpose (S4, E12)
In the episode, "Getting Real with Jessica Schiller Silverman, Podcaster & Spiritual Wellness Expert: On Trauma, Self-Love, and Purpose (S4, E12)," Jessica opens up about her work in consulting, her personal path of mental health, and the state of the Western medical approach to mental illness. Jessica Schiller Silverman is a spiritual wellness expert to help heal past trauma + inner child wounds. Through a trauma-informed approach, she enables women to come ALIVE in her creative passion without sacrificing money, time, or energy. Jessica stepped away from a six-figure career in venture capital in San Francisco to start her own venture, all inspired initially from a podcast, and now is the host of the A.L.I.V.E. podcast with Jessica Silverman. Jessica also runs her Live Vibrant program and steers women in a sisterhood to access their true selves and discover what's deep inside their souls.In the show, Jessica explores the landscape behind all forms of trauma, including collective and ancestral, and how working through these issues are part of the the beginning steps to finding purpose through the pain.   During the interview, Jessica shares self-care strategies and self-love rituals, as well as offers astute advice for those who are trying to find a better path to healing  but find it difficult to even get out of bed. Jessica honors getting to the root cause of mental distress rather than  throwing away the individual through the treatment of getting labeled and medicated through traditional psychiatry and shares her own special purpose in helping others on this healing journey.Follow her at:Facebook: A.L.I.V.E. with Jessica Silverman: Bit.ly/mozenwarriorsInstagram: @Mozen_WellnessFree gift: Bit.ly/ikigaimagicWebsite: #depression #anxiety #westernpsychiatry #alternativehealing #ikigai #spiritualwellness #podcasting #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mozenwellnessDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Opening Up About Process and Pain with Sculptural Artist and Mental Health Advocate, Kellie Gillespie (S4, E11)
Sep 4 2022
Opening Up About Process and Pain with Sculptural Artist and Mental Health Advocate, Kellie Gillespie (S4, E11)
In the episode, "Opening Up About Process and Pain with Sculptural Artist and Mental Health Advocate, Kellie Gillespie (S4, E11)" sculptural artist and mental health advocate Kellie Gillespie is interested in deepening the conversations within and between art and mental health. Kellie holds an MFA from Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art, and her work focuses on issues specifically associated with mental health, as well as the concepts of recovery and survivorship. Kellie specializes in the use of everyday found and forgotten objects, often unappreciated, and strives to show their hidden value. In this way, her artwork aims to portray: “the potential in that which is broken, the value in the castaway, and the importance in the forgotten.”Kellie wishes to break the negative connotations surrounding the subject of mental illness allowing those who have suffered to insert their own stories in the art and make their own related connection. Kellie discusses the intensive preparation and physically demanding fabrication of the work and how that lends to its final result, as she embraces the tedious, repetitive production of a piece. Crediting art with saving her life, she shares about her own journey through her battles with mental distress and recovery. In the interview, Kellie reviews a few of her powerful pieces that explore the controversial landscape of eating disorders, self-harm, alcoholism, anxiety and depression.To view Kellie Gillespie’s work, visit her website at: www.kelliegillespie.comOr follow her on: Instagram: @kellie.gillespie.art and Facebook: @kelliegillespieart#mentalhealthawareness #sculpture #installationart #sculptureinstallation #foundobject #prescriptionbottles #discardedbysociety #recycled #upcycle  #installation #multiplicity #mentalhealthart #foundobjectart #artofvisuals #infinityroom #immersiveartDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
How to Heal Through Nutrition, Mindfulness and Lifestyle with Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Emilie Jordao (S4, E10)
Aug 21 2022
How to Heal Through Nutrition, Mindfulness and Lifestyle with Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Emilie Jordao (S4, E10)
In the episode, "How to Heal Through Nutrition, Mindfulness and Lifestyle with Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Emilie Jordao (S4, E10)," Emilie joins the show to share her own personal wellness journey through natural means. After struggling for 15 years with psychiatric symptoms, before learning how inflammation plays a role in these conditions, she  reclaimed her life, and now offers nutrition and yoga based tools for holistic mental health.As psychiatry told Emilie she would need her meds forever due to a chemical imbalance, Emilie battled anti-depressant dependency for 7 years. After having difficulty getting off them, she discovered the slow approach.  Emilie followed a different course of treatment in areas of an anti-inflammatory diet and an altered lifestyle, and is now passionate about helping people heal their lives with diet, mindfulness, and lifestyle. Her focus centers on helping  those with anxiety and depression heal naturally. Emilie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Central Michigan University and is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She’s also in the process of acquiring her Yoga Teacher certification through the Bhodi Yoga Center. Emilie offers a variety of essential information on health tips, explaining how mood conditions are often whole body conditions. Emilie reviews some root causes of sleep problems and offers supplements to consider, as well as how to stay supported on the tapering journey. Emilie offers a Psych Meds Taper Online Support Group, one-on-one health coaching, and a Yoga Series for Anxiety and Depression. To learn more, follow Emilie on IG: @health.with.emilie, or go to her website at: #psychmedtaper #psychiatricmedication #medicationtapering #mentalhealth #anxiety #anxietysupport #depression #depressionhelp #ssriwithdrawal  #lexaprowithdrawal #benzo #benzowithdrawal  #benzotaper #ssritaper #integrativepsychiatry #antidepressants #antidepressantwithdrawal #antidepressantsideeffects #holisticmentalhealth #discontinuationsyndrome Don't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Natural Medicine: Holistic Healer Michelle Williams Shares a Journey of Alternative Healing (S4 E9)
Aug 14 2022
Natural Medicine: Holistic Healer Michelle Williams Shares a Journey of Alternative Healing (S4 E9)
In the episode, "Natural Medicine: Holistic Healer Michelle Williams Shares a Journey of Alternative Healing (S4 E9)," women’s holistic healer, Michelle Williams opens up about her personal path towards mental health wellness.  After being on psych meds for 10 years, Michelle found an alternative route for her struggles through studying and practicing different food philosophies, including intuitive eating and veganism, and for the past 6 years has promoted the macrobiotic lifestyle. After suffering from an eating disorder and seeing how the psychiatric institution dismissed her concerns around the psych meds’ side effects, she felt compelled to research alternative modalities of natural healing in everything from energy medicine to healing through food. Michelle is also the podcast host and creator of "MacroMagic With Michelle," where she helps her listeners achieve greater personal freedom, health, happiness and peace through her MACRObiotic perspective. She teaches cooking classes online and in-person, gives lifestyle consultations and meal plans, provides crystal and palm energy healing in the pursuit of helping sensitive women achieve ultimate health and happiness through the power of nature. Michelle questions the Western concept of treating the disease through removing pain through meds, and proves that healing is a personal journey and can be achieved by anyone if you believe it is possible. #alternativemedicine #naturalhealing #energymedicine #psychmedsharm #psychiatricsurvivor #macromagicwithmichelle #veganism #psychiatryisnotscienceFollow Michelle on IG @the_freedom_fairywebsite: @The Freedom FairyDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
The Provocative Vision of Artist Andy Golub: His Process and Message in a Literal World (S4, E8)
Jul 10 2022
The Provocative Vision of Artist Andy Golub: His Process and Message in a Literal World (S4, E8)
In the episode, "The Provocative Vision of Artist Andy Golub: His Process and Message in a Literal World (S4, E8)," New York City artist Andy Golub, bodypainter, and founder of the non-profit foundation Human Connection Arts, shares his artistic process and how his art has developed. Starting out as an artist looking to make his mark, Andy eventually discovered bodypainting and took it to a higher level, bringing hundreds of people together at once through efforts  like his Bodypainting Days across the country and internationally.His non-profit, Human Connection Arts, encapsulates Andy's message--spreading love of art through human connection. In holding many "art happenings" throughout New York City from his Protest of Divisiveness to Chalk Art Day to his latest venture in Naked Theater, for years, Andy has  created his art with the drive to start an authentic conversation. In following both inspiration and frustration into creating art, he allows both his heart and head to lead him to continue expressing himself into new realms. #humanconnectionarts #arthappenings #artevents #artisticprocess #mentalhealth #bipolarpersonality #artisticpersonality #bodypaintingday #nakedtheater #bodypositivity #bodypainterIf you are interested in applying for Bodypainting Day,  go to: follow Andy and his work, go to: or www.andygolub.comIG: @connectionarts; @andy.golubFB: #humanconnectionarts; @andy.golub.artistDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
A Discussion on Mental Distress in the Family: Life and Fitness Model David Pumo Opens Up (S4, E7)
Jul 3 2022
A Discussion on Mental Distress in the Family: Life and Fitness Model David Pumo Opens Up (S4, E7)
In the episode, "A Discussion on Mental Distress in the Family: Life and Fitness Model David Pumo Opens Up (S4, E7)," David, who is also a lawyer and writer, shares his personal family background and reveals a history of mental distress, or what the psychiatric establishment calls "mental illness." In opening up about his lineage as far back as his great uncle's suicide and his grandmother's nervous breakdowns, which resulted in multiple ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) procedures, David shares a personal relationship with what many of us go through--mental distress in the family. But are these genetic certainties? Or is this commonly found in many families?David goes on to share how an extreme depression of his younger brother, John, led to his suicide, which was difficult for his family, but in a moment of dire crisis, his parents turned their energy towards a positive momentum. In his memory, David's parents dedicated years of their lives after John's suicide to changing the landscape of gay rights through their involvement in PFLAG, or the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc.David's mother also experienced being prescribed psych meds by her GP in her late years, which possibly led to her body's decline within only months after taking them.  The question remains: why put an elderly person on a psych med when they are already so weak and might have trouble processing it? David Pumo is honest, raw, and tells his story with a sense of humor and acceptance reminding each of us how compassion might be the best medicine for "mental illness" in the family.#genetics #suicide #mentalillness #mentalhealth #fitness #psychmeds #ECTharms #depression #PFLAG #gayrights #To see some work of my bodypainting on David, check out:(Warning: mature content) David at:Twitter and Insta: @DavidJerome629and YouTube: @DavidPumoDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Bridging the Gap and Exploring the Archetypes with Shaman Shanon Lyn Harwood, author of the book Currency (S4 E6)
Jun 26 2022
Bridging the Gap and Exploring the Archetypes with Shaman Shanon Lyn Harwood, author of the book Currency (S4 E6)
In the episode, "Bridging the Gap and Exploring the Archetypes with Shaman Shanon Lyn Harwood, author of the book Currency (S4 E6)," Shanon shares how she discovered her purpose as a shaman through her experience and tutelage with "The Old People." Shanon was tutored for 15 years by Spiritual Elder Josephine Crowshoe of the Piikani Nation who named her ‘Iniskimaaki - Buffalo Rock Woman’.  Shanon Lyn Harwood is the author of the multimedia book, It Depends on Who’s Looking, and offers an online, self-help program of the same name. Shanon mentions how we can consciously experience the energy of The Archetypes and discover which ones we have an affinity for, and as we become aware of which Archetypes have been influencing us, we can reevaluate our relationship to them.   Shanon graduated from Dr. Alberto Villoldo’s Four Winds Society Healing the Light Body School and specialized in Advanced Soul Retrieval as well as Working With the Sacred. She speaks in the podcast about her latest book, Currency, a speculative fiction novel that tackles  controversial issues regarding the value system that is driving our world. Together with her partner, Marv Harwood, Shanon founded The Kimmapii School of Shamanism, where she has been a director and instructor for more than 30 years. Check out Shanon's work at:www.kimmapii.com  forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Making Space for Magic with author Patty Lennon: Letting Go of Resistance & Learning to Receive (S4, E5)
Jun 19 2022
Making Space for Magic with author Patty Lennon: Letting Go of Resistance & Learning to Receive (S4, E5)
In the episode, "Making Space for Magic with author Patty Lennon: Letting Go of Resistance & Learning to Receive (S4, E5)," Patty Lennon joins the conversation and offers her insight and wisdom on the intuitive journey for the curious seeker.  Author of the book, Make Space for Magic, Patty shares her personal spiritual journey and how it has inspired her to help others find their own paths. She shares how she began to communicate with “the other side of the veil” and how we can too through paying attention to signs and personal metaphysical directives. A best-selling author, keynote speaker, and founder of The Receiving School®, Patty Lennon calls herself a former type-A corporate banker that discovered there was more to living than making money. She left banking to help others do the same. She is a certified coach with a masters in psychology and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, and Daily Worth. She blends brain science and metaphysics to help her fellow humans find clarity, focus, and inspiration so they can easily manifest their dreams into reality.In our podcast, Patty addresses how ultra positivity can be toxic if you don’t feel the hard emotions because that paves the way to receive. By letting go of super independence and not being afraid to ask for help, we can grow ever further in attracting true abundance into our lives.  Patty speaks about the Law of Attraction in her work but that we need to get deeper in that process by letting go of resistance. Patty’s passion is to help others learn how much the divine loves us and that we are always enough. She acknowledges that destructive psychological and emotional effects can occur when we try to suppress natural negative emotions, and offers the solution. Receiving ourselves is key by reintegrating our rejected shadow selves.Check out her book on Amazon: Patty on:FB: @PattyALennonIG: @PattyLennonYT: /PattyLennonYTWebsite: www.PattyLennon.comDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
An Interview with Psychologist Dr. Roger McFillin, host of Radically Genuine Podcast, on Psych Meds, Drug Trials, Resilience & Recovery (S4, E4)
Jun 11 2022
An Interview with Psychologist Dr. Roger McFillin, host of Radically Genuine Podcast, on Psych Meds, Drug Trials, Resilience & Recovery (S4, E4)
In the episode, "An Interview with Psychologist Dr. Roger McFillin, host of Radically Genuine Podcast, on Psych Meds, Drug Trials, Resilience & Recovery (S4, E4)," Licensed Psychologist Dr. Roger K. McFillin, who is the Executive Director of the Center for Integrated Behavioral Health in Bethlehem PA, joins the show. Also host of the podcast “Radically Genuine”, Roger is strongly committed to the use of evidence-based treatments and specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the treatment of post-traumatic stress, eating disorders & mood/anxiety related concerns.McFillin is extremely vocal about the fact that psych meds do not improve long-term outcomes and openly challenges the scientific basis to support their efficacy. He reveals how contrived the drug trials are explaining what data is actually published. Conducted by the pharmaceutical industry, these studies test efficacy for up to only 8 weeks, while patients are often prescribed them for life. In contrast he offers ample insight as to what proper mental health treatment looks like. With his belief in resilience and recovery, his message is that healing is possible in a variety of ways and that the human spirit has imbedded in it the potential to rise above obstacles in life. Criticizing the overriding reductionist materialist view in today’s Western medicine, Dr. Roger McFillin shares how many of these historical cultural norms and narratives no longer serve us in our modern age. Although he has experienced some backlash in the mental health field for his openly critical assertions, particularly on his active Twitter platform (@DrMcFillin), Dr. McFillin is opening the conversation for those in the prescribed harm community and the psychiatric survivor movement, as he invites the ethical and open-minded players in the mental health professional arena to debate the problems openly on his Radically Genuine Podcast to discuss new change for the better. #prescribedharm #radicallygenuinepodcast #bigpharmaharms #ethicalscience #mentalhealth #therapy #mentalillness #westernpsychiatry #evidencebasedtreatment #psychiatricsurvivor #resilience #recovery #bipolarartist #PTSD #depression #anxiety #DSMlabels #mentalhealthpodcast #materialism #biomedicalmodel #humanexperience Follow Dr. Roger McFillin on:Twitter: @DrMcFillinIG and TikTok: @radgenpodEmail thoughts and questions to: radgenpod@gmail.comCheck out his website at: to his Radically Genuine Podcast at any podcast locationDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
In the Wake of Uvalde: Stopping Gun Violence Is Not a Mental Health Issue But a Moral One (S4, E2)
May 29 2022
In the Wake of Uvalde: Stopping Gun Violence Is Not a Mental Health Issue But a Moral One (S4, E2)
In the episode, "In the Wake of Uvalde: Stopping Gun Violence Is Not a Mental Health Issue But a Moral One (S4, E2)" I review the mass gun shooting incident in Uvalde, Texas that occurred on May 24, 2022 and tackle the question: is more gun control needed or mental health reform? While mental health reform is always needed, when Republican lawmakers state it's a mental health issue, they are speaking of punishment before a crime to those already getting help over dealing with the core problem: looking at not why the shooter did it, but how. Instead of stigmatizing the mentally ill, looking at the facts at how easy access to guns in our nation has contributed to  gun violence in America is key in creating a solution to the problem, if that's what we care about as a nation. When 80-89% of the American population, including gun-owners, agree that common sense laws can make a difference, by kowtowing to the NRA, people in Washington are not representing the majority of Americans where safety is concerned. Compiled research suggests that our assumptions that it's all about mental illness are grossly inaccurate and that violence is not always predictable. But what is predictable is that the more guns that are available with easy access, the more likelihood a person can make a deadly mistake reacting to an emotionally-charged rage with a destructive weapon.  Study citation:Jonathan M. Metzl, Kenneth T. MacLeish, “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms”, American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 2 (February 1, 2015): pp. 240-249. video of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's press conference taken from American Federation of Teachers' channel: "Gun Violence Prevention Press Conference": #uvalde #gunviolence #commonsensegunlaws #redflaglaws #mentalhealth #bipolarartist #safety #massshootingsDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
An Update with Emma Hames on Cassette Monkeys and Her Message of Prescribed Harm (S4, E1)
May 22 2022
An Update with Emma Hames on Cassette Monkeys and Her Message of Prescribed Harm (S4, E1)
In the episode, "An Update with Emma Hames on Cassette Monkeys and Her Message of Prescribed Harm (S4, E1)," Emma returns to offer an update on her journey with sharing her story of prescribed harm into the metaverse and beyond. Artist, songwriter, musician, and filmmaker, Emma currently lives in the UK, where the problems with psychiatric harm is equal to that of the US. In 2012 she was prescribed Bromazepam abroad after going a year with undiagnosed asthma and reduced lung capacity, which led to anxiety, following doctors' orders as prescribed for 4 years, and without knowing the risks she cold-turkey-ed the drug which caused Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal. She decided to challenge herself with writing the soundtrack for the film as part of her recovery, and explore the role of creativity in healing. Emma shares in this episode how her NFT collection, Cassette Monkeys, is growing a community of online creatives and angels looking to support the message behind her film. On her personal road to recovery, she is creating connections within Web3 technology, a highly immersive virtual world where people gather to socialize, play, and work all around the concept of "Creativity is the new medicine." In her efforts to promote health sovereignty, informed consent and creative therapy healing, she has gathered talented creatives and allies behind her vision, as she continues to find the strength to move forward and share the hard truth about a difficult story to tell.  Check out Emma's website at: or follow her on Twitter: @emjadehames or IG: @emjadehames.Follow the film at: #westernpsychiatry #bigpharmaharms #mentalhealth #psychiatryisnotscience #abolishpsychiatry #cassettemonkeys #healthsovereigntyDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Covid Nation & Beyond Art Show at Sun River Health Foundation in Peekskill, NY (S3, E16)
May 7 2022
Covid Nation & Beyond Art Show at Sun River Health Foundation in Peekskill, NY (S3, E16)
In the episode "Covid Nation & Beyond Art Show at Sun River Health Foundation (S3, E16)", I wrap up Season 3 by first sharing why I've been absent from podcasting for a month, telling of some successes and changes in my life, and then I share the talk I gave at my latest art show at Sun River Health Foundation in Peekskill, NY. The following is my artist statement for my exhibit "Covid Nation & Beyond:"I’ve always been a painter, but for over the last decade I centered my work on my face and bodypainting, making my main art medium bodypaint, which is actually colored makeup.  Because the very therapeutic nature of how I created art brought me in close contact with people, when the Covid-19 crisis hit, this avenue of expression was annihilated due to social distancing. At the time, I was profoundly saddened by my loss, and I felt as though I was losing a special identity that I worked so hard at creating. But my art still needed to be expressed and the nation’s story recorded. I needed to switch gears and apply paint to something other than skin. So I rekindled my interest in painting on 2D surfaces, and since I had plenty of bodypaint hanging around,  I started the series with gessoing some sign boards I had used for my face painting tent and slapped on the bodypaint. The medium is beautifully fluid and helps me keep my painterly and illustrative style sharp and drawing-like, very unlike acrylic paint. The result is a liquid makeup paint, which dries like sturdy pastel chalk. This art exhibit titled “Covid Nation & Beyond” is a pop-art, heavily textured and stylized commentary about our world during the Covid pandemic covering various subjects inspired by 2020-2021, such as NY’s death numbers on the rise in April and May, the nation’s inability to work during lockdown, the mental health concerns related to quarantining and social distancing, the tension of opposites politically in response to the public health crisis, the PPE shortage, the airline industry bailout, and the attempted insurrection on the US Capitol, and the legalization of marijuana in NY.#bipolarartist #manic #depression  #covidnation #lockdown #quarantine2020 #ageofcovid #covidart #notascrazyasyouthink  #mentalillness #mentalhealth #storytelling #PPE #insurrection2021 #frontlineworkersDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
Are Psychopaths Favored by Natural Selection? Definitions of Mental Illness and the Roots of Suffering (S3, E14)
Mar 25 2022
Are Psychopaths Favored by Natural Selection? Definitions of Mental Illness and the Roots of Suffering (S3, E14)
In the episode, "Are Psychopaths Favored by Natural Selection? Definitions of Mental Illness and the Roots of Suffering (S3, E14)," a team of Canadian researchers explored the possibility that psychopathy lacks certain hallmarks of a mental disorder, and thus may be more of an adaptation associated with fitness. The study was published in Evolutionary Psychology at the end of 2021, entitled Is Psychopathy a Mental Disorder or an Adaptation? Evidence From a Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Psychopathy and Handedness. Psychopathy is a condition characterized by callousness, detachment, and a lack of empathy. Psychopaths can be highly manipulative, and their antisocial nature inclines them often to criminality, while their traits can be delineated in the clinical label of  antisocial personality disorder. But if being a psychopath isn't mentally ill, what is?  How is a mental disorder different from an  “adaptive life history perspective” ? No agreed on and adequate analysis of the concept of a "mental disorder" currently exists. It is often seen as harmful dysfunction, where dysfunction refers to the failure of an internal mechanism to perform a function for which it has been designed through natural selection to perform, while “harmful” refers to the consequences of this mechanism’s failure that are deemed undesirable by social and cultural standards. Under this conceptualization, a syndrome of cognition and behavior would have to satisfy both criteria—that it is dysfunctional and harmful— to qualify as a mental disorder. Yet although the causes of mental disorders are not fully understood, the factor this study looked at narrowly was  neurodevelopmental perturbations, which have been linked to other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. According to the study, nonright-handedness is a sign of such perturbations. So the goal of the study is to show a positive association between psychopathy and nonright-handedness, which would support the mental disorder model, whereas a negative association would support the adaptive life history model. The study was statistically weak, and isolating such specific variables in metanalysis is difficult to do. But in the search for the answers, the negative correlation with nonright-handedness reflects outdated science from the early days of criminal psychology. And if a psychopath's callous and perhaps violent tendencies are simply part of evolution, who is definitively mentally ill? Can't we say that of many "disorders" in the DSM?Essentially, over the course of 3 decades, there has been no major progress in finding out biological causes that can help in treatment. But if instead of looking at things as pathology, can’t we utilize ideas of functional medicine? Lifestyle choices  can affect our biology such as diet and exercise. Dr Rani Bora and Dr Suraj Gogoi are both holistic psychiatrists and innate health coaches, who don't subscribe to temporary fixes to address the human condition. They disregard the core underlying causes of psychological suffering and feel that the conventional models of managing mental and emotional issues do not help us discover our true wellbeing. Visit Drs. Rani and Suraj at: #mentalillness #wellbeing #mentalhealth #lefthandedness #criminal psychology #DSMLabels #evolutionarypsychology #naturalselection #bipolardisorderDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at:  www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
A Heart-to-Heart with Actress Susie K. Taylor: Creating a Kinder Story Out of the Madness (S3, E13)
Mar 12 2022
A Heart-to-Heart with Actress Susie K. Taylor: Creating a Kinder Story Out of the Madness (S3, E13)
In the episode, "A Heart-to-Heart with Actress Susie K. Taylor:  Creating a Kinder Story Out of the Madness (S3, E13)," Miami-based actor, creator, teacher, performance artist, and mentor, Susie K. Taylor joins the show and shares stories of her career in acting, producing and teaching. She also talks about her SURF method, a compassionate program to help actors get out of character. Susie sheds light on how traditional techniques of getting into character for the actor, can often lead to “psychological concussions” and compound traumas, as actors often access pain from their pasts to create their roles. But in using Susie’s techniques, other versions of truth stories that are kinder and less ego-based can help creatives detach from their pain and come through the other end of this process.By retelling the past repeatedly with the same ending, Susie explains how the body stores past pains and injuries even when they are over, until we reset the story and release the charge. Susie puts forth the idea that in healing these personal areas of super-charged emotion, we can then more effectively heal the world through new art and stories. These techniques can also be used for anyone who wants to experience a release of past super-charged emotion, and bring healing into one's life from past traumas. Bio:Susie holds a Post Graduate degree in Classical Acting and a BA in Theater. She attended New World High School for the Performing Arts and has been performing for over 30 years.  Her passion is to find kinder and more efficient ways of doing things. This led her to inventing The Ultimate baby bib, Bibbitec, which appeared on Shark Tank and her  De-Roling  method called SURF, which stands for Story Understand Recast and Flow. Her one-woman show Jewbana was just accepted in the NYC United Solo Festival.  Website: www.Susiektaylor.com Insta:   Susie_k_Taylor Twitter:  Jewbana305#mentalhealth #goals #honored #UCME #creatives #surfacting #femalegaze #jewbana #bibbitec #surfacting #process #method #mentalhealth #alternative #sharktank #nedragallegos #markburnett #meta  #art #healer #visionary #grace #ptsd #traumainformedtherapy #movementtherapyDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
A Discussion On Psychosis, Lived Experience, and Creativity with Artist John F. Gerrard, Author of "We Make Clocks, Not Time" (S3, E12)
Mar 5 2022
A Discussion On Psychosis, Lived Experience, and Creativity with Artist John F. Gerrard, Author of "We Make Clocks, Not Time" (S3, E12)
In the episode, “A Discussion On Psychosis, Lived Experience, and Creativity with Artist John F. Gerrard, Author of "We Make Clocks, Not Time" (S3, E12), John opens the conversation about this largely misunderstood headspace by sharing his personal story and what he learned coming out on the other side of psychosis. We discuss John’s book, We Make Clocks, Not Time: My Lived Experience with Psychosis, Creativity, and the Ideas That Have Helped Me, opening up the conversation on an array of philosophical questions regarding psychosis and mental illness, from self-determination and free will, to the romanticization of the tortured artist, to the essential self, to the language of labels, to rethinking God.With the message that there is no shame in psychosis, that lived experience matters, and that creativity can be an integral part of our mental health, John also discusses some strategies that have worked for him in his own recovery.  Describing psychosis as connecting to something larger than life, John harnesses elusive topics like what is the nature of delusion, the mystery of dreams, and the subtle differences found in psychotic experiences compared to those that are spiritual in nature.  John brings philosophy into the conversation about extreme mental states and stresses that just because something is not commonly experienced among the norm, doesn’t make it pathological.Bio:John is a multidisciplinary artist, with a focus on visual art. In his teens and 20s he was active creatively as a musician, touring across North America and playing locally. He also did graphic design work for bands and small businesses. John was trained by the Canadian Mental Health Association as a peer support worker. Since then, he’s been developing his art practice with mental health advocacy work.  He has also worked with Branch Out Neurological Foundation, making images based on interactions with neuroscientists, and taking part in their charity events for three years now. In 2019 he had my first international show in Chicago as a part of the Some People Everybody exhibition. This multidisciplinary project examines the ethics, people, processes, and systems that constitute the maintenance of, and barriers to, health for human beings. You can follow John on:Insta: @john_f_gerrard Twitter: @clocksnottime or on his website at: Buy the Book, We Make Clocks, Not Time: My Lived Experience with Psychosis, Creativity, and the Ideas That Have Helped Me: #mentalhospitals #mentalhealth #psychosis #dsmlabels #mentalillness #philosophyofpsychiatry #creativity #wemakeclocksnottime #peersupportDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
A Point of View from a Man in Blue with Jeff Gironda: Crisis Intervention Training and a Broken Mental Healthcare System (S3, E11)
Feb 18 2022
A Point of View from a Man in Blue with Jeff Gironda: Crisis Intervention Training and a Broken Mental Healthcare System (S3, E11)
In the episode, "A Point of View from a Man in Blue with Jeff Gironda: Crisis Intervention Training and a Broken Mental Healthcare System (S3, E11),"  former New York City police officer, Jeff Gironda, who worked 10 years of patrol in Midtown and has experience as a detective specialist, shares his insight on the broken mental healthcare system, as well as present and future actions towards change within training for the police department.   Jeff became an instructor at the Police Academy for training recruits in an EDP workshop (emotionally disturbed people) in concert with John Jay, and then went on to lead a 4-day immersive course in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which incorporates scenario-based training with clinicians, the NYPD, and professional actors.  Emphasizing a much more humanizing approach, the CIT program went national and is still helping today’s police properly interact with those in emotionally disturbed states. Jeff also shares how this positive growth within the police department can be an example to how other institutions can promote a more compassionate perspective when dealing with people in states of mental distress, especially the medical establishments who claim expertise in this area. #PTSD #mentalillness #CIT #crisisinterventiontraining #NYPD #anxiety #depression #mentalhospitals #mentalhealth Don't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @ jengaitaLinkedIn: @ jensicilianoTwitter: @ jsiciliano
A Chat with Emma Hames on Benzo Withdrawal and Recovery in the Film, "Playing with Life: The Soundtrack" (S3, E10)
Feb 11 2022
A Chat with Emma Hames on Benzo Withdrawal and Recovery in the Film, "Playing with Life: The Soundtrack" (S3, E10)
In the episode, "A Chat with Emma Hames on Benzo Withdrawal and Recovery in the Film 'Playing with Life: The Soundtrack' (S3, E10)," Emma shares how she was affected by a benzodiazepine psychiatric drug prescription and how she turned to sound healing, nature and creativity to rebuild her life.  As part of her recovery, she decided to produce the film “Playing with Life: The Soundtrack.” In tandem with the film, she is producing an NFT collection called Cassette Monkeys in order to create community and funding for the production.In America alone, 120 million people are currently on the class of medication known as benzodiazepines, which is highlighted in the film, along with how holistic healing can be achieved without drugs and with better alternatives. As the Western biomedical paradigm regarding mental illnesses is a global problem, Emma believes in supporting health sovereignty while we prepare for change. Emma Hames is an artist, songwriter, musician, and filmmaker currently living in the UK. At University she studied Environmental Science, later taught English and Art in a Cambodian orphanage, studied climate change in Malaysian rainforests, and even lived on her own 23' sailing boat for a year, which connected her to the natural world and gave her the freedom to explore her creativity. She later went onto Tour as a saxophonist and musician in several bands throughout Europe. In 2012 she was prescribed Bromazepam abroad after going a year with undiagnosed asthma and reduced lung capacity, which led to anxiety, following doctors' orders as prescribed for 4 years, and without knowing the risks she cold-turkey-ed the drug which caused Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal. She decided to challenge herself with writing the soundtrack for the film as part of her recovery, and explore the role of creativity in healing. Check out Emma's website at: or follow her on Twitter: @emjadehames or IG: @emjadehames. And follow the film at: #westernpsychiatry #bigpharmaharms #mentalhealth #psychiatryisnotscience #abolishpsychiatry #cassettemonkeys #healthsovereigntyDon't forget to subscribe to the Not As Crazy As You Think YouTube channel @SicilianoJenAnd please visit my website at: www.jengaitasiciliano.comConnect: Instagram: @jengaitaLinkedIn: @jensicilianoTwitter: @jsiciliano