The Borders Of Sanity


01Depression In Japan2016053020160601 (R4)

Why is Japan going through a revolution in the awareness and treatment of depression?

Up until the late 1990s, depression was all but unknown in Japanese society and pharmaceutical companies had given up on trying to sell anti-depressants there.

Fast forward to today and court cases alleging overwork depression and overwork suicide, reassuring commercial branding of depression as a "cold of the soul" and increased media attention have turned Japan into a highly medicated society.

In the first episode of a four-part series about mental health and culture, Christopher Harding explores how in just a few years, psychiatrists, lawyers and the pharmaceutical companies helped introduce 'depression' to Japan.

Producer: Keith Moore.

02Sweden's Adolescents2016060620160608 (R4)

What is behind the increase in mental health problems among Sweden's young people?

Despite Sweden's reputation as an ideal place to grow up, the mental health of its adolescents has become a public health concern, with more young people reporting problems and seeking psychiatric help.

Is it down to a tougher economic climate, school stress, social media, so-called "curling parents"?

Christopher Harding investigates and asks whether Sweden is struggling to strike a balance between good mental health awareness and the creation of a medicalized culture of vulnerability with young people hung up on everyday troubles and traumas, dwelling on their reactions as pathological.

Producer: Keith Moore.

03Hearing Voices In The Uk2016061320160615 (R4)

Hearing voices was once considered a sign of madness, but has there been a cultural shift?

For years, hearing voices served as a symbol of a fear we all share - losing our minds.

But voice hearing is now known to be an experience of almost limitless range, from cruel distress to creativity and meaning.

The UK is at the forefront of a movement that has changed the way patients and psychiatrists view the voices that some people hear.

Christopher Harding is in his adopted homeland of Scotland to explore how our ideas about the mind, and about reality shape these experiences and what life is like for voice hearers in the UK today.

Producer: Keith Moore.

(Photo credit:Shutterstock)

04Healing In Ghana2016062020160622 (R4)

What options do people in Ghana have when a person suffers mental illness?

In this religious country, most people seek out spiritual interpretations or traditional methods of healing.

Despite there being only 18 trained psychiatrists in the whole of Ghana, advocates of Western-style practices have been pushing for the use of medication and the human rights of the mentally ill.

In this final programme of a four-part series, Christopher Harding asks whether spiritual and biological interpretations and treatments for mental illness can ever get along.

Producer: Keith Moore.