Latest Issue


Can Adam Phillips transfer the ideas about madness that work for him as a psychoanalyst and essayist into an original television format? Surprisingly, he can

By David Herman   March 2005

Perhaps the strangest gap in British television is programmes about mental health. There is no end of so-called reality shows, but the reality we avoid is the one inside. Despite the figures on depression, schizophrenia and suicide rates, we do not really want to know what causes mental illnesses, how to treat them and whether there are interesting new ideas in the field. It is so much easier to cling to a few predictable genres: the earnest Horizon documentary about scientific breakthroughs in understanding the physical causes of mental illness (labs, white coats and graphics), documentaries about psychopathic killers (mood…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect