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Inside the Unbalanced Mind

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What goes on inside a disordered mind? From the challenges of diagnosing depression to the history of insanity, in this series we delve into the mysteries of psychological disorders to understand how cutting-edge research is bringing hope to sufferers. Historically mental illness was associated with the supranatural - a battle between good and evil - and a sign of questionable morality. Modern science blew this idea out of the water but mysteries still surround why and how some people experience disordered minds.  

From the history of mental illness to the experience of psychosis, in this series we dive into the mysteries of the unbalanced mind to explore some of the most fundamental questions about psychological disorders and share cutting edge research that is changing how we understand, diagnose and treat these damaging conditions. 

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DatesAvailable to watch on-demand now
Talks structure30 minute lecture20 minute Q&A

3 talks in this Garden Series



Human Biology & Medicine
Psychology & Behaviour
Do we understand the depths of depression?

50 mins

Depression is no modern phenomenon, however it remains poorly understood. Why is it so challenging to understand depression and how is science trying to unravel its causes? Read more

Dr Harry Costello

University College London

With well over a decade of clinical experience as a practicing psychiatrist, Harry has deep expertise on the front line of treating people with psychological disorders.

It was through his work as a neuropsychiatrist at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery that Harry became particularly interested in how psychiatric symptoms could be the first presentation of neurological disease, and how mental illness could be a consequence of these conditions and even their treatment.

Today, Harry is a clinical academic fellow at University College London's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. His research focuses on the neural and psychological processes underlying depression in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. He believes understanding how depression may arise in these patients could identify new treatments and provide insights into the mechanisms of mood disorders more generally.

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Psychology & Behaviour
Human Biology & Medicine
Can you always trust your mind?

49 mins

We use our senses to understand the world. But for people with schizophrenia, psychosis means they can't trust their senses or their minds. Why is schizophrenia so misunderstood & stigmatised by society? Read more

Dr Keri Wong

University College London

Keri is a developmental psychologist and criminologist, winner of the 2022 University College London (UCL) Student Choice Award and Provost Education Award, and podcast host at the UCL Institute of Education.

She is the former Cambridge Betty Behrens Research Fellow where she also received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge. Keri received her BA (Hons.) in Psychology and MA in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. And it was as an undergraduate that she became interested in understanding the causes of antisocial behaviours and schizophrenia-spectrum disorders - a theme that runs through in her PhD, where she developed the first dimensional measure of childhood paranoia - Social Mistrust Scale -which is free to use in schools and clinics.

Currently, she is Associate Professor and co-Director of the Centre for Education in Criminal Justice System (ECJ), a knowledge exchange hub for both academics and practitioners in the criminal justice system.

She is the lead investigator of the UCL-Penn Global COVID Study (, an online survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health and social trust, which has informed UK policy discussions. She was co-chair of the IOE Early Career Network (@IOE_EarlyCareer; 2019-21), host of the official IOE podcast Research for the Real World and Academia et al. (2021).

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Human Biology & Medicine
Psychology & Behaviour
What does psychosis feel like?

46 mins

In severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia the normal functioning of the mind is compromised. What does it feel like to experience delusions & hallucinations and how do they differ from ordinary beliefs & normal experiences? Read more

Prof. Femi Oyebode

University of Birmingham

Femi Oyebode is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and former Head of Department of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham where he been a psychiatrist since 1978. He is also a celebrated author, poet and literary critic. Femi's incredible 44 year career has been driven by his deep desire to help human beings who are in distress.

Psychiatry is the clinical specialty that deals with the recognition and treatment of mental illness. Femi has focused his work on studying and describing the abnormal psychological experiences that are common in psychoses, namely delusions, hallucinations, and abnormalities of how the body and self are experienced. He became interested in this subject because it is an intersection of medicine, philosophy and language, three subjects that are his passion.

Femi believes it is impossible to practise psychiatry without a deep preoccupation with how language works, because language is the ultimate tool to reach into the inner world of another person, or without philosophy, the understanding of how to think and grasp complex ideas, it would be equally impossible to describe and then to categorise the nature of abnormal psychic phenomena.

As well as being a clinical psychiatrist, Femi also completed a PhD in the philosophy of the mind. In 2016 he was awarded the Royal College of Psychiatrists lifetime achievement award.

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