New Show, 'How "Mad" Are You?' Has Experts Guess Which People Have a Mental Illness

Coming to the Australian television network SBS on October 11,  a new two-part series “How ‘Mad’ Are You?” explores mental illness in what the network describes as a “way never seen before.”

Ten Australians — five who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and five who have not — spend a week together undergoing specially designed psychological tests and challenges overseen by a clinical psychiatrist. The group will be watched by experts who, without meeting them in person, will try to make educated guesses about who has been diagnosed with a mental illness and who has not.

Apparently, the tests are designed to highlight the symptoms and character traits of common disorders like clinical depression, social anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anorexia.

According to SBS:

The results are surprising and unexpected, as the fine line between being ‘well’ and “mentally ill” becomes blurry. Questions are raised about the meaning of diagnosis, the stereotypes, stigma and social implications that come with the label of a diagnosis, and the value of seeing the person behind the diagnosis.

In the trailer, the people featured can be seen doing mind puzzles, canoeing on the water and even performing in front of a crowd. The three “experts”– a professor, a psychiatric nurse and a clinical psychologist — watch the footage, discussing whether or not they think the person has a mental illness.

“It worries me that we’re stereotyping him,” one of the experts says, looking at a man with a long beard and slightly disheveled appearance.

Marshall Heald, SBS Director of Content and Online, says he hopes the show breaks down stigma and challenge assumptions about what it means to have a mental illness.

SANE Australia, a mental health non-profit, had an advisory role in the project. Jack Heath, SANE Australia CEO, said in a statement:

Documentaries like ‘How ‘Mad’ Are You?’ can help to open up important public discussion around mental illness stereotypes and stigma — conversations which are often ignored. Through sharing the experiences of people living with complex mental illness, we hope this series will increase awareness of symptoms, reduce stigma, encourage people to seek help for mental health concerns and reinforce hope amongst those living with the same diagnosis.

What do you think about the show’s premise? You can watch the trailer below:

Lead image via SBS

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

18 Honest Facebook Statuses People Want to Post When They're Lonely, but Don't (1)

18 Honest Facebook Statuses People Want to Post When They're Lonely, but Don't

There are a lot of reasons people don’t open up about feeling lonely — especially in the moments they feel the loneliest. Sometimes it’s the fear that people will think you’re the kind of person no one would want to be friends with. Sometimes it’s self-shame, believing if you say “I’m lonely” out loud, it means [...]
Chrissy Teigen on a red carpet wearing a shiny silver dress with John Legend next to her. He's wearing a bowtie and dark blue velvet tux.

Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About the 'Bad' Choices She Made When Depressed

When you’re struggling with your mental health, your physical health can take a hit as well. Beyond the physical symptoms that can accompany conditions like anxiety and depression, sometimes living with a mental illness can make us pick coping strategies that go against our best interests. Chrissy Teigen told Women’s Health that she “wasn’t being [...]
27 'Harmless' Comments That Actually Hurt Sexual Assault Survivors

27 'Harmless' Comments That Actually Hurt Sexual Assault Survivors

“You went to his bedroom. What did you think was going to happen?” “Just because you had ‘bad sex,’ doesn’t mean it was rape.” “If it was really sexual assault, why didn’t you report it?” “Well, what were you wearing?” These are some of the things sexual assault survivors often hear after opening up about [...]
A woman sleeping. Text reads: 26 Things People Who Nap 'Too Much' Wish Others Understood

26 Things People Who Nap 'Too Much' Wish Others Understood

Let’s be real — almost everyone appreciates a good nap. But for many, a nap might seem like a luxury they can’t afford. Sure, they’d love to nap, but they don’t actually need one. And who has the time to nap anyway? It can be easy to judge people, then, who do “find the time” [...]