How Mad Are You?
For preview only. Get it at  #ad.

How Mad Are You?

Ratings: 7.19/10 from 36 users.

How Mad Are You?Take ten volunteers, half have psychiatric disorders, the other half don't - but who is who? Over five days the group are put through a series of challenges - from performing stand-up comedy to mucking out cows.

The events are designed to explore the character traits of mental illness and ask whether the symptoms might be within all of us.Three leading experts in mental health attempt to spot which volunteers have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. But will the individuals who have suffered from mental illness reveal themselves?

Ten volunteers have come together for an extraordinary test. Five are "normal" and the other five have been officially diagnosed as mentally ill. Horizon asks if you can tell who is who, and considers where the line between sanity and madness lies.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Hack Doff
10 months ago

WHY would you merely link a trailer?
thank you VERY little for you 'help'

9 years ago

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!

lol refrence humour.

fct overdinkel
9 years ago

psychology is not a science. everyone is identical

9 years ago

Common issues like "anxiety", "depression" and OCD are classified as mental illness - even when situational (like homesickness or loosing a loved one).

Cool E Beans
11 years ago

"Crazy is a state of mind. Lunacy is an art!" Cool E Beans.

11 years ago

Very interesting how even the professionals can get it wrong and what is even better is for those with Mental Health issues is that in their ordinary day to day lives it can be unoticable.

Zigi Yates
11 years ago

So why three white male psychiatrist "judges"? And interesting that apart from a male participant that showed very obvious signs of a disorder early on they selected four women as the "abnormal" ones. I think this might tell us something about the mental health sector and what is considered "normal". Come on BBC!

11 years ago

There is a lot of misinformation floating around in the comments below, some more dangerous than others.

11 years ago

The Bhagavad-Gita (as it is) explains That we are suffering due to our karma from past lives .Whilst people defy Krishna and try to be independent from Krishna they live in illusion and bewilderment and further adding to their karma so their suffering continues and increases .
More importantly than if you can tell the difference between the people in the film ,is that all people ( including the doctors who are more insane than the patients if they think that zombiefying ,dangerous ,medication with many side effects, that are worse than the illness its self ,should be prescribed or even be legal ) progress towards Krishna consciousness and not more diminished states of consciousness.


11 years ago

If the participants knew they were taking part in an experiment to find out who has a mental illness and who does not, can one assume they would do their best to "hide" any character flaws attached to said mental illness during the test/evaluation? Kind of contradicts itself in a way, I think.

Annemie Schweingruber Larsen
11 years ago

Why are scientologists even watching this?

11 years ago

So, a psych label of "schizophrenia" equals to a diagnosis of cancer in real medicine. I wonder which real medical professional would venture to dish out cancer-diagnoses on the basis of a culturally determined subjective judgement of somebody's behaviour only, with no objective medical test results to support their beliefs. I also wonder, and this is even more disturbing to me, which patient would accept a cancer diagnosis based on somebody else's assumptions about them only, and even insist on this diagnosis to be scientifically valid, although the science itself proves them wrong.

11 years ago

yeah, there was no way to close the pop up, so I was hosed too. No where to click it off at all. Did read faq before watching as well. Too bad, and yes, it was a good vid for what I could see.

11 years ago

maybe, i should watch part 2 before i comment haha

11 years ago

i believe yasmine may have acted in way that she does not "normally" act, i feel she attempted to act normal and obviously hide whatever unfortunate illness she may have/had (although a battle with mental illness is lifelong, and thus who fight are truly valor) so say she had depression or social anxiety then she's going the conceal the tale-tell signs of the disorder. its much like how the famous experiment went to where the people acted like they had a mental disorder and really, when you come to think about, if any of us really wanted to dont you think you could make someone you never met think that yeah he may have something wrong with him/her. like if your trying to committed to a mental hospital and you can't (like not even, "well, let's have him spend the night, just in case") then there might be something more wrong with you then the people inside the building you were denied entrance into

11 years ago

Who that has suffered mental health issues would put someone else through that (and I should know) thumbs down

11 years ago

What a wicked Doco! LOOOVVEEDD it! Thats the most insightful, interesting piece on mental illness Ive ever watched/read. I liked Yasmin from the start. She cracked me up. Really disliked Vicki, what a dumb woman. Why the hell was she even considered to participate?? Love how stumped the judges were by the end! I would have loved to take part in this 'experiment' to see whether the panel picked out my mental illness, but then, after watching this, do I really have a mental illness? o_0 :)

12 years ago

This just keeps sending me to another page that looks like it's a virus. Help?

12 years ago

I think being off balance is the first way of tumbling down and becoming well rounded..

12 years ago

I have obsessive writing disorder... lol...
I would really enjoy being a part of a experiment like this to see what they would come up with.
I think the whole thing is silly and people are just people. we dont have to say that someone has a disorder just because they are different. Everyone is different.
I believe people just need to figure there vocation and avocation to get over the bumps. Communication is key.
Their are people with legitimate mental situations, however I believe many more people are diagnosed then necessary and pills are passed out like candy when people should just get a hobby and obsess over that instead.

12 years ago

You have to wonder how many people out there get misdiagnosed everyday and how many countless people that are raving lunatics never get diagnosed at all, like Muammar Gaddafi for example.

I'd love to know what the criteria is for a "normal" healthy person is and is there a marker or definition of mental "perfection"?

Greed and lust for power are also very dangerous social behaviours but are not even on the list or thought of when speaking about mental disorders, why is that? Probably because those types just cleverly identify themselves as "ambitious" and the rest of us sheep just nod and agree.

His Forever
12 years ago

This was really quite interesting. I don't think we should "label" people with disorders at all, though some said that medication helps. I think there may also be spiritual matters involved with mental illness and not just physical ones.

12 years ago

Bipolar often goes hand in hand with schitzophrenia. They identified the five indivudals.

12 years ago

Yay! I guessed 4!

Lovely show, I enjoyed it very much :)

Although I am a little sad that the show didn't reveal, who suffered from schizophrenia.

whydoI needtoputanametogetacal
12 years ago

It's a 30 minutes wait for a free video.

12 years ago

I think the old lady is just dumb

12 years ago

The version I watched never revealed who has schizophrenia.

12 years ago

If you watch the very end of the show, it takes a moment to get a comment from those that were revealed, they left a comment in by mistake, it becomes obvious then.

12 years ago

i thought I'd be able to see it more easily...although i did suspect 3 ppl.

12 years ago

I agree Lou. I think the person with schizophrenia decided not to be identified. While I understand, it was a let down to an otherwise great show. I don't think it shows the shortcomings of psychiatry though, even if the dr.'s got so many wrong. You go to a psychiatrist and explain why you feel you need to be there, they don't observe you and make a diagnosis. Maybe if you are committed. You wouldn't go to a physician and say "guess which organ is giving me trouble" without giving them background information. 12-21-10

12 years ago

Just saw the documentary on SBS in Australia. I have a feeling that the person with Schizophrenia decided not to come forward due to the stigma which may have eventuated in their lives had they done so. Does anyone know what happened here? I can understand this decision, and respect the producers for leaving this out as it was obvious that they did, if this was the reason, to respect the privacy of the individual.

12 years ago

Ha! This show proved how wrong the system is, what a pedestal Psyches are put on, and how prevalent misdiagnosis is. Yes, it was just a show and just a snapshot but even they got it wrong, as they do daily in real life.
As a nurse working in psyche wards, permanent care wards, and with teen self harm and post natal depression, I lost count of the patients who were just drugged up to shut them up. Suggestions such as B6 or any supplement for that matter were not only scorned but ridiculed, yet these days I have colleagues (yes, am now a practitioner) who will only prescribe supplements or alternatives - yes, they do exist...
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and little more than a teenage hormone burst, being forced onto anti depressants 'Or we wont deal with you any more' - labels and 'diagnosis' can be a good thing for some because they just want to be able to have a name for what is happening to them. For others, it's an excuse. For many more, it's a terrible thing because of the stigma that comes with it. It is soul destroying to see once vitally healthy patients pass me by with a look of total betrayal ("Why couldn't you help me?") or even not recognise me - a few years of misdiagnosis and prescription error will do this.
Takes me back to the patient that stands out the most for me. I was treating him for back pain and addiction. Unbeknown to me, my colleague was treating him for schizophrenia - funny how our ethics can be so pedantic that such a small piece of information is withheld... Within a relatively short time, this man was free of addiction (possibly one of the most outstanding successes in 30 years of practice), had become more outgoing, was back at work and guess what? After decades of being 'cared for' by his wife and sister (a Psyche) - which prevented him from basics such as reading, writing, even signing cheques for the business he slaved at but these two women held the purse strings - he was actually reading and intended to go back to school.
The manipulative power of the Psyche world is such that no one can stand up to them. The wife got angry, the sister got angry, even the local GP got angry - and this man was hunted like a criminal, chased down the main street of our small town and taken in handcuffs to Graylands. Reminiscent of psyche stories of the bad old days, this man, after shock treatment, drugging and counselling, only dreams and tells the story with tears in his eyes, of the time - even for just a year or so, he lived a normal life - free of drugs, free of fear or irrational thought. Why did they react this way? Who knows? But my bet is it has something to do with the fact the business kept his wife and sister rolling in money. The kids went to a private school, the wife lived between the city and small town, very much living the life of the wealthy kept woman. When he woke up from 20 years of drug stupor, he realised he was their pawn - and they didn't like that he knew....
Please people, take note of your health, get a 2nd or 3rd or even 4th opinion. And if a drug has a bad side effect, get another opinion again. If you feel you are doing better with this care, okay, but if you know in your heart that you are not 'mad' - don't let anyone tell you that you are. I have the advantage of practicing both orthodox and alternatives and believe me, there are many questions answered out there which are withheld. Don't let what can be part of growing up - minor chemical imbalances - be misdiagnosed and mistreated.

12 years ago

One more detail,

Majority of Psychiatrists tend to treat the symptoms first for several months with continued observations (not 5 consecutive days) waiting for fluctuations or any radical changes. And only after 9-12 months may narrow the conclusion deciding to "diagnose".

It is pretty obvious, they are protecting themselves and also the patients, from a wrongful diagnosis.

Please notice above I said "majority" and not ALL! If we don't want people to be judgemental of ourselves, we should neither be judgemental of professionals!

12 years ago

Hi All, just watched the documentary in SBS Channel, Sydney. also entertained myself with your comments.

I am a Bipolar sufferer of 22 years. Currently well self- managed and monitored with 3 visits to psychiatrist p/year and daily medication. I'm a strong believer and follower of Personalised Wellbeing Plans (PWP). In my modest opinion this was an Excellent Production which does a lot for destigmatisation and awareness of mental illness. For one recognising the prevalence of "1 in 4" that suffer.

Completely agree with Pieta's comments (above). Furthermore, one of the most important universal truths implicitly asserted by the program is: "Always be prepared for a 2nd, or 3rd or 4th opinion". We all (professionals or not professionals) are fallible! But must try and strive for excellence all the time.
Best regards,

BIPOLAR Education Foundation

Bipolar Person
12 years ago

This show was s@#$.

The so-called psychiatrists pathologised many ordinary responses to situations and the commentary about disorders was shocking

0 out of 5

12 years ago

i'm not sure whether i should find it embarressing or funny that i have been diagnosed with 3 of the illnesses out of 5. maybe the name of the experiment should be reviewed since being mad isn't really an appropriate word to describe mental illness. anyway, it was interesting nevertheless. i dont think it was a fair experiment since they were consciously trying to hide their symptoms, which in the real world wouldnt be the case entirely. also, if they were being medicated for their problems then i am not suprised that the psychiatrists found it hard to pick the neurotypical from the disordered. regardless, i'm not sure what the experiment was trying to prove... perhaps that a lot more people are ill than what we can assume through observation? i guess it could motivate people to seek help and not be embarressed. i just answered my own question... i guess it was a good idea then...

12 years ago

I was amazed the three male professionals primarily targetted the women in the group as having mental illness. It was a shame this was not observed or discussed in the documentary or raised for reflection re: practice and assumptions.

12 years ago

Anyone know what the theme tune is? I have a feeling it's a string version of Midnight Hour's I'm Running Away but didn't see anything on the credits. Call ME crazy but I always have to watch the credits and it upsets me like nothing that stations are obsessed with either speeding them up or cutting them altogether. Can anyone help? Don't even get me started on Psyches... The ones I have worked with are all far more 'crazy' and in need of help than many of the patients. And there seems to be far more in need of help walking around in mainstream, never being diagnosed than those who actually do. I have seen obviously bipolar people totally fool experts day after day...

12 years ago

I went 3 for 5. Spotted the anorexic and the depressed person right off, and got the OC person after it became really obvious. My pick for bipolar was pretty much ignored all show. Still beat the pros, though, which is scary when you realize they had a week of diagnosis time here, but the average person can be (and is) diagnosed and prescribed antidepressant(s) in 15 minutes or less.

12 years ago

I found this documentary fascinating. I have recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and fully understand that psychiatry is not a precise science.

I can appreciate the difficulty the panel had in trying to diagnose with such limited evidence (None of the volunteers were symptomatic). For me, it took more than 10 years form onset of my condition, and two years in mental health to gain a tentative diagnosis of bipolar disorder and fairly definite for mood disorder, while symptomatic.

For those of you who think that shrinks are just plugging pharmaceuticals, i can say from personal experience that is not the case. The first GP i went to who suspected i had a mood disorder would not prescribe without me seeing a psychiatrist, and when I saw the shrink, she fully respected my reluctance to take medication of any kind, and negotiated appropriate treatment with me, which initially was primarily verbal therapy. I have had a combination of CBT and medication to manage my condition, but i am currently symptomatic. If i were on the show now i would possibly be one of the easier ones to pick up.

Many professionals do not like using labels to treat mental illness, but all agree a correct diagnosis is so important for proper treatment, and many conditions require medication. For an individual experiencing psychosis they need antipsychotic medication. In my case, it was discovered i probably have bipolar because i took an antidepressant and it triggered mania.

I am not an expert, but i do also think there is a difference between suffering with a psychiatric condition and experiencing an episode of poor mental health. There are many difficulties we face in life, and these things can trigger depression where the individual probably needs support and will recover well. Sometimes trauma can reveal psychiatric conditions. Episodes of depression, mania and psychosis are often linked to stress.

There are many shades of grey in studying human behaviour. The labels given are really just describing a set of traits an individual possesses. If studied hard enough everyone could be labelled with something. The point of the diagnosis is to deal with a condition that is having a negative impact on an individual’s life, and those around the individual. I know my condition does not just affect me, it affects my family, the children i teach, my employer, insurer and the list goes on.

With appropriate care by qualified experts the aim is to allow those with a mental illness to live fulfilling lives as functioning members of the community as much as is possible. Once someone has recovered it should be very difficult to tell if they have suffered from poor mental health in the past, just like it can be impossible to tell if someone broke their arm as a child.

12 years ago

Very interesting, I agree with the vicki thing and makes you consider how easy it is to diagnose people when you are in a position of power. Makes you think how many people are stereotyped and "labelled" in the way the experts tried to label these people.

12 years ago

I didn't read the FAQ. I pressed the red play button and it "just works". I love free open source software! (I'm on ubuntu, with firefox plus vlc/mplayer/flash plugins). Time to ditch bindo$e?

13 years ago

@john... well said

13 years ago

Double posting...! Sorry.

Watched the entire thing now. I don't believe Vicky when she says she doesn't have any mental problems. I think she's one of those who just haven't been diagnosed yet, like I said earlier in my first comment.

Perhaps she's the one with the schizophrenia...? I thought they mentioned somewhere that someone in the group was schizophrenic. Or maybe they just implied it to make it more exciting for the viewing public, I don't know.

Interesting show, in any case!

13 years ago

I don't agree that psychologists/psychiatrists mostly think they're better than their patients etc. Many people in the psychiatric and psychological professions agree that diagnosis is not a sensible way of helping people deal with difficult life situations, and take a formulative approach, of listening to the individual and engaging with them in a two-way conversation. The difficulty is that access to medical help, insurance support (esp in America), recognition of 'illness' to help get support needed from work etc. all rely on a diagnosis - a label - , so people in the professions give them one. In addition, doctors and medical professionals are heavily marketed by drug companies and have come to believe that giving a diagnosis and drugs will help their patients quickly (despite all of the evidence around the side-effects, withdrawal symptoms and long-term impacts of these drugs), whereas typical NHS waiting lists for someone to just get someone to talk to are probably around 2 years, depending on where you are in the country.

It's become a necessity to medicalise mental struggles in the indivdual, in order to get them any kind of support, and this has tied in nicely with the recognition from drug companies that they can patent and market certain drugs if they can create / link to a diagnosis of something which sounds medical.

When you add this to the third factor, the desire for people in the psychiatric profession to medically legitimise what they do in order to get it taken seriously and widen the likelihood of people who are suffering seeking help ("it's okay, it's a disease like any physical disease, come and get treated as you would if this was the flu"), no wonder we can't spot mental 'illness' from no 'illness'. The illness is a false construct, but not necessaily one that people in the counselling professions agree with. They are just working within the system.

My view - the only thing that separates a medically depressed person for example, from someone who's just unhappy, is their ability to cope with their life with the feelings they're having and the fact that they asked for, or were given, professional help.

13 years ago

I knew something was wrong with Stewart, and I had a gueas that Yasmin was diagnosed with having a depression disorder.
Don't understand why these "proffesionals" didn't notice it.

But anyway, I never believed in psycholgists/psychiatrists. Psychology isn't a precise science at all, so it's very difficult to rely on it. Even at the times when I was supposed to have therapy, I never thought of taking it, and I managed to go through my life on my own.

I just don't think these people can teach me something that I didn't know about how to lead my life. That's true to all people except people with real mental illness who have to be on observation and must take pills.

And besides, what's being "mad" anyway? I believe that all of us can be diagnozed in having some kind of disorders. It means we must take therapies and pills to get "healthy?" We are human, we are not perfect. Every one of us are individuals, and all these "disorders" are part of our own personlity, part of who we are.

Most psychiatrists are too full of themselves. People who enter this job in the first place, are people who say they "want to help others". That's nice and everything, but think of it in another way - what kind of person do you think you have to be if you think you can "help" everyone? You must be a very, VERY, arrogant person.

And all these psychologists think that are better than their patients. They just don't show it, of course. But that's what they do think, mostly. And I hate being looked from above.

13 years ago

I knew from the beginning that Yasmine has suffered from depression..

13 years ago

Very enjoyable. This should be required viewing for the unkind, judgmental folks of the world.

13 years ago

these hi paid shrinks are getting a lot of money to just say what pleases and supports the pharm industry's pursuit to produce and sell fake treatments for fake diceases.

13 years ago

This is just more proof that shrinks and their relationship with pharm industry's labeling of a so-called 'disease' and a so-called 'treatment' is a conspiracy!!