In the episode, "An Interview with Tanya Frank, Author of Zig-Zag Boy: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood (S5, E15)," Tanya lends her powerful voice to the show, sharing her insight and experience with the mental health industry. Tanya’s association with the mental health system began in 2009 when Zach, Tanya’s son, was diagnosed in 2009 after his first episode with hearing voices. Both Zach and Tanya were not happy with the treatment offered, and Tanya opens up about his forced drugging and coercive hospitalization, as well as the alternative treatments that lent hope and relief.
Tanya also shares differences and similarities in mental health approaches to treatment between the US, the UK, and other nations that are moving onto a more compassionate path, who utilize programs such as Open Dialogue and the Soteria Network. Tanya acts as an advocate for families with experience of psychosis and stresses the importance of such support. While she acknowledges the power of the institution, she sees a new revolution emerging, consisting of a growing movement of critics of the status quo, as more people come forward to share their own stories and challenge the current paradigm. Tanya’s compassionate perspective and courageous heart gives hope to all who have lost faith in a system, that for so many survivors, not only proved unhelpful but aggressively harmful. Tanya’s book is so beautifully written with honesty, rawness, and openness, and her presence on the podcast is equally moving and enlightening.
To buy Tanya's book, go to:
Tanya Frank gained her MFA in Creative NonFiction at the University of California, Riverside. Her debut book, ZIG ZAG BOY: MOTHERHOOD, MADNESS & LETTING GO (Spring 2023) was an editors pick in the New York Times Review of Books. Tanya currently lives in London where she teaches and mentors writers with lived experience of psychosis. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The Washington Post and in various literary journals. She is the recipient of a 2022 Develop Your Creative Practice Award from the Arts Council England.
To learn more about Tanya, go to her website at: https://www.tanyafrank.com/
or follow her on Twitter: @TanFrankUK
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