Watching Bedlam: providing an insight into mental torment

I’ve been watching Channel 4’s new series Bedlam, set in the South London and Maudsley psychiatric institution (the Bethlem Royal Hospital – aka Bedlam). The stories of individuals like Helen and James, whose lives have been ruined for years by their crippling fears and anxiety, reminded me of the terrible toll mental health can exact. Although their cases appear extreme, we all face anxiety, fear, loss and chaos in our lives and can never be sure how we will react to what life throws at us. It was good to see how well cared for they seemed to be: the staff were caring, professional, friendly and patient. Most of us harbour within us a fear of ‘madness’ and I think it can only do good to show ordinary, complex and multi-faceted individuals’ struggles with their thoughts and feelings when it is presented in such a compassionate, intelligent and inclusive way.


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