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Experience Near Definitions of Madness

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This definitional entry contains descriptions of the experiences of two mad people from Naarm (so called Melbourne, Australia). They are Rory Randall and Hamilton Kennedy. Together, we (Rory and Hamilton) have noticed that traditional encyclopedias, mental health textbooks, and contemporary discourse fail to describe some ways of being in a relatable way. Accordingly, we have chosen to identify, define, and explore some unique experiences that we have had utilizing experience near language. For the purposes of this entry, experience-near refers to descriptions of personal experience or observed phenomena that are expressed in language that is local or familiar to a person, and that are free from superimposed understanding of something. Experience near-language is localized, nonstructuralist, and one’s own particular definition of an experience (White, Workshop notes by Michael white. Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide, 2005). These are to be read as though they were dictionary definitions about the experiences some consider mad and of so-called “recovery.” the language chosen is specific to our relationship with it, but we hope that other people may be able to recognize something they have lived through in these.


  • Madness
  • Lived experience
  • Consumer
  • Survivor
  • Ex-patient
  • Narrative therapy

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  • White, M. (2005). Workshop notes by Michael white. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.

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Correspondence to Hamilton Kennedy .

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© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Randall, R., Kennedy, H. (2021). Experience Near Definitions of Madness. In: Lester, J.N., O'Reilly, M. (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-12852-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-12852-4

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