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Starting on Monday 3 December, Professor Daniel Freeman, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, presents a new ten-part BBC Radio 4 series called 'A History of Delusions'.

Photo shows man sat on couch with his head in his hands pulling an anguished expression.

Professor Freeman is a clinical psychologist and has been researching and treating delusions for the past twenty years.

"A delusion is a belief that is impossible, incredible or false; it is held with a high degree of certainty; and it endures despite evidence to the contrary."

The programmes will shine a light on the understanding of delusions, and how this has changed over time. At the heart of each episode there is an interview with an individual who has experienced a delusion.

Shared with listeners will be the type of conversation normally confined to the therapy room. The programmes also present cases from the archives – from the Renaissance through to the asylums of Paris and the psychiatric hospitals of Victorian Britain – to observe the influence of the political and social climate on the content of delusions.

Professor Freeman also interviews psychologists and psychiatrists - including Dr Jessica Bird, Dr Louise Isham, Professor Belinda Lennox, Dr Bryony Sheaves, and Dr Felicity Waite from the University of Oxford - who research and treat delusions.

Cheryl, a contributor to A History of Delusions, explained why she took part, “If this helps even just my mum understand what I was going through then I’d be incredibly grateful.”


A History of Delusions will be broadcast weekdays at 13.45 on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 3 December to Friday 14 December.

It will be available on BBC Sounds and can be downloaded from the BBC website


Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.