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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'.

Word cloud for delusion

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