by Nic Subtirelu

In the neurodissent podcast, Nic Subtirelu and Molly Friesenborg talk about neurodivergence, mental health, and psychiatry. We use history, philosophy, and social theory to explore the mind and the things that threaten to harm it.

Podcast episodes

  • A Stochastic Parrot for a Therapist


    A Stochastic Parrot for a Therapist


    This is a special episode recorded for the 2023 Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival. The theme of this event is "Artificial Intelligence: Applications and Trajectories". In the special episode, Nic and Molly explore the idea of seeking out care or comfort from ChatGPT or other artificially 'intelligent' chatbots. In other words, we look at whether ChatGPT would make a good therapist or not. We draw on linguistics scholarship as well as our own personal experience using chatbots -- both ChatGPT and Em -- to inform our conversation.

  • Season 1

  • The Hippocraposse

    The Hippocraposse

    In our first season, we go back in history in order to explore a world before modern psychiatry. We talk about demonic possession, exorcism, and other spiritual phenomena that might act as ways for people to try to improve their mental health. Our first episode begins with Ancient Greece, considering how Hippocratic physicians and the cult of Asclepius treated people suffering from mental illness or distress.

  • Jesus Christ & the Demoniacs

    Jesus Christ & the Demoniacs

    In this episode, Nic & Molly explore the exorcism stories found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, specifically the Gospel of Mark. We discuss how the writer of Mark portrays Jesus Christ healing people afflicted by demons. We talk about how early Christianity sought to distinguish itself from the healing that took place at asclepiad sanctuaries. We also ask whether Hippocrates, or the author of On the Sacred Disease, would have thought Jesus was a quack.

  • St. Jerome & the Fires of Lust

    St. Jerome & the Fires of Lust

    In this episode, we talk about the theologian St. Jerome, who lived in the Roman empire from around 340 - 420 AD. Jerome's writings were influential during his time, and have remained so for over 1600 years. Among the many things he wrote was the story of his friend, St. Hilarion, who, according to Jerome, was an exorcist. We note how similar Jerome's exorcism stories are to the stories of Jesus exorcising demons in the Gospel of Mark. We also talk about how much Jerome hated Hippocrates and Asclepius. We hope you'll listen!

  • Margery Kempe & Other Creatures

    Margery Kempe & Other Creatures

    In this episode, Nic and Molly talk about the medieval Christian mystic, Margery Kempe, who lived in England from around 1373 to 1438 AD. Kempe is one of the few medieval women to write a book about her life. We explore her book and its stories of Margery seeking out advice and help from religious figures to help her better understand her mind. In particular, we look into how Margery sought to find out if her mental and emotional experiences were caused by God and the Holy Spirit or, instead, by demons.