Professor Daniel 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 shone a light on the understanding of delusions, and how this has changed over time. At the heart of each episode was an interview with an individual who has experienced a delusion.
Shared with listeners were the type of conversations normally confined to the therapy room. The programmes also presented 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.
Daniel also interviewed Oxford psychologists and psychiatrists who research and treat delusions.- including Dr Jessica Bird, Dr Louise Isham, Professor Belinda Lennox, Dr Bryony Sheaves, and Dr Felicity Waite.
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’m incredibly grateful.”
A History of Delusions was broadcast 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.