Future Organisations Informed by Evolutionary Psychiatry with Antony Malmo

behaviour evolution organisation psychiatry Mar 13, 2021

In this Candid Craic, we talk to Antony Malmo about his mission to create proactive mental health practice in organizations and society, and his deep wish to design organizational and sociocultural practices informed by evolutionary psychiatry.

After discovering why Antony thinks mainstream mental health is so reactive, we hear how his team creates spaces between home and work in which mental challenges can be discussed and acted upon in a non-clinical, non-ego-threatening manner.

Moving on from Antony's business interests, we take a deep dive into evolutionary psychiatry, framed by questions asking how and why depression and anxiety might have evolutionary benefits for humans, and why treating them as pathologies to be cured might be self-defeating. We look at how today's sociocultural and organizational conditions might be overwhelming what were once highly beneficial survival behaviours, and making them the dysfunctional core of modern human existence.

After Antony explains how these kinds of insights are being employed to help new mothers overcome post-natal depression, we move away from pathologies of the wounded self, and discuss whether it is possible to be too positive and optimistic, and what evolutionary disadvantages that might entail. We look at whether it will be possible to create in-between spaces in which something different from depression/anxiety and manic positivity and optimism might have the opportunity to bloom, before turning to the nine trillion dollar question, which takes us on an unexpected, deeply insightful journey into East African urban and tribal life.

00:10 Hello Antony
00:45 Just what is it that Antony does? Proactive Mental Health
05:14 Proactive Mental Health in Context
11:15 Success Stories of Proactive Mental Health
18:28 Evolutionary Psychiatry & The Pathologizing of Human Existence
27:22 What are the Evolutionary Advantages of Depression?
32:00 Living & Working in Overwhelming Sociocultural Conditions
39:07 Helping Mums Be Better at and in Early Mumhood
44:30 Can you be TOO happy and optimistic?
51:10 Hybrid Work and the In-Between Space
59:24 The Nine Trillion Dollar Question