Alex Riley

A Cure for Darkness
  • A Cure for Darkness

  • Find the new frontiers of mental health, with the help of a scientist who has crossed its borders.

    In 2015, after years of struggling with his mental health Alex Riley was diagnosed with major depression. As part of his journey to understanding his condition he began to explore his own family’s hidden history of mental illness.

    This made Alex wonder: why are these the treatments available, what have they done to us, and what might the future hold for sufferers of this ubiquitous disease? The result is A Cure for Darkness, a very personal exploration of the modern history of the treatment of depression, from the early German psychiatrists in the late 19th Century, to the Prozac revolution, to a possible future of digital therapists and psychedelic remedies.

    Told in a series of ‘episodes’ that illuminate history and science and draw from the deeply personal experiences of Alex and his own family, A Cure for Darkness is a compelling narrative non-fiction journey, packed with fascinating stories, deep insight and extraordinary hope for the future of the illness.

RELEASED 16/01/2020

Alex Riley is a scientist and writer based in Bristol whose work has appeared in publications including Nautilus, Hakai, Aeon, PBS’s NOVA Next, New Scientist, and the BBC. He has a masters in Zoology and previously worked for the National History Museum.