Mad patients have historically been excluded from knowledge production in the field of mental health. Having their faculties of ‘reason’ challenged placed them outside arena where knowledge about mental health problems is produced. However recent years have seen increased valuing of ‘experiential knowledge’ based on the work of people who have experience of mental health problems and services. At a research, policy and practice level there is often a requirement to include forms of experiential knowledge. This has led to some advances in mental health care but comes at a cost to those who share their experience of often private and painful events. Coming from a trauma survivor perspective, I am interested in thinking about how this sharing of ‘experiential knowledge’ impacts on us and what happens when our experience becomes a form of commodity that can be traded, debated and discarded. Drawing on the work of the intellectual historian Martin Jay, I explore how philosophical interpretations of the meaning of ‘experience’ have changed over time. Given that there are a number of ways that we can frame ‘experience’, I conclude by discussing what the implications might be of different interpretations for ‘experiential knowledge’ producers in mental health.