In The News

Fish Exposed to Prozac Exhibit Significantly Altered Behavior

April 17, 2014

Concentrations of Prozac as low as 1 microgram per liter (μg/L), a concentration that has been found in many freshwater environments, were found to significantly impact the mating behavior of fathead minnows, specifically nest building and defending. Males were also found to display aggression, isolation, and repetitive behaviors at higher concentrations. Predator avoidance behaviors in males and females were also impacted at 1 μg/L. Feeding was impacted at 10 μg/L and in the highest exposure (100 μg/L), egg production was limited by deaths of females due to significant male aggressive behaviors in the first two weeks of exposure. ”With increased aggression, in the highest level of concentration, female survivorship was only 33% compared to the other exposures that had a survivorship of 77–87.5%. The females that died had visible bruising and tissue damage,” according to c0-author Rebecca Klaper.

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Psychological Well-Being & Resilience: The Science and Practice of Eudaimonia

April 16, 2014

Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics reviews research and interventions aimed at engagement in life, realization of personal talents and capacities, and enlightened self-knowledge. “Together, these topics illustrate flourishing interest across diverse scientific disciplines in understanding adults as striving, meaning-making, proactive organisms who are actively negotiating the challenges of life. A take-home message is that increasing evidence supports the health protective features of psychological well-being in reducing risk for disease and promoting length of life. A recurrent and increasingly important theme is resilience – the capacity to maintain or regain well-being in the face of adversity. Implications for future research and practice are considered.”
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More Than 60% of Female Inmates in Canadian Prisons are Prescribed Psychiatric Medication

April 16, 2014

The average rate of female prisoners in Canada’s prison system who receive psychiatric medication has jumped from 42% in 2001 to over 60% today, with some regions prescribing psych meds at a rate of up to 75%, according to a joint investigation by the Canadian Press and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Former prisoners and their advocates have been complaining for years about the overmedication of inmates, with Seroquel –  a powerful antipsychotic — routinely being prescribed to female prisoners as a sleeping aid.
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Recent Schizophrenia Diagnosis, Antidepressant Use, Linked to Suicide

April 15, 2014

Research in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds, in a study of 18,154 subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia, that “The highest suicide-related mortality was seen among subjects recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. Among all potential baseline risk factors for completed suicide examined, the variables most associated with completed suicide were history of suicide attempts and usage of antidepressant medication.”

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Prenatal Exposure to SSRIs Significantly Increases Autism & Developmental Delays

April 15, 2014

Research on 966 mother-child pairs from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study finds that prenatal SSRI exposure was nearly 3 times as likely in children with autism spectrum disorder. Exposure was more than 3 times as likely among boys with development delay, and nearly five times as likely when the exposure was in the third trimester. Results appeared yesterday in Pediatrics.

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Half of Government-Insured Colorado Children Prescribed Antipsychotics are not Psychotic

April 14, 2014

According to a report prepared by Colorado University and released to the Denver Post, half of the children on government insurance in Colorado who are prescribed antipsychotics do not have a diagnosed psychotic illness listed on their Medicaid claims.  ”Few studies have examined side effects on children, and that the drugs have been linked to weight gain, diabetes and growth of breasts in boys,” the article states. “Foster parents and therapists say heavily medicated children are detached from reality — as though ‘walking in a cloud.’ They also contend that the use of the drugs has been fueled by pharmaceutical firms pursuing big profits with the help of willing doctors.”

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Meta-analysis Shows Antidepressants Offer Little to No Benefit to Well-Being of Depressed Children and Adolescents

April 14, 2014

Seeking to rectify the fact that “no meta-analysis has included measures of quality of life, global mental health, self-esteem, or autonomy” (or self-reports of depressive symptoms) in studies of depressed youth, a study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics finds that when these parameters are included “antidepressants offer little to no benefit in improving overall well-being among depressed children and adolescents.”
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Around the Web

“Mother Wishes She Had Restricted Flow of Prescription Drugs to her Son”

April 16, 2014

“Looking back, Pam Herrera wishes she had asked more questions and been more forceful with her son’s therapists,” says the Denver Post. “The list of medications her son took ages 4-16 is staggering: multiple antipsychotics, antidepressants and stimulants, sometimes five at a time, each at the maximum dose allowed. He was so medicated, Herrera said, “we disintegrated his ability to learn.”
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“J&J Allegedly Over-Promoted Risperdal and Paid the Price”

April 16, 2014

The Ohio-based Legal Examiner reviews the history of Johnson & Johnson’s allegedly inappropriate – perhaps criminal – marketing of Risperdal, including pushing the drug for off-label uses in children and the elderly.
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“Drama Helps Kids with Autism Communicate Better”

April 16, 2014

Results from a pilot study called Imagining Autism suggests that drama workshops help children with autism-spectrum disorders.

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The Hot Stove Project

April 16, 2014

The Hot Stove Project seeks to increase dialogue across different perspectives, by integrating individuals who are presently marginalized due to “mental health issues.”

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Personal Stories

Can’t Get It Outta My Head

Eric Coates

April 8, 2014

A voice can be cruel or a voice can be kind, but what it says is only rarely meaningless and irrelevant. A voice may reassure us about our fears. A voice may try to correct our thoughts or actions. A voice may warn us about possible dangers, or remind us of trauma we’ve experienced in the past, possibly as a way to warn us about someone who might be threatening. Hearing voices, then, is not a “hallucination.” It’s an important and relevant experience.
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Anatomy of an Epidemic

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“One of the most disturbing, consequential works of investigative journalism I’ve read in a long time. Perhaps ever.” –John Horgan, Scientific American

MIA Film Festival

Check out our new updates at MIA’s Film Festival website, including a selection of some of the films we’ll be screening!

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About Mad In America

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A few minutes with Robert Whitaker in a video about the purpose, history, achievements, community, and future plans of Mad In America.
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Open Paradigm Project

Navigating the Mental Health Wilderness:
Steven Morgan’s Journey

February 14, 2014


Steven Morgan discusses his transformative journey from chronic “patient” to leading mental health advocate. Steven has been working in peer support and helping to create alternatives to traditional mental health services for the past decade…
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Barry Haslam’s Story of Benzo Withdrawal and Activism →


MIA Correspondent Rob Wipond on “From Compliance to Activism: A Mother’s Journey”

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Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare, by Peter Gotzsche  →
Southern Vapors →