Please Join Groundbreaking Research on Psychiatric Medications

Psychiatric medications such as antipsychotics and antidepressants account for a huge number of published research studies. This existing research, however, is almost exclusively constrained within a medical model approach, purporting to evaluate medications as treatment for biological brain disorders, and designing studies accordingly. The disease, and how medications presumably affect it, is at the center — with pharmaceutical company financial interests not far behind. That paradigm is starting to change.
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Stop The War On Chronic Pain Patients

Much has been written lately about an “epidemic” of opioid overdose deaths, in some cases advocating for a blanket reduction in the availability of prescription opioids. Regrettably, many readers will not penetrate beneath the sensational headlines to grapple with the complicated realities of this issue. Few who aren’t themselves in pain may realize what harm such articles are doing to tens of millions of people.
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Prescribing Antidepressants for Girls: Intergenerational Adverse Consequences

Children exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy, a recent study shows, were diagnosed with depression by age 14 at more than four times the rate of children whose mothers were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder but did not take the medication. Such reports are usually met, appropriately, with an outpouring of reassurances from clinicians who take care of pregnant women, who need to protect their emotional wellbeing in whatever way they can. From my perspective as a pediatrician specializing in early childhood mental health our attention must be on prevention.
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Who Will Guard the Guardians of Psychiatry?

The assertion that the so-called antidepressants are being over-prescribed implies that there is a correct and appropriate level of prescribing and that depression is a chronic illness (just like diabetes). It has been an integral part of psychiatry’s message that although depression might have been triggered by an external event, it is essentially an illness residing within the person’s neurochemistry. The issue is not whether people should or shouldn’t take pills. The issue is psychiatry pushing these dangerous serotonin-disruptive chemicals on people, under the pretense that they have an illness.
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Twin Method Assumptions are Indefensible, but are Useful to the Rich and Powerful

The wealthy, and the institutions they finance and promote, look favorably upon research whose authors claim that economic disparities are rooted in biology, and are not harmful to humanity as a whole. But there are countless obvious real-world examples showing that political policies, social struggles, and public health programs, including those involving the adjustment of income differences, lead to improved health and well-being.
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The Evidence-Based Mind of Psychiatry on Display

Earlier this year, Ronald Pies and Allen Frances wrote a series of blogs that collectively might be titled: “Why Robert Whitaker is Wrong about Antipsychotics.” In regard to reviewing the “evidence” on that question, Pies did most of the heavy lifting, but he also told of drawing on the expertise of E. Fuller Torrey, Joseph Pierre and Bernard Carroll. Given the prominence of this group, it could be fairly said that Pies’ review reflects, to a large degree, the collective “thoughts” of American psychiatry. And with that understanding in mind, therein lies an opportunity, one not to be missed.
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A Moment Passed Too Often

What if, in that moment, nothing happened? What if I was given a second to collect myself enough to engage in the conversation surrounding my future? No one asked me what I would like to do. I was never given the chance to regain my equilibrium before I was drugged and bagged for the next decade.
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Are They “Symptoms” or “Strategies?”

In the mainstream, psychological difficulties are seen as “symptoms” of an “illness” or “mental disorder” and based on this the focus is put on suppressing them, either by using drugs, or shock, or by psychological interventions that also aim to “eliminate the problem.” Unfortunately, this mainstream approach often works poorly, and too often its main effect is to aggravate the problem, or to cause “collateral damage” as critically important parts of the person are suppressed along with the supposed “symptoms.” But if we want to replace the mainstream approach, we need a coherent alternative view.
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A Worldwide Epidemic – The Misuse of Anti-Depressant Medications

Not all people who have letters after their names are actually “gods” or even people who have any special powers to know things about us more than we can learn about ourselves, about our own bodies, and our own minds. Blindly following what someone says we need to be doing for our own health (mental or physical) and well-being just because they have a white jacket on (so to speak) is usually not in our best interests.
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In Honor of Fear and Pain

Our use of antidepressants has turned single-episode struggles that recovered 85% of the time within one year, never to recur, into chronic and debilitating disorders that hold patients hostage in their own arrested development. But, If you are in the hole of pain, here’s what I have to say to you. It’s what I say to my patients, and what I tell myself in times of struggle.
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Mental Health in Black and White

When I looked through my mountains of medical records, I saw that the providers who listed my race as black applied diagnoses like major depressive disorder and PTSD. The providers who saw me as white preferred diagnoses of panic disorder and borderline personality disorder. Of course, my experiences are just anecdotal. But if racial bias due to subjective experiences of practitioners can play such a large role in mental health diagnostics, how is this even considered a scientific discipline?
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Do We Really Need Mental Health Professionals?

Professionals across the Western world, from a range of disciplines, earn their livings by offering services to reduce the misery and suffering of the people who seek their help. Do these paid helpers represent a fundamental force for healing, facilitating the recovery journeys of people with mental health problems, or are they a substantial part of the problem by maintaining our modestly effective and often damaging system?
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Are Psychiatrists Playing God?

Psychiatrists have a long and terrible history of destroying people in the name of curing them. Having utterly failed to help so many of their patients over decades and even centuries, psychiatrists historically have condemned them to dreadful and often deadly alternatives. Putting it more exactly, having made their patients worse by battering their brains with drugs, psychiatrists and organized psychiatry have in the past and now again in the present put their victims to death. In short, euthanizing psychiatrists first make their patients worse, then declare them incurable, and finally participate in killing them.
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The Elusive Emotional Wounds of Omission That Our Culture Inflicts On Us – and the Healing Balm of Love That Can Heal Them

When we try to understand why we emotionally suffer, we can look to the ever-growing, reliable knowledge that traumatic, overt emotional wounds of commission can surely cause our emotional suffering via depression, anxiety and even extreme states.
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Daughter of a Psychiatrist

Here I was, 15 years old and already in a long-term treatment facility. I was, on paper: crazy! This entire time, all the adults in my life had been speaking for me. I never felt like I was any of the things they said, but I went along with it. What else could I have done? Every time I rebelled, it only confirmed to my mother what she thought of me.
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Truth and Reconciliation: An Evening of Sharing and Healing

On Wednesday, March 20, 2016, Rethinking Psychiatry collaborated with The M.O.M.S. Movement and The Icarus Project to host our first Truth and Reconciliation Circle for Receivers and Givers of Psychiatric and Mental Health Services. In this three-hour event, both receivers and givers of psychiatric and mental health services expressed their thoughts and feelings in a structured, facilitated environment.
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Consciousness Revealed – Revolutionary Implications for Psychiatry

The billions of dollars of research into fictitious brain diseases, which traces apparently faulty genes or neurotransmitters, is a fruitless enterprise looking in all the wrong places. A lot of brain research at best hits on a fad and metastasizes. At its worst it follows the big money from the pharmaceutical companies or tries to suit the self-serving political agenda of the APA in its current agenda: the search for biological markers.
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Report from the Parliament: Can Psychiatry At Least Be Curious?

In the past six years, I have had the opportunity to speak at several conferences or meetings that I felt had particular potential to stir some political activity that would challenge current psychiatric practices, and one of those events was the meeting convened in the U.K.’s Parliament on May 11th, which had this title for the day: Rising Prescriptions, Rising Mental Health Disability: Is There a Link?
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Real Politics 101, Part One: “First-Order Psychiatry” vs. the “Rehumanizing Resistance”

In the political struggle between First-Order Psychiatry and the Rehumanizing Resistance, the Resistance continues to win scientific victories (including the First-Order’s retreat from its “chemical imbalance theory of mental illness”); however, the Resistance is losing the larger struggle against the First-Order’s expansion of influence. Winning scientific battles but losing the war will continue until the Resistance: (1) fully recognizes the political nature of this struggle; (2) accepts the reality that it has an adversary aimed at its destruction; and (3) creates and implements effective political strategies and tactics.
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Reflections on Myth Machines, “Mental Illness,” and the Perils of Good Intentions

Once again this year, I was fortunate to attend the annual Saks Institute symposium. The topic — fittingly enough in LA — was mental illness in the movies. What struck me was the degree to which public discussions are shaped by two related categories of problems. There were ideas that I believe are misconceptions, and positions that are shaped largely by a lack of important information — especially information which isn’t influenced by a profit-oriented corporate culture.
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Making the Case Against Antidepressants in Parliament

On Wednesday, May 11, there will be an inquiry by a work group in the U.K.’s Parliament into whether increases in the prescribing of antidepressants are fueling a marked increase in disability due to anxiety and depression in the U.K. I wrote about a similar rise in disability in the United States in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and the All Party Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence, which is the Parliamentary group that organized the debate, asked me to present the case against antidepressants.
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ADHD:  The Hoax Unravels

At the risk of stating the obvious, ADHD is not an illness. Rather, it is an unreliable and disempowering label for a loose collection of arbitrarily chosen and vaguely defined behaviors. ADHD has been avidly promoted as an illness by pharma-psychiatry for the purpose of selling stimulant drugs. In which endeavor, they have been phenomenally successful, but, as in other areas of psychiatry, the hoax is unraveling.
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On the Corner of Distress & Poverty: What Happens to Our Minds When There is No Going Home

In the last few years, Mental Health First Aid has been backed by the President of the United States, the First Lady, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Council on Behavioral Health (among others). In fiscal year 2015 alone, the federal budget allotted 15 million toward the Council’s MHFA mission of ‘one million trained.’ Yet, this course – promoted with unprecedented fervor and designed to support the average citizen to identify a mental health ‘problem’ in their fellow persons and (strongly) encourage them to get ‘help’ – has little to say about the importance and emotional impact of meeting basic human needs.
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Not Seen

I am The Invisible Woman. A woman with a nice enough bag, a calm demeanor, and well-put-together clothes (they are not “odd,” they attract no attention). You might see me walking my dog near where I live, smiling at my neighbors, making small talk. People make all sorts of comments to me about the crazies. They go off on lunatics and nutcases and whackos and freaks. It never occurs to them that I might be among this so-called population.
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The FDA Is Hiding Reports Linking Psych Drugs to Homicides

In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined being drawn into a story of intrigue involving my own government’s efforts to hide, from the public, reports of psychiatric drugs associated with cases of murder, including homicides committed by youth on the drugs. But that is precisely the intrigue I now find myself enmeshed in.
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