You Can Have Any Kind of Treatment You Want, Providing it’s Our Kind

Mental health nurse education supports institutional psychiatric practice in an insufficiently questioning way. Its formal curricula in universities are often undermined by the informal curricula of practice environments. As an institution, mental health nursing pays insufficient attention to both these issues because it is an arguably un-reflexive and rule-following discipline.
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Drug Choice, Scientology, Ego Needs & Other Divides: Real Politics 101, Part Three

Abolishing First-Order Psychiatry—which includes the American Psychiatric Association and its Big Pharma partners—as a legitimate authority in determining “mental illness” as well as abolishing First-Order Psychiatry’s “treatment” and control dominion are primarily political struggles. In Part One, I discussed the Rehumanizing Resistance’s political naivety; and in Part Two, I offered strategies and tactics. In Part Three, I will focus on how the Resistance can overcome frustration and disunity and gain greater strength.
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They Call This “Help”

“Won’t they know I’m lying?” I asked. “Won’t they know I’m an impostor?” “No,” he said, “not at all. You can tell them you’re suffering from delusions and they’ll believe it almost without question. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any history of psychiatric illness or hospitalization, just make up some nonsense about hearing voices and they’ll swallow the whole thing hook, line and sinker.”
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Hearing Voices, Living Fully: Living with the Voices in My Head

My memoir, Hearing Voices, Living Fully: Living with the Voices in My Head, chronicles my journey through depression, psychosis, and an unmedicated recovery, and describes how I learned to challenge my demons and negotiate the conditions that allowed me to regain control over my mind and my life. Although I thought my story was very unusual, I thought it possible that many who have manifested the symptoms associated with schizophrenia could achieve a greater degree of recovery than is currently the norm. When I became involved with the Hearing Voices Network, I learned that my experience is not uncommon and that there are literally millions of people in the world who are living full lives, even while hearing voices.
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The Case Against Antipsychotics

At times, I think that I must seem like a dog with a bone, and that I just can’t let this one particular subject—the long-term effects of psychiatric drugs—go. I wrote about this in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and since then I have given many talks and written many blogs on the topic, and more recently, I engaged in a back-and-forth of sorts with Ronald Pies and Allen Frances about this. But I do think it is important that the relevant science is known, and with that thought in mind, I decided to write a paper that, in as succinct a manner as possible, would make the “case against antipsychotics.”
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Mental Health Advocacy in California: Perspectives of Advocates and Decision-Makers

In partnership with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn, Inc. conducted a survey on the impact of stakeholder advocacy on decisions affecting public mental health systems in California. The California Mental Health Stakeholder Advocacy Survey was designed by people with personal experience of the mental health system and related advocacy work. The objective was to pilot an approach to help CAMHPRO evaluate the impact of consumer advocacy in the state and to document the activities that advocates engage in (e.g., legislative testimony, demonstrations, campaigns). We asked advocates and decision-makers how these groups engage in advocacy, what their roles are, the goals of advocacy, and its perceived effectiveness in fostering change.
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Violence Caused by Antidepressants: An Update after Munich  

The media is now reporting details about the 18-year-old who shot and killed nine and wounded many others before killing himself on July 22 in Munich. My clinical and forensic experience leads to a distinction among people who murder under the influence of psychiatric drugs. Those who kill only one or two people, or close family members, often have little or no history of mental disturbance and violent tendencies. The drug itself seems like the sole cause of the violent outburst. On the other hand, most of those who commit mass violence while taking psychiatric drugs often have a long history of mental disturbance and sometimes violence. For these people, the mental health system seems to have provoked increasing violence without recognizing the danger.
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Psychiatry is Edging Dangerously Close to Eugenics

In psychiatry, there has always been a swing between the two poles of nature and nurture. Unfortunately, psychiatry is firmly back in the nature camp. Lip service is paid to the emotional environment and trauma. But that is as far as it goes. The accepted (and dangerous) belief is that psychiatry deals with brain diseases – inherited brain diseases. We are back to absolute genetic determinism.
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The Sociological Study of Mental Illness: A Historical Perspective

Mental illness, as the eminent historian of psychiatry Michael MacDonald once aptly remarked, “is the most solitary of afflictions to the people who experience it; but it is the most social of maladies to those who observe its effects.” It is precisely the many social and cultural dimensions of mental illness, of course, that have made the subject of such compelling interest to sociologists. How, for example, are we to define and draw boundaries around mental illness, and to distinguish it from eccentricity or mere idiosyncrasy, to draw the line between madness and malingering, mental disturbance and religious inspiration? Who has social warrant to make such decisions, and why?
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Foster Youths Meet Psychiatry: First – Do No pHarm

When a foster youth encounters a Psychiatrist, chances are high that s/he will get medicated. Traumatized foster youth are often prescribed powerful psychotropics due to exhibiting a wide variety of “normal reactions to abnormal events,” such as despair, agitation, anxiety and self-harm. The practice has been well documented; foster children are prescribed psychotropics at a 2.7 to 4.5 times higher rate than non-foster youth. The National Center for Youth Law aptly summarizes the problem as; too many (25% of foster youth medicated), too soon (300 children under the age of 5 in California are given psychotropics annually) too much (adult dosages) and for too long (no planning or reviews for possible discontinuation).
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Falling Through the Cracks

I am an award-winning singer/songwriter with a number one record to my credit. I also owned several small businesses and founded a 501c3 non-profit for women’s health. I ate healthy, swam and cycled every day and had a very active lifestyle. This was before benzos came into my life. Since withdrawing from benzodiazepines five months ago, I still cannot play one of my own compositions all the way through without a mistake.
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“Invisible” Resistance: Taking Charge in the Face of Difficulty and Institutional Rule

The context in which this article is penned is rule by institutions which are functions of the state, in particular those deemed services; the ways in which these interconnect to create a veritable trap; contrary to current hegemony, the ease with which they can substantially harm those that they “serve.” Pivotal in this article is the “mental health system” and the psychiatric dangers that it presents. At the centre of the discussion are two stories, each involving individuals competently attending to their own needs and/or the needs of their loved ones precisely by keeping one or more of these institutions at bay.
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‘We’re Not Buying It!” — Survey on Emotional Distress and Diagnosis Reveals Mistrust of Psychiatric Labeling

Very few public opinion polls on mental health issues have been conducted, and those that do exist are “forced choice” and presuppose an illness model. We at the East Side Institute wanted people to get the opportunity to reflect on and socialize their thoughts about the medical-mental illness-diagnostic model and its impact on their lives. And that is what they did!
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Schizophrenia Twin Research as Reported in The Gene: An Intimate History — Getting the Facts Straight

In his 2016 book The Gene: An Intimate History, cancer physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled the initial idea of the gene, taking readers through the history of genetics up to the current “post-genome” period by interweaving science, social history, and his own personal narrative. In the process he documented some of the crimes of the eugenics movement and the monstrous atrocities committed by German National Socialism in the name of eugenics and biology, while noting the Nazi’s promotion of twin research. He also criticized aspects of intelligence testing and genetic theories of racial inferiority based on IQ tests. At the same time, Mukherjee supported and promoted many contemporary behavioral genetics positions.
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Dear Boston Globe, Part II: You Forgot the Facts

Dear Boston Globe: So many terrible things have happened in the last 48-hours or so. On Tuesday, July 5, Alton Sterling was brutally executed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On Wednesday, July 6, another black man, Philando Castile also lost his life at the hands of the police in Minnesota as he sat in his car and reached for his wallet. That same day, the Murphy Bill passed the House, and you released your second ‘Spotlight on Mental Health Care’ Globe article, this time called  ‘The Desperate and the Dead: Police Confrontations.
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My Fixed Delusion

I haven’t been a true believer in the psychiatric standard of care for a long time; at some point I became a skeptic. However, I never stopped to consider that my suspicions could be evidence of a “serious mental illness” until it was suggested by my supervisor in a “counseling” meeting. I am not the only one. Many other people have come to the same conclusions I have. Many are articulate and offer compelling evidence.
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Yogurt Cooperative in Spain Provides a Different Form of Help: Meaningful Work

Every one of the Fageda Cooperative’s 300 workers – from milking shed to packing plant – will tell you that this cooperative makes the finest yogurt in all Spain, if not in the world. Last year, they made 1.4 million yogurts every week. In Catalonia, only Nestle and Danone sell more. But Fageda isn’t in business to make yogurt. For over 30 years, its sole mission has been to provide fully-paid, flexible employment to anyone from the region diagnosed with a mental health problem but who still wants to work.
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Announcing an International Symposium and Institute on Psychiatric Drug Risks and Withdrawal

I have given up on psychiatry as a system capable of “being there” for people who are dealing with life and death issues. Psychiatry as a system of care lacks validity. Every day — unfortunately — we learn of new examples proving this statement. But here’s the good news: every day we meet people who show us that the predictions of psychiatry are not true; that there are “cures,” that it is possible to reduce or withdraw psychiatric drugs. This October 15th, we will host Scientific Symposium – Psychiatric Drug Risk and Alternatives in Gothenburg, Sweden, to gather and build on what we learn from them.
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The Murphy Bill, HR 2646 — a Heinous Piece of Legislation — is Coming to a Vote. Act Now.

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery is calling upon all people of like minds, who care about individuals who need mental health services, to ACT. It is urgent. Please call your representative in the House of Representatives to vigorously oppose HR 2646 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. And, call your Senator to insist that the Senate reject any amendments or changes to mental health legislation from the House by Friday, July 8, 2016. For more information about this Call to Action, please click here.
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Principled and Loving Support: The Greatest Gift We Can Give 

“D” had attempted suicide a few days ago and remained in the hospital due to medical complications from the suicide attempt. I listened. I told D how much I cared and was ready to come and get D if that was what D wanted, and D could live in my guest bedroom for as long as D wanted. It’s been a few days since I made that offer – an offer I have never before made to anyone. I have clarified for myself the intent of my offer. I will soon share my intent with D, and writing this now is my effort to clarify my intentions
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A Decade of Searching for the Needle in the Haystack

Ever since I recovered from pharmaceutical abuse that nearly killed me over a decade ago, I haven’t used mental health services. There were many reasons for this and I can’t say I was always decidedly against them for myself, or entirely convinced I couldn’t be helped by a good therapist. And then I got lucky, and found someone I can talk to each week.
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In the Matter of the Hospitalization of Mark V

Today, July 1, 2016, the Alaska Supreme Court issued its Opinion in In the Matter of the Hospitalization of Mark V.    What strikes me the most about the case is that Mark’s expressing the view that a psychiatric drug he was being required to take is poison, that it had side effects related to his sexual performance, and that it was killing him were all cited as proving Mark was delusional. As readers of this site know, these drugs can quite reasonably be characterized as poison, they do cause sexual dysfunction, and they are quite lethal to many many people, shortening lives on average by 25 years for those in the public mental health system, such as Mark.
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Consequences of Taking the Yellow Brick Road: Lithium Carbonate 1984-1996

I was first given Lithium Carbonate in the spring of 1984, and I was taken off Lithium by my attending physician in 1996, but left on other drugs. It took me until 2012 to realize psychiatry is a sham. So often people tell me, “I don’t care what my life is like ten years from now. I only want to feel good now.” I may have said the same thing twenty years ago. Now I have the hindsight to know that my viewpoint back then was juvenile at best. I try to warn other patients these days. It’s hard to joke around about something that kills people.
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Benzos: A Dance With the Devil

Beginning with the glamorization of Miltown in the 1950’s, the “I don’t care” pill was a way to ease the growing awareness that the world is indeed unsafe, and that something is deeply bankrupt in the promises of burgeoning science, technology, and industrialization. Still, we sought to heal these wounds through application of more of the same mentality – one of dominance, management, and suppression of all obstacles into submission. As our bodies, minds, and spirits become more and more separated from nature, each other, and ourselves, the worry, discomfort, and unease mount. Now that the going has gotten very tough, we are reaching for medications more than ever. Surely, however, turning off the smoke alarm is not the best way to deal with a fire.
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Royal College of Psychiatrists Still not Interested in Discussing Important Evidence on Long-term Antipsychotic Treatment

The annual meeting of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists is in full swing at the moment in London. The conference will again not be debating important new findings about antipsychotic drug treatment. Two years ago the conference organising committee rejected a suggestion to discuss this issue. This year I proposed a similar symposium. The proposal was rejected again. I am extremely concerned that the Royal College conference organising committee do not appear to be aware of the importance of this issue.
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