When I lived in Massachusetts I taught yoga and led writing groups for alternative mental health communities. While the organizations I worked for were alternative, many of the students and participants were heavily drugged with psychiatric pharmaceuticals. There was one skinny teenager I’d never have forgotten who listed the drugs he was on for me once in the yoga room after class: a long list of stimulants, neuroleptics, moods stabilizers; far too many drugs and classes of drugs to remember. I was at the housewarming party of an old friend, and who should walk in but that boy who used to come to my yoga classes and writing groups religiously. And he was no longer a boy; he was now a young man. “I’m thinking yoga teacher,” he said. I nodded. Did he remember where? “I’m not stupid,” he said, as if reading my mind. “I’m not on drugs anymore. I’m not stupid anymore.” Full Article →
Michael Wilusz discusses his experience struggling with emotional distress, the ensuing regimen of psychiatric drug treatment, and his process tapering off of the drugs. Michael is a graduate of Salve Regina University and a practicing nurse. He sat down with the Open Paradigm Project on a shoot organized at Another Way in Montpelier, Vermont. Another Way is a community space which serves as a “voluntary alternative to conventional mental health services rooted in community, advocacy, and empowerment”. This is latest in a series of testimonials featured on MadInAmerica.com produced by the “Open Paradigm Project”
I envision a world where there is no need for a mental health field/system because communities are strong and we have a holistic understanding of health. Still, there are definite needs for support at times in life when there are … Full Article →
When we share our stories publicly, whether in speaking, writing, or another art form, we acknowledge we are part of something bigger. We are aware we aren’t the only ones who have been abused or witnessed abuse, or who are scared to let go of our ancestral shame and fear. We are, rather, part of an entire generation, an entire society that is moving away from silence, blame and abuse. In sharing our stories, we instantly recover from a big hunk of loneliness, loneliness that might not be so easily resolved sitting in a room across from a professional, with a few non-offensive art pieces on the walls. We acknowledge that every single one of us who experiences physical or emotional symptoms is holding onto things for others, in our bodies, and together, word by word, we can break free. Full Article →
The recent research scandals out of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry may be alarming, but they are not new. Back in the 1990s, when the university was working its way towards a crippling probation by the National Institutes of Health (for yet another episode of misconduct (this time in the Department of Surgery), the Department of Psychiatry hosted two spectacular cases of research wrongdoing, both of which resulted in faculty members being disqualified from conducting research by the FDA. Full Article →
Researchers at Harvard, NYU, and the VA say in a study published online today by Schizophrenia Research that the age at which 57 subjects with non-affective psychoses began to use marijuana was directly associated with the age of onset of psychosis and age of first hospitalization. “These associations remain significant after adjusting for potential confounding factors and are consistent with the hypothesis that cannabis could cause or precipitate the onset of psychosis after a prolonged period of time.”
In a review of the evidence regarding benzodiazepines, researchers from the University of Michigan find that benzodiazepines used in the treatment of PTSD are associated with withdrawal symptoms and more severe symptoms after discontinuation, and may interfere with patients’ efforts to integrate trauma experiences. The article recommends that benzo use should be short-term for most indications, and includes some recommendations for tapering. The article appears in the April issue of Current Psychiatry.
An astounding development is the explosion in the numbers of substance abusers being diagnosed with Bipolar. I teach a class in Substance Abuse at Georgia State. Typically, this course draws persons in recovery. In the early 1990s, most were recovering … Full Article →