RX Dangers

The purpose of RX Dangers is to educate the American public on current pharmaceutical drugs and devices commonly being used within the United States. While prescription painkillers and other drugs are being abused by addicts, other life-saving drugs, and devices …
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“‘Acting Out’ or Suffering from Trauma?”

Eve Troeh and Mallory Falk explore the use of trauma informed curriculum in the New Orleans school system following Hurricane Katrina. “Consider the everyday stresses of children living in poverty: not enough food to eat, a lack of stable, safe housing, the threat of gun violence that plagues poor neighborhoods, picking up on the stress of adults facing job insecurity or without a living wage,” they write. “We are learning more about how these ‘toxic stress’ factors affect children’s brain development and limit their ability to learn, not to mention their basic ability to show up to school every day.”

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Neuroplasticity and How the Brain Heals

For The Lancet, Jules Morgan reviews a new book, “The Brain’s Way of Healing,” by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge. Doidge challenges current understandings of how the brain works and presents neuroplasticity as a means by which cognitive and motor functions can be regained once damaged.  “If neuroplasticity is now accepted in neuroscience,” he writes, “why are these clinical approaches that make use of it not more widely available and mainstream?”

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“Learning to Live with the Voices Inside Your Head”

For ABC’s All in the Mind, Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis report on the latest research showing that hearing voices may be far more commonplace than previously thought. “The emphasis is often less on psychopharmacology ... and more on psychological treatment, open dialogue, and working with the voices so that they are perceived as meaningful, and often associated with an identity or a person in the past.”

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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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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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Balancing Harms vs. Benefits at #NAMIcon16

The Recovery movement is also the peer community, or civil rights activists for people with mental health labels, or psychiatric survivors, or whatever need to start calling ourselves. But we tend to be an aging, white, and middle class community. In the 70’s mental illness was 1%. Now 20% of Americans are on psych drugs. People work, have families, live their lives despite or around these drugs and disease labels more and more often. Almost everyone in the US that has a chronic health condition like migraines, brain injury, lupus, or chronic pain is on psych meds. I’m on psych drugs. (For sleeping issues related to brain injury.) The notion of “mental illness,” has shifted. Has the recovery movement shifted with it?
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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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“The Overdiagnosis of ADHD”

The general theme, that various “mental illnesses” are being “overdiagnosed” is gaining popularity in recent years among some psychiatrists, presumably in an effort to distance themselves from the trend of psychiatric-drugs-on-demand-for-every-conceivable-human-problem that has become an escalating and undeniable feature of American psychiatric practice. But the implicit assumptions – that there is a correct level of such labeling, and that the label has some valid ontological significance – are emphatically false.
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Dear Boston Globe: You Are the Failure You Describe

When it’s come to those seen as wearing the crown of ‘science,’ journalists have apparently been instructed (or so I’m told) to simply act as ‘translator.’ To question becomes sacrilege, or the act of one who must be ‘crazy’ (or at least hell bent on destroying their journalistic career).
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Call For Abstracts: Philosophical Perspectives on Critical Psychiatry

The Association for Advancement in Philosophy and Psychiatry is issuing a call for abstracts, with a particular interest in submissions from service users. The 29th annual meeting, to be held next May 20th to 21st , 2017 in San Diego, California, will feature keynote presentations from MIA contributors Joanna Moncrieff and Nev Jones, among others.

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Metaphors in Psychiatry

Metaphors have been used for improving communication since the beginning of recorded history. By using them to understand and communicate about psychiatry we may get some interesting insights. Court metaphor for drug research. Currently almost all research on drugs for …
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Important New Book— “Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness”

The central question that Will Hall asks is: What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world? The answers Hall receives in more than 60 interviews and essays from ex-patients, scientists, journalists, artists, and dissident psychiatrists and psychologists restores the full range of color to our humanity. Outside Mental Health reminds us that perhaps the most pathetic aspect “inside mainstream mental health” is how simplistic, boring, and reductionist it is—when our natures are so very complex, fascinating, and non-reductionist.
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Rising Rates of Suicide: Are Pills the Problem?

If you’ve read recent reports that state “US suicide rates surge to a 30 year high,” you might first justify the reality with the fact that things feel very wrong in our world today. On a personal, national, and planetary level, people are suffering to survive and the distress is coming from all sides – medical to economic to existential. But you probably also wonder why more people are choosing this permanent and self-destructive path, and feel compelled to submit to seemingly logical appeals to provide these individuals more help and greater access to treatment. Surprise: that may be the last thing our population of hopeless and helpless needs. Life’s inevitable challenges are not the problem. It’s the drugs we use that are fueling suicide.
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Well-Being Therapy: A Guide to Long-term Recovery

If a patient has high cholesterol or sugar, the doctor may prescribe a drug to lower what is too high, but he/she generally adds some suggestions: for instance to avoid certain types of food, to do more physical activity, to refrain from smoking. But if someone has a low mood and sees medical help, the doctor–particularly if he or she is a psychiatrist–will likely just prescribe a drug and not encourage any “self-therapy.” The problem with his approach to care is that psychiatric drugs, even when they are properly prescribed, may help very little in the long run and create a number of additional problems
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No, It’s Not Because He Was ‘Mentally Ill’: Why Tragedy Struck in Orlando

49 people died in a club in Orlando, Florida at the hands of a man who is now dead, too. In only a few hours time, he destined himself to be forever made infamous as one of an increasingly long line of ‘shooters’ that have sent our nation on a desperate search for who or what to blame. I never met this particular ‘shooter,’ but in my teens I did meet one. Here’s how that went.
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Illness Inflation: Expanded Medical Definitions Create More Patients

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has issued a watchdog report titled “Illness Inflation” that examines how new medical conditions are often the product of industry groups aiming to create a market for expensive new drugs. "There are powerful interests that want the numbers to be inflated," said Allan Horwitz, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University and author of "Creating Mental Illness." "All of these estimates push the numbers upward."

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Effective Tactics for the “Rehumanizing Resistance”: Real Politics 101, Part Two

In Part Two, I discuss strategy and tactics for the Rehumanizing Resistance, including: (1) Traditional, Personal, and Underground Politics; (2) Direct Action and Confrontation: When It Can and Cannot Succeed (3) Organizing: Taking Advantage of the Current Cultural Climate; (4) Alliances and Coalitions; and (5) Film and Media. In Part One, I discussed how the Resistance has been winning scientific battles but losing the war against the expansion of influence of First-Order Psychiatry (which includes American Psychiatric Association and Big Pharma), and how this is due in large part to the First-Order’s effective political tactics and the Resistance’s political naivety.
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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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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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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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