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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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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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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Psychiatry: Worth Keeping If “Slowed Down”?

The faults of modern psychiatry are numerous and profound, and many readers here know firsthand about its destructive force. But are these faults so vast that there is nothing worth saving?
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Feral Psychiatry: The Case of Garth Daniels

Garth Daniels, a 39-year-old Melbourne man, has been shackled for 110 days and forced to undergo ECT 94 times at three times a week against his will. Last year, his family asked me to provide a second opinion on Garth’s case. As predicted, my recommendations against continued ECT were quickly dismissed by the hospital. There are critically important issues at stake in this case.
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Restoring Study 329: Letter to BMJ

When we set out to restore GSK’s misreported Study 329 of paroxetine for adolescent depression under the RIAT initiative, we had no idea of the magnitude of the task we were undertaking. After almost a year, we were relieved to finally complete a draft and submit it to the BMJ, who had earlier indicated an interest in publishing our restoration. But that was the beginning of another year of peer review that we believed went beyond enhancing our paper and became rather an interrogation of our honesty and integrity. Frankly, we were offended that our work was subject to such checks when papers submitted by pharmaceutical companies with fraud convictions are not.
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The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

Psychiatry assumes that individuals who meet its vague criteria for anorexia nervosa have a disease, and the “disease-causing problem” resides in the genome. If we wish to understand what motivates individuals who systematically under-nourish themselves, however, we need to do two things: Abandon the empty, disempowering psychiatric labels, and recognize that it is through the uniqueness of each individual that we come to understand his or her perspective, and second, we need to sit down with the individual in a spirit of trust and collaboration, and listen to his or her concerns.
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Why Evidence-based Practices Might not Actually Help People

Mental Health First Aid is designated as an evidence-based practice, but what does that really mean? All it means is that the program has gotten enough grant money to get some research that proves it meets its designated outcome criteria. This does not mean the real-life outcomes for the people involved, or for society, are desirable or helpful.
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Mental Health First Aid: Your Friendly Neighborhood Mental Illness Maker

I did it. I finally did it. I went and took a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) class. I had already conjured it up in my mind to be big, bad and terrible based on what I understood to be its basic premise, the affiliated website, and all I’ve ever heard about it from anyone else. However, the truth is that many of those anyones also hadn’t taken it, and so… what if it was better than we all thought? What if we were full of assumptions and were just plain wrong? What does an actual day in the life of Mental Health First Aid look like?
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The Psychiatry Sandcastle Continues to Crumble

Psychiatry would long since have gone the way of phrenology and mesmerism but for the financial support it receives from the pharmaceutical industry. But the truth has a way of trickling out. Here are five recent stories that buck the psychiatry-friendly stance that has characterized the mainstream media for at least the past 50 years.
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Science-Based Service User Input, PLEASE?

Even projects and people that have the best intentions of listening still block people out. Basically, coalitions are based on mainstream funding sources and mainstream moderators, and that tend to override the ability to hear challenges to the status quo. If the funding source and the project management is mainstream, the project will draft back to the status quo no matter how well people intend to follow good service user input processes.
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Dear Self-proclaimed Progressives, Liberals and Humanitarians: You’ve Really Messed This One Up

When it comes to psychiatric diagnosis, I can be almost certain that anyone outside of my immediate field of work just won’t ‘get it,’ no matter where they stand on anything else. And not only won’t they get it; they will often actively be one of the unwitting oppressive masses, either through their inaction or worse.
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My Journey of Recovery

I was never anti-recovery. I will admit, however, that when the recovery movement first came to my attention in the 1990s, I was not drawn in. In recent years, this is another area in which I have needed to re-examine my assumptions.
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ACES Connection – Or Disease Mongering, Round 2?

This blog post is in response to the most recent blog post in MIA saying, “We need to spread the gospel on ACE scores.” Well, a bunch of ACES connection people are doing that already and it may not be so awesome after all.  Or at least we need to shape our own conversation on this. Here’s my story and here’s the science I see as relevant. Please feel free to join the national ACES forum and tell them what YOU think.
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