Steven Morgan discusses his transformative journey from chronic “patient” to leading mental health advocate. Steven has been working in peer support and helping to create alternatives to traditional mental health services for the past decade. In 2013, he became Operations Manager for Intentional Peer Support, where he brings a passion for creating instruments of social change, a love of organizational development, and a belief in the transformative power of community. On full moons he enjoys writing, playing music, woodworking, and taking long long walks. This is latest in a series of testimonials featured on MadInAmerica.com produced by the Open Paradigm Project - @Open_Paradigm on Twitter. (more…)
Jim Gottstein’s talk on the Role of Litigation in a Strategic Approach to Mental Health System Change at the annual rights conference of the National Association of Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), September 27, 2013 in Hartford, Connecticut.
The custody of Justina Pelletier, a Connecticut 15-year-old whose odyssey of diagnosis with “Somatoform Disorder” has trapped her in Boston Children’s Hospital since last February, will be decided by a Boston judge tomorrow. (Video)
Attorney Lynn Garson memoir of escape from psychiatric drug treatment, “Southern Vapors“, is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s highlighted book of the month. ”The idea that medication is the answer is something that I take great exception to,” says Garson in this interview. “I think medication is great, used properly; it is not the answer for everyone and, used alone, it is rarely the answer for anyone. So I think we need to put together from the bottom up grass-roots community systems to support not only the people who suffer but their families, who are equally suffering.”
The Cannabis and Psychosis Awareness Project, a four-year study from Canada that was released on Tuesday, finds that smoking marijuana – particularly heavy use in early adolescence – is associated with a 40% increased risk of psychosis. Youth with a family member identified as having a mental illness are 4x more likely to develop psychosis if they use marijuana, the study says. 50 young Canadians who participated in the study created the video Awareness Strategy for Youth.
For a scathing, 11-minute overview of the death of Dan Markingson at the University of Minnesota, and new allegations of coercion into psychiatric clinical trials, you can’t do much better than this excellent investigative report by Jeff Baillon. Full Article →
“My studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.”
- Peter Gøtzsche, MD; Co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration
Sources for Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Health Care:
Dr. Terry Lynch says that “Long ago I began to question the whole categorization of normal and abnormal, which is what doctors tend to use as their standard, I suppose… I found that actually if you listen carefully to the context of the person that every story is normal, every story makes sense, and all experiences made sense, and that’s my starting point with people.”
Professor John Nash discusses the discrepancies between the book & film “A Beautiful Mind” and his life. While he endorses the portrayal of mental illness as something that can be recovered from, he “puts the record straight” that he does not use psychiatric medication and does not attribute his recovery to them.
Sinéad O’Connor discusses mental health issues with TIME magazine this week, singling out the media’s tendency to diagnose “without qualification,” and adding that “mental health and mental illness is a human rights issue.”
It was an awesome experience to give a TEDx Talk at my old school, because, frankly, it was an acknowledgement by an elite institution that I’ve done something in my life worth listening to. I hope you appreciate my talk and share it with others. So many people who are affected by the mental health system in North America today have no idea how much the rise of the DSM and biopsychiatry has to do with the Reagan era and neoliberal economic policies that reshaped the whole language and culture of mental health. It’s like a bulldozed neighborhood with shiny new buildings, after a while people forget how they got there and they just seem “normal.” Full Article →
From youtube: “Sascha Altman DuBrulhas been documenting and fomenting underground culture and radical peoples’ movements since he was a teenager. From the anarchist squatter community in New York City to the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico, to the Earth First! road blockades of the Pacific Northwest to the rise of the Global Justice Movement, he’s been a pioneer in urban farming and creative mental health advocacy. He is the co-founder of the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library and the Icarus Project, a radical community support network and media project that’s actively redefining the language and culture of mental health and illness with over 15,000 members and dozens of peer-based supports groups all over the world.”
SSRIs: More Harm Than Good
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor ( SSRI )
Researchers found that antidepressants hinder serotonin regulation and can cause digestive problems, atypical sperm development, abnormal bleeding, stroke and premature death. Antidepressant manufacturers warn of side effects on drug labels though patients do not always consider how the side effects will affect their lives, according to the study authors.
Twenty-five years before Prozac, 1 in 10,000 of us per year was admitted for severe depressive disorder — melancholia. Today at any one point in time 1 in 10 of us are supposedly depressed and between 1 in 2 and 1 in 5 of us will be depressed over a lifetime. Around 1 in 10 pregnant women are on an antidepressant.
The number of prescriptions for antidepressants is increasing by 5-10% each year, while the figure for people starting each year remains the same. This means that there is an increase of 5% to 10% in the number of people hooked to antidepressants each year.
Jenna Fogle discusses her experience struggling with depression as a teenager, and the consequent harm done by psychiatric drug treatment. Jenna is a Vermont-based artist who has been drawing and painting for more than 14 years. She 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” (more…)
Thomas Insel’s TedEducation presentation. “Today, thanks to better early detection, there are 63% fewer deaths from heart disease than there were just a few decades ago. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wonders: Could we do the same for depression and schizophrenia? The first step in this new avenue of research, he says, is a crucial reframing.”
Insel concludes, in wondering how far we will get in early detection of mental illness given that we don’t even know what tools we will be using to get there, with a quote from Steve Gates: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”