Furthering findings that social adversity and urbanicity increase the risk of psychosis, research in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry finds that moving schools, family adversity, and involvement with bullying are linked to a significantly greater risk of psychotic-like experiences in early adolescence. The authors recommend awareness of school changes, helping mobile students establish themselves in new school environments in order to reduce peer difficulties, and routine enquiry regarding bullying experiences in order to reduce psychotic-like experiences in youth.
Connecticut continues to block public access to information on homicide investigations, according to the Connecticut News Times, an effort that began with concerns over the shooting in Sandy Hook by Adam Lanza in December of 2012. Such disclosure would “cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications,” said CT Assistant Attorney General Patrick B. Kwanashie, speaking at a Freedom of Information Act hearing called by Ablechild last year.
Although extensive research links spanking to behavior problems, parents who spank often believe it is the way to be an effective parent. Research from Southern Methodist University finds that very brief summaries of the research, significantly decreased parents’ positive attitudes toward corporal punishment. To the researchers’ surprise, the effect was the same whether the information was presented within and active learning paradigm, or presented passively. Results appeared in Child Abuse & Neglect.
In 2009, my friend Leonie’s 22-year-old son Shane killed himself and another young man after taking Citalopram for 17 days. Eighteen days after Shane’s death, Psychiatrist Dr Michael Corry publicly stated his view that he could not have done what he did had he not been on Citalopram. Initially Leonie admits to thinking he was mad. How could medicine prescribed by a doctor have anything to do with what had happened to her son? Full Article →
60 Minutes‘ Scott Pelley investigates the lack of crisis- or long-term care for people facing serious mental health challenges, as seen through the eyes of Senator Craig Deeds. Deeds’ son Gus stabbed him several times before committing suicide.” The vast majority of mental patients are not violent,” Pelley says, “But this is a story about the fraction who are a danger to themselves or others.”
Utah judge Robert Dale is allowing the defense of David Edward Drummond, Jr., who is serving a life sentence for shooting his wife in 2005, to investigate whether Drommond had suffered adverse effects from the antidepressant Effexor. Defense attorney Scott Wiggins argued that Drommond’s trial attorney provided “ineffective counsel” when he did not “investigate and present expert testimony regarding the possible effects of Effexor” on Drommond.
A study of 1,128 adults drawn from Canada’s National Population Health Survey finds that more than three quarters (77%) recovered from depression in 2 years, and nearly all (94%) had recovered by 12 years. However, a history of adverse childhood experiences predicted a longer time to remission. The study appears in January’s Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.
John Grohol of PsychCentral explains why, while “some well-meaning folks believe that all we need is ‘better mental health treatment,’ and suddenly we will no longer see school shootings or mass murders . . . it will make little difference for these rare mass shooting events.”
Paul Woodward of Beyond Meds critiques the Washington Post‘s report on the reduction of gun control, and increase in mental health-care budgets, following Sandy Hook. ”It’s not that pharma has a natural alignment with the opponents of gun control, yet what the NRA and its supporters have succeeded in doing in the wake of Newtown is to shift the debate away from gun control onto mental health — a shift which clearly serves the interests of the drug industry,” Woodward writes.
Ashley Smith was a very troubled and rebellious teenager. By the time she was 13, she was getting into trouble in school. On one occasion, Ashley was charged with the crime – actually a childish prank – of “throwing crabapples at a postal worker.” Ashley was convicted and sentenced to detention in New Brunswick Youth Centre. Prison psychologists and psychiatrists labeled her defiant behavior a “mental health issue”; a thinly disguised term for “mental illness.” There is no record of any detention or prison staff or health professional trying to understand Ashley’s resistance to authority as youth rebellion. Full Article →
Force in ‘mental health’ care has been a popular topic for decades now, yet it’s scary how similar the conversation remains. Jonathan Keyes’s recent blog certainly generated quite a bit of commentary caught between conflict and assimilation, and the very mention of the infamous Treatment Advocacy Center gets many of us boiling over. Yet, the conversation has also seemingly lost its way. Theres a vastness between what we think we are demanding and what is actually being conveyed that can sometimes feel impenetrable. Often, I’m not sure we’re really even engaged in the same conversation, as much as we superficially may appear to be. I’ve said many things, but I’ll summarize with the following statement: “If you’re going to force it, you better make sure that what you’re forcing works.” The facts of the matter are that forced treatment – and particularly forced drugging – simply doesn’t work. Full Article →
Under Canada’s Mental Health Act (MHA), police respond to anonymous calls expressing concern about a person’s mental health, often leading to that person’s detainment without a lawyer. This is the story of Gordon Stewart, whose struggles with Canada’s tax service provides “a seminal example of how MHA apprehensions can be easily prompted and steered by anger, fear, gossip, incomplete facts, falsehoods, and highly subjective interpretations— making the MHA a dangerous interpersonal weapon.”
I do not claim to know how to heal the wounds from the tragedy that occurred in Newtown on December 14th, 2012. Nor do I claim to know how to prevent future tragedies of this sort. The intent of this post is to oppose ineffective and inhumane practices, prompted by reactions to the events in Newtown and other communities, that are falsely thought to be effective. Full Article →
In the last five years, 544 suicides and 1,869 attempted suicides have been reported in connection with the anti-smoking drug Chantix, according to documents obtained from the FDA by the Al Jazeera show “America Tonight” under the Freedom of Information Act. According to Al Jazeera, Chantix is responsible for more adverse events than any other drug on the market, including suicidal behaviors, depression, psychosis, aggression, seizures, blackouts, temporary blindness, and blurry vision. The FAA, Defense Department, and the military have all banned the drug for critical personnel.
On October 1st the Connecticut State Legislature’s reactionary response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school went into effect. Public Act No. 13-3 requires all people that voluntarily admit to a hospital for mental health reasons (not solely for drug or alcohol treatment) have their names placed in a database administered by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – for the purpose of automatic suspension of Second Amendment rights. Full Article →
Phil Hickey of Behaviorism and Mental Health picks apart 60 Minutes‘ segment interviewing E. Fuller Torrey (Untreated mental illness an imminent danger?), and APA President Jeffrey Lieberman’s glowing review of the segment (“… such a good job dealing with a complex and controversial topic.”) Hickey concludes “In fact, they did an extraordinarily biased and one-sided job. Perhaps the most fundamental issue in this regard is the notion that the condition labeled schizophrenia is a brain disease. There is a growing and convincing body of opinion (and research) that challenges this view.”
It is no mystery why everyone at the McNair Discovery Learning Center is alive today. Antoinette Tuff was respectful, responsive and kind to a man with a gun. She shared her own difficulties and offered her own humanity. This kind of “Tuff Love” involves real risk, but not more risk. It reaches across vast expanses of human confusion and distress – not to manage, control or subdue – but to attempt connection and offer a lifeline back to humanity. It is the public safety work of the future. Full Article →
“This case does not make sense in the normal sense,” Assistant Prosecutor Doug Newton told jurors in the trial of Michael Hamilton for murder. There were no drugs, women, money, jealousy, or a physical fight before the shooting. “He was smiling at me as he pulled the trigger,” the surviving brother of twins said. The defense argues that Hamilton was involuntarily intoxicated by Adderall, which includes hallucinations and unusual behavior in its list of side-effects, and thus temporarily insane.
The recent incident in the grounds of Washington Capitol, involving a young educated woman, brought shock to many people. It was another opportunity to blame a victim of mental illness and demand further restraint and medical attention for such individuals. Yes, we are lacking dignified, caring, discerning and attentive treatment for those whose spirits are broken. But we certainly don’t suffer from a lack of medical treatment for such individuals. It is time for policy-holders, and our scientific community to ask the ‘heretical’ question; “Could the drugs be the culprit behind the violence?” Full Article →
Miriam Carey, who was shot and killed yesterday by D.C. police after she attempted to drive through a White House barricade with her 1-year-old child in the back seat, had antidepressant medication and antipsychotics in her apartment. The drugs were apparently for the treatment of postpartum depression. Relatives and co-workers, stunned by Carey’s behavior, describe her as having no history of violence, and as “always happy.”
We are seeing an increasing cycle of high-profile media stories linking an act of random multiple shooting to an allegation that the perpetrator is “mentally ill.” We have to understand that it is nothing more than a libel. It cannot be debated rationally, and every time we have tried to point out the the absence of evidence for a statistical linkage, these rational arguments have no effect; instead they almost seem to add fuel to the fire. I want to point out something about how profiling works and why it is always wrong. Full Article →
Representative Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, is looking into the role psychiatric medication may have played in the shootings at the Navy Yard that left 12 people and the shooter, Aaron Alexis, dead. “Interestingly enough, one of the medications that (Alexis) received does have a side effect that could in fact have been a problem,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, told radio station WTOP. “We’re asking the VA for a little more information as to what they prescribed, why they prescribed it, how much was prescribed.”
The Office of the Attorney General of Connecticut is resisting the release of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza’s medical records. “It is alarming that here we are very close to a year later and the public still remains in the dark, records are still sealed, and the State is now saying that it is opposing a release of the records because those records ‘can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications’” says Patricia Weathers of Ablechild, a parents’ rights organization that is suing the CT Chief Medical Examiner for the information.
In 1995 I had a very frightening experience that I have never discussed publicly before. At that time the main symptoms I was experiencing were frequent panic attacks. My psychiatrist at that time had the perfect solution: an SSRI antidepressant. … Full Article →
In a prospective cohort study of 1,112 school-based adolescents, a study by researchers from Ireland, the U.S., Sweden and Italy found that the presence of childhood trauma (physical assault and bullying) predicted psychotic experiences. The study also found what it refers to as “the first direct evidence that cessation of traumatic experiences leads to a reduced incidence of psychotic experiences.” Results appear in July’s American Journal of Psychiatry.