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Autism, Antidepressants, and Pregnancy: The Basics

This month, the seventh study and eighth study came out on the topic of antidepressant exposure during pregnancy and autism.  And these studies showed, as essentially all of the others have, that antidepressant use during pregnancy (principally with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) is associated with autism in the exposed children. With so many children being diagnosed with autism and so many women taking antidepressants during pregnancy, everyone wants to know: are these things (the antidepressants) associated with autism or not?  Quite frankly no one has the time to read through all eight scientific papers (and dozens more animal and basic science studies) to understand this important area, so I will do my best to briefly summarize it here.
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Antidepressants | Blogs | Featured Blogs | Pregnancy & Birth Defects | Psychiatric Drugs

Positive Explanations for Psychological Problems

I am a clinical psychologist working in an anxiety and OCD Clinic at the University of Oslo, Norway. In this clinic we do almost all the treatment without starting drugs, and for many patients we help them taper the drugs. One of the reasons for this is that taking drugs for psychological problems often may be seen as avoidance behavior, and this is exactly what maintains the anxiety, or in many cases makes it worse.
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Adult | Anxiety | Blogs | Disorders | Featured Blogs | Op-Eds

Kjetil Mellingen

Kjetil Mellingen is a clinical psychologist working in an anxiety and OCD Clinic at the University of Oslo, Norway. He has previously been an NIMH researcher of so-called schizophrenia, depression, alcoholism and psychopathy.

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Bio — Op-Ed

Precedent-Setting Decision Ends Mental Health Discrimination Against Prospective Lawyers

The US Department of Justice has determined that the Louisiana Supreme Court has been operating in breach of the Americans with Disabilities Act by unfairly preventing people with mental health histories from becoming lawyers. Before admitting them to the bar, the Louisiana Supreme Court had been asking prospective lawyers with mental health histories for copies of their medical records, and had been forcing them to submit to medical examinations and other “onerous monitoring and reporting requirements,” stated a DOJ press release. More →

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Featured News | In the News | Legislation & Regulation

ADHD and “The Merchants of Speed”

Pediatrician and UCSF professor Lawrence Diller has issued the fourth of a four-part memoir on Huffington Post, recounting the rise of ADHD medicating and his experiences interacting with drug company representatives. “Leading experts who once promoted the ADHD diagnosis and stimulant treatment have reacted with alarm to the latest trends,” writes Diller. “But the proverbial genie is out of the bottle. Created and promoted by the drug industry, it is now running amok amongst American children, parents, and teachers.” More →

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ADHD | ADHD | Around The Web | Over-diagnosis | Stimulants

On Religious and Psychiatric Atheism: The Success of Epicurus, the Failure of Thomas Szasz

When the American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz killed himself a year and a half ago at the age of 92, I thought there would be a global outpouring in psychiatric circles of sympathy or scorn. Instead, his death was largely met with silence, a silence as deafening as the one that attended the second half of his long, prolific, and polemical career. Szasz’ name didn’t show up at all in the APA program last year, and this presentation of mine is apparently the only one to mention him this year. This silent treatment has, ironically enough, and surely against his will, forced him to fulfill the ancient Epicurean ambition to live and die unnoticed.
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Blogs | Featured Blogs | Rethinking Psychiatry/Medical Model

“ADHD treatment market value to reach $9.9 bn by 2020″

According to business intelligence firm GBI Research, the ADHD medication market will rise in value from $6.9 billion in 2013 to $9.9 billion by 2020, “with broadening diagnostic criteria a key driver of growth,” reports PharmaBiz.com. More →

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ADHD | ADHD | Around The Web | Over-diagnosis | Stimulants

Embodying Peace in Times of War

No culture or community or individual escapes the damage caused by war. War is the ultimate betrayal of humanity. It occurs when we have so completely lost our way and we cling desperately to concepts such as possessiveness, power and separation. Yet, psychiatry has declared war on big emotions; those very human experiences that help us find our way in times of difficulty. Big emotions are the heart’s way of calling out for support when we need someone’s good attention and thoughtfulness to help us get back to ourselves- to find our equilibrium.
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Blogs | Featured Blogs

Turning Distress into Joy, Part II:  Channeling

Shane Neimeyer had just tried to hang himself. It, too, had failed. Like much of his life to that point, which had been spent in and out of state custody since his adolescent years, his road had hit a dead end. But in the depths of his despair, thoughts of a different kind surfaced, with one idea in mind: Ironman. Sitting in his straight jacket, awaiting sentencing as a homeless heroin addict, he had turned the pages of an endurance magazine to pass the time. As he began to read more about triathlons, there was something about the discipline, the drive, the pursuit of a difficult goal, which began to consume him. The thought entered his mind. Maybe he could be one of them. Maybe his life could change forever.

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Blogs | Featured Blogs

California Foster Children Drugged at “Alarming” Rates

San Jose Mercury News has published the first of a four-part series of investigative articles about the psychotropic drugging of California children. “A year of interviews with foster youth, caregivers, doctors, researchers and legal advocates uncovered how the largest foster care system in the U.S. has grown dependent on quick-fix, taxpayer-funded, big-profit pharmaceuticals — and how the state has done little to stop it,” reports the newspaper in part one. More →

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Children and Adolescents | Featured News | In the News | Over-diagnosis