We hope we have convinced you by now (this is our 24th blog) that the field of Nutrition and Mental Health is a vital piece of the solution, for preventing as well as treating mental health problems. What we have not talked to you about at all is how behind-the-times the regular granting agencies are. The two of us have always been very successful at obtaining research grants, as long as we do not want to study multinutrient treatments. When we (and some other colleagues in the U.S.) want to study multinutrient formulas, the reviewers react by asking “but which is the important ingredient?”
One of my problems with Mad In America is that not enough seem quite mad enough. I would like to encourage more outrage. I feel that if we were talking about a situation in another country, the US would be outraged. If we were talking about a common substance (like Big Macs), there would be outrage. If it were a business, citizens would be outraged and the government would intervene and shut it down. What is the “it” that I’m talking about?
The abuse of ADHD drugs on college campuses has reached epidemic proportions, according to the authors of a recent review in the Journal of Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. ADHD drugs, like Ritalin and Adderall, have become so commonplace on college campuses that students who abuse these drugs for studying, weight loss and partying are underestimating their risks. As a result, we have seen exponential increases in emergency room visits, overdoses, and suicides by students taking these drugs.
For the past few years, I’ve been trying to put words on my multiple dissatisfactions with mainstream psychiatry and its shameful lack of rigour, compassion, reflection and ethical practice: hence my enjoyment of Bonnie Burstow’s percussive, hard-hitting MIA article in September. (I have not read her new book, and am almost afraid to do so, since it may well make irrelevant the final draft of my own critical monograph on psychiatry!)
“In America, medication is becoming almost as much a staple of childhood as Disney and McDonald’s,” writes Sarah Boseley in the Guardian. In this piece photographer Baptiste Lignel follows six boys and girls to examine the long-term effects of these drugs.
LiveScience reports on a new analysis revealing that children diagnosed with ADHD who are prescribed stimulant medications take longer to fall asleep, sleep for shorter amounts of time and don’t sleep as well as other children diagnosed with ADHD who are not taking stimulants. "Sleep was worse in every analysis that we did," said study author Katherine M. Kidwell, a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska.
I have long been concerned with the way society responds to people who come back from war. Veterans are routinely funneled into psychiatry’s grasp. Over the decades, some people who fought in wars have shared with me their experiences of being psychiatrized upon return from war. Sometimes these experiences included veterans being stripped of their second amendment rights, and a host of other constitutional, civil, and human rights violations as they began to be forced into complying with psychiatric regimens, and on several occasions this included veterans being subjected to electroshock.
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