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New Initiative: the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition

The nature of benzodiazepine injury is so devastating and stigmatized that many who have suffered have not been able to advocate for themselves. Our coalition will strive to educate the public about a problem that has been largely ignored for more than 50 years. We will bridge the gap between those who have been injured, the medical community and the rest of society. We will finally give a voice to this silent epidemic.
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The Failed Quest for Biomarkers in Psychiatry

A recent commentary by Ganesan Venkatasubramanian and Matcheri Keshavan notes that efforts to identify biomarkers in people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders have been overwhelmingly unsuccessful.

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Study 329 Continuation Phase

All the fuss about Study 329 centers on its 8-week acute phase. But this study had a 24-week Continuation Phase that has never been published. Until Now.
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How Do Antidepressants Really ‘Work’?

A recent review, published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, challenges the dominant assumptions about the neurochemical and therapeutic effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antidepressant medication.

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Open Dialogue Applied in a Hospital Inpatient Unit for Psychotic Disorders

A column published earlier this month by Psychiatric Services in Advance reports on the development and implementation of a patient-centered initiative based on Open Dialogue approaches. Though still a relatively new concept in the U.S.,the authors make a convincing case for the use of these dialogic practices. They present positive preliminary reactions, from both providers and patients, when used in inpatient units.

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Antidepressant Effects Thwarted by Stressful Environments

A new study, about to be published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, investigates the role a stressful environment plays in antidepressant effectiveness. The results of this study, conducted on mice to examine brain inflammation, indicate that SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac) may only be effective for those who live relatively unstressed lives. Indeed, those with stressful lives may actually find their symptoms worsened by the use of such antidepressant medications.

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Psychiatry’s Current Greatest Controversy: Fraud, Bullsh*t or What?

In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Australian dissident psychiatrist Niall McLaren titles his article, “Psychiatry as Bullshit” and makes a case for just that. The great controversies in psychiatry are no longer about its chemical-imbalance theory of mental illness or its DSM diagnostic system, both of which have now been declared invalid even by the pillars of the psychiatry establishment. The great controversy today has now become just how psychiatry can be most fairly characterized given its record of being proven wrong about virtually all of its assertions, most notably about its classifications of behaviors, theories of “mental illness,” and treatment effectiveness/adverse effects.
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Rejecting the “Medications for Schizophrenia” Narrative: A Survivor’s Response to Pies and Whitaker

As a psychiatric survivor who has personally experienced severe psychosis, my criticisms focus on the relative lack of attention to what psychiatric drugs actually are, and on the uncertain, contested nature of the supposed target of these drugs: “schizophrenia.” I will elaborate on each of these points with references, as well as highlighting alternative approaches to helping psychotic people.
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