Sharing the voices of suicide attempt survivors, and the suicidal, and their stories of moving on. It can happen to anyone. A project for the American Association of Suicidology.
A former medical and science writer for The Boston Globe, Alison Bass writes about conflicts of interest in medicine and flaws in the way drugs are tested and marketed. She is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial.
Beyond Prozac: Author, teacher, and mental health coach Douglas Bloch writes on using holistic tools and coping strategies to manage the symptoms of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder so that people with these disorders can lead full and purposeful lives.
Killer Brain Candy: A doctor prescribes consistent use of Ativan for insomnia that was caused by pregnancy. After two years of high-dose use, her body begins to fall apart. No help from her doctor, only more prescriptions and the knowledge that this drug is slowly disassembling her brain and body.
Getting Well, Staying Well, Making Systems Well: A long-time journalist and advocate of recovery-oriented services, Ken Braiterman writes about overcoming adversity, and adverse systems of care.
Up the River: A social worker, Jack Carney writes on the contradictions and hypocrisies of the public mental health system and promotes and applauds acts of resistance to it. In the words of the immortal Joe Hill, just before he was executed by a Utah firing squad, he likes to advise: “Don’t mourn, organize!"
Still Crazy After All These Years: Ted Chabasinski, now a patients' rights lawyer, was taken from his parents when he was six years old, experimented on with a course of electric shock treatment, and then sent to a state hospital for the rest of his childhood. He writes about the power of psychiatry and how it is abused, especially against children.
Healing Voices: Oryx is a leader in the international consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement. Currently he is the Director of the National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center. Oryx is co-founder, with Will Hall, of The Freedom Center, an empowerment and advocacy group.
Beyond Health and Illness: David Cohen, a researcher, author, a professor of social welfare at UCLA and a practicing clinical social worker for over 30 years, writes about social and cultural constructions of reality.
Bringing Hope Home: Mother Bears Lisbeth Riis Cooper and Jennifer Maurer share how the Mother Bear Community Action Network is uniting families to create mental health care that emphasizes hope, family, community, and the many pathways to real recovery including medication optimization.
Change Now: The founder of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery shares her vision of a world where people are supported in using simple, safe, noninvasive self-help tools to get through difficult times and move on with their lives.
An Alternative Understanding of The Nature of Madness: I want this blog and the discussion it generates to help deepen our understanding of the mystery of madness and to help us learn ways to lovingly do self care when we are mad, and how to lovingly respond to others when they are mad.
Debunking ADHD & the Drugging of Kids: Dr. Corrigan is a psychologist, author, statistician, professor, reformed problem child, and proud parent of two. His mission is to discredit the mythic propaganda and doodoo behind the ADHD diagnosis and the dangerous drugs so often prescribed. Yes; he said doodoo.
Discipline, Not Drugs: A psychologist whose primary interest is Adlerian parent education, Carolyn Crowder writes about parenting methods and attitudes that facilitate better relationships with children and practical advice for common problems.
The Psychopathology of American Life: A British physician explores how the concept of mental disorder has vastly expanded over the past century, reporting from the front line of American Psychiatry.
Tangible Intangibilities: Sera writes here to share her thoughts on how the language we choose and our apparent need to concretize the inherently complex is leading to violations of rights and humanity on a daily basis.
Dr. Deacon, a professor of psychology at U. Wyoming, sees clients in private practice and trains clinicians in the use of exposure therapy for anxiety disorders. He researches pathological anxiety, barriers to the dissemination of science-based treatments, and the validity and utility of biomedical models and treatments of mental disorders.
Journeying Back To Self: Laura Delano is an ex-mental patient who writes about her thirteen years of psychiatric indoctrination, how she woke up in 2010, and what it's been like to come off psychiatric drugs, leave the "mentally ill" identity behind, and rediscover an authentic connection to self and world.
One Mind: Therapist and Buddhist scholar, Tim Desmond explores how we think about the nature of madness and wellness, from the medical model to a humanistic view of suffering and empathy.
Recounting Chimera: Sean writes about issues of civil rights, human rights, personal experiences and the madness created when founding myths of liberty, justice and freedom in the United States clash with the realities of his own life, and those of many others; telling a very different story.
Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness: An activist writes of The Icarus Project, which is a network of radical support groups, an arts and media project, and a platform for re-visioning the language and culture around ideas of mental health and illness.
Consumer Voice and Choice: Author of 15 books, including What’s Right With You, highlighting the power of consumer partnership and the evidence for first-line psychosocial, not medical, intervention. His consumer feedback approach is a SAMHSA evidence based practice, implemented across the US and globally.
Finding Resilience: Institutionalized in the 1960's, Dorothy was labeled "schizophrenic" and underwent 40 insulin coma/electroshock 'treatments.' "I experienced and witnessed many atrocities. Luck, determination, anger and a compassionate advocate were my friends on the road to survival and freedom."
Recovery Through Voice and Dialogue: Co-founder of the National Empowerment Center, Daniel Fisher, a psychiatrist, writes on alternatives to the medical/institutional model of distress and healing. In particular, he tells of the Empowerment Paradigm of Development and Recovery.
Letters from the Front Lines: A family physician, after having read Anatomy of an Epidemic, writes of his struggles to prescribe psychiatric medications in a thoughtful way . . . and help some patients wean from the medications.
School Matters: An inside perspective on the public education system and how it contributes to the unnecessary labeling and medication of children. Dr. Gilbert also explores the possibilities for transforming school culture and reclaiming childhood.
Awakening Children to Their Greatness: Creator of the Nurtured Heart Approach and the Inner Wealth Initiative, Howard Glasser writes of ways to help children flourish in school and in all aspects of their lives, without the use of psychotropic medications.
Law, Alternatives and Change: A Harvard educated lawyer and long time activist for change in the mental health system writes about law as it relates to psychiatric rights and fostering truly helpful, non-coercive alternatives to the current system.
Living With Mental Diversity: A Process Work therapist, teacher, schizophrenia survivor and host of Madness Radio writes about discovering new ways to understand mental illness as a meaningful and purposeful part of what it is to be human.
Speaking Truth to Power: Leah writes about holistic, community-based approaches to support those experiencing emotional distress and extreme states; storytelling as a vehicle for personal liberation, human rights, and social justice; and connections between creativity, activism, spirituality, and social change.
Philip Hickey is a retired psychologist. He has worked in prisons (UK and US), addiction units, community mental health centers, nursing homes, and in private practice. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Colorado, and have four grown children.
I Am the Evidence!: Recovery Innovations uses the principles of hope, peer support, Healing Spaces, No Force First, and Wellness City to create real recovery opportunities. RI supports whole-person wellness using an integrated care model. The RI blog features stories of recovery services and experiences that inspire hope!
Rethinking the Broken Brain: Two researchers, writing jointly, take a critical look at the evidence for the biological basis of mental disorders.
Mental Health NOW: the Opportunity for Wellness: What would be possible if Mental Health Conditions were viewed as gifts that require effective management and responsible use? How would healthcare protocols and delivery be impacted? These, and related questions, will be the inspiration for this blog.
The Gene Illusion: Genetic theories and research in psychiatry, psychology, and other behavioral sciences from a critical perspective. I will provide a counterweight to the claims in the media and scientific literature that important genetic factors underlie psychiatric disorders and behavioral traits.
The Cornerstones of Mental Health: Jon Keyes is a licensed professional counselor working in private practice at Hearthside Healing in Portland Oregon. Jon also has worked part-time in an inpatient psychiatric setting. Jon is interested in exploring alternative and holistic ways of helping people in emotional distress and crisis.
Media, Popular Culture and the Market for Mental Illness: Vanessa Krasinski, an activist and MSN NP candidate, explores depictions of psychiatry and psychiatric diagnoses in the popular culture and media, and examines cultural messages about mental health vs. illness within a critical framework.
Thinking Critically About Mental Health: A mental health researcher with an interest in the philosophy and sociology of science, Jeffrey Lacasse writes about psychiatric medications, conflicts-of-interest, and evidence-based mental health practice.
Rethinking Biological Psychiatry: A professor of neuroanatomy, Jonathan Leo writes on the problems with the evidence base used to support the often promoted chemical theories of mental illness, the genetic theory of schizophrenia, and the idea that children with ADHD have smaller brains.
Commonsense Rebellion: Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His latest book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite. His Web site is www.brucelevine.net
Addiction, Biological Psychiatry and the Disease Model: Richard D. Lewis, M.Ed. has worked with addictions for the past 19 years in New Bedford, MA. Richard discusses the relationship of addictions to severe psychological distress often labeled as a “disease” and/or a so-called “mental illness.”
Life Style Can Change the Brain: A Clinical psychologist, Jill Littrell writes about research studies of psychiatric medications, and interventions to bolster natural resilience through talk therapy, proper diet, exercise, and support from your friends.
Dispatches From the Road: A filmmaker and former psychotherapist tells about making his three documentaries about recovery from "madness," and about meeting with peer groups and directors of innovative programs throughout North America and Europe.
The Meaning Revolution: Dr. Maisel writes on the effects of meaning and life purpose on emotional health. He argues that current mental health practices pay little attention to the vital role that meaning and life purpose play as pillars of emotional health, thereby doing sufferers a great disservice.
Kid’s Voice: Vicki Martin, a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist who over 20 years has become disillusioned with the mental health system, has developed training programs for Non-MD clinicians about the dangers of polypharmacy with a focus on trauma-based therapy BEFORE medication is considered.
Finding Our Way Home: As managing director for the Mother Bear Family Mental Health Network, Jennifer helps guide the development of family-led mental health education and support programs that help families transform suffering and find healing in community.
Making Meaning out of Madness: A psych survivor & activist, Jacks uses poetry and prose to examine the intersections between trauma, spirituality, identity & place as they inform the experience of being “crazy” in a crazy world. Jacks' perspective is grounded in struggles for social justice and collective liberation.
MindFreedom International leads a nonviolent revolution of freedom, equality, truth and human rights that unites people affected by the mental health system with movements for justice everywhere.
Mad Law and Human Rights: An attorney and psychiatric survivor, Tina Minkowitz writes on the new perspectives in human rights law that emerged in the work by users and survivors of psychiatry on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Crossing Over: EMMY-nominee PJ Moynihan has spent years immersed in the world of alternatives to the psychiatric paradigm. He is Producer and Director of Healing Voices, a forthcoming feature documentary that examines mental healthcare in the United States and the re-visioning of psychosis.
Trauma informed care meets pharma informed care: Social worker Wayne Munchel will focus on the intersection between trauma informed care/recovery models and biological psychiatry. Early intervention programs for psychosis will also be discussed.
Pushing the Mad Envelope: As CEO of a Peer Run organization, mental health consumer, advocate and visionary change agent, Keris writes about pressing issues facing mental health treatment such as choice, peer support, wellness and recovery, culture and language and leadership development
Expect Recovery: The executive director of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care tells of how the foundation is partnering with private philanthropy to discuss the implications in Anatomy of an Epidemic and create a new mainstream for mental health.
Policy for Recovery: As a former state mental health and addictions commissioner, Bob Nikkel writes about policy and practice changes that are needed to promote recovery and reslience while decreasing the over-reliance on psychiatric medications in community and hospital treatment settings.
Anatomy of Dialogue: Mary Olson, PhD is director of the Institute for Dialogic Practice and a lecturer and trainer in the fields of family therapy and community psychiatry. She co-leads the Open Dialogue study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she is an assistant professor in psychiatry.
The Hope Project: Jen Padron, a leader in Peer Support initiatives, writes on resiliency, hope, and peer support programs in Texas and the country. She also writes on cultural and political issues in mental health, and whole-health and wellness solutions.
The STAR*D Scandal: A psychologist who has spent five years “deconstructing” the NIMH’s large study of antidepressants tells of his findings, discusses his published articles, and posts the documents that reveal the bad--and dishonest science--at the heart of this trial.
Deconstructing, Reconstructing Abnormality: Dr. Raskin is professor of psychology and counseling at SUNY New Paltz, focusing on social constructions of abnormality in psychology and psychotherapy, and co-chair of the Society for Humanistic Psychology's Diagnostic Summit Committee, overseeing the Global Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives.
Getting From Here to There: David Ross writes about the efforts in Ashland, County Ohio to move its mental health and drug/alcohol system towards a recovery-oriented system of care, one that puts into practice the core principles of recovery, medication optimization and trauma-informed care.
Jim Schroeder, PhD is a pediatric psychologist at St. Mary’s Center for Children in Evansville IN, where he works with children (and their families) diagnosed with autism spectrum, learning, sleep, attention-deficit, and other issues. He speaks widely and has published articles on the psychological health of youth.
Dr. Shipko is a psychiatrist in private practice in Pasadena, CA and author of Surviving Panic Disorder and Xanax Withdrawal.
Mental Health Liberation: Lauren shares her unfolding journey towards liberation which includes spreading Emotional CPR, building the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, giving birth (soon) to her memoir, and other adventures in service of reclaiming our shared humanity.
Dr. Peter Stastny is a New York based psychiatrist, documentary film-maker and a founder of the International Network toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR). He is a Lecturer at the Global Mental Health Program of Columbia University, and a participant in RedeAmericas, a federally funded program of hubs to advance community mental health programs, research and education in Latin America. Recently, he has become consultant to the New York City Department of Mental Hygiene in connection with the New York City Parachute Project, funded by the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation to redesign crisis responses for individuals experiencing acute psychosis and their support networks. Dr. Stastny has frequently collaborated with psychiatric survivors, for example by spearheading peer specialist services and peer-run businesses, as well as conducting research and writing projects. Examples are a book and major exhibit at the New York State Museum “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” (together with Darby Penney); and the edited volume “Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry" (with Peter Lehmann).
Anatomy of a Psychiatrist: Dr. Steingard chronicles how she is integrating information from Anatomy of an Epidemic into her community mental health practice. She also discusses changes in Vermont's mental health system and the influence of pharmaceutical advertising on clinical practice.
Dialogues with Madness: A therapist and educator specializing in cognitive therapy for psychosis, Ron Unger explores emerging understandings of psychosis and of efforts to change mental health treatment to support human rights and full recovery.
Doctor Urato cares for pregnant women on a daily basis, and is the Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, as well as a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Life After Medication: Laura writes about her experience withdrawing from psychiatric medications and her experience in the mental health system as a former patient turned policy advisor.
Live and Learn: As a clinical psychologist who has worked in academic and healthcare settings for over 20 years, Dr. Gretchen LeFever Watson is passionate about improving the health, safety, and education of individuals and places where they work, live, and learn.
Thinking Outside the Kid: Marilyn Wedge is a family therapist and author of Pills Are Not For Preschoolers: A Drug Free Approach for Troubled Kids. Creator of Strategic Child-Focused Family Therapy, she believes that making targeted changes in the family system is more effective than psychiatric medication.
Wellness Wordworks: Corinna West writes about the business she founded, which coordinates people with emotional distress who provide instant peer support for each other in exchange for helping anyone who is interested in expanding their online presence.
In the News: A journalist’s review of reports in medical journals and the media on psychiatric disorders and treatments.
Paul W. Andrews is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University in Canada. His work on the evolution of depression with J. Anderson Thomson, Jr. has been featured in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Scientific American Mind.
Paul is a founding member of the Hearing Voices Network and INTERVOICE. He has developed community mental health projects, self-advocacy services, supported housing, social firms, enterprises in which people have direct input into the planning, development and running of their services.
DelusionNZ: Maria Bradshaw, who currently lives in County Cork, Ireland, writes of social models of suicide prevention, pharmacovigilance, and alternatives to psychiatric interventions for emotional distress.
Annie is passionate about the need for a greater range of respectful, empowering treatment choices for people experiencing mental distress. She did an awareness-raising Hikoi (walk) through the North Island of New Zealand, culminating in presenting a petition to the NZ government in June 2013.
Janet Currie is co-founder of the Psychiatric Awareness Medication Group, which provides information on the potential harms and effectiveness of psychiatric drugs, and advice on drug tapering. She also co-edits a blog on the safety and effectiveness of all prescription drugs for Pharmawatch Canada.
The Hearing Voices Movement: Jacqui Dillon writes about the rapidly expanding, worldwide Hearing Voices movement which contests the traditional psychiatric relationship of dominant-expert clinician and passive-recipient patient and views voice-hearing as a significant human experience.
Steps to a Post-Therapeutic Future: With a strong interest in how popular culture and psychiatry/psychotherapy reflexively influence one another, Eugene writes critically about aspects of the therapeutic era or therapeutic state in which we, (that is, those of us living in parts of the western first world), find ourselves.
A New Beginning: Steindór J. Erlingsson, a psychiatric survivor and an independent scholar, writes about his life and recovery, the consumer movement and mental health system in Iceland and articles and books he happens to be reading.
Ordinary Life Therapy: A psychotherapist and manager at Family Care Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden, Carina Håkansson writes about that program--its philosophy, successes, and challenges--and about psychiatry and societal treatment of children in foster care.
Beyond Psychiatric Diagnosis: Lucy will write about ongoing work to replace psychiatric diagnosis with a formulation-based approach whichexplores personal meaning within relational and social contexts. She will also reflect on the challenges of working within biomedically-based services.
Healthy Skepticism: Jon Jureidini, a child psychiatrist in Australia, writes on the quality use of medicines, misleading drug promotion, suicide, medical education and child abuse.
Nutrition and Mental Health: Bonnie has published on the biological basis of mental health – in particular, the contribution of nutrition to brain development and function, micronutrient treatments for mental disorders, and the effect of intrauterine nutrition on brain development and maternal mental health.
Power & Alternatives: Tamasin is a public health doctor in England. She writes about power issues in the mental health system and alternatives to the medical model.
Stop the professional monologue: Peter Lehmann, Honorary Doctor for "scientific and humanitarian contribution to the rights of the people with psychiatric experience," writes about coming off psychiatric drugs, suicidal effects of neuroleptics, and other approaches of humanistic antipsychiatry.
Eleanor Longden is a doctoral researcher who has lectured and published internationally on aspects of voice hearing, trauma, psychosis, and recovery. She is current coordinator of the Intervoice Scientific Committee and a trustee of the UK Soteria Network.
Mad in Belgium: Nadia is convinced there are better ways to help people in crisis than what is provided generally in psychiatric care in her country today. In this blog, she will write about (her search for) alternatives, the local user and survivor movement and news about mental health in Belgium.
Rufus May is a psychologist in Bradford, England. He believes everybody can flourish with the right support network. His work is part of an emancipatory movement that includes the hearing voices movement, community development approaches and other self-help and holistic health movements.
Medical Essentials from England: A Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Member of the Royal College of Physicians and a medical practitioner of nearly 40 years, Hugh Middleton writes on the folly and shortcomings of using "illness" as a euphemism and metaphor for "madness".
Dr Monasterio is a psychiatrist and senior lecturer at the Christchurch School of Medicine. His interests include off-label use of psych meds, metabolic complications, and cross-cultural psychiatry. He is concerned about overreliance on psych meds and their interference with adaptation and resilience.
Chrys Muirhead lives in Scotland and is a writer, activist and campaigner in mental health matters. Chrys has always believed in people power and community development practice. In 2008 she set up Chrys Muirhead Associates and Peer Support Fife to help bring about psychiatric system change.
Nutrition and Mental Health: Julia's interest in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with psychiatric illness despite conventional treatments. She has been investigating the role of micronutrients in mental illness.
The Berlin Runaway House is an antipsychiatric crisis centre for homeless ex-users of psychiatry. Residents have the opportunity to live through their crisis without psychiatric treatment and to withdraw gradually from psychiatric drugs with support and intensive counselling.
Denmark: Voices From the Inside Out. Olga Runciman has worked as a psychiatric nurse and been a patient of the self-same system. She was told that she was an incurable case. She writes on the ethics of psychiatric practices and alternative ways to heal.
No More Psychiatric Labels: A child and adolescent psychiatrist, Sami Timimi writes about the Critical Psychiatry movement, an international network of doctors (primarily psychiatrists) who critique current mainstream practice in mental health and are hoping to reform it.
Neuro-Boom or Bust? Neuropsychology has seen a great rise to prominence over the last 20 years, largely due to the increase in neuroimaging and rehabilitation. The flip side of this is that it has become a profession at risk of ‘neurofying’ human expressions of distress.
Thinking About Suicide: David Webb argues that suicide prevention needs a broad community conversation that challenges the status quo thinking about suicide. At the heart of this conversation will be the first-person voice of survivors and the recognition that suicide prevention is a human rights issue.
Rethinking Madness: With the rare perspective of someone who's experienced extreme states from both sides — as a psychologist/researcher and as someone with lived experience — Paris draws from multiple perspectives to explore what it means to be “mad” in a "mad" society.
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