Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Illustration of dna strand unraveling, glowing bright blue against dark blue background

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 2: Are Psychiatric Disorders Mainly Genetic or Environmental? (Part One)

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Textbooks portray ADHD and schizophrenia as genetic disorders, despite the much stronger evidence for environmental factors in causing these experiences.
Illustration depicting dna strands and molecule chains

“Hidden Valley Road” and Schizophrenia: Do Genes Tell the Story?

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The “genetics of mental disorders” story told in Kolker's "Hidden Valley Road" involves omission and misrepresentation of genetic research.
Photo of a magnifying glass sitting on an open textbook

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 1: Why a Critical Textbook of Psychiatry?

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The discrepancy between opinion and science is prevalent in psychiatric textbooks. The coming generations of healthcare professionals will learn a lot during their studies that is incorrect.
hindsight ECT

Hindsight is 20/20

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During my 2003 episode I received a series of ten shocks and at first they seemed to “magically” cure me. However, it only took a month for me to go back to feeling depressed and suicidal — again.

New York’s Mayor: We’re out of Ideas, so It’s “Back to the Cuckoo’s Nest” for You!

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A psychiatrist obsessed with violence among the mentally ill, Torrey is dedicated to promoting involuntary hospitalization.

I Can Barely Breathe

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The psychiatrists broke my body and my brain and now they are washing their hands of me. When I think about what has been done to me and what has been taken from me, I can barely breathe.

The Power of Light and Dark

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It is possible to prevent and alleviate both depression and mania by managing the timing and intensity of exposure to light (and dark). I wasn’t sure these measures would work for me, but they did.
Close-up of a hand holding a tablet with a question mark on it. Below, scattered tablets with frowns or hearts.

Seriously Misleading Network Meta-analysis in Lancet of Acceptability of Depression Pills

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It is a futile exercise to rank depression pills based on flawed trial reports and—most importantly—when the patients prefer to be treated with a placebo.

Problem-Solving Through Skills-Building: Motivating Kids to Change

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Children can overcome all sorts of difficulties by learning specific behavioural or emotional skills with the help and support of their social network.

Mad in America’s 10 Most Popular Articles in 2022

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A roundup of Mad in America's most read blogs and personal stories of 2022 as chosen by our readers.

From ‘Madness’ to Self-Mastery: Overcoming a Life of Disconnection

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You are trained to trust a system, to trust a professional… But I was always following my intuitive self telling me that there was a way out of the madness and the labels.
Illustration depicting orange person looking frightened with orange ghosts swirling around them

Ghosts Popping out Everywhere: The Shifting Times We Live in and the Process of Psychological Growth

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We are living in challenging times. Every day we hear or read or hear stories...
Close-up of therapist's hands explaining a problem to his patients

When Violence Hits Home, Can We Keep Growing?

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We want to share conversation we had coming out of these events in the hopes it might help others explore how to keep growing emotionally in an uncertain and sometimes violent world.
Profile of a bearded man head with a symbol of neurons in the brain

A Brain for Our Emancipation

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In times of crisis, we are required to adapt to conditions of suffering to safeguard capitalist production. We are asked to adapt our flexible brains to a hostile environment, and the possibility of transforming that environment is suppressed.
A photo of Mayor Eric Adams at a podium, with many other people behind him wearing suits.

Consumer Advisory Board Chair: NYC Mayor Adams Did Not Consult With Us on New Mental Health Policy

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I chair the Consumer Advisory Board for the NYC Department of Mental Hygiene (DOMH). And I can tell you firsthand: We were not consulted before this plan came to fruition.

The Bipolar Rollercoaster: Looking Beyond the Labels

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Removing assumptions evoked by my family member’s diagnoses has transformed my understanding of their experience and increased my ability to arrive at solutions applicable to their expressed needs.
A Black woman sits with a therapist

Psychotherapy: Less Expensive and Better Than Pills, It’s What the Patients Want but Don’t Get

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Studies with long-term follow-up show that psychotherapy has an enduring effect that outperforms pharmacotherapy. Psychiatry does not deliver what the customers want.
Photo of pregnant person holding a glass of water and a handful of pills. Sitting cross-legged on couch. We cannot see her face.

Dubious Science: Downplaying the Risks of Antidepressants in Pregnancy

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When popular websites, such as Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic, downplay the possible risks of antidepressant use in pregnancy, they are ignoring the evidence.
Illustration of a blue face; the back of it is dissolving into computer code

Data on Your Mind: Good Public Health or Mental Health Surveillance?

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The ethics of data harvesting are murky and echo global concerns around the ways in which profiling technologies can be used to perpetuate discrimination.

Celia Brown, R.I.P.: Psychiatric Survivor, Pioneer, and Global Activist for Change

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Celia Brown, a psychiatric survivor and activist who was revered — even beloved — for her foundational and ongoing efforts in mental health advocacy and the peer movement, has died after a battle with cancer.
Illustration of a brain on a blue background. A magnifying glass shows viruses inside it.

Tardive Dyskinesia, Chronic Lyme Disease, and Infection

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The Bartonella bacteria, which is almost always associated with chronic Lyme disease, can cause dyskinesia too and it looks and is experienced the same as “tardive” dyskinesia.
Illustration of a box labeled "BITTER Pills" with some small capsules beside it

Number Needed to Treat with a Psychiatric Drug to Benefit One Patient Is an Illusion

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The number needed to treat with a psychiatric drug to benefit one patient is largely an illusion, because more patients are harmed than receive a benefit.
3D illustration of white DNA double helix against dark blue background. The center of the helix is erupting into a computer-network-like shape

The Schizophrenia Genetics Illusion—A Century of Failure and Hype

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This is the schizophrenia game. It has been played for over a century, and it’s time to stop.
psychiatric diagnosis

What Psychiatry Has Done for Me

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The stigma and discrimination I have had to endure due to my ‘diagnosis’ crushed my spirit and the dreams I had for my life. But the most devastating part of all is how it altered my relationship with my two sons.

On the Brink of Psychosis

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Most available narratives are sad stories centred around the aspect of a disease, or terrifying tales about psychiatric treatment. But what if there is also something in between?