Friday, November 27, 2020

Blogs

Essays by a diverse group of writers, in the United States and abroad, engaged in rethinking psychiatry. (The directory of personal stories can be found here, and initiatives here).

Dual Diagnosis Anonymous: Peer Support for Those Who Need It

What worked for participants is the compassionate, welcoming, inclusive and non-judgmental approach of DDA. It is about peer support, role modelling, hope, building skills… acquiring self-confidence and building a new identity.

A Psychiatrist Critiques Psychiatry, and Does a Great Job!

Dr. Lieblich's critique of psychiatry is precise, hard-hitting, and uncompromising, a superb and compelling summary of the case against psychiatry.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 4: The Manufacture of Autism Spectrum Disorders (Part 1)

Because the “scientists” who study, categorise, and establish guidelines for autism can’t find anything definitive, they resort to scientism. Over time, it becomes part of our cultural “common sense.”

Does the NASW Code of Ethics Prohibit Peer Work?

An analysis of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics’ regulations on dual relationships: Indications for self-disclosure and problematic consequences for peers entering the social work workforce.

Immigration Detention: The Mental Health Impacts

Solitary confinement is not a substitute for medical isolation and its conditions are not conducive to care or recovery, but rather a tool to manage and silence those struggling with trauma exacerbated by conditions they are trapped in indefinitely.

Stop Saying This, Part 6: It Takes Two, Life’s Not Fair, and More

It’s common that both people are contributing to the issue in one way or another. However, there is at least one instance that renders “it takes two” unavailable for blanket-statement use, and that is abuse.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 3: The Manufacture of ADHD (Part 2)

Sami Timimi discusses the lack of findings for a genetic or neurobiological basis for ADHD, and explores the short- and long-term effects of stimulant drugs.

Understanding Mental Illnesses, and Ourselves

I trained in psychiatry in the 1950s. I saw psychiatry switch from trying to help patients to understand themselves better to trying to find a drug that would relieve their symptoms.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 3: The Manufacture of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Part 1)

Both the idea that there are some characteristic brain-based abnormalities for those diagnosed with ADHD, and that the medications used have specific properties that target a disease process—like a chemical imbalance—are false.
Caraglio, The Battle Around the Shield and Lance, 1527, The Art Institute of Chicago (detail)

Who’s to Blame for the Lost Soul of Psychiatry?

An interview between Drs. Aftab and Pies reveals a deep mistrust of patients' reports of their own experiences, and devolves into a game of semantics in an attempt to prove psychiatry's relevance.
Ekaterina Netchitailova

Stepping Into One’s Inner Radiant Space

It is hard to step out of the space of diagnoses because of the power it holds. The “doctor” who inflicted on you the awful label of “schizophrenia” or “bipolar” damages you because of the power he holds.
"Dead End" road sign in the desert

Insane Medicine, Chapter 2: The Scientism of Psychiatry (Part 2)

Paying attention to the science tells us that we need to look beyond formal services. People need connection and meaning as well as basics such as safety, housing, and work.
Handcuffed hands of a prisoner

When Psych Diagnosis Means Life-or-Death

One label in the DSM that applies to cognitive abilities—“Intellectual Disabilities”—is crucial in determining whether people accused of crimes in some US states will be executed.

The Need for Acknowledgment of Context Within Approaches to Mental Distress

Mental distress is often perceived as something devoid of context, as an individual medical condition or a failure instead of a human condition linked to the social context one exists in.

The Reckoning in Psychiatry Over Protracted Antidepressant Withdrawal

Medically-induced harm—affecting tens of millions of people worldwide—has taken the field decades to take seriously.

The Spin Doctors: “ADHD” Research

We now spend over twenty billion dollars a year on treatment for something called “ADHD.” For that amount of money, we could pay the mid-career salaries of an extra 365,000 teachers or 827,000 teachers’ aides.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 2: The Scientism of Psychiatry (Part 1)

Wherever you find mental health services to have expanded, you find a parallel increase in the numbers who have been classed as disabled due to a mental health disorder.

The Double Standard at the Heart of Peer Services

There is clear evidence of a double standard and attitude that favors and privileges one side of the binary—the clinicians—over peers. This discrimination must be made visible and revealed to mental health advocates and changemakers.
Dr. Bob

An American History of Addiction, Part 3: Mr. Booze

Coupled with a burgeoning new movement (AA) for temperance members to refer to, the movement changed from a public policy interest group to what we would now call a treatment-based outreach organization.
Soteria house

Original Soteria House Members to Speak!

Soteria House’s history is complex and fascinating. Soteria Houses have never had the support they needed, but they still managed to change so many lives.

Stop Saying This, Part Five: Fake It Till You Make It

Megan Wildhood discusses the flaws in phrases like "fake it till you make it," "you can choose how you feel," and "no one is responsible for your life but you."

De-Weaponizing Empathy

I am not immune to what I call weaponized empathy, which I see as the pure intention of compassion for another tainted with aggression around eradicating pain, pain that could be a source of growth for the sufferer if allowed to arise and pass away without force.
road sign reads "crisis ahead"

Insane Medicine, Chapter One: The Medical Model of Mental Health Is Finished

The concepts we use have undermined our natural resilience, sensitised us to an idea of our vulnerability, and encouraged us to transfer our agency to practitioners who use a system as if it has scientific validity and is clinically useful.
photo of australia from space

Psychiatric Oppression Under Victoria’s Mental Health Laws

Public mental health authorities continue to oppress persons with psychosocial conditions through a combination of punitive and discriminatory laws that are constructed with a "best interests" paradigm in mind and a medical model that pathologises difference and dissent. 
open dialogue

What is Open Dialogue Today?

Please join us on Friday, October 23 for OpenExcellence, HOPENDialogue, and Mad in America’s ongoing Town Hall conversation about what Open Dialogue is — and is becoming.

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