Sunday, June 25, 2017

Blogs

Essays by a diverse group of writers, in the United States and abroad, engaged in rethinking psychiatry.

Do Psychiatrists Harm their Patients out of Stupidity?

I think it is fair to say that many psychiatrists display an enormous lack of good sense and judgment. Psychiatrists are in the firm grip of a collective force field of an almost fundamentalist belief system that blinds them to the harm they unwittingly do and the human rights abuses they commit.

French and American Approaches to “ADHD”

It now looks as if the U.S. approach to mental health is fast gaining purchase in a country that formerly boasted a great, perhaps too sophisticated (Lacan et al.) psychoanalytic tradition, but also a holistic psychosocial tradition when dealing with psychological disturbance in children.

Data Shows That Nutrients Reduce Aggression: Why is Policy Not Changing?

Despite study after study after study showing that there is a simple, cheap solution to reducing aggression in many people, the message hasn’t carried through to changing policies or treatment approaches. If a drug were shown to reduce aggression with no side effects, would it be ignored?

Robert Whitaker Refutes Jeffrey Lieberman; But Is Psychiatry Reformable?

When the neuroleptics-are-necessary-to-treat-schizophrenia myth falls, psychiatry is finished. And that is why the Goff et al paper was produced: a desperate attempt to maintain its position by a profession that is truly on the ropes. For psychiatry this is a death-struggle.

An Open Letter to the President’s Commission on Combating Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

The Commission was addressed by organizations engaged with various aspects of addiction treatment. Much of the input seemed apropos, but one voice was missing. Speakers failed to include even one practicing physician or advocate for the pain patients who have been blamed for the so-called “opioid epidemic.”

MIA RADIO: Expanding the Audience for “Critical Psychiatry” Perspectives

We are now launching a new effort, one that has us excited about its possibilities. MIA Radio will begin airing podcasts on July 1. We will be both producing our own MIA podcasts and serving as a host for independently produced critical psychiatry podcasts.

Aggregate vs. Anecdote for Med Lovers

The vast majority of the data shows that people who benefit from psychiatric drugs are statistical outliers. You got lucky. We're glad you got lucky. But your story is not the whole story. Public policy decisions shouldn't be based on "the lucky ones," they should take into account all aggregate data.

INTAR India 2016: Reflections

Despite everyone's best intentions, the river of psychopharmacy was making its path through the global south, with no stops anywhere within policy or practice. INTAR India 2016 became very important for the global south against this rising tide and the overmedicalization of people's psychosocial distress and disabilities.

Healing from Psychiatry: A Community Art Book

I began reaching out to other psychiatric survivors, asking whether they would like to have their art featured in a book, and the response I received was amazing. People openly shared not only their art but their personal stories, their feelings, and their painful journeys into, through, and out of psychiatry.

Antipsychiatry – Say What?

What exactly does “antipsychiatry” mean? Is the term useful or hopelessly ambiguous? Can one be antipsychiatry without being abolitionist? And if one wants to end the use of psychiatric coercion only, does that position qualify as antipsychiatry?

Breaking Through the Wall of Schizophrenia

A good relationship can begin to puncture a hole through the wall of disconnection. The goal is to help a person break out of the isolation and private world that trauma has created and re-engage with a public world—culturally, emotionally and in a way that has personal meaning.

The Next Generation of the Mad Movement in NYC Looks Like This

It’s a Saturday afternoon in mid-June and there’s about 150 of us on the ground floor of a low income housing building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Institute for the Development of Human Arts is holding their founding event: “Making New Meaning: A School for Innovative Voices & Visions.”

‘Mad’ Psychologist Speaks Out

Yet again I find myself in the painful, ridiculous and uncomfortable position of having to try to do my best to repair the extensive damage which is being done to vulnerable survivors of child abuse by the system. Yet again I am powerless to do much about it.

Killjoy: The Story of a Misguided ‘Mental Health’ Bot

The bot was created by one Danny Freed, inspired by the suicide of his close friend a few years prior. Danny reportedly balks at calling Joy a ‘bot,’ and refers to it instead as a “mental health journaling service.” Joy operates through Facebook’s system and auto-chats you at least once a day to check in.

While Psychiatry Slept

You might ask, “But why are dreams so crucial to psychiatry?” I would tell you that they are the forgotten language of the psyche, composed of metaphor and symbol, simile and synecdoche. All who enter the world of non-consensus reality long for a physician trained to hear the patois of image.

Human Right to Health – More than Economic Justice

Something is lost, a great deal is lost, when we give up an independent advocacy platform about our own bodies and subsume our needs and rights into what medical professionals are motivated to fight for on our behalf.

Trauma in Common?

We need to talk and act on our common dreams for people who are dealing with major mental health challenges. And we need to recognize that we have all been vulnerable to a retreat into extreme views from our respective traumas, to some degree.

From Madness to Mastery: Gaining Competence with Altered States

Is madness good for something? If there is something positive about psychosis, then perhaps what we really need is a balanced view, somewhere between “romanticizing” it as being all good and “awfulizing” it as being all bad.

Psychosocial Disability and Legal Capacity: Don’t Bargain with Human Rights

For persons with psychosocial disabilities, one of the most fundamental rights laid out in the CRPD is the right to equal recognition before the law and legal capacity (Article 12). Our latest Position Paper focuses on Article 12 of the CRPD.

Conferring Legitimacy on the Counterhegemonic

Those of us who are radicals are commonly struggling to find ways to confer legitimacy on positions which substantially challenge an oppressive status quo. In this article, I will be exploring how to accomplish such feats successfully.

Psychiatry’s Troublesome History: How Far Have We Come?

Many mental health advocates promote ending a perceived stigma surrounding treatment. I wonder if a Mental Health Awareness Month campaign in 1940 would have led to greater humanization of mentally ill people, or if it would have just paved the way for more lobotomies?

Back to Basics: What’s Wrong with NAMI

It seems one mostly needs to already know what they’re looking for in order to find the most established criticisms of this particular organization. And even with knowledge and intent, it can require some fairly persistent Googling efforts to unearth all there is to be found.

Call to Action: MA Bill H.3594 for Informed Benzodiazepine Use

This proposed legislation would require practitioners to obtain written informed consent regarding risk of dependency and addiction and risks associated with long-term use. It would also mandate warning labels concerning long-term use.

How FDA Avoided Finding Adult Antidepressant Suicidality

The studies that the FDA relied upon for adults over age 24 were dismally flawed and untrustworthy compared to the ones used for children. The child studies showed that antidepressants can cause suicidality — the adult studies showed nothing other than FDA collusion with drug companies.

The Violence-Inducing Effects of Psychiatric Medication

On May 17, 2017, we learned that Chris Cornell of Soundgarden had reportedly committed suicide by hanging. Perhaps an “addict turned psychiatric patient,” like so many, Chris Cornell seemed to have left the frying pan of substance abuse for the fire of psychiatric medication risks.

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