Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Blogs

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

Emotional Strategies and Skills for Aspiring Mental Health Workers

In mental health, we have spent an inordinate amount of effort on the intellectual level. Since most people who come to us for help have deeper needs than that, we’re going to fail most of them if we don’t instead operate predominantly at the emotional level.

Why I Don’t Like the Idea that Mental Disorder is a Disease

What we need to try and understand extreme and unusual states of being are not the specialised methods of natural science. In contrast, it is the ways in which we understand ordinary, everyday behaviour that can help to reveal the nature and meaning of madness.

‘CRAZY’: New Documentary about Forced Psychiatric Treatment

Lise Zumwalt’s new documentary “CRAZY” follows Eric, a young adult diagnosed with serious mental illness, and his father, who together want to change Eric’s treatment. However, the county does not want to give them a say.

Mainstream Western Psychiatry: Science or Non-science?

Because it is such an important question, because people's lives depend on this and psychiatry has a record of getting it seriously wrong, we need to be sure we can trust their claim. In practice, is it true that biological psychiatry has the science?

What Role Does Talk Therapy Have in Recovery from Psychosis?

In my graduate education, we were taught how to deal with a wide variety of human troubles — but one big exception was psychosis! For that, we were told to send our clients to the psychiatrist.

Not Going Quietly

A few years ago, I was asked to see a man called Chris Rushworth. He was referred to me for anger issues. Chris had a restlessness about him, frequently shifting his legs from side to side. He had been on antipsychotic medication for 25 years.

Beyond Survival

Recently I came across a remarkable article, "From surviving to thriving: how does that happen." The authors have demonstrated that when people are weighed down by life's adversities, what they need is authentic, validating support, not facile pathologizing checklists, and not tranquilizing or stimulant drugs.

Discussing Nutrient Formulas Without Naming Them: Who Benefits?

Do we not want our public to pay attention to the quality of science behind a treatment? By constantly dancing around the product names of nutrient formulas, we are doing a disservice to those who need accurate information.

Optimizing Mental Wellness Through Nutrient Therapy: A Gastroenterologist’s Perspective

It was hard to believe, initially, that nutrient therapy could have that profound an impact. My son’s remarkable recovery with “just nutrients” has made me question the entire medical model behind ADHD and other neurobehavioral disorders.

Introducing the ‘Parent Resources’ Page

I know how difficult it is for the average parent to get educated about alternatives to the “diagnose a mental disorder and provide a chemical fix” paradigm. I hope that this new MIA parent resource section that I’ll be curating will help to educate you and point you in the direction of valuable resources.

Burn Baby Burn (Psychopharmacology Part 3)

In the 16 years from 1952 to 1968, the world changed in astonishing ways. In the 16 years since I first gave this talk, it has changed almost as much again. When some future historian looks back at this period, will they say it was a time when the field’s significant figures tweeted while psychiatry burned?

Where Do We Go From Here?

We need to spread the word to a much wider group. We need to connect with that silent skeptical majority, and deliver the message: your skepticism is well-founded; psychiatry is a destructive, disempowering, self-serving, drug-pushing hoax; your instincts are correct.

Leading Psychiatrists Follow Top-Dog Bankers’ Guide to Career Advancement

A career update for members of the “Psychiatry Hall of Shame,” including the group excoriated in the 2008 Congressional investigations, and another psychiatrist who conducted studies aimed at inducing psychosis—experiments that appeared to run counter to the Nuremberg Code of research ethics.

Into the Woods: A Path Through Anxiety

As individuals, psychiatrists are undoubtedly well-intentioned. But the Prozac paradigm undermines the path of acceptance by its very agenda to “get rid of” or “fix” anxiety. It is by its nature a resistance — and what you resist, tends to persist.

Spirituality and ‘Mental Illness’

Is the suppression of spirituality in the West the reason for our struggle and suffering labeled as mental illness? Are we medicated to numb the pain and psychospiritual protest related to the felt wrongness in our modern lives? Here’s what I learned from my trip to India.

Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness

In Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness, Bruce Cohen explains the expanding power and influence of psychiatry in terms of its usefulness to the capitalist system — the more useful it is, the more power it is given, and the greater its power, the more useful it becomes.

Aliveness and Social Justice: Teaching the Principles and Practices of Open Dialogue

Over the past seven years, I have been teaching open dialogue principles and practices in a variety of settings. This blog will focus on the development of a training program, now based in Manhattan, and what I’ve learned from running this program and teaching this approach in the US.

SSRIs: Minimal Effectiveness and High Risk

If psychiatry were a bona fide medical field, a meta-analysis of this quality yielding these results would send Richter 9 shock waves through the profession. But the publication of this study on February 8 generated no discernible concern within the profession.

Tweeting while Medicine Burns (Psychopharmacology Part 2)

This is the world that lies in store for us. It is not the world of traditional medicine, where drugs treat diseases to restore the social order. It is a world in which medical interventions will potentially change that order.

Victims of Success: an Update from Mad in America Continuing Education

Within days of announcing the webinar and providing the link to register, we were deluged with enrollments. It turns out that a great many professionals, advocates and clinical managers are interested in learning about Open Dialogue and its application to an American community.

Letter to my Classmates on our 40th Reunion

It is hard for me to feel celebratory on the occasion of our 40th reunion. As my career winds down, I feel more disappointment and dismay than the glow of lifelong achievement.

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany (A Book Review)

In a work of quite remarkable scholarship, Ohler has traced how an enterprising drug manufacturer realised the potential of methamphetamine and managed to sell it to the High Command as a very valuable but entirely harmless drug that would allow soldiers to do without sleep for days.

Lyme is ‘All in Your Head’ – A Wake-up Call to Mental Health Professionals

Sufferers are desperate for mental health professionals to understand Lyme so that they will know to consider it as a potential differential diagnosis before plying a patient with psychotropic meds that may make matters worse.

Tweeting While Psychiatry Burns

Part one of a lecture given at a British Neuropsychiatric Association meeting on February 22 under the heading of Psychopharmacology: 1952–2017. In slide 2, you see Tokyo University on fire. The students have occupied the Department of Psychiatry and stay for ten years.

A Curse for a Cursed Profession

In “polite society,” cursing is largely verboten. Let me suggest, however, that if done in the correct spirit and adroitly, cursing can be a highly useful type of anti-oppression work. On top of which, it can be personally liberating.

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Prescribing Antipsychotics in First Episode Psychosis

Lex Wunderink, MD, PhD, a Dutch researcher, describes his randomized control group study which showed that individuals diagnosed with psychosis who were discontinued from antipsychotic medications improved over a seven year period of time compared to those who remained on antipsychotic medications.