Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blogs

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

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.

The Mental Health Professionals who Perpetrate Against us

Victim and perpetrator are involved in a sick dance. As a victim I meditate on my half of this dance… what am I bringing to the equation? How do I release the burden of victimhood once and for all so that perpetrators no longer have any hold on me?

A Clashing of Worlds (and Perspectives) on the Problem of Suicide

The controversy with 13RW is essentially a clashing of worlds — the world of entertainment (and its predominant audience of teens) and the world of science and practice. Who’s to say those from each perspective cannot find common ground in the service of something with life and death consequences?

Crazywise:  Revisioning Narratives of Psychosis

I’m deeply impressed with the people who made this documentary — I’ve never seen such a creative and well constructed piece of film about non-Western views of psychosis. It skillfully turns the biomedical model of mental illness on its head and shows so many different ways of looking at what we call madness.

Alcoholism — Is it a Disease?

We are told a story about illness, and that story serves a mindset that underlies the darkness that we feel all around us and within us. The mindset is that we are flesh robots, floating on a dead rock, in the middle of nowhere. But we are in the midst of a paradigm shift.
independent teen

The Diseasing of Defiance

Is every defiant child a freedom fighter? Of course not. Disrupting your fourth grade class is not the same as embarking on the underground railway. But is oppositional defiant disorder a label meant to subjugate and to serve the needs of the authorities? Yes, absolutely.

New UN Report: Steps Forward, But No End to Impunity

Dainius Pūras, UN Special Rapporteur on Health, has issued a groundbreaking new report critiquing biopsychiatry and its reliance on coercion, yet he pulls his punches, most unforgivably by treating the obligation to end coercive practices as a matter for gradual rather than immediate implementation.

Smash the Blue Lights: Autism Speaks is a ‘Danger to Self and Others’

There are few around Mad in America territory who would argue against the dangers of the National Alliance for Mental Illness. But as a movement, we often fail to recognize the dangers of their much younger sibling named ‘Autism Speaks’.

Oliver Sacks Helps Me Explain Hypersensitivity

In this passage Oliver Sacks writes about an altered state in which the capacity of the smell sense opens up. That is what it’s like for me all the time — hypersensitivity. I have this sort of acute capacity with all my senses all the time… it’s overwhelming, and it’s also the source of all my healing.

Nassir Ghaemi and The Psychological Fallacy

Rogue psychiatrists are straying from orthodoxy by expressing the belief that people who are burdened by excessive loss or difficulties are understandably depressed, and therefore not "diagnosable," but Dr. Ghaemi is bringing them back to the fold in the fine tradition of psychiatric pedagogy.

Neuroqueering Judaism: Reflections on Mad Passover

For our Haggadah, the reading material that guides the Seder activities, we included a list of the 10 modern plagues: psychiatric incarceration, forced drugging, electroshock therapy, restraint, seclusion, coercive behavior therapies, outpatient commitment, the pathology paradigm, sanism, and societal coercion to recover.

Change in Chicago: Playing Go

The jury was out for days. And when they came back it became clear they were wrestling with the issue of who to blame. This was like playing Go, where it can look like the black counters on the board have white encircled until white puts down one more piece and all of a sudden it wins.

Inconvenient Truths About Antipsychotics: A Response to Goff et al

The most worrying thing about the Goff et al paper is the minimisation of the evidence that antipsychotics produce brain shrinkage. There are no studies that show progressive brain changes in people diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis in the absence of antipsychotic treatment.

Responding to Claims that the Benefits of Antipsychotics Outweigh the Risks

For my doctorate research, I talked with 144 people who take or have taken antipsychotics and a third reported overall positive experiences. Another third said quite the opposite, and I can hear them yelling at me to share their side of the story.

Unusual Beliefs and Behaviors vs. Objective Realities and Truths

As a parent, and a child psychologist, and just as a person, I believe that acquiescing to the idea that we should simply help people “cope more effectively with things as they perceive them” falls short of the most effective and even most loving response.

Change in Chicago: The Dolin Verdict

Finally, faced with the twenty known and two possible suicides on Paxil during clinical trials, Dr. Kraus reluctantly conceded that 80% of the victims were over thirty. Whatever they had told the FDA, the risks of Paxil could not be confined to adolescents — and GSK knew it.

Wendy Dolin Takes on GlaxoSmithKline And Wins — For Now at Least

In July of 2010, Stewart Dolin, a partner at the mega law firm Reed Smith, jumped in front of a subway train in Chicago, apparently suffering from akathisia caused by paroxetine. His widow sued, and the jury found GSK negligent in not informing doctors of the suicide risk

“Let’s Talk Withdrawal” Podcast

Being in antidepressant withdrawal, I had come to feel very isolated and alone. What I needed was to hear real experiences of people who, like me, have struggled with the very drugs that they believed were going to help them. It was time to create a podcast.

Public Petition: Support for People Affected by Prescribed Drug Dependence

People from any country can sign our petition until May 10th, then it will be lodged for consideration and further action by the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee. This promises to be an interesting process — one which we hope will have a much wider impact.

Trump Appoints Leader who Campaigned for Involuntary Outpatient Drugging

This appointee criticizes our social change movement, especially our dedication to empowering peer support and our concerns about psychiatric drugs and labeling. It is important for everyone who supports human rights to speak up and oppose this approach. Please phone your Senators to block this confirmation.

Our Letter to Lancet Psychiatry

This is the cover letter that Mad in America Foundation sent to Niall Boyce, editor of Lancet Psychiatry, requesting that the journal retract Martine Hoogman's study of "subcortical brain volumes" in those diagnosed with ADHD.

The Unforeseen Relationship: Psychiatric Medication and Spirituality

In 2015 I completed a qualitative research study exploring the interrelationship between psychiatric medication and spirituality. The key finding was that people were engaging spiritually with their prescriptions in ways that significantly impacted the course and outcome of recovery.

‘Enough is Enough’ Series: LSD Reconsidered

Biochemical psychiatry is now moving in an unfortunate, potentially dangerous, yet predictable direction. It has run out of new drugs to try, so it's turning to psychedelic drugs, suggesting that they hold promise in the treatment of substance use 'disorders.'

Opening a Dialogue about Early Psychosis Programs in the US

It is very encouraging to observe the spread of early psychosis programs to many states and communities throughout the United States. I hope that someday there are programs in all 50 states, not just 34, and that there are literally thousands of these programs not a hundred.

What if the Folly is in Us, Too?

Faced with behavior different from our own or from our expectations, all of us feel that urge to “do something”—an act that is one of the beginnings of prejudice, a malignant virus that all of us have trouble shaking free of. We doctors, especially, want to do something: It’s what we’ve been trained to do.

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