I am just the messenger, the symbol that healthcare is in many ways absurd and harmful because the drug industry is too powerful. The Cochrane Collaboration is in deep crisis because it is too close to industry, practices scientific censorship and has a business model that focuses on “brand” and “our product” rather than getting the science right.
I'm drained by talking to people who might be first discovering basic truths about the mental health system that I've been aware of for over 15 years. But my excitement comes alive when I consult with people recently off of psychiatric meds who are interested in doing work similar to me, mentoring others about coming off of psych drugs.
At my AOT hearing, in response to a question about whether I had had any problems with substance use, my counselor said that there had been “an incident with a candle.” There has never been an incident with a candle, but now it is enshrined in my permanent record, so vague and so general that it could mean anything.
This is how the vicious cycle continues: the more one internalizes stigma, the more she will distance herself from her social surroundings; the more she distances herself, the more she will experience proliferation of symptoms; and the more symptoms are present, the more others will stigmatize and "force" the person into further isolation.
My experience began when I heard two people talking about me when I was home alone. I needed a reasonable explanation, and concluded that it had to be my upstairs neighbors. Then I began to hear the voices outside of my apartment — this new presentation meant that my explanation no longer made sense.
The huge impact of the MISTRA, in addition to the harmful and regressive social and political policy implications that flow from it, necessitates a detailed analysis of the “science” behind the study’s major claims and conclusions. Here I offer a new critique of this famous and influential “separated twin study.”
This is a call for action against the horror euphemistically known as “electroconvulsive therapy.” At a time when society is finally making advances against ECT, a courageous 80-year-old shock survivor, Connie Neil, has decided to go on a hunger strike to try to stop the horror that was visited on her from continuing to be visited on others.
I realize many folks get irritated by the ‘moving target’ of language, but understand that this is a process of unlearning for us all. It’s not so much that the words randomly keep changing as it is that the oppression embedded in our words and ways of being runs deeper than most of us could have ever imagined. Unraveling it all is a long way off.
Much of what Allen Frances says is sensible, but it would be more convincing if he would lay the responsibility for the present state of affairs squarely where it belongs: on psychiatry. I suggest, in all sincerity, that Dr. Frances abandon his attempt to absolve psychiatry from blame, and that he join the anti-psychiatry movement.
Anti-authoritarians are a threat to authoritarians because they don’t provide unquestioning obedience, but instead first assess the legitimacy of authorities. Consequently, authoritarians have attempted to shun, punish and psychopathologize anti-authoritarians throughout history.
Regular MIA readers may have noticed that we recently added a content box on the front page titled “Parent Resources.” This initiative has been a long time coming, and it is one that we hope will help us reach—and serve—a new group of readers. Many parents writing to us are desperately looking for a way out of the conventional system.
The hotline “counselor” will tell you that, if you’re unable to keep yourself safe, they will have to send you some “help.” We all know that what they mean is not a friend or a therapist but the police. Because strangers, usually big white men with guns, keep everyone safe and are not triggering, traumatizing or on power trips at all.
A major electroconvulsive therapy case that was on the eve of trial just settled to the satisfaction of the injured ECT patients and the DK Law Group, LLP. As an expert in the case I am pleased to report that this is a significant victory. The evidence secured has paved the way for more suits against ECT manufacturers that are on the way.
In the 1800s, the British East India Company, aided by England’s parliament which invested in it, profited greatly by selling opium in China. This began what China calls its “century of humiliation” in which a great empire was brought to its knees. Are we at the start of our own lost century, with psych pill and opioid dispensers taking on the BEIC’s role?
Peru has moved closer to full compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities than any other country in the world. Here I analyze the Peruvian reform as it pertains to legal capacity and the right to be free from disability-based detention and forced medical interventions.
55 Steps is a new film based on a true story that centers around two women: Collette, a lawyer with a tendency to work long hours, and Eleanor, who has spent far too much time incarcerated in hospitals. Over the course of five years, Collette fights for Eleanor’s right to choose whether or not she takes psychiatric drugs. This film is imperfect, but its importance can’t be ignored.
Trauma makes the speech centers of the brain shut down. This is why talking about abuse is so difficult: the words are blocked. If you reclassify trauma effects as trauma-strokes, and you adapt physiotherapy to take this clinical evidence into account, then you come up with Verbal Physiotherapy.
The STAR-D study is by far the largest and most expensive study of antidepressants ever conducted, and it suggests that in real life situations, people taking antidepressants do not do very well. This may be the reason why the results of the main outcome of the STAR-D study have remained buried for so long.
The "independent report" that investigated the complaints against Peter Gøtzsche (which included a complaint from E. Fuller Torrey) reveals that they arose in connection with his criticisms of psychiatric drugs. The Cochrane Collaboration's ouster of Gøtzsche betrays a commitment to open-minded science that is vital to serving the public good.
The "North driving the South" phenomenon has evoked a strong counter response from TCI Asia Pacific and allied organizations (from Africa and Latin America) — especially when we know by now that the western model of psychiatry, based on colonial practices of isolation, seclusion, and coercion, is a failure.
A recent paper published in Schizophrenia Bulletin reported on a meta-analysis of antipsychotic drugs which found that a significant number of people do not experience a remission of psychotic symptoms. The evidence base suggests that it is time for us to reappraise the effectiveness of these drugs and shift our practice patterns accordingly.
Therapists tend to view guilt as a toxic emotion. They are often over-sensitized to the psychological effects of too much guilt—of unwarranted guilt—yet often under-sensitized to the interpersonal effects of someone having too little guilt—the absence of guilt when it is warranted. Guilt is one of the primary social emotions that keeps people socially aware.
Political, educational, and mental health fields are joining forces in ever more powerful authoritarian rule. The DSM, proclaimed to be a scientific guidebook, is little more than a political instrument used to control undesirable behaviors and experiences. Who will fight for our rights when everybody is tranquilized into conformity?
Business as usual — big farming, big pharma and conventional healthcare — is threatening our planet and our very ability to survive as a species. Planetary and human health are at a tipping point. Solutions informed by the science of environmental health, epigenetics and the microbiome, are elegantly simple, but their impact is profound.
Finnish psychiatrist Ben Furman reviews various non-drug therapies for children with aggressive outbursts of anger, including the Kids' Skills approach that he and social psychologist Tapani Ahola developed. These approaches focus on helping children come up with their own ideas for overcoming their problems with the help of family and friends.