Tuesday, August 4, 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).

chess pieces arranged on stairs

Identity, Oppression, and the Culture of “The Mentally Ill”

A "mental illness culture" means that full time work is seen as impossible and discouraged, and your social world only consists of other mental health "consumers" and mental health workers.
DNA symbol

Kicking Over a Straw Woman

The Galvin family is the quintessential example of "genetic" schizophrenia. But their history of sexual abuse, violence, and trauma provides a clearer and simpler explanation.
Bill Anthony

A Recovery Movement Jedi Master, Bill Anthony, Died Recently

The first time I met Bill was in 1991. I was just a couple years out of residency, and he was already the legendary “father of psychiatric rehabilitation.”
disease dictionary definition

Drs. Pies and Ruffalo Still Rattling Their Wooden Swords

Pies and Ruffalo argue that psychiatric diagnoses are "diseases" because the word "disease" can't be defined, and suggest that circular logic is scientifically valid.
Drunkard's progress lithograph 1826

An American History of Addiction: Ardent Spirits

Our fears about drugs and drug addiction have allowed our society to accept court mandated treatment and the continuing militarization of police.

Professional Mental Health Leaders: Experts in Humanity or in Marketing?

A lot of people, perhaps especially Americans, like a quick fix. Unfortunately, for those of us who get the “help” of the mental health system, the results can be disastrous.
hand touching orange electricity

Whose Finger is Taking the Pulse of America’s Shock Treatment Controversy?

My doctors presumed I had agitated catatonia and ran 450 volts of electricity through my head 116 times to “reboot” my brain. They called it electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I call it Electroconvulsive Trauma.
sign reads "stop doing what doesn't work"

Stop Saying This, Part Two: “Reframing” and More

Myths around reframing, having to love yourself before someone else can love you, and being triggered are all addressed in this blog.
woman holding her head annoyed wearing medical mask

Is COVID-19 Making Everybody Crazy?

The response to the pandemic promises a vast expansion of the market for therapists, but such claims carry great potential for harm, adding to the burdens of people with upsetting but understandable, deeply human feelings.

Racism and Radical Psychiatry

A radical caucus within the American Psychiatric Association tried to combat systemic racism in the 1960s. So why is the APA still behind the times?
candy corn

Suicide & Candy Corn: The Utility and Challenges of Risk Assessments

Researchers admit their suicide risk assessments work only about as well as random guessing, and they can lead to harm. We can instead focus on finding new ways to form connections that might help tether someone to this world.
Kerry O'Malley

Kerry O’Malley: A Personal Struggle Against Forced Medication

Neglect for personal autonomy is a pervasive attitude in the mental health system. No human being should be stripped of their dignity and autonomy, much less a vulnerable 74-year-old woman.
woman wearing surgical mask on train

Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness in Light of the Pandemic?

Now that so many are experiencing distress because of the coronavirus, can we not appreciate that many who have been labeled mentally ill have long experienced these kinds of hardships?
close-up of a police badge

Defunding the Police: Replacing Guns With Prescription Pads Is Not the Answer

Mental health workers responding to emergency calls and crises results in coercion, labelling and othering, paternalism, force, and, yes, even violence, all under the guise of “for your own good.”
silhouettes of legs

Does Stranger Mean Danger?

Are those diagnosed with “mental illness” more dangerous than other people? Or have we evolved to sense danger from anything that we believe to be different or "strange"?

Stop Saying This: Phrases That Sound Helpful, But Are Actually Gaslighting, Part 1

Therapists seem to have a reference book where they go to find phrases that sound really helpful but are actually gaslighting and self-serving.
protesters with a sign reading "silence is suicide"

Black Suicidality and Mental Health #BlackLivesMatter

Suicides in Black communities can be understood to be caused by an institutionalized inequality that requires Black folks to negotiate their quality of life with life itself.
police killings

End Police “Wellness Checks.” Now.

If you are a mental health worker or advocate, there's a way to help dismantle police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S.
#blacklivesmatter

We Must Not Be Silent On George Floyd & Systemic Racism.

Dear Mad in America community: How much have we grown? Can we join together in working toward our liberation, bound together as activists?

Withdrawing Kids from Psych Drugs: Why, How, and When

Here are methods for reducing or eliminating a child's psychiatric medications that I have seen work well over years of supporting families through this process.
social connection graphic

Recovery: Stressing the Social Basis of the Process

Recovery involves engaging in new material and social contexts and in open dialogues where new ways of understanding and handling the situation are created.
canadian flag symbol pointing toward the word "justice"

Canadian Mental Health Legislation and the CRPD

Psychiatric survivors in Canada tell the UN that Canada is not complying with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Supporting Children and Parents to Withdraw from Psychiatric Medication

The main problem with prescribing psychiatric drugs to children is that it hasn’t been very effective.
hands holding a globe

“We Are All Mad!” A Call for the Development of an International Network Among...

I can imagine all the “MAD” affiliates working together regarding specific initiatives or projects.
Evan Durst Kreeger

Jinxed: The Persecution of Evan Durst Kreeger

I am very concerned that Evan is about to be devoured by psychiatry's maw. Things could be different if Evan were able to hire an attorney or attorneys to deal with all of these different legal actions coming at him and otherwise protect his interests such as sue the trustees for their unconscionable actions, but as I have indicated, his trustees have cut off his money so he can't hire such an attorney or attorneys.

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