Saturday, September 25, 2021


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).

Colorful drawing of protesters

Mad Activists: The Language We Use Reflects Our Desire for Change

There is not one movement but many, and the language people use reflects how accepting they are of the psychiatric explanation of their experiences.
3d render of two heads with speech bubbles

The Importance of Empathic Listening for Making Meaning of Distress

Psychiatrists would gain more understanding if they listened to their patients and worked with them to make meaning of their distress.
Jane Whittington with a flower background

Honoring Jane Whittington: 1950-2021

It’s with great sadness that I am writing of the sudden and unexpected passing of my former husband and best friend Jane.
photo of hands fiddling with a reel to reel tape recorder

The Cochrane Tapes Reveal a Horrendous Show Trial Against a Critic of Psychiatry

Why did Cochrane expel one of its best known scientists, who had helped get Cochrane started and bolstered its reputation? What happened that day?
Illustration depicting a blue figure with three monkeys climbing on them

What We Have Always Known but Psychiatry Forgot

When I came off my last medication, my psychiatrist said to me, “You will get sick again.” Psychiatry has always been sure that I would never recover from bipolar disorder.

What Can We Learn from Alcohol? A Paradigm Shift in How We View Distress

The effects of alcohol—both positive and negative—have a lot to teach us about the biomedical view of psychiatric diagnoses and the drugs prescribed to treat them.

Review: “(Mis)Diagnosed: How Bias Distorts Our Perception of Mental Health”

Psychiatric diagnoses can be shaped by prejudice, reflecting biases that ignore trauma, diminish populations, and invalidate humanity and experience.
Photo of Don Weitz

Remembering Don Weitz, 1930-2021

My hero, mentor, and very dear friend Don Weitz died comfortably, in his home, on the afternoon of September 1, attended by his loving twin children, Lisa and Mark.
Photograph of man's lower face with a pill on his tongue

Psychedelics—The New Psychiatric Craze

Psychedelics have become popular through the potent mixture of financial interests and desperation. Evidence for their beneficial effects is lacking.

Interview: Moving Toward a Human Rights Approach to Student Mental Health

Psychologist Jim Probert of the University of Florida's student counseling center explains why "Our goal is not to take the steering wheel out of the person's hands."
Woman trapped in a glass

The Sins of Conservatorship: Why Britney Spears Compared It to Slavery

For the last three years of my mother’s life, she was under absolute control of her conservator. If we dared to object to the neglect or abuse, retaliation was certain.
Roxanne Stewart-Johnson and her children

The Great Triumph of Roxanne Stewart-Johnson: Psychiatric Refugee

Roxanne fled to Canada, and received formal refugee status, as a psychiatric refugee after being threatened with psychiatric imprisonment and forced drugging in Jamaica.

The Case of Joshua Spriestersbach: If This Is a Horror Story, What Does it...

Spriestersbach was imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for almost three years. The more he told the doctors that he was not Thomas Castleberry, the more they believed that he was psychotic.

Garbage in, Garbage out: The Newest Cochrane Meta-Analysis of Depression Pills in Children

In May 2021, Cochrane published a network meta-analysis of depression pills for children. The abstract is misleading and reads like drug company marketing.

ISEPP to American Psychological Association: Condemn Forced Treatment

The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry petitions the American Psychological Association to condemn forced treatment as a human rights violation
Illustration of a head filling up with pills

Psychiatry Is the Cause, Not the Solution

I have found that trauma is frequently at the root of many eventual psychological and medical issues. Medications often only worsen the disconnection caused by trauma.

EVENT: Town Hall on Children and Psychiatric Drugs

On August 13, Mad in America and three partner organizations will present four international experts to discuss the problem of the widespread psychiatric drugging of children—and seek solutions.

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 5 (Part 6): Patient Stories and Conclusion

In an evidence-based healthcare system, we should not use interventions that do more harm than good, but that's just what psychiatry does.

An American History of Addiction, Part 8: A Turning Point, But Where Do We...

Practitioners and researchers have increasingly started to feel that the maintenance of the status quo has left the addiction field in a state of conflict and fluctuation.
UK street in winter

How I Learned the Social and Environmental Causes of Madness

My first encounter with mental illness was when I was 17. My friend was hospitalised in the psychiatric unit of the local general hospital and diagnosed with hypomania.

Speak Out! Britney’s Fight Is Our Fight

With all eyes on Britney, we must unmask the role of psychiatrists in court hearings like hers, where basically what the shrink says, goes— and the person’s freedom and human rights are stripped away.
Businesswoman hand trying to stop toppling dominoes on table

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 5: Survival Kit for Young Psychiatrists in a Sick...

Peter Gøtzsche describes trying to join the psychiatric establishment to bring attention to critical issues from the inside.
3d illustration of a brain with one end red and shattering

Psychiatric Drugs “Help” By Causing Brain Dysfunction

There are currently ten classes of prescription medications that impair brain function, including both psychiatric and non-psychiatric drugs. A number of non-drug “treatments” do the same.

In Memoriam: Paula Joan Caplan

Paula Caplan, known for her fierce criticism of psychiatry and its diagnostic manual, died Wednesday at age 74.

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 5: Survival Kit for Young Psychiatrists in a Sick...

Peter Gøtzsche explains how psychiatry has reacted when confronted with evidence and stories of lived experience, and how this has corrupted journalism.

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