Tuesday, November 21, 2017


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).

digital abilify prison

The Orwellian New Digital Abilify Will Subjugate Vulnerable People Across the US

The FDA approved the prescribing and sale of a new hi-tech compliance-monitoring “antipsychotic” drug this week. A new chapter in human darkness has descended — one that is applauded by the alliance of control addicts that made it happen.

Creeping Fascism: University “Unfit to Study” Policies

“Unfit to study” policies are “respectable fascism.” Where marginalization, exclusion, and control on the basis of putative “mental illness” is starting to happen in any arena, or to any designated group, we need to oppose the institutionalized oppression and stand in solidarity with those under siege.

A Mad Pride Perspective on Borderline Personality Disorder

Even if Borderline Personality Disorder were a valid construct, does meeting the criteria for the diagnosis necessarily mean something is wrong with me? Does it mean my personality is disordered and I need to learn coping skills? Could it possibly say more about society than it says about me?

Learning About Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

We held the first course ever on psychiatric drug withdrawal on 12 June 2017 in Copenhagen. The course was open to patients, relatives, psychologists, doctors and other social and healthcare workers, and 77 people participated.

Duration of Untreated Psychosis Revisited: Response to the Goff Paper

Based on the studies cited, it seems hard to support the assertion that “early initiation of antipsychotics may improve long-term course of the illness.” This raises an urgent question about initial treatment. Doesn’t it make sense to try to capture all of those individuals who might get through a psychosis without drugs?

More Bad News About Smartphones – When Will We Heed the Warnings?

We might expect that there would be a reasonable response to an overwhelming body of evidence that our tech usage patterns must be altered or consequences will only become more dismal. Yet as we are learning, trends seem to be running contrary to what the advice begs us to consider.

Why Disease and Illness Are Concepts of the Body

If you loosen the association between the concepts of illness and disease and the body, the words cease to have any discriminative power. They are no longer able to pick out a particular category of unwanted situations and become synonymous with generic terms like ‘problem’ or ‘difficulty’. They become meaningless.

Crazy or Wise? Learning From Those Who Have Transcended Psychological Crisis

The documentary CRAZYWISE, released earlier this year, challenges Western ideas of human suffering by considering the concept that extreme states can be processes of transformation and that other cultures might have something to teach us.
bad behavior

Mental Illness Vs. “Bad” Behavior

Allen Frances has claimed that "It's a great mistake to confuse bad behavior with mental illness." Yet two of the so-called mental illnesses (conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder) consist essentially of "bad" behavior, while in at least six others, "bad" behavior is an integral part of the problem.
zombie hands

Psychiatry’s Greatest Harm: Its Lies Have Poisoned Our Entire Culture

Psychiatry’s harms extend far beyond those people it ‘treats’ — they are undermining our society’s entire foundation. In just thirty years in America, the medical model's widespread acceptance has largely undone the huge adaptive potential that millions of years of brain evolution had provided.

Bias and Deception in Behavioral Research

Contrary to popular belief, science is not immune to the corrupting influences of the society it operates in. When false results produced by p-hacked research have social, scientific, and political importance, and affect or harm the lives of millions of people while entire fields look on, it constitutes a scientific scandal.
Nathan Kline

Tranquilizing Humanity into Oblivion: A Warning from Nathan S. Kline

Widely heralded as the father of American psychopharmacology, Kline insisted that his discoveries were adjunctive to psychotherapy, not replacements. The psychopharmacology of Kline's era recognized that medications are a blunt instrument.

A Brave New World – Somatic Psychiatry in the Spotlight

Historically, psychiatric diagnoses were never intended to signify literal brain diseases. They used to be a shorthand and a guide to point to the psychological issues that presented. This is how it still should be today. The way diagnosis is now used is a travesty. 

Dualism and the Mind-Body ‘Problem’

The proposal that there are differences in the way we understand the human body and human activity seems to make people particularly uneasy. It is often misunderstood as illustrating the ‘mind-body problem,’ and held up as an example of the great crime of ‘dualism.’

Mortality of People Using Mental Health Services and Medications

153,451 deaths were registered in Australia in the period 10 August 2011 to 27 September 2012. 75,858 of these deaths were registered for persons who had accessed mental health-related treatments. These deaths accounted for 49.4% of all deaths in this period.
animal research

The State of Animal Psychiatric Research

Since animal research is the foundation for moving on to clinical trials despite its poor quality, it is likely that this leads to many superfluous trials in humans based on false hopes. This leaves a risk of adverse events for the participants in the trials, and subsequently the patients.

Ending ECT: From a Lawsuit to a Novel – The Moment is Now!

In the midst of flagrant professional misrepresentation of ECT, this is a call to arms. Quite simply, the time has come for a frontal assault on the ECT industry and on the professionals associated with it. The time has come to rid society of this barbaric “treatment” altogether.

UN to USA: Forced Treatment is Prohibited

The experience with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's visit to the US is a watershed for our work against forced psychiatry. Step by step, global and national advocacy support each other as part of a worldwide movement to abolish forced psychiatry using the UN human rights framework.
drug dealers

Warning to Parents: Psychiatry is How Kids Get High and Die in the USA

Street drug dealers and stimulant-peddling doctors both get clients high and addicted for profit. So there is really no difference between what they do except that doctors are more ‘successful’ at it, since they enjoy many advantages over illicit dealers and can get away with doing it legally.

“Prisons Without Bars” – Forced Institutionalization of People with Disabilities

In the wake of deinstitutionalization, we no longer have the vast asylum system we once did. Instead, something more insidious has taken root — for-profit institutions that call themselves neurorehabilitation centers, group homes, and other official-sounding names.

Benzodiazepine Effects: Similarities With Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma victims have already been through far too much. Many find when they disclose abuse to GPs, the first thing that happens is a prescription for a benzodiazepine, which can lead to severely disabling adverse effects. How can this level of risk be justified for anyone, let alone vulnerable abuse survivors?
DNA in hand

Schizophrenia Genetic Research – Running on Empty

The time has come to halt the massive failure that has characterized schizophrenia molecular genetic research, and to thoroughly reassess what critics have always said are the severely flawed family, twin, and adoption studies that inspired and helped justify this research.

Channeling Dead German Poets: Taking Other People’s Alternate Realities Seriously

I believe that the greatest problem that we have with “psychosis,” voicehearing, and “schizophrenia” in the modern world is a simple lack of comprehension on the part of other people that what we experience is actually real, even if it might seem intractably bizarre from the outside.

To See An Atom: Psychosis and Ecology

Having smelled colors, heard ghosts, grown ecstatic, glimpsed Gaia, chatted with cartoons, and been overwhelmed by persistent paranoia and fear while under the influence of LSD, a modified fungus, I cannot distinguish how such plant-induced experiences differ from what psychiatrists call psychosis.
opioid epidemic

Companies That Fueled the Opioid Epidemic Should Fund Efforts to End It

The quickest way to restore safe use of opioid prescription is to insist that the drug companies that promoted the overuse of opioids now create a pot of money to develop powerful TV, radio, and print ads, free continuing education offerings, and drug rehabilitation research.

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