Monday, March 20, 2023


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).

Covers of both issues of JHP

Compassion and Understanding Versus Drugs and Disease: Where Does Humanistic Psychology Stand Now?

Authors with lived experience of extreme states present a humanistic contrast to psychiatry.
Illustration of a magnifying glass and a pill bottle on a pink background

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 6: Psychiatric Drug Trials Are Not Reliable

In this blog, Gøtzsche discusses the ways in which drug trials are biased, including breaking of the double-blind and industry manipulation.
Business man protecting with umbrella against wind of papers concept

How Peer Reviewers and Editors Protected a Failed Paradigm for Psychiatric Drug Testing

My recent article was so threatening to the whole edifice of psychiatry that the peer reviewers and editors did what they could to kill it.
A bearded white man repeated pattern with hands in an expression of confusion

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 5: Psychiatric Diagnoses Are Not Reliable (Part Two)

The screening test for depression recommended by the WHO is so poor that for every 100 screened, 36 will get a false diagnosis of depression.
Photograph of the red and blue lights on top of a police car at night

New York Can’t—or Won’t—Provide Data on New Forced Treatment Plan

When we requested specific numbers and data, the presenter suggested that there were so many different players, agencies, and moving parts it was hard to “make sense” of all the information. 
A woman's head is silhouetted with the sunset over the water

Beyond Psychiatry: A Trauma-Centric View of Mental Health

Internal family systems therapy is a non-pathologizing method of working toward healing from trauma, a journey of returning to wholeness by reconnecting with ourselves.

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 5: Psychiatric Diagnoses Are Not Reliable (Part One)

Psychiatric diagnoses have poor validity and do not tell us much about the nature, course, and treatment of the "diseases."
Needle about to pop a green balloon

One Flew Over the Scientific Consensus’ Nest—The Story of Dr. Ophir and ADHD

The backlash against Dr. Yaakov Ophir, licensed clinical psychologist and promising scholar, began when he reported his findings about the scientific validity of ADHD.
Illustration of a brain in a test tube against a black background

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 4: Are Psychiatric Disorders Caused by a Chemical Imbalance? ...

On the evidence base for textbooks' statements of the imbalance of neurotransmitters causing psychiatric disorders.

Black Movement Leaders: Lost & Found

As some of us get caught up in lamenting the whiteness of our movement, we are actively losing the stories of Black leaders.
Photo of a sculpture of a woman on a bench looking wistfully out to sea

We’re Obsessed with Labelling Suffering, But Our Power to Think about it Matters More

I needed Kierkegaard and Freud; my psychiatrist prescribed cereal bars. My despair was an imbalance to be corrected, rather than a relationship with the world.
Photo of a young White boy with glasses looking at a giant sheet of brain imaging results, with a Black man smiling happily behind him

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 3: Are Psychiatric Disorders Detectable in a Brain Scan?

Peter Gøtzsche discusses how textbooks portray brain imaging data for psychiatric diagnoses and the flaws with that body of research.
A background of a road leading through a forest. Text over it reads: "Mad Camp July 20-24 2023"

Summer Mad Camp 2023

Mad Camp, as a work in progress, is a five-day summer camp for mad people, July 20-24, at a forested retreat center in Northern California.
Illustration depicts a giant glowing brain with tiny people standing all around it

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 2: Are Psychiatric Disorders Mainly Genetic or Environmental? (Part Two)

In this chapter, Peter Gøtzsche discusses the problems with observational studies and other flaws in ADHD research.
Rio de Janeiro Aerial Skyline - Brazil

Fernando de Freitas: A “Dear Friend” Who Was a Warrior for Radical Change

Fernando de Freitas, co-founder of Mad in Brasil, passed away January 30. He had devoted his professional life to seeking to transform psychiatric care in Brazil and beyond.
Illustration of wires wrapped around a brain

We Must Not Remove Legal Protections for People at Risk of Forced ECT

Written testimony submitted to the Connecticut State Legislature in opposition to a bill removing legal protections for those at risk of receiving ECT against their will.
Illustration of dna strand unraveling, glowing bright blue against dark blue background

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 2: Are Psychiatric Disorders Mainly Genetic or Environmental? (Part One)

Textbooks portray ADHD and schizophrenia as genetic disorders, despite the much stronger evidence for environmental factors.
Illustration depicting dna strands and molecule chains

“Hidden Valley Road” and Schizophrenia: Do Genes Tell the Story?

The “genetics of mental disorders” story told in Kolker's "Hidden Valley Road" involves omission and misrepresentation of genetic research.
Photo of a magnifying glass sitting on an open textbook

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 1: Why a Critical Textbook of Psychiatry?

The discrepancy between opinion and science is prevalent in psychiatric textbooks. The coming generations of healthcare professionals will learn a lot during their studies that is incorrect.

New York’s Mayor: We’re out of Ideas, so It’s “Back to the Cuckoo’s Nest”...

A psychiatrist obsessed with violence among the mentally ill, Torrey is dedicated to promoting involuntary hospitalization.
Close-up of a hand holding a tablet with a question mark on it. Below, scattered tablets with frowns or hearts.

Seriously Misleading Network Meta-analysis in Lancet of Acceptability of Depression Pills

It is a futile exercise to rank depression pills based on flawed trial reports and—most importantly—when the patients prefer to be treated with a placebo.

Problem-Solving Through Skills-Building: Motivating Kids to Change

Children can overcome all sorts of difficulties by learning specific behavioural or emotional skills with the help and support of their social network.

Mad in America’s 10 Most Popular Articles in 2022

A roundup of Mad in America's most read blogs and personal stories of 2022 as chosen by our readers.
Illustration depicting orange person looking frightened with orange ghosts swirling around them

Ghosts Popping out Everywhere: The Shifting Times We Live in and the Process of...

We are living in challenging times. Every day we hear or read or hear stories of racism, sexism, inequalities, oppression. Emerging, there are experiences...
Close-up of therapist's hands explaining a problem to his patients

When Violence Hits Home, Can We Keep Growing?

We want to share conversation we had coming out of these events in the hopes it might help others explore how to keep growing emotionally in an uncertain and sometimes violent world.