Sunday, February 23, 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).

Scott Kellogg

Working With the Four Dialogues: Using Chairwork in Clinical Practice

In 2001, I discovered the astonishing power and beauty of Gestalt Chairwork. Building on Perls’ and Moreno’s seminal work, I have developed a therapeutic model based on four orienting principles and four core dialogical stances.
black-and-white weathervane photo

Observations From an Open Circle

Incorporating philosophical debate into psychiatric care forces us to confront the assumptions of therapy. Many "progressive" psychiatric institutions may have been built on solid foundations revolutionary for their time, yet they run the risk of coming to a standstill without continuous and vehement debate.
businessman with tape on mouth

Our Movement Has a Cover-up Problem Too

Our movement, by not effectively addressing misconduct and corruption, is creating the same toxic dynamics we see so often in families, in schools, in a society that silences people and drives them into distress and madness.
medical lecture pointing at pill drawing

Turning the Corner: How Are We Educating Psychiatrists in Medical Schools?

In response to critics of psychiatry, doctors sometimes argue that medication is just a part of care, not everything. But if a grand rounds presentation intended to educate the profession doesn’t mention anything at all except medication, what are we teaching young therapists and doctors?
twin children with glasses

Exploding the “Separated-at-Birth” Twin Study Myth

Supporters of the nature (genetic) side of the “nature versus nurture” debate often cite studies of “reared-apart” or “separated” MZ twin pairs (identical, monozygotic) in support of their positions. In this article I present evidence that, in fact, most studied pairs of this type do not qualify as reared-apart or separated twins.

Why Must People Pathologize Eating Problems?

Why is it that so many people, even some astute critics of the traditional mental health system who are happy to challenge the pathologizing of emotional distress generally, cling uncritically to the term and concept of “eating disorders”?
out-of-body experience

Spiritual Emergency: Crisis or Transformation?

A spiritual emergency is a crisis during which experiences are so intense that they temporarily disrupt the sense of self. Mislabeling them as pathological symptoms may be damaging to further spiritual development as well as to the individual's psychological and physiological well-being.
confused woman scientist

The Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: Where Is It Going?

The spurious chemical imbalance theory of depression is arguably the most destructive thing that psychiatry has ever done. Worldwide, millions of individuals are taking antidepressants, often with a cocktail of other drugs, because they have been told the blatant falsehood that they need the pills to combat a brain illness.
hand reaching out from pile of pills

The Review on Antidepressant Withdrawal That Cochrane Won’t Publish

Peter Gøtzsche and Anders Sørensen on trying to get a review of methods for safe antidepressant withdrawal published in Cochrane: "They sent us on a mission that was impossible to accomplish" to "protect the psychiatric guild."
blue mandala-kirism

A Kirist Response to Psychiatry

Eric Maisel offers a new philosophy of life called kirism, answering questions about purpose, meaning, and how to live.

NY Times to Bonnie Burstow: May You Not Rest in Peace

In its obituary of Bonnie Burstow, the New York Times published a comment from historian Edward Shorter that was both vile and slanderous. Burstow, if she had been alive, could easily have set the record straight.
psychedelic eye

Psychiatry, Capitalism, and the Recuperation of Psychedelics

For a psychiatrist trained to conceptualize within the medical model, psychedelics will at worst be a novel pharmacotherapy altering broken neural pathways, and at best remain an intervention targeting a multidimensional “mental illness” rather than a communion with the magical yet essential dimension of the human experience.
Zyprexa Papers

Big Pharma Meets Big Diagnosis, Big Courts, and Big Psychiatric Hospitals

Gottstein’s book is The Pentagon Papers of the traditional mental health system, because he exposes a mind-blowing number and variety of cold-blooded, calculating actions on the part of Eli Lilly in trying to hide what it knew to be the devastating effects of its hugely profitable Zyprexa.

Reimagining Healthcare

The conventional Western classification systems of health conditions are based on flawed science shaped by reductionist, hierarchical, and profit-driven ideologies. THEN wants to create a new paradigm built upon principles drawn from systems science, the life course perspective, developmental neurobiology, and other evidence-informed studies.
transparimed missing clinical trials

Where Are the Results of These Five Clinical Trials of Antidepressant Drugs?

The results of five large-scale clinical trials of antidepressants have never been made accessible to the public, a data set compiled by an international team of researchers shows. Their discovery highlights the incompleteness of available data on the safety and efficacy of antidepressant drugs.
biomedical model

Ready, Fire, Aim: Mainstream Psychiatry Reacts to the UN Special Rapporteur

In a commissioned commentary, two psychiatrists assailed the Special Rapporteur’s "anti-psychiatry bias." Their commentary reads as a crude ad hominem attack on the Rapporteur himself in order to divert attention from his well-founded conclusions about mainstream psychiatry.
mental hospital deinstitutionalization

How President Trump and Dr. Drew Got It Wrong on Deinstitutionalization

Compounding the lack of participation of former and current patients, a major theme of the summit was that Americans diagnosed with “serious mental illness” should not be able to make their own treatment decisions.
helping suicidal people

MIACE 2020: New Approaches to Working With People Who Are Suicidal

In March, MIA Continuing Education is launching an 11-seminar course that will provide new insights into understanding the factors driving the increase in suicide, and tell of “therapeutic” approaches that “demedicalize” suicide and offer new ways to help people in crisis.
stress suicide

Stalked by Stress, Abandoned to Predation: The Appeal of Suicide in a Modern World

It's not just weapons and fangs that kill me. Being stalked by industry, bureaucracy and social sentiment is deadly too. Mammalian bodies are not wired to endure chronic, pervasive threat and vulnerability. Yet this stuff is ubiquitous and embedded into mainstream culture.

Making Peer Counseling Radically Accessible

I imagined a world in which anyone can hit a button on their phone and be connected with a compassionate and empathetic listener, 24/7. So in 2019, I founded Peer Collective. Today, there are 30 peer counselors on the platform offering 30-minute counseling sessions for just $14.

The Day I Became Schizophrenic

Schizophrenia, to me, is nothing more than a word. All it really means is that you experience psychosis on a regular enough basis that it’s a factor in your life. And that you actually do, as the word “schizophrenia” indicates, have a mind that you share with some sort of outside presence.
doctor saying sorry

Power Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

I wonder how this system would be changed if, tomorrow, every provider (past and present) woke up and made it their mission to find someone who’s been through their services in one way or another, and told them they were genuinely sorry for something specific that had happened during that time.

The Real Myth of the Schizophrenogenic Mother

Acknowledging the role of trauma inflicted by a given individual’s mother is not the same as laying all blame for “mental illness” at the feet of motherhood. Meanwhile, a mountain of evidence has accumulated linking schizophrenia to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and many other categories of adverse childhood experiences.
Bonnie Burstow

Remembering Bonnie Burstow

Dr. Bonnie Burstow was a legend in her own time. She died too young, at 74, surrounded by close friends and loving students, after a short stay in the palliative care unit of Toronto General Hospital. The world has lost a truly great woman: a phenomenal antipsychiatry/anti-electroshock warrior, and a tireless fighter for human rights. And I have lost a beloved sister.
teen suicide

No, Dr. Friedman: The Solution to Teen Suicide is Not So Simple

In the largest newspaper in the world this week, one of the largest problems in the world was proposed as having a very simple solution. No, the answer to our suicide crisis among youth is not to encourage more teens to embrace more treatment. It’s to pursue multifaceted answers to a complex, multifaceted problem.

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