Thursday, October 29, 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).

The Need for Acknowledgment of Context Within Approaches to Mental Distress

Mental distress is often perceived as something devoid of context, as an individual medical condition or a failure instead of a human condition linked to the social context one exists in.

The Reckoning in Psychiatry Over Protracted Antidepressant Withdrawal

Medically-induced harm—affecting tens of millions of people worldwide—has taken the field decades to take seriously.

The Spin Doctors: “ADHD” Research

We now spend over twenty billion dollars a year on treatment for something called “ADHD.” For that amount of money, we could pay the mid-career salaries of an extra 365,000 teachers or 827,000 teachers’ aides.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 2: The Scientism of Psychiatry (Part 1)

Wherever you find mental health services to have expanded, you find a parallel increase in the numbers who have been classed as disabled due to a mental health disorder.

The Double Standard at the Heart of Peer Services

There is clear evidence of a double standard and attitude that favors and privileges one side of the binary—the clinicians—over peers. This discrimination must be made visible and revealed to mental health advocates and changemakers.
Dr. Bob

An American History of Addiction, Part 3: Mr. Booze

Coupled with a burgeoning new movement (AA) for temperance members to refer to, the movement changed from a public policy interest group to what we would now call a treatment-based outreach organization.
Soteria house

Original Soteria House Members to Speak!

Soteria House’s history is complex and fascinating. Soteria Houses have never had the support they needed, but they still managed to change so many lives.

Stop Saying This, Part Five: Fake It Till You Make It

Megan Wildhood discusses the flaws in phrases like "fake it till you make it," "you can choose how you feel," and "no one is responsible for your life but you."

De-Weaponizing Empathy

I am not immune to what I call weaponized empathy, which I see as the pure intention of compassion for another tainted with aggression around eradicating pain, pain that could be a source of growth for the sufferer if allowed to arise and pass away without force.
road sign reads "crisis ahead"

Insane Medicine, Chapter One: The Medical Model of Mental Health Is Finished

The concepts we use have undermined our natural resilience, sensitised us to an idea of our vulnerability, and encouraged us to transfer our agency to practitioners who use a system as if it has scientific validity and is clinically useful.
photo of australia from space

Psychiatric Oppression Under Victoria’s Mental Health Laws

Public mental health authorities continue to oppress persons with psychosocial conditions through a combination of punitive and discriminatory laws that are constructed with a "best interests" paradigm in mind and a medical model that pathologises difference and dissent. 
open dialogue

What is Open Dialogue Today?

Please join us on Friday, October 23 for OpenExcellence, HOPENDialogue, and Mad in America’s ongoing Town Hall conversation about what Open Dialogue is — and is becoming.
Ad for Paxil/Seroxat

How Academic Psychiatry Minimized SSRI Withdrawal

If academic psychiatry is evidence-based, why did it take two decades to recognize SSRI withdrawal as widespread and chronic among patients?
hands holding a candle in the dark

The Smoldering Wick: Suicide and Faith

Some suicidal people may only benefit from the extraordinary selflessness and profound empathy demonstrated by St. Paul to his jailer. Credentials don’t measure for that.
a plant sprouting from the ground

Insane Medicine: How the Mental Health Industry Creates Damaging Treatment Traps and How You...

Yes, we need to drastically reform the foundational assumptions that govern the ideologies that pervade our systems, but many now know the truth about what is happening, and transformational approaches have been sprouting up organically in the rich soils of human creativity.
sad child

Four Children

I went to the children’s ward, to work with the kids. I remembered to tell all of them that I had been locked up my whole childhood on psych wards, and this always made them trust me.
David Oaks

We Are the 100%: World Mad Pride, Disability, & Revolution

This year, I finally got that first major speaking invitation: One of the four keynoters in the largest gathering each year for mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors, Peerpocalypse.
blocks spell out PTSD

How Many Times Must the “PTSD” Label’s Harm Be Exposed?

A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article and a recent American Psychiatric Association (APA) press release reveal the power the APA has wielded through its various DSM editions in pathologizing the effects of trauma.

How Little We Really Know About Psychiatric Drugs

Joanna Moncrieff reflects on what has and has not changed in the field of psychiatric drug treatment in the years between the first and newly published second edition of the Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs.
An ad for Tofranil (imipramine)

The First Studies of Antidepressant Withdrawal

The history of antidepressant withdrawal dates to the first articles on imipramine in the late 1950s. It is useful to compare discussion of both generations of psychiatric drugs and focus on shared efforts to deny and minimize their withdrawal syndromes.
psilocybin mushrooms

How Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Changed My Life

I don’t drink or smoke. I’ve never taken any drugs till four years ago. Yet today, my life revolves around psychedelic medicines—heavily stigmatized substances still illegal in this country and most others across the world. How did this happen?
A mother takes her young son to an imposing psychiatric hospital

You’ve Got to Be Crazy to Go to a Psychiatrist

To those who say that major scientific/medical advances since 1975 have made going to a biological psychiatrist a rational choice, I say: What advances? 45 years have passed: Is any psychiatric “diagnosis” now verified by lab test, x-ray, or physical exam finding?
lego ballerina and pyramid of hydrocodone

Addiction Treatment: How Many Meds Does It Take to Get Sober?

I started to wonder, “How many medications does it take to get sober?” In fact, the biggest correlation I’ve noticed with relapse and overdose is the amount of psychiatric medications being prescribed.
stone in zen sand garden

How Mindful Awareness Can Reduce Suffering

Suffering can be altered when people learn how to respond differently to their pain. This is the principle behind mindfulness-based stress reduction, which was designed to incorporate Buddhist practices into chronic pain treatment.
blurry photo of flowers

Suicidal Thoughts, Psychiatric Diagnosis, and What Really Helps: Part Two

This piece is the second of a two-part essay about suicide, diagnosis, what doesn't help, and what does help. This part is about barriers to seeking help and about the ways we actually can be of help to people who are considering suicide.

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