Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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).

RIP: Ed White – Advocate, Researcher and Supporter

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It is with great sadness that we write about the loss of one of our colleagues from the psychiatric drug withdrawal community; Doctor Ed White.
Illustration of a businessman being pulled out of a pill capsule

Fate of a Whistleblower: I Spoke Out About Abrupt Med Withdrawal

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A rapid withdrawal can be very dangerous and even deadly. You do not solve the problem by firing those who point this out, but that happened to me.
Photograph of flowers in a field

A New Liberation Movement, Focused on Relationship

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The harm that medical-model practitioners inflicted on me had to be managed and overcome. This delayed my progress resolving my childhood traumas.
brain

Too Good to Be True: How TMS Damaged My Brain

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TMS not only has not improved my mental health, but also has robbed me of some of the most important things in life. There has been little to no research on or awareness around the negative side effects that TMS can inflict. This must change.
Illustration of a woman holding an umbrella over another woman

I Set Up a Suicide Crisis Centre to Provide the Opposite of What I...

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Our approach is to openly care about our clients and empower them as much as possible. It's vital that clients know we care about their survival.
peer support

Who Gets to Define “Peer Support?”

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The definition of “peer support” should be straightforward. But over the years, “peer support” seems to have morphed into “peer specialist” — or, to put it more bluntly, psychiatric survivors’ experiential knowledge has been co-opted by the system. How does peer-developed peer support differ from the peer staff model? And what can we do about this?
unhappy child root cause

The Unsung Psychiatric Impact of Strep Throat

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A sea change is needed in the evaluation of children with perceived psychological disturbances. Parents are told that their child has a fictitious biochemical imbalance in the brain while real medical disorders are overlooked. In our family's case, it was Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS).

Why Anti-Authoritarians Are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

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(Note: Read Bruce Levine's latest post: Anti-Authoritarians and Schizophrenia: Do Rebels Who Defy Treatment Do Better? In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with...

Starvation: What Does it Do to the Brain?

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment was conducted at the University of Minnesota during the Second World War. Prolonged semi-starvation produced significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis, and most participants experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression and grew increasingly irritable. It really should not be a surprise to this audience that the brain’s functioning is highly compromised when the body is being starved of food (and nutrients). What we wonder is whether eating a diet of primarily highly processed foods low in nutrients has similar effects.

Beyond Benzos: Jordan B. Peterson’s Trip to Hell and Back

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I am thankful "Beyond Order" exists; if only because it serves as a cautionary tale for anyone looking to modify their mood using psychiatry’s plethora of pills.
child looking at smartphone

“Virtual Autism” May Explain Explosive Rise in ASD Diagnoses

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New clinical case studies have found that many young children who spend too much screen time—on TV’s, video games, tablets and computers—have symptoms labeled as “autism.” When parents take away the screens for a few months the child’s symptoms disappear.

RIP: Scottish Psychiatric Survivor Activist Chrys Muirhead

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When Mad in America was launched nearly a decade ago, Scottish psychiatric survivor and activist Chrys Muirhead was one of the first bloggers on our site.

My Father-in-law on Risperdal — A Case Study Gets Personal

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Risperdal is increasingly used in nursing homes for “agitation,” especially on those suffering from some form of dementia, even when no hallucinations or delusions are observed. Risperdal has quite a long list of side effects including heart problems, metabolic difficulties, diabetes, involuntary movements, agitation, flat affect and sedation. Risperdal has earned a “black box" warning that its use in those with Alzheimer's increases the risk of earlier death. Yet its use in Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes is extremely common.

Access Denied: Victims of Prescribed Harm Are Abandoned by Psychiatry

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Harmed patients are frequently unable to control the narrative of their own treatment and are subject to gaslighting, dangerous medical advice, and termination.
David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace: Suicide and the Death of Agency

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Today is the 10th anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s suicide. While it’s not fair to build an entire theory on an incredibly complicated issue like suicide around one person, Wallace’s death should challenge the common narratives around suicide — that “mental illness” causes it and that “we can’t ever know why people do it.” Both of these are self-serving platitudes that are simply not true.
Evan Durst Kreeger

Jinxed: The Persecution of Evan Durst Kreeger

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I am very concerned that Evan is about to be devoured by psychiatry's maw. Things could be different if Evan were able to hire an attorney or attorneys to deal with all of these different legal actions coming at him and otherwise protect his interests such as sue the trustees for their unconscionable actions, but as I have indicated, his trustees have cut off his money so he can't hire such an attorney or attorneys.

Comments by Shock Survivors and Their Loved Ones

The #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition has received over 2,200 signatures and 800+ comments. A more thorough analysis of those comments is forthcoming, however, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what people shared. The sixth, seventh, and eighth most common words used in the comments submitted through the petition were "damage," "barbaric" and "torture." We must continue the fight to make sure that the FDA hears the people who will be adversely affected by the proposed rule if it becomes an order. There is still a small window of time for you to sign the petition and leave a comment to the FDA.
neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is Not For Everyone: The Dangers of Neurology

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One thing I noticed, from the moment that I stepped out of my psychiatrist’s office, was how strangely blank and yet clear my mind was. I felt surprisingly calm and relaxed, and I decided to go back for another treatment the next week. What I couldn’t have known then was that after that next “treatment,” life would be completely destroyed for me.

Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness

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In Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness, Bruce Cohen explains the expanding power and influence of psychiatry in terms of its usefulness to the capitalist system — the more useful it is, the more power it is given, and the greater its power, the more useful it becomes.
photo of hands fiddling with a reel to reel tape recorder

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

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Why did Cochrane expel one of its best known scientists, who had helped get Cochrane started and bolstered its reputation? What happened that day?

What is a Warm Line and What Should I Expect When I Call One?

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A warm line is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge. Unlike a crisis line, a warm line operator is unlikely to call the police or have someone locked up if they talk about suicidal or self-harming thoughts or behaviors. Most warm line operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen.

What Happens When A Peer Is Accused of Relapsing?

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Once my colleague started spreading her conviction that I was relapsing, the whole agency began scrutinizing my behavior. As a peer, you’re under constant suspicion.

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

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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.
Colorful drawing of protesters

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

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There is not one movement but many, and the language people use reflects how accepting they are of the psychiatric explanation of their experiences.

New FDA Study Shows Benzodiazepines Can Cause Long-Term Injury

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The FDA has finally acknowledged the adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the dangers of withdrawal, and that the current packaging does not sufficiently warn of these harms.

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