Friday, May 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).

woman rejecting mask held by psychiatrist

Should You Ever Ask Someone “Are You Suicidal?”

For every person “Are you suicidal?” may assist, there are many more of us who are scared into silence when those words are uttered. Why? Well, “Are you suicidal?” is, in fact, the king of the suicide risk assessment questionnaire. “Are you suicidal?” has become the red, neon, flashing sign that screams “Stop! Don’t talk to me!” Perhaps this might just explain why suicide risk assessments are well known not to work.
cartoon drawing of a superhero ripping a sign that reads "DSM"

DSM Led Us Far Astray. Life Story Is the Path to Truth.

When the DSM-5 came out six years after the study was published, it ignored the evidence that psychological injuries caused 88% of “depression” in adulthood. It wasn't just this study that was sidelined. All the research that linked childhood trauma to later episodes of “depression” was ignored as well.
woman in medical mask peers out of darkness

What COVID-19 Has to Teach Us About Psychiatric Oppression

The answer to DJ Jaffe’s question as to whether or not forced incarceration in psychiatric facilities leads to fear of psychiatric facilities (or of reaching out for help in general) is an obvious one. Yet, it is important that we find ways to use this opportunity to draw the connections in bold, impossible-to-miss lines, and turn this crisis into a learning opportunity that might actually help move psychiatric oppression out of the shadows of the unknown and into the light.
electric shock

Electric Shock Update: Allegations of Regulatory Misconduct Filed with the FDA

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is publishing false and misleading advertisements about electric shock services under the guise of educational materials without even acknowledging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) December, 2018 Rule.
yellow flowers

Beyond the Buzzwords: What Does Trauma-Informed Care Truly Mean?

Rethinking Psychiatry's March meeting was a rich discussion of what "trauma-informed care" means. It is an important idea, but can be an empty buzzword. Our goal was to have a deeper, more meaningful conversation on what this term really means. A diverse group from the local community attended and we had a really interesting, thoughtful discussion.
card reads "did you know?"

12 Essential Facts About Psychiatry

With these twelve facts, you are equipped to defend against the misinformation propagated by academic psychiatry, Big Pharma, and the laypeople they target. You are encouraged to use this knowledge to (firmly but respectfully) challenge statements you hear in passing or from loved-ones such as “He is mentally ill,” “I have a chemical imbalance and these drugs help correct it,” or any other commonly accepted falsehoods that the above facts expose.
Drawing of Trump and American flag

Should We Diagnose Donald Trump?

I have been involved in hundreds of commitment hearings in which psychiatric diagnoses were crucial. In that context, I have never witnessed the presence of all three factors: (1) the transparent (honest) use of diagnostic labels (which includes the acknowledgment of the inherent biases built into the labels as well as their limited validity), (2) allowing full voice to and full acknowledgment of the labeled person’s view of reality, and (3) using the labels in a manner that produced a useful understanding, which in standard mental health practice would require that the understanding be significantly more beneficial to the labeled person rather than the labeler.
pills and American dollars

Does Pharma Need the Entrepreneur?

Capitalists don’t discover new medicine; they invest in it. The incentive to do so, as everyone will admit, is to return a profit. Most would also agree that this profit shouldn’t be "too large," but enough to encourage adequate investment into new treatments. However, the idea that this is a well-functioning system, and indeed the best way of producing medicine, is a myth.

Jordan B. Peterson’s Support of Corporal Punishment for Children: A Critique

In his book 12 Rules for Life, supposedly based on "cutting-edge research," Jordan Peterson attempts to justify the hitting of children as a form of discipline. But Peterson does so without citing a single study to support his view. In fact, this entire section of the book is bereft of any reference to any research supporting the effectiveness of corporal punishment.
creepy happy ball in ball pit

There’s Something Spreading Faster Than COVID-19, and It’s Not Fear. It’s Toxic Positivity

This “advice” to “remain positive” is spreading faster than COVID-19 and even faster than fear. The only people that benefit from that are the people already benefiting from predatory systems of capitalism and psychiatry that were in place long before COVID-19.
judge's hammer

When Telling A Psychiatrist You Are Not Mentally Ill Is Grounds for Commitment

Both these cases are examples of people whose only symptoms were stating they were not mentally ill and did not need psychiatric medication. They both certainly had problems at some time in their lives, but the one size fits all system of commitment and mandatory medication did not fit their needs at all. Does having mental symptoms in the past mean that one should have a lifetime of mental health commitment and forced medications?

Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

(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...
woman wearing medical mask

Loneliness Is Deadlier Than COVID

What we are being required to do and what many are rightly electing to do for their own health—that is, social distance, isolate and quarantine—are exacerbating the felt sense of loneliness that was an epidemic long before the present crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has made it obvious that the precious-sounding axiom “we need each other” is quite literal.
Debra and David Oaks

Re-establishing My Credentials: Psychiatric Survivor Activists Are Needed Now!

For more than four decades, I have worked as a psychiatric-survivor human rights activist. Then, at the end of 2012, I broke my neck. As readers of my blog posts, such as those on Mad in America, know, I have devoted the past few years to rehab and activism. But it has been a while since my last personal blog. Let me sum up my Mad Pride journey today, because a lot is changing.
David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace: Suicide and the Death of Agency

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.
brain

Too Good to Be True: How TMS Damaged My Brain

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.
child looking at smartphone

“Virtual Autism” May Explain Explosive Rise in ASD Diagnoses

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.
Man holds sign reading "TRUMP THAT BOY DON'T ACT RIGHT"

The President’s Fitness: Can Professionals Help Decide?

For psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other therapists to claim that they are essential for warning people that Trump is dangerous is to claim special expertise and insight to which they are not entitled, and it simultaneously demeans the judgment of nonprofessionals and helps strengthen the power of their guilds.

I Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?

In November 2000, I anxiously stood before the gathered four hundred and fifty mental health professionals, administrators, peers and academicians and said, "Hi, I'm Michael Cornwall and I don't believe in mental illness!"
psychological injury model

Why the ‘Psychological Injury Model’ Will Ultimately Triumph

The Psychological Injury model will triumph, not just because literally thousands of studies show how trauma and stressful life events result in mental health problems, but because at our core, we know it is true. People hurt people, and people heal people. This cracks the intellectual foundation of psychopharmacology.

Healthy Planet/Healthy Mind with Zach Bush, MD

Business as usual — big farming, big pharma and conventional healthcare — is threatening our planet and our very ability to survive as a species. Planetary and human health are at a tipping point. Solutions informed by the science of environmental health, epigenetics and the microbiome, are elegantly simple, but their impact is profound.

Lockdown Reading to End DSM Psychiatry?

A review of the "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents" books by Lindsay Gibson. Even though adults experience emotional loneliness, such loneliness can also start in childhood when we might have felt (and I would submit, actually were) unseen emotionally by self-preoccupied parents.
crowd in masks with signs

Mad in America and Activism

The question that is presently unanswerable is whether this crisis will stimulate progress or regression. I choose to believe that it is an opportunity but that we must fight to make it happen. My dream: To build compassionate communities where people who look, act, or think differently are supported in ways for them to develop their innate potential.
open dialogue

Four Decades of Allying to Make Safe Spaces for All Voices: The Hearing Voices...

Please come join us for our discussion on June 5 with Caroline Mazel-Carlton, Cindy Marty Hadge, Ronda Speight, Rufus May, Paul Baker, and Chackupurackal Mathai. This “Dialogue in a Time of Crisis” Town Hall will explore how the Hearing Voices Movement, like Open Dialogue, has been building the resources the world needs at this pivotal moment of in our collective history.

Exploring Dialogical Responses in a Time of Crisis: Are We Living in the...

Mad in America is proud to introduce a new venture: a web series of virtual “Town Hall” conversations, “Exploring Dialogical Responses in a Time of Crisis,” on Fridays at noon, eastern standard time. The first live town hall will be held on Friday, April 17.

Follow Us

19,639FansLike
11,994FollowersFollow
3,820SubscribersSubscribe