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).

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."
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.
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.

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.

Lyme is ‘All in Your Head’ – A Wake-up Call to Mental Health Professionals

Sufferers are desperate for mental health professionals to understand Lyme so that they will know to consider it as a potential differential diagnosis before plying a patient with psychotropic meds that may make matters worse.
Harriet Tubman

“Sublime Madness”: Anarchists, Psychiatric Survivors, Emma Goldman & Harriet Tubman

When the state becomes chillingly evil—enacting a Fugitive Slave Act to criminalize those helping to free slaves, or financing prisons and wars for the benefit of sociopathic profiteers—and when dissent is impotent and defiance is required, we need the sublimely mad.

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”?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
medical ghostwriting

Medical Ghostwriting: When an “Author” Is Not Necessarily an “Author”

Ghostwriting, which is prominent in the psychiatry literature, is a scam in which pharmaceutical companies use an academic sleight of hand to stump the naïve reader. It is time for editors of the major medical journals to use the same standards of authorship found in the humanities and social sciences.
stress response

Anatomy of a Suicide: Stress and the Human Condition

The Defense Cascade is a survival framework that evolutionary researchers are exploring as an explanation for extreme states that many people experience. It can help explain why chronic stress can make us feel like ending our life is the only reasonable way out.

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.

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...
psychological injuries

How Psychological Injuries Cause Physical Illness—And How Therapy Can Heal It

How does experiencing physical abuse as an 8 year old shorten one's lifespan? How do insulting words turn into diabetes? Or sexual abuse trigger a heart attack 50 years in the future? Emotional wounds can damage DNA and produce a huge web of destructive effects, but therapy can turn the process around.

In Memory of Julie Greene

With deep regret, Mad in America announces another loss in our contributor community. Julie C. Greene, writer and antipsychiatry advocate, lost her battle with kidney disease on November 29 at her home in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Julie had been an MIA blogger since 2014, including several pieces on the dangers of lithium.
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.
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.
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.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder: The ‘Illness’ That Goes On Growing

According to the APA, intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by angry aggressive outbursts that occur in response to relatively minor provocation. This particular label has an interesting history in successive editions of the DSM. Psychiatry needs illnesses to legitimize medical intervention. And where no illnesses exist, they have no hesitation in inventing them. And since they invented them in the first place, they have no difficulty in altering them to suit their purposes. Of course, almost all the alterations are in the direction of lowering the thresholds, and thereby increasing the prevalence.

Things Your Doctor Should Tell You About Antidepressants

The conventional wisdom is that antidepressant medications are effective and safe. However, the scientific literature shows that the conventional wisdom is flawed. While all prescription medications have side effects, antidepressant medications appear to do more harm than good as treatments for depression.
foster child

The Invisibles: Children in Foster Care

Millions of current and former foster children experience multiple kinds of trauma, as documented in a six-part investigative series published in the Kansas City Star this month. Too often invisible, these young people deserve our attention and our care.

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