Friday, December 9, 2022

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).

Illustration of a man in a suit with a weight chained to his leg. He is reaching for graphs and dartboards against a blue background.

The Mental Health Industry Speaks Volumes About Our Society’s Priorities

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An educated public has a much better chance of advocating from the grassroots for safe and effective treatments in the face of a pharmaceutical industry more interested in profits than people.

Shedding the Limits of “Severe Mental Illness” Labels

50
When people seeking help are relegated to “the Other,” how can they ever form a “therapeutic alliance”? Without collaboration, treatment devolves into coercion and oppression. We must change our language and relationships so new narratives can be born.
Jesse Kohler

Interview: The Need for Trauma-Informed Schools

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CTIPP Executive Director Jesse Kohler answers our questions about the organization's new report and what the findings mean for families and communities.
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.
A questionnaire reads "Eating disorder: Are you at risk?" The options are checkboxes for "Yes" and "No."

The New DSM Is Coming and That Isn’t Good News

30
Binge Eating Disorder is one of many invalid diagnoses we’ll continue to receive as a result of the APA’s failure to correct the mistakes of past versions of the DSM.

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.
One green gamepiece facing many black gamepieces

How and Why Neurotypicals Misunderstand and Mistreat Autistic People

27
Commonly used autism interventions, such as ABA, have been found to be both ineffective and abusive, inflicting trauma on those subjected to them.
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.
3D illustration of a skeletal robot hand emerging from a laptop computer screen, against a background of purple and blue 80s style lasers.

New App Aims to Predict Whether People with Psychosis Are Worth Hiring

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“Unfortunately, the ethical considerations of incorporating these tools are rarely acknowledged in published prediction articles,” the researchers write.
An illustration of dots that represent people forming the shape of the country Denmark, in the colors of its flag.

Denmark Is the Only European Country Where the Usage of Depression Pills Has Dropped

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Between 2010 and 2020, the consumption of depression pills increased by 37% in 24 European countries. Denmark was the only country where usage dropped (a 4% drop).
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.
An illustration of a woman in a white dress, trapped inside a bottle full of blue and white pill capsules, against a gold background.

Why Detox Facilities and Psych Wards Are Not the Place to Come Off Psychiatric...

17
In online communities, patients learn their strange symptoms may be due to the medications they are taking, and are offered solutions that provide hope.
Perplexed, confused scientists looking at lab results. White background.

The Spravato Controversy: A Row Over the Drug’s Efficacy Compels a Reassessment of...

10
The UK's drug regulator rejected Janssen's esketamine nasal spray. Why did the US FDA approve it?
Close-up photo of hands writing in a journal or notebook

6 Good Things That Happened When I Stopped Believing in ‘Mental Health’

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The pursuit of mental health had made me mad. After 12 years, I quit Prozac and found a new psychoanalytic therapist. Life changed, almost overnight.

On the Brink of Psychosis

0
Most available narratives are sad stories centred around the aspect of a disease, or terrifying tales about psychiatric treatment. But what if there is also something in between?

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...
stress response

Anatomy of a Suicide: Stress and the Human Condition

21
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.
suicide attempter attempt survivor

Hegemonic Sanity and Suicide

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The “good” suicide attempt survivor wakes up in a hospital bed bathed in beautiful natural light, surrounded by the people who love them most, and they realize that their thinking was flawed and all those unsolvable problems can actually be solved if they are just compliant with medication and therapy. And then there's the “bad” suicide attempter who is angry that they lived, who challenges the status quo.
alternatives to suicide

Alternatives to Suicide: Strategies for Staying Alive

24
For more than 7,300 days of my life, waking up the next morning required me to make a conscious choice to diligently pursue something — anything — other than my impulse to die. Maybe the best teachers of how to avoid suicide will not be the people who are afraid someone else will die, but those of us who can explain how and why we regularly choose to live.

How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

54
After long-term use, most people are going to have serious symptoms when stopping SSRIs. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop.
fight flight stress

Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response

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What if we don't have a depression epidemic, but a stress epidemic of traumatic proportions? What if we've been steered away from learning how our minds and bodies actually work, and into believing that our attempts to survive traumatic, threatening real-life circumstances are "symptoms of mental illness"?

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.
A colorful illustration in blues and greens depicting a figure standing atop a globe, holding an orange ball in their hands.

Growing Good Mental Health with Choice Theory

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On those days when I’m experiencing discomfort, anger or frustration, I ask myself: Which need is not being adequately met and which is driving my discontent?
self-care

We Need To Talk About Self-Care

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Self-care the way we’re currently practicing it is unfulfilling in the dangerous way empty carbs are: it requires more and more to sustain itself, further sinking us in isolation and the illusion of self-sufficiency. We are not going to create a society that works for everyone by approaching the task of meeting needs as a zero-sum game. We need each other, because isolation kills.
bipolar

Reappropriating Bipolar Beyond Pathology

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It’s still not easy for me to say, “I’m bipolar.” Know that I’m bipolar for good reason, reappropriating a painful word, so those in pain can find me—so you can find me. This is how I reappropriate a term used to strip me of my humanity, a term used to sell me counterfeit versions of reality. I refuse to let go of a label that helps me find my people, no matter how painful it is to retain.

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