Monday, July 23, 2018

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 Story of a Professional Delusion: Do Psychiatrists Believe Their Own Words?

I believe this is what happened: The people responsible for this travesty looked at the truth (that psychiatrists hardly ever tell the truth about their drugs) and realised they didn't like what would flow from that fact getting loose. So they removed it and substituted a falsehood (only ever) whose consequences they could live with.
mental health design principles

12 Mental Health Design Principles to Replace This Thing

One of the issues we face in mental health is that everyone knows the system is broken, but there is no replacement yet. So the question is, what are the mental health design principles to build a replacement? How do you build a functional mental health system that isn't disease-based? How do you make it robust, scalable and spreadable?
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.

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.

“The Angry Consumer”: Embracing Difficult Conversations

Judgments of the so-called ‘angry consumer’ deeply reinforce divisions within mental health policy and services. The only way we can engage in meaningful co-production is not to gloss over histories of collective exclusion and disempowerment and all the pain and anger that goes with it, but rather to validate and work through difficult emotions.

Why Have Unity When We Can Have Polyphony?

Every day, we as a movement accomplish something truly incredible. Every day, we create a space where each person can freely express their own truth. Without an overarching structure or unifying platform, each individual can stand on their own. Each voice within the community is wholly unique and distinct from any other; each person is their own universe.
man contemplates suicide

Rising Rates of Suicide: When Do We Acknowledge That Something Isn’t Working?!

Scapegoating a purported unseen "illness" may provide temporary comfort from acknowledging the horrors and injustice of the world, but it is a delusion — and one with fatal consequences for many. When 45,000 people a year would rather die than live in this world any longer, it might behoove us all to consider what is happening in the world to cause this.

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...

Holistic Recovery From Schizophrenia: A Mother and Son’s Journey

I am a mother of a son who was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia in December 2003, a son who is doing well today...

How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

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.

Anti-Authoritarians and Schizophrenia: Do Rebels Who Defy Treatment Do Better?

Preface: Failing in my efforts to get this article published for the general public, apparently only here can I talk about a “cool subculture...

My Story and My Fight Against Antidepressants

I’d like to share a bit about what happened to me after being placed on these medications, and how I successfully got off. Until recently, I was embarrassed to talk about my personal experiences publicly, as I’m a professional who specializes in anxiety and depression. Today, medication free, I feel better than ever before, and I am now on a mission to help my current clients get off medications, and to inform others through my writing about the dangers and pitfalls of starting antidepressants.

Antidepressant-Induced Mania

It is generally recognized in antipsychiatry circles that antidepressant drugs induce manic or hypomanic episodes in some of the individuals who take them. Psychiatry's usual response to this is to assert that the individual must have had an underlying latent bipolar disorder that has "emerged" in response to the improvement in mood. The problem with such a notion is that it is fundamentally unverifiable.
escape from AOT birdcage

Escaping from AOT: Letter to the Judge

To the judge presiding over my upcoming AOT hearing: I would like a better way to take care of my own health care than the choices currently being imposed on me by community mental health centers, which involve forcibly injecting me with a drug that I do not want and making me take a daily pill that I do not want to take. There is no reason that anyone should make my own health care choices for me.
unhappy child root cause

The Unsung Psychiatric Impact of Strep Throat

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).
Cruz school shooting

Psychiatrist Says: More Psychiatry Means More Shootings

Psychiatry not only increases the risk of violence by giving violence-inducing drugs, it lulls patients, families, professionals, schools and the public into an unrealistic and even disastrous sense of security. It's an irony of tragic proportions: Cruz was left unsupervised and free to buy a gun because he was faithfully taking psychiatric drugs that can cause violence.
Asia

Mad in Asia: Towards Multiple Narratives for Inclusion

An e-zine with the mission to contribute to changing the narrative about madness and mental distress in the Asia region has launched. Mad in Asia hopes to showcase narratives that are contextually relevant to the Asia region, with a focus on the human rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities.

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.
depression

In Defense of Healthy Depression

With the increasing medicalization of depression, and as more and more physicians see the treatment of depression as falling under their purview, it is imperative to distinguish between actual clinical depression and "healthy depression" — the adaptive and expectable responses to distressing life events that signal a need for rethinking one's life and recalibrating one's self-perceptions and emotions.

Playing the Odds: Antidepressant ‘Withdrawal’ and the Problem of Informed Consent

If I thought that it was possible, I would have opened a string of clinics all over the country to help get people off of antidepressants.  Unfortunately, the problems that sometimes occur when people try to stop an SSRI antidepressant are much more severe and long-lasting than the medical profession acknowledges, and there is no antidote to these problems. The truth is, giving people information about taking antidepressants is like giving information to people who are enroute to a casino; they go because they hear that some people win (at least for a time), but the losers are the ones who ultimately pay for it all — and the odds are not in their favor.

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.

My Daughter and Prozac

While our daughter was growing up, my ex-wife treated our daughter’s body like a temple. She was the only kid among her friends not allowed to drink soda or cow’s milk as they might negatively affect her health. But Prozac for mild anxiety? Sure, no problem. I was honestly and genuinely shocked.

Reflections on Being a Therapist

Three-and-a-half years ago I quit my career as a psychotherapist. I’d done it for ten years in New York City and had given it my all. It was a career that chose me, loudly, when I was 27 years old. I learned a huge amount from it and I believe I was helpful to a lot of people. It also represented a vital stage in my life. But then the time came to leave. That also came as a sort of revelation.

The REST Project Support Service for Benzo and Sleeping Tablet Dependence: My Story

As a service user of the REST project at Mind in Camden, I want to celebrate World Benzodiazepine Day 2018 by telling the world a little bit about what REST has done for me. I’m now 18 months off benzos, but I still attend REST regularly to process the anger and grief I feel about what I went through, and to support those who are still tapering.
neurotoxins

What Should We Really Call Psychiatric Drugs?

There is no rational way to argue against putting psychiatric chemicals into the category of neurotoxins. All psychiatric substances alter “the structure or functions of the nervous system,” disrupt “the normal function of nerve cells” and act “specifically on nervous tissue.” It is time to clean up the misleading mess of words in psychiatry.

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