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).

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS): How the Last Step to Recovery Became the Final Step...

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How persistent, unbearable suffering, due to prolonged withdrawal from antipsychotics prescribed as a sleeping medication, led to euthanasia.
Illustration of a red pencil circling a group of people

How Psychiatrists Responded to the Launch of Our New ECT Survey

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Amid mostly rude and unprofessional jibes, there were also some legitimate points, which are addressed here.
Photo of hands stacking on top of each other in very yellow light

The Integration of Peer Support Principles in Community Mental Health Policy and Practice: Toward...

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Though there are obstacles, integration of peer support is already underway thanks to change agents in the mental health system.
A Black mother and daughter sit on the couch. Mother is explaining something to a sullen-looking girl.

The Psychiatric Peddlers in Your Schools

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Educators and parents must equip children with the necessary tools to meet the normal problems of childhood that psychiatry attempts to address.
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.

Benzodiazepines in Canada: Is a Withdrawal Crisis Looming?

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Why are benzos, for short-term use only, being doled out, in some cases, for years? Nicole Lamberson and Mark Horowitz weigh in.
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

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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.
Young boy looking through the window

As a Psychologist, I’ve Seen Many Children Misdiagnosed as Autistic—It’s a Clinical Catastrophe

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The ASD diagnosis glosses over the many developmental specifics that might underlie a child’s challenges related to social communication.
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.
hand behind barbed wire with dark background

The “Madness” of Inpatient Psychiatry

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Inpatient psychiatry is not a place of psychological healing; it is devoid of compassion and full of human rights abuses.
a hand reaching out of a pool shaped as a head

“The Best Minds”: How the Dazzling New Book Falls Short

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"The Best Minds" could be seen as a book that is critical of conventional psychiatry, but it falls short on pointing out its true faults.
One green gamepiece facing many black gamepieces

How and Why Neurotypicals Misunderstand and Mistreat Autistic People

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Commonly used autism interventions, such as ABA, have been found to be both ineffective and abusive, inflicting trauma on those subjected to them.
Lonely, suffering man in a crowd of people who do not notice him.

Accounting for Mental Disorder: Time for a Paradigm Shift

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Many people continue to be victimized by psychiatry’s adherence to a model that exists to satisfy guild interests, not science.
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.

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.

Reflections on the Silicon Valley Teen Suicides-by-Train: Fifteen Years Later

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A psychiatrist and mom reflects on teen suicide clusters in Palo Alto and discusses alternative ways to address adolescent mental health.

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...
autism definition

I Don’t Believe in Autism

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The conversation about what truly constitutes “autism” is an ongoing one. Although I resist the label personally, I do not begrudge anyone for identifying as autistic, or seeking out an autism diagnosis. Leaving this discussion within the domain of medicine is limiting. That’s why a new discourse is emerging, not among doctors, but among activists who push for autistic self-advocacy.
Illustration: Lonely and sad stands a suffering man in a crowd of people walking by

Mental Disorder Has Roots in Trauma and Inequality, Not Biology

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The scientific evidence is of social/psychological, not biological, causation: negative environmental conditions, not disease.
A young man sitting on steps outside looking sad

Trauma and Resources Within Social Context

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What is seen as pathology is a complex web of surviving strategies learned in aversive circumstances that can cause distress later.
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.
Doctor looking perplexed or angry pointing at a clipboard

How the Medical Profession Pathologizes Emotions and the Damage to Patients

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Doctors’ diagnostic inflexibility and unwillingness to take an integrative approach limits patients’ autonomy in their own treatment.

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.

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.
Man with hands against glass, out of focus, looking distressed

Are “Trauma/Addiction Experts” and Psychiatrists Misleading Us?

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“Experts” refer to an ill-defined concept of “trauma,” but unique traumatic experiences should not be generalized.