Sunday, December 15, 2019

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).

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.
medical model mental health

Dr. Huda Has Written His Book: ‘The Medical Model in Mental Health’

Anti-psychiatry writers have devoted a good deal of time and energy to highlighting the distinction between general medicine, which I call real medicine, and psychiatry, which I call a hoax. The basic theme of Dr. Huda's book is that this distinction is not valid, and that psychiatry's claim to medical status is as well-founded as any bona fide medical specialty.
psychiatry roulette

The Matrix: Disentangling Anti-Psychiatry

For the last forty years, psychiatry has been comprehensively critiqued from a myriad of disciplines including sociology, psychology, and the user movement. Is there anything that can be salvaged from the psychiatry project? How would a psychiatrist practice ethically in such a nefarious environment?

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.
definition of relapse

What Does ‘Relapse’ Mean? Definitions Used in Antipsychotic Trials Are Unclear

Antipsychotic drugs are prescribed on the basis of trials that demonstrate a higher rate of ‘relapse’ in people who are withdrawn from these drugs compared to those who continue to take them. Yet, incredibly, there is no consensus about what ‘relapse’ means in this situation.
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.
Mad in Norway

The Field of Mental Health Has Gone Astray, But We Can Fix It

People should have real choice. The research and knowledge about how to work differently are already there. Now we need politicians and policymakers to force the change and make it happen in the established services. Mad in Norway will be a leading voice in ensuring this change.

A Tribute to Stephen Gilbert, Warrior Behind Enemy Lines

Stephen Boren, who posted here under the name Stephen Gilbert, passed away November 12 after a battle with cancer. Stephen offered a unique perspective, working as peer support staff at the same hospital where he had once been held as a patient. We will miss his daily presence on MIA.
Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media

Lighting a Spark to Heal Trauma: An Interview with Jesse Zook Mann

An interview with Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media about trauma, medication withdrawal, and the possibility for recovery. Jesse was severely harmed by psychiatry, but uses language that reaches people who identify with the mainstream paradigm of mental health and mental illness.

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.

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.

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...
cemetary angel

People Are Dying Prematurely Due to Polypharmacy

Our son, Mark, is an example of the deadly effects of polypharmacy. He died at the young age of 46 and his death was caused by toxicity/cardiac failure from two of the five medications he was taking, at higher than recommended doses, as prescribed by his psychiatrist.

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.
Mad in America MIA

MIA at Eight Years: Are We Fulfilling Our Mission?

Mad in America is about to turn eight years old, and as we are launching a fundraising effort to keep us going through 2020, I think it’s appropriate to ask the relevant question: Are we accomplishing what we set out to do?
dark night wisdom emotional release

The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Light: Five Lessons Learned This Month

One month ago I suddenly found myself in a very dark place. There is a depth of wisdom that comes from dark or challenging emotional states, that with good support and hard work looking at the underlying (and sometimes ancient) dynamics can lead to enormous insights and compassion.
future role of psychiatrists

Anthropologists Contemplate the Future Role of Psychiatry

Anthropologists who study the psychiatric field recently had papers published in two highly influential journals. While they both call for or describe reform initiatives, they point us in different directions with regard to the future role of psychiatrists. With a shift in resources, might psychiatry finally get it right?

Starvation: What Does it Do to the Brain?

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment was conducted at the University of Minnesota during the Second World War. Prolonged semi-starvation produced significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis, and most participants experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression and grew increasingly irritable. It really should not be a surprise to this audience that the brain’s functioning is highly compromised when the body is being starved of food (and nutrients). What we wonder is whether eating a diet of primarily highly processed foods low in nutrients has similar effects.

What is a Warm Line and What Should I Expect When I Call One?

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.
anarchism

High Time for Anarchism in Mental Health

Anarchism has much to offer the debate. It can present a clear voice saying: Liberty is not an obstacle for quality treatment, it is rather the very basis of it. Research shows that the anti-authoritarian elements in methods such as Open Dialogue and Stabilizing Homes actually promote a stronger, fuller recovery in patients.
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.

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.
peer staff escaping coercive

Peer Specialists in the Mental Health Workforce: A Critical Reassessment

It is time to seriously consider re-focusing our energy and resources away from placing peer staff in roles where they support the mental health system’s status quo, and toward the goal of making high-quality peer advocacy available to people faced with coercion by the mental health system.
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.
alternatives to suicide

Alternatives to Suicide: Strategies for Staying Alive

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.

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