Thursday, October 29, 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).

road sign reads "crisis ahead"

Insane Medicine, Chapter One: The Medical Model of Mental Health Is Finished

The concepts we use have undermined our natural resilience, sensitised us to an idea of our vulnerability, and encouraged us to transfer our agency to practitioners who use a system as if it has scientific validity and is clinically useful.

The Double Standard at the Heart of Peer Services

There is clear evidence of a double standard and attitude that favors and privileges one side of the binary—the clinicians—over peers. This discrimination must be made visible and revealed to mental health advocates and changemakers.

The Reckoning in Psychiatry Over Protracted Antidepressant Withdrawal

Medically-induced harm—affecting tens of millions of people worldwide—has taken the field decades to take seriously.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 2: The Scientism of Psychiatry (Part 1)

Wherever you find mental health services to have expanded, you find a parallel increase in the numbers who have been classed as disabled due to a mental health disorder.

De-Weaponizing Empathy

I am not immune to what I call weaponized empathy, which I see as the pure intention of compassion for another tainted with aggression around eradicating pain, pain that could be a source of growth for the sufferer if allowed to arise and pass away without force.
Soteria house

Original Soteria House Members to Speak!

Soteria House’s history is complex and fascinating. Soteria Houses have never had the support they needed, but they still managed to change so many lives.

Stop Saying This, Part Five: Fake It Till You Make It

Megan Wildhood discusses the flaws in phrases like "fake it till you make it," "you can choose how you feel," and "no one is responsible for your life but you."
Dr. Bob

An American History of Addiction, Part 3: Mr. Booze

Coupled with a burgeoning new movement (AA) for temperance members to refer to, the movement changed from a public policy interest group to what we would now call a treatment-based outreach organization.

The Spin Doctors: “ADHD” Research

We now spend over twenty billion dollars a year on treatment for something called “ADHD.” For that amount of money, we could pay the mid-career salaries of an extra 365,000 teachers or 827,000 teachers’ aides.
a plant sprouting from the ground

Insane Medicine: How the Mental Health Industry Creates Damaging Treatment Traps and How You...

Yes, we need to drastically reform the foundational assumptions that govern the ideologies that pervade our systems, but many now know the truth about what is happening, and transformational approaches have been sprouting up organically in the rich soils of human creativity.
brain

Too Good to Be True: How TMS Damaged My Brain

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.
Ad for Paxil/Seroxat

How Academic Psychiatry Minimized SSRI Withdrawal

If academic psychiatry is evidence-based, why did it take two decades to recognize SSRI withdrawal as widespread and chronic among patients?
child with protective mask standing in front of blackboard and the word "spin"

CAUTION: Spin Ahead! There is No Evidence That Psychostimulants Reduce the Risk for Infection...

Debunking a recent study on ADHD and COVID-19: It suffers from a series of manipulations and spins that are inappropriate in scientific research that aspires to objectivity and that aims to reveal truths.
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.
police killings

End Police “Wellness Checks.” Now.

If you are a mental health worker or advocate, there's a way to help dismantle police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S.

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...
photo of australia from space

Psychiatric Oppression Under Victoria’s Mental Health Laws

Public mental health authorities continue to oppress persons with psychosocial conditions through a combination of punitive and discriminatory laws that are constructed with a "best interests" paradigm in mind and a medical model that pathologises difference and dissent. 
open dialogue

What is Open Dialogue Today?

Please join us on Friday, October 23 for OpenExcellence, HOPENDialogue, and Mad in America’s ongoing Town Hall conversation about what Open Dialogue is — and is becoming.

Madness Radio Interview with Mike Cornwall on Jungian Approaches to Madness and Renewal

What if people struggling with madness could explore their emotions in a supportive sanctuary? Do frightening 'psychotic' experiences have the power to transform and heal? Is breakdown also breakthrough? Michael Cornwall became a therapist after surviving his own crisis -- without medication or psychiatric treatment. For more than 30 years he has worked in the tradition of Carl Jung and R.D. Laing to support people to go through psychotic states in medication-free community settings, including John Weir Perry's Diabasis House in the 1970s.

The Need for Acknowledgment of Context Within Approaches to Mental Distress

Mental distress is often perceived as something devoid of context, as an individual medical condition or a failure instead of a human condition linked to the social context one exists in.

How Little We Really Know About Psychiatric Drugs

Joanna Moncrieff reflects on what has and has not changed in the field of psychiatric drug treatment in the years between the first and newly published second edition of the Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs.

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.
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.

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.
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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