Friday, August 7, 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).

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Kicking Over a Straw Woman

The Galvin family is the quintessential example of "genetic" schizophrenia. But their history of sexual abuse, violence, and trauma provides a clearer and simpler explanation.
disease dictionary definition

Drs. Pies and Ruffalo Still Rattling Their Wooden Swords

Pies and Ruffalo argue that psychiatric diagnoses are "diseases" because the word "disease" can't be defined, and suggest that circular logic is scientifically valid.
Bill Anthony

A Recovery Movement Jedi Master, Bill Anthony, Died Recently

The first time I met Bill was in 1991. I was just a couple years out of residency, and he was already the legendary “father of psychiatric rehabilitation.”
chess pieces arranged on stairs

Identity, Oppression, and the Culture of “The Mentally Ill”

A "mental illness culture" means that full time work is seen as impossible and discouraged, and your social world only consists of other mental health "consumers" and mental health workers.

Stop Saying This, Part Three: “Everything in Moderation” and More

Let’s start only accepting real relational offerings that do not make us contort, disavow comfort, strong-arm ourselves into appearing strong, or shoulder responsibility that is not ours.
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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.
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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.

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...
Drunkard's progress lithograph 1826

An American History of Addiction: Ardent Spirits

Our fears about drugs and drug addiction have allowed our society to accept court mandated treatment and the continuing militarization of police.
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.
woman holding her head annoyed wearing medical mask

Is COVID-19 Making Everybody Crazy?

The response to the pandemic promises a vast expansion of the market for therapists, but such claims carry great potential for harm, adding to the burdens of people with upsetting but understandable, deeply human feelings.
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Whose Finger is Taking the Pulse of America’s Shock Treatment Controversy?

My doctors presumed I had agitated catatonia and ran 450 volts of electricity through my head 116 times to “reboot” my brain. They called it electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I call it Electroconvulsive Trauma.

Professional Mental Health Leaders: Experts in Humanity or in Marketing?

A lot of people, perhaps especially Americans, like a quick fix. Unfortunately, for those of us who get the “help” of the mental health system, the results can be disastrous.
David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace: Suicide and the Death of Agency

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.

Stop Saying This: Phrases That Sound Helpful, But Are Actually Gaslighting, Part 1

Therapists seem to have a reference book where they go to find phrases that sound really helpful but are actually gaslighting and self-serving.

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.
sign reads "stop doing what doesn't work"

Stop Saying This, Part Two: “Reframing” and More

Myths around reframing, having to love yourself before someone else can love you, and being triggered are all addressed in this blog.

Jordan B. Peterson’s Support of Corporal Punishment for Children: A Critique

In his book 12 Rules for Life, supposedly based on "cutting-edge research," Jordan Peterson attempts to justify the hitting of children as a form of discipline. But Peterson does so without citing a single study to support his view. In fact, this entire section of the book is bereft of any reference to any research supporting the effectiveness of corporal punishment.

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.

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.

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.

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.
creepy happy ball in ball pit

There’s Something Spreading Faster Than COVID-19, and It’s Not Fear. It’s Toxic Positivity

This “advice” to “remain positive” is spreading faster than COVID-19 and even faster than fear. The only people that benefit from that are the people already benefiting from predatory systems of capitalism and psychiatry that were in place long before COVID-19.

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.

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...

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