Thursday, August 22, 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).

re-visioning public mental health system

Collaborative Strategies for Re-Visioning the Public Mental Health System

The beauty of sticking around for a while is that we’re living to see some of our “outsider” ideas beginning to challenge modern psychiatric doctrine in the public arena, and our “radical” mental health stance is slowly re-visioning important conversations and practices.
anger

In Defense of Anger

The therapy industry has aided and abetted the rejection of anger our society is hell-bent on, and made it astoundingly difficult to know what healthy anger looks like. I clawed myself apart trying to “heal” from all this anger, which compounded with every failure to dispel the anger until I was basically a human-shaped sack of rage.
Ivor Browne

The Mystic of Ireland: An Homage to Ivor Browne

Ivor Browne fearlessly challenged what he saw as a dehumanizing system, liberating many from institutional care and pioneering new experimental therapies. He developed innovative community models and most of his groundbreaking work took place outside of, and in spite of, orthodox thinking.
creating mental health

Creating Our Mental Health

We wanted to challenge the conventional assumption that mental health is a static condition or attribute by suggesting that it’s more useful to think of it as an activity that people do together, rather than a thing that individuals have or don’t have. This distinction matters because we can change what we do — what we are, not so much.

Monarch eTNS Inspires “Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children!” (SPAC!)

The FDA approval of the Monarch eTNS device is the latest form of psychiatric-inspired child abuse. If not stopped, it will afflict millions of children in unimaginably damaging ways. It has inspired us to form Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children (SPAC!) a new international advocacy organization.
hate speech

Blaming the “Mentally Ill”: This is Hate Speech

As could be expected, in the wake of the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton, we have politicians such as President Trump and others such as E. Fuller Torrey blaming the killings on the “mentally ill.” We have heard this over and over again, and I think it is time to call this out for what it is: Hate Speech.
Monarch eTNS device

FDA Approves Using Electricity All Night Long on Children’s Brains

The FDA just approved sales of an electrical device called the Monarch eTNS to be used on the brains of children diagnosed with so-called ADHD. The device “sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD,” according to the FDA press release. “Therapeutic signals”? Really?
Marianne Williamson

We Must Hear Marianne Williamson’s Message About the Overuse of Antidepressants

Although some of Marianne Williamson's rhetoric on the subject of the overuse of prescription medications may be over the top, the topic deserves much more public attention and debate, since it is a crisis as real as the opioid epidemic.
graphic detail

No Graphic Detail: The Injustice of Being Silenced

They tell us we’re too fragile to speak our own truth, and that those around us are too fragile to hear it. If you must name what happened to you, at least slap a “trigger warning” on yourself, and don’t “paint a picture.” Fuck that. The truth is that graphic detail can make some of us stronger in a way that silence never could.

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.
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.
surveillance psychiatry

Brave New Apps: The Arrival of Surveillance Psychiatry

Large, centralized, digital social networks and data-gathering platforms have come to dominate our economy and our culture. In the domain of mental health, huge pools of data are being used to train algorithms to identify signs of mental illness. I call this practice surveillance psychiatry.
antidepressants and suicide

Antidepressants and the National Suicide Epidemic

We encourage young people to see themselves as fragile creatures whose brains can go haywire for any reason, or no reason at all. Then we tell them they have the “disease” of depression and ply them with drugs with a known link to worsening depression and suicidality going back for decades. How many more will have to die before this changes?
military

Broken Is Not All I’ll Ever Be: Military Veterans and Psychiatric Drugs

I had been an excellent combat medic — I had deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan totaling over 28 months of combat in Infantry and Cavalry units. Yet, after over six years on these psychiatric drugs, I felt reduced to a helpless being who would require assistance for the simplest of menial tasks.

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...

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.
eugenics

Psychiatric Eugenics Then and Now—You Betcha It’s Still Happening

Most are oblivious to the fact that psychiatric eugenics initiatives continued to exist—and beyond that, to flourish—long after the end of what is normally thought of as “the eugenics era” (roughly, late nineteen century to 1945). Sadly, we are not learning from history what we direly need to learn.

The FDA Is Hiding Reports Linking Psych Drugs to Homicides

In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined being drawn into a story of intrigue involving my own government’s efforts to hide, from the public, reports of psychiatric drugs associated with cases of murder, including homicides committed by youth on the drugs. But that is precisely the intrigue I now find myself enmeshed in.
harmful effects drugs withdrawal

Lasting Damage from Prescribed Drugs

There is a large-scale failure to appreciate the risks involved in taking drugs that alter brain function on a long-term basis. The fact that it has taken single-minded and dedicated campaigners, many of them users of the drugs concerned, to bring these effects to the attention of the scientific and professional community is shameful.
psychological injury model

Why the ‘Psychological Injury Model’ Will Ultimately Triumph

The Psychological Injury model will triumph, not just because literally thousands of studies show how trauma and stressful life events result in mental health problems, but because at our core, we know it is true. People hurt people, and people heal people. This cracks the intellectual foundation of psychopharmacology.
suicidal

How “Safe Messaging” Gaslights Suicidal People

Suicide prevention constructs a reality in which the problems of suicide lie within suicidal people. Sanity is constructed around wanting to live, insanity around wanting to die. Within this paradigm, the suicidal person can never be trusted. They are fragile, vulnerable, demanding protection, surveillance, and management.
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.

Back to Basics: What’s Wrong with NAMI

It seems one mostly needs to already know what they’re looking for in order to find the most established criticisms of this particular organization. And even with knowledge and intent, it can require some fairly persistent Googling efforts to unearth all there is to be found.

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.

Not so Black: Ablixa and Homicidal Side Effects

So now we know Soderbergh’s movie Side Effects is not so Black/Noir after all – more Fifty Shades of Grey. Emily Hawkins (Rooney Mara) is put on Ablixa by her psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) and while on it kills her husband. She apparently murders him while sleep-walking triggered by Ablixa and sleep walking being a perfect defense against murder she is acquitted.

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