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).

How You and I Can Take Back Translational Medicine – THIS WEEK!

I've been hearing about translational medicine for a long time and wondering what it was. For the most part, it's a huge subsidy to...

Purpose is Inherently Divorced From Consensual Reality

Imagine being able to live harmoniously amongst others without fear. I cannot. Cannot imagine it even a little bit. What can be created for people in my camp? People who are sensitive and had so much trauma in childhood that life among others is highly stressful, scary and worrisome? I'm allowing myself sanctuary-time alone, quiet time, time to write… yet… will things ever be different? Will I ever find my niche in this world, where I feel safe and able, valued and worthwhile, loved, adored and comfortable? I have no idea.

Antidepressant Dependence Discussed at the Seat of Welsh Government – Video

In parts of Wales in the UK, one in six adults takes antidepressants and support for anyone struggling with dependence or withdrawal issues is patchy and inconsistent. To help draw attention to these issues, an awareness day was arranged for the Welsh Government and here we provide video of the presentations made at the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales.

Allen Frances Seeks the “Middle Way”

On January 15, 2016, Allen Frances published an article on the Huffington Post titled  Psychiatric Medicines Are Not All Good or All Bad. The article denounces both the "medication fanatics" who prescribe psychiatric drugs when they are not needed, and the "die-hard anti-medication crusaders who try to persuade everyone, including those who really need meds, that they are globally unhelpful and globally harmful." Dr. Frances advocates a middle ground in which people who need psychiatric drugs get them, and people who don't, don't.  On the face of it, this would seem a fairly non-contentious matter, but Dr. Frances's path to this conclusion is fraught with problems which in my view warrant discussion.

And Now For the Rest of the Story

Check out the story that appeared on August 30 on titled “Growing Up Bipolar,”  and the one  on August 31 in the New...

New York Attorney General’s Office Should Take a Bow For GlaxoSmithKline’s Record Breaking Fine

I was glad to see that the New York Times' reporters covering GlaxoSmithKline's $3 billion settlement tipped their hat to former New York Attorney...
parenting today

New Video Series: ‘Parenting Today’

This series of thirty video interviews with leading experts from around the world is designed to help parents better understand how to raise strong, resilient kids and how to deal with the pressures exerted on them by the current dominant “mental disorder” paradigm. We hope that this interview series will provide helpful ideas that you may not be able to get anywhere else. The interviews can be found HERE.

Psych Meds Put 49 Million Americans at Risk for Cancer

With 1 in 5 Americans taking a psychiatric medication, most of whom, long term, we should probably start to learn a bit more about them. In fact, it would have been in the service of true informed consent to have investigated long-term risks before the deluge of these meds seized our population over the past thirty years.

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 3: Psychotherapy: The Human Approach to Emotional Pain

Through the process of healing—whether assisted by psychotherapy or not—we learn something important that can be useful if we get in trouble again.
Illustration depicting orange person looking frightened with orange ghosts swirling around them

Ghosts Popping out Everywhere: The Shifting Times We Live in and the Process of...

We are living in challenging times. Every day we hear or read or hear stories of racism, sexism, inequalities, oppression. Emerging, there are experiences...
man wearing suit with tv for head

The Perils of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising

The job of educating the public on common medical conditions and the range, efficacy, benefits, and risks of potential treatment options should be undertaken by an independent and objective government health agency, not a for-profit, multi-billion dollar industry with a conflict of interest.
humanity at the dawn of posthumanism

Reclaiming Humanity at the Dawn of Posthumanism: Conversation with Darcia Narvaez

The postmodern zeitgeist of the past few decades encourages us to believe that we can endlessly reinvent ourselves untethered to our human biology. But the explosion of research on the microbiome reminds us that we are deeply embedded in an ecosystem that lives within us and around us, without which we cannot survive.

Should Physicians Read Journals? Given Current Standards, Maybe Not

The image is so familiar it is a stereotype: The physician’s desk, piled high with copies of medical journals, where she or he reads the latest research updates between patients. Medical science, it is said, progresses so quickly that if practitioners do not keep up their knowledge base will be obsolete within five years. But is the reading of journals useful? Can it potentially inculcate misinformation as much as progress? Is the knowledge gained worthwhile?

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 4: Withdrawing from Psychiatric Drugs (Part 5)

Withdraw from psychiatric drugs at your own speed—according to what you feel. Don’t reduce again before you feel stabilised on the previous dose.
long-acting medications pharmaceutical industry

A Guide to Long-Acting Neuroleptics: Education or Promotion?

The National Council for Behavioral Health has released a new pamphlet titled “Guide to Long-Acting Medications for Providers and Organizations.” By downplaying some aspects of the available science, the pamphlet implicitly acts as a promotional tool for the pharmaceutical industry.
blocks spell out "AUTISM"

No, Autism Is Not Over-Diagnosed

Autism is an umbrella diagnosis at this point. The broadness of the diagnosis doesn’t tend to be useful to clinicians. But it is very useful to the individuals who live with it.

Opening A Dialogue In Mental Health

I have sometimes stopped en route to work, unsure how much longer I can continue. There is a sense of betrayal to my father and grandmother by working in a profession that failed them and is the only medical specialty to have its own survivor movement, not from the illnesses it hopes to treat, but from the ministrations of the profession itself.

Katharine Hepburn is Glamorous – Suicide is Not

What do you do when the media reports stories of children who have killed themselves on SSRIs? Position the stories of these children, not the drugs they were taking, as a suicide risk. Warn that more children will die if mouthy parents are allowed to speak and upstart journalists are allowed to report. And then position psychiatrists as the only people who can talk about suicide without producing an epidemic of self inflicted deaths.

3 Reasons Asking “Why” Can Fuel Problem Behaviors

As a therapist, I was trained to the gills to believe that investigating the reasons “why” a fellow human being behaves the way he does would enable that person to understand himself, which would promote healing and health. We traditionally believe that knowing the reason for one’s behavior will release him from the root of the problem. It took me years to get out from under this philosophy and practice. Along the way, I met many brilliant therapists who admitted that discovering “why” never yielded them the results they were seeking either.

An Introduction: The Story of Bias in the STAR*D Trial and More

The 35-million-dollar Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study is the largest antidepressant effectiveness study ever conducted. STAR*D enrolled 4,041 depressed patients and...

Sanity, Friendship, Community

In the early 1970s I became acquainted with the work of R. D. Laing and in 1973 I decided to relocate from California to London to work with him. I thought I would stay there a year and then return to my graduate studies in San Francisco. Instead I stayed there for seven years; seven years that changed my life completely.

Methylphenidate: How to Avoid Importing the American Disaster?

Even though it is extremely unlikely that in France we would reach the kinds of percentages we see in the USA, where in some states nearly 10% of children are treated with methylphenidate or other psychostimulants not used in France, overprescription is highly probable. Why?

Life Lessons and Trauma Informed Care

My first real introduction to the world of madness and “mental illness” was when I was 21 years old and I left home to start my mental health nurse training. Reflecting on my own experiences has led me to consider how the trauma of participating in the psychiatric system can affect the way we care for others.
Silhouette of man and woman's handsin form of heart

Engaging “Madness”: A Guide for Significant Others and Families

Using personal stories from my own family, my new booklet Engaging 'Madness' paints a clear picture of what an alternative healing journey outside the biomedical paradigm can look like.

MIA Continuing Education: An Update

As I've told Bob Whitaker and many others, it's taken me 45 years in my career to get to the point where I feel completely free to "do the right thing." By that I don't mean to downplay the work I've done in the public mental health and addictions systems. But now, the Mad in America Continuing Education project moves me in a more recovery-oriented direction than ever, and has a specific focus on the ways in which most programs have over-used psychiatric medications to the detriment of the people we are serving.