Sunday, April 21, 2019


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).



Free flow had characterized my creative process — and now an art practice that had come naturally since my childhood was extinguished. Not only were my reproductive capabilities shut down on psychiatric drugs, my ability to create art had been effectively disabled.

Medical Nemesis Revisited: Physician-Caused Anger, Despair & Death

Regaining power over our own health was the goal of Ivan Illich’s 1976 book Medical Nemesis, which detailed an epidemic of physician-caused death and illness. This epidemic continues, and so does an epidemic of physician-caused anger, despair and crazy-appearing behaviors. In 2013, the Journal of Patient Safety reported that the “true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients is estimated at more than 400,000 per year,” making it the third leading cause of death in the United States It is especially drug use errors, communication failures and diagnostic errors that result in another medical nemesis: They can make us appear—and sometimes feel—like we’re “crazy.”

Mad Economy: Let’s Change the World!

Everyone in the world is either touched by their own mental health issues or have had a family member affected. What if they directed their buying power to an organization that would use the profits to fund exciting mental health & recovery projects both in the developing world and in their own countries; projects that would be ethical, non-coercive, personal recovery-based, and were aimed at creating recovery communities? What if they could buy products, crafts, services, art, music, books from people who had experienced mental health issues, enabling them to set up their own businesses or buy from social co-operatives that enabled distressed people to work and earn a living wage?
antidepressant withdrawal research

Tumbling Further Down the Rabbit Hole of Antidepressant Withdrawal Research

One of the criticisms of our systematic review was that it failed to include five randomised control trials. Here we will show how groundless this is, and thus gain insight into how shadowy and ethically suspect antidepressant withdrawal research can get when viewed up close.

Spiritual Emergency Round 2: Smashing Warped Philosophies

My goal now is to focus on solutions for emotional distress, not talking about medical harm. We all know about the problems with medical harm, but not all people are clear about solutions. I'm not that clear, either, but I'm working on it. I'm not talking about revolution any longer, just trying to make my piece of the pie work.

A Post-Racial Public Mental Health System: If Not Now, When?

In answer to the question posed in the title to this article, probably not for a long, long time. Or perhaps more accurately, when...
united states court of appeals

ECT Shock Treatment Class Action – Case Update April 2018

In March, 2018, the Court issued an Order denying class certification in the case filed against the manufacturers of ECT shock devices. Attorneys for the ECT victims strongly disagree with the Court's assessment, and have now petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to appeal the ruling denying class certification.

BBC Interview with Lucy Johnstone from British Psychological Society

Lucy Johnstone from the British Psychological Society on the influential BBC radio news programme, Today (13th May 2013), a great room 101 on changing...

The Problem of Blame

On January 27 I posted a blog, Maternal Attachment in Infancy and Adult Mental Healthon my website Behaviorism and Mental Health. In this article I reviewed a longitudinal study by Fan et al.  The main finding of the study was: “Infants who experience unsupportive maternal behavior at 8 months have an increased risk for developing psychological sequelae later in life.”

The First Ever USA Olympic Gold Medal in Judo – and a Recovery Story

This morning Kayla Harrison won the first ever Olympic gold medal in the history of USA Judo. Kayla has overcome many, many obstacles on...

Answering the Critics: Let’s Roll the Tape (Again)

This past summer, Behavioral Healthcare ran a two-part interview with me about my book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. This stirred William Glazer, a well-known...

Post-Prozac Nation: Did our Drugs Work?

Prozac Nation stands as a reminder of the failed promise and language of bio-psychiatry. It also highlights what the first and real problem was for me at age 16. Still underlined are the words that drew me in, made her an ally, and which could have inspired great dialogue had they not been sidelined by psychiatric drugs. She writes, “I feel like a defective model, like ... my parents should have taken me back for repairs before the warranty ran out.”

Loneliness Cure: Red or Blue Pill?

Does this "loneliness pill" concept amount to encouraging people to stay in their homes and take a pill rather than get socially connected in their communities or reach out to those who need it? Even if a pill could generate the same effects as physical and emotional closeness between humans, is it the right thing to do?

One Solution to Prescription Drug Overdoses: Make Oxycontin and Similar Drugs Safer

It's too bad, of course, that our state and federal regulators can't seem to muster the political will to require the marketing and prescribing of safer opiate painkillers. Indeed, the federal Department of Health and Human Services could ensure that Medicare and Medicaid include agonist-antagonist drugs in their drug formularies and save many lives in one bold sweep. But until the feds get their act together -- are you listening, President Obama? -- it's up to the families who have lost loves ones to prescription drug overdoses to sue the drug makers and force change.

Chapter Twenty-One: Countdown to Surrender

COUNTDOWN- THREE DAYS It is mid-morning on Wednesday, November 26th, 2008.  I am staring at a computer screen in my cubicle, one among many at...

Therapy works? So . . . ?

When we pretend that outcome studies “scientifically validate” therapy, we confuse a product that can be used to specific ends with knowledge of how the world works. That’s a pretty serious confusion.

Imperialist Psychiatrists, Psychopathic Corporatists — But I Repeat Myself

Journalist/humorist Jon Ronson’s TED talk “Strange Answers To The Psychopath Test” addresses the DSM, diseasing normality, faking mental illness, and the psychopathy of former CEO “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap. The Huffington Post, for their TED Weekends section, asked me for a reaction to Ronson’s talk—but then refused to print my blog because, a Huffington Post staffer emailed me, “the TED Weekends team said that the wording of the post was too strong.” Below is the original post.

U.N. Questions U.S. on Forced Psychiatric Drugging

UN Human Rights Committee member Ms. Zonke Majodina said on Friday during the Committee's review of the United States: "I’m wondering whether any states have considered the ban which has been recommended by the Special Rapporteur on Torture made February last year, available on the UN website of documents. So given that it is really at state level that there is no compliance with the requirement to prohibit coercive treatments especially in mental health settings, I think the matter cannot just be left, there should be some form of good faith undertakings by federal government that these recommendations by UN bodies is taken seriously also at state level."
the real attention deficit disorder

The Real Attention Deficit Disorder

The fact that we shame people for acting like they need attention (and for actually needing attention) is self-defeating and maddening, not to mention absurd. Living in a society that punishes people for having fundamental needs like attention is probably one of the reasons people have developed behaviors “just” to “get attention.”

Reflections on How We Think About and Respond to Human Suffering, Existential Pain, and...

Any attempt to establish an alternative diagnostic system to the predominantly biologic DSM-5 classifications or to initiate a transformation of the individually oriented mental health treatment systems needs to critically explore how, not only what, we think about health and healing, about mental and emotional suffering, about traumatic experiences and injustices, and the multiple forms of pain that are part of our human existence. The broad critique of the DSM-5 by so many national and international organizations and individual colleagues will in the end not be powerful and far reaching enough without this inquiry into the foundations of our thinking and without reflection about our ways of thinking.

Chapter One: Journeying Back to Self

This blog is an attempt to make sense of what brought me into the world of psychiatry as a child and of where it...

Pulling for a New Reality: from Mental Illness to Mental Wellness

Evolutionary psychiatry and breakthroughs in neuroscience are rapidly blurring the lines between adaptive and maladaptive changes. What would be possible if we put our attention on, gave money and resources to mental wellness instead of mental illness? The re-election of President Obama provides another opportunity for us to create a future for ourselves and our children that we could be proud to leave as a legacy, especially as it relates to how mental health is defined and considered in the body politic and media. Imagine mental wellness. Together, we can!

The Winding Road and the Importance of Going Sideways

The winding path is very often the only path that a human being can follow. It has to become an acceptable path. We have to stop pushing young kids because WE want them to be somewhere without regard to what they are ready for.

MIA’s New Store & More

As MIA readers may have noted, we recently opened a store on this site. You’ll find videos for sale there, as well as MIA merchandise. In the near future, we intend to begin selling ebooks as well.

The Invisible Holocaust and the Gene Hypothesis

The Nazis either killed or sterilized almost all the schizophrenics in Germany, yet this was followed by a doubling of the population of schizophrenics in Germany. If it were really an inherited disease, how was this possible? My own explanation for the appearance of these high incidence rates were the conditions of the time.

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