Monday, July 13, 2020


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).

Has the FDA Abandoned Its Off-Label Promotion Ban?

On Tuesday, the FDA entered into a settlement agreement in Amarin Pharma v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, allowing Amarin to promote a prescription drug for off-label use, so long as its promotion is truthful and non-misleading. The Amarin Settlement seems to be an abandonment by the federal government of protecting the public from off-label prescriptions.  But these settlement were just the cost of doing business for the drug companies, while they continue rake in huge profits from the continued off-label prescribing of drugs, which does not diminish after the settlements. Of course, anything that is false or misleading is still grounds for charges, but that is a far harder case to make. I think the ban against off-label promotion is dead for all practical purposes.  

One World, One People, One Struggle

The Redhall Walled Garden provides a tiny glimpse into the future, as a potential alternative to psychiatric hospitals, halfway houses, and the other oppressive forms of treatment that comprises the current status quo in most countries around the world. We can all learn from this alternative approach, and we should popularize aspects of this program just as we do the Soteria House and the Open Dialogue model.
projective identification

Letting Negative Projective Identifications Come, and Letting Them Go

In the instant I perceive that I’ve succeeded in inducing fear and shame in you, I can feel a palpable relief from my own fear and shame. This process is called projective identification. I gradually learned as a therapist to be aware of when a person seemed to be mysteriously able to create distressful emotional states in me — states that they were themselves subjectively feeling, but weren’t fully aware of.

Life Events Cause Psychosis: The Further Adventures of an Aspiring Psychonaut

I just wanted to do a brief followup on my last blog post about my latest psychotic break adventure. I am a recent Psychonaut exploring the inner workings of the mind, and finding out what was my reality versus Consensus reality. I am starting to come out of the experience. It is like waking from a dream. Questioning one's self is a standard part of this process of coming back to consensus reality — at least for me. It's good to reconsider some of the conclusions I've come to in the last month or so, when some of my inputs may have not been a part of consensus reality. But I'm getting stronger.

Ghostwriting: Time for a Name Change

There is a fascinating process playing out in academic medicine right now. The general public is understandably concerned that much of the medical literature...

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.
businessman with tape on mouth

Our Movement Has a Cover-up Problem Too

Our movement, by not effectively addressing misconduct and corruption, is creating the same toxic dynamics we see so often in families, in schools, in a society that silences people and drives them into distress and madness.

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.

“My Ego Strength is Too Developed for Me to Ever Become Psychotic!”

That was the emphatic response from my grad school psychopathology professor 35 years ago, after I'd stated in her class that anyone could become psychotic given sufficient life stressors, losses and trauma. How many current mental health professionals, especially psychiatrists, also believe they have such strong egos that they never could experience extreme states?

October 14, 2010

Bob-- Had two very interesting cases this morning: First, I saw new patient, a very thoughtful, intelligent retired pastor who is on Citalopram. We were visiting...

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.
resisting illegitimate authority

Psychiatric Marginalization of Anti-Authoritarians – Excerpt from New Book

Anti-authoritarians are a threat to authoritarians because they don’t provide unquestioning obedience, but instead first assess the legitimacy of authorities. Consequently, authoritarians have attempted to shun, punish and psychopathologize anti-authoritarians throughout history.

Ask Michael Moore About Psychiatric Drugs and Gun Violence

In Michael Moore's movie, "Bowling for Columbine," the question is repeatedly asked; "why are there so many gun murders in the United States compared to other countries?" But no answer is given. However, in Gary Null's recent film, "The Drugging of our Children," Mr. Moore says that it is quite possible Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold shot all of those students at Columbine for no other reason than they were given psychiatric drugs. He called for an investigation into the role of such drugs in the murders at Columbine, but does not appear to be following up. Now, there is an opportunity to ask him about it!!!

Why We Need Mental Health Social Entrepreneurship

A mental health social entrepreneurship is a business that uses market principles to maximize benefit instead of maximizing profit. For instance, my business, Wellness...

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.

A Visit into the Lithuanian Mental Health System

In November of 2011 I spent two weeks in Lithuania -- a fascinating time. Some colleagues in Scandinavia connected me with a progressive psychiatrist...

Are Regulatory Bodies Prioritising Drug Company Interests Over Public Safety?

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is refusing to respond to the concerns of psychiatrists, parliamentarians, patients and other experts about the impending licensing of the street drug ketamine as a treatment for depression.

The Words We Use…

David Romprey walked up to me one day when I was in the middle of planning the next new 16-bed facility in a community setting for people who were in our state hospitals in Oregon. Progress was in the making. He asked why I called these places 16-“bed” facilities. Answering matter-of-factly what seemed obvious, I replied that these residences, nicely furnished in pleasant neighborhoods, had 16 beds. Looking me straight in the eye, as he always did, David asked me, “Do you think we’re lying around prostrate all the time?”

$11.9 Million Paxil Suicide Verdict: The Inside Story

The judicial system and the public are becoming increasingly aware of the hazards of psychiatric drugs, including their capacity to make people behave in ways that are harmful to themselves and others, and contrary to their past behavior and character.

“Not all NAMIs!”: Why Even the Best Local NAMI Chapter is Still a Problem

Every time I write about NAMI, at least one person approaches me and says, “But not all NAMIs!” Yes, all NAMIs. Every. Last. One. Because even the best of the local chapters are benefiting from the systemic oppression perpetuated by the dominant group to which they are tied. They all participate somehow in sustaining the imbalance.

Rethinking Mental Health Care: The Story of the Oregon Symposium and the Foundation that...

Yesterday, I have to confess, I experienced one of the more satisfying days of my journalistic career. Every journalist hopes that his or her...

Smashing the Neurotransmitter Myth: How & Why Antidepressants Cause Suicides & Mass Murders

Let us put the final nail in the coffin of the neurotransmitter myth of big Pharma and the APA. The idea that psychiatric issues come from some quantitative soup of neurotransmitters in the synapses of the brain is completely wrong. Yes there are neurotransmitters in the brain. However, serotonin does not create symptoms.

Non-Compliance in the New Year: The Power of ‘No’

I’m not sure how I feel about horseback riding. Well, actually, I know that the act of horseback riding itself terrifies me, but really what I mean is: I’m not sure how I feel about the process of ‘breaking’ a horse to make it rideable. However, when I conducted some (admittedly superficial) research on the topic, I came up with an abundance of information.

Listening to the Voiceless Citizens

Just this morning CNN reported that 3 men were arrested over plans to travel from N.Y. to join ISIS and one of them posted online about his plans to assassinate the President. Cyberspace and social media are the platforms from which terrorists speak, express their ideas and exert powerful influences over some individuals in this and other countries. The voices of terrorists are clearly compelling and appealing. Their voices are being responded to in dangerous ways.

Recovery – From Personal Reform to Social Change

From Mad in Sweden. One of the most important contributions made by research on recovery, is understanding people diagnosed with “severe mental health problems”, as not merely victims of an illness, but as agents in their own lives.

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