Friday, October 18, 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).

Responding to Madness With Loving Receptivity: a Practical Guide

In my last three blogs I posed the question- "If madness isn't what psychiatry says it is, then what is it?" Now I'm asking-...

Mental Health Homes Open Their Proverbial Doors in New York: Caveats, Part II

Given the length of this blog and the subject matter it addresses, I’ve divided it into two parts. Part II appears immediately below, Part...

Dialogical Recovery from Monological Medicine

Open Dialogue* has created a great stir since its public introduction to the United States two years ago through Robert Whitaker's book, Anatomy of...

Mental Health Homes Open Their Proverbial Doors in New York: A Look into the...

The first of New York State's "mental health homes," which are intended to serve as the bedrock for a reformed public mental health system, are now open. Will this reform deliver improved care for those with "serious and persistent mental illness?"

Unraveling the Biopsychiatric Knot: the Future History of the Radical Mental Health Movement

I did the research for this article to try and make sense of this story I carry around with me about being someone who is seen as mad, who struggles with what this society considers a serious “brain disorder.” My hope is that by the time you finish reading my words you will have more tools to analyze this hyper-complicated world around you.

The Death of Leslie Carter

For several years now I have been talking to colleagues and friends about my developing interest in raising red flags regarding harmful prescription drug use. Considering the...

The Role of Inflammation in the Success and Failure of Antidepressants

The evidence is fast accumulating that systemic inflammation has a causative role in depression, or, at minimum, is a major factor in the chain...

Remembering A Medication-Free Madness Sanctuary

In my last blog entry, I described how the I-Ward first episode madness sanctuary came into being and how I ended up working there as a therapist for over three years. As you read now about my time there, I would again like to ask you to keep in mind the question I posed in my first two blog entries- "If Madness isn't what Psychiatry says it is, then what is it?"

On a Paradox Revealed: Discontinuing Neuroleptics

In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker posits that long-term exposure to neuroleptics does more harm than good. I will discuss how I have wrestled with this in my practice.

Bring in the Peer!

Around the country, consumers of the public mental health system speak of ‘empowerment’, ‘recovery’ and ‘independence’ while being disempowered, and made reliant on a system that uses the word ‘recovery’ as only a buzzword. How can Peer provided services help?

Madness Radio: Grainne Humphry on the Psychiatric Incarceration of John Hunt in Ireland

Grainne was courageous to do this interview: I was struck by her strong love for John and her very deep sensitivity to the violence she has witnessed him undergo in the name of treatment. Let us all lend our hearts and passion to the international campaign to free John Hunt and to ensure that no one ever has to suffer the abuses he has suffered.

Return to Self an Alternative Medication?

After nearly two years in Utah, from 2008-2009, I made the decision to return to the splendor of the Pacific Northwest where I had...

Letters from the Front Lines

Dear Bob-- I've had a couple of remarkable conversations, not with my own patients, but with friends and acquaintances asking me for advice.  Each example...

The Power of Storytelling

Over the years, I have heard many powerful recovery stories. I’ve also had many opportunities to share our family’s struggle with mental health challenges and our recovery journey.

Thinking about Care with Care

Weak science and exaggerated reports of discovery aren’t the special province of biological psychiatrists. We don’t really understand much about the suffering that brings people into care. We need to study the beliefs that we like as critically we study the ones we don’t.

Should Jilted Lovers Be Treated with Antidepressants?

It is refreshing that The New York Times in the space of four days has published two articles which take a critical view of...

Revising the History of the Serotonin Theory of Depression?

Did scientists recently discover that the Serotonin Theory of Depression is false? Or has this been known for decades? We investigate.

Chapter Twenty-Three: On the Locked Unit, Locked in Myself

As we made our way out of Boston and to the psychiatric hospital on the hill, I watched the ‘normal’ world— the world beyond the Plexiglas rear window of the ambulance I was strapped into— drift past me into the distance.

Bipolar Everywhere

A recent dramatic rise in diagnoses of Bipolar has been documented (Moreno, Laje et al., 2007). Bipolar used to be a relatively rare event. When working at the state hospital during the 1970s, over a 7 year period, I recall only 4 or 5 patients with a bipolar diagnosis.

More on Recovery & Liberation: Oppression & Resilience

Just a few days ago, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, perhaps the foremost legal advocacy organization for persons with disabilities in the country, issued its “vision of community integration” for the disabled, listing the “key principles” that should be utilized to achieve that aim.

Is It All in Your Head?

In a recent NPR story, there was a discussion of the serotonin theory of depression. It was acknowledged by the scientists who were interviewed that there is no evidence of a serotonin deficiency in the brains of people who are depressed.

The Taint of Eugenics In NIMH-Funded Research Today

Recently, Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, identified the “NIMH’s Top 10 Research Advances of 2011.” He wrote: “This has been a year of exciting discoveries and scientific progress . . . Here are 10 breakthroughs and events of 2011 that are changing the landscape of mental health research.”

Tsunami of Frozen Grief Found in the Clinical Work

One of the primary clinical teachings found in the pursuit of prescription drug withdrawal: we need stepping stones and a great many of them to navigate the perilous terrain.

Excellent Article on Antipsychotic Drug Harm Reduction in Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health...

Matthew Aldridge, a psychiatric nurse at London's Lambeth Hospital, just published a new article in the 2011 Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, "Addressing Non-Adherence to Antipsychotic Medication: A Harm-Reduction Approach." This is an extraordinarily well researched clinical discussion of professional medication practice.

Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care Projects

One of the incredible things I get to do is talk to researchers, people with lived experience, family members, psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, therapists, social...

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