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).

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...

The Emperor’s Antipsychotic Drugs

I avoid drug reps but I can not stop them from finding me through the mail. Over the past few months, I have received reprints of an article from The American Journal of Psychiatry (1), reporting on a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of lurasidone from the company that makes this drug. Since I had it in my hands, I read it. What I found was surprising. Rather than leaving me impressed by lurasidone, it left me wondering what happened with olanzapine (Zyprexa).

Chapter Twenty-Four: Off the Meds and Out of My Mind

During my first few days on the locked psychiatric unit of the hospital on the hill in early December 2008, I counted the passing...

So This Is Texas 2

Allow me to introduce myself to you... I'm a California transplant and now live and work in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex where I...

The American Psychiatric Association’s Response to 60 Minutes: Where is the Science?

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has posted a response to the 60 minutes segment on Irving Kirsch and the placebo effect in antidepressant research. But is their response based on scientific data?

Interpreting Harrow’s 20-Year Results: Are the Drugs to Blame?

Martin Harrow has just published his 20-year outcomes data for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Those who took antipsychotics regularly experienced more psychosis, more anxiety, cognitive impairment, and markedly fewer periods of "sustained recovery." Harrow asks: "Is very long-term treatment with antipsychotic medications undesirable?"

The Cause and Solution for Emotional Distress

Hi, I'm Corinna West, a psychiatric survivor.  I was very ill one time and now I'm not. That's the short story. The slightly longer...

Response to 60 Minutes

On February 19, 2012, Lesley Stahl’s “Treating depression: is there a placebo effect?” aired on CBS 60 Minutes. Stahl is to be commended for...

Letters from the Front Lines

Bob-- An encounter from this week: I saw a 24 year-old theater actress who was started on Lexapro nine months ago for a one-time "panic attack"...

Personal Steps toward a Revolution in Mental Health Care

My friend David Oaks, director of MindFreedom , likes to say that what is currently needed is a non-violent revolution in mental health care.  Mental...

A Road Map to Hope

In my last blog, invited readers to consider sharing their families’ recovery stories and to open to the possibility of the healing that is available when we connect with each other through this sharing. I would like to share one of these stories with all of you.

The Real Suicide Data from the TADS Study Comes to Light

Last week, Robert Gibbons reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry that fluoxetine was not found to increase the suicide risk in children compared to placebo. But if we closely examine the suicide data from the TADS trial, which at first glance seems to support Gibbons' conclusion, we find a trail of hidden data and scientific scandal.

60 Minutes, The SSRIs, and The Dirty Little Secret

Last night, 60 Minutes presented the work of Irving Kirsch, who has been researching the placebo effect in antidepressants for many years. We discuss.

Turning a Child’s Intensity to Greatness

My passion in the medication debate stems from my clinical work with families with challenging and intense children. I got to see that with 2-3 weeks - at most within 2-3 months for the most difficult children - that the very same intensity that had gone awry became the very fuel for that child's greatness.

What Do Psychiatrists Say When They Talk to Each Other?

Last week I attended a lecture presented at the Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds at a major Southeastern University.  The presenter, a psychiatrist employed...

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?