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).

Bringing Human Rights Home

The United Nations calls on countries to repeal their mental health laws that authorize involuntary commitment, and to ensure that mental health services are...

Vote NOW for solutions to emotional distress!

If you want solutions for emotional distress, vote NOW! Vote for the distress model and vote for Aunt Bertha. 1) Vote now for the distress...

September 27, 2010

Bob-- I would guess that as I am typing this, you are in the midst of a spirited defense of your book at the conference....

March 15, 2011

Bob-- I want to share with you a success story that has played out over the last three months. I have been working with a woman...

The Rotted Fruit

In the law if one falsehood is uncovered in sworn testimony, all of the statements made and the actions that follow are suspect. If...

Peace Making

Many of us feel at a loss to fight back against the tidal wave of negative opinion against us. We are wasting our breath arguing that the vast majority of us never commit acts of violence, that the medical model fails everyone and coercion drives people away, etc.

Developing Policies and Practices for Medication Optimization

Southern Oregon physicians—from family practice specialists to psychiatrists—and nurse practitioners, social workers and other mental health professionals have been meeting for several months to...

West Virginia’s Prescription Drug Abuse Problem: Intersection of Two Industries?

The line between legal and illicit, "addictive" vs. "necessary", becomes vanishingly thin when it comes to the medications prescribed in areas of the country that are being stripped of their natural resources. The mechanisms of science, medicine and our government that were once thought to protect and serve are instead leaving residents on a trail of pain, addiction, dependence and poverty produced by the intersection of two highly profitable industries. (Editor's note)

Robert Whitaker: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

On March 5, Bruce Levine, PhD, published an interesting article on Mad in America  titled Psychiatry Now Admits It's Been Wrong in Big Ways – But Can It Change? Bruce had interviewed Robert Whitaker, and notes that Robert, in his book Mad in America, had challenged some fundamental tenets of psychiatry, including the validity of its "diagnoses" and the efficacy (especially the long-term efficacy) of its treatments. Bruce reminds us that Robert initially incurred a good deal of psychiatric wrath in this regard, but also points out that some members of the psychiatric establishment are beginning to express a measure of agreement with these deviations from long-held psychiatric orthodoxy.

Is the FDA violating its own mandate to approve safe drugs?

Is the Food and Drug Administration violating its own mandate to approve safe drugs? That was the question that Donald Light, co-author of The...

Start with a Solid Foundation

How are we going to do this?  That’s the question we asked ourselves when a few likeminded bureaucrats sat down and said, our current...

January 31, 2011

Bob-- Today, I saw an intelligent and sarcastic teenage boy for renewal of his Adderall. He presented with his well-meaning but frustrated father, who is...

January 17, 2011

Bob-- About a month ago, I started caring for a fifty-five year old Filipino woman. She speaks English well, though with a heavy accent. She...

Letters From the Front Lines

Dear Bob-- A disturbing case from this week. I was working at an urgent care and saw a fifteen-year old boy for the complaint of severe...

Letters from the Front Lines

Dear Bob-- Last fall, I was filling in at a clinic for a provider who was on vacation, and saw a woman in her late...

Vertex Pharmaceutical Executives Cash in on False Hopes

Senior executives at Vertex Pharmaceuticals made millions of dollars each by selling company stock in the days after the Cambridge-based pharmaceutical reported promising clinical...

Economic Determinism and Medicaid

Ok, I’ll admit to trying an academic title to talk about bureaucratic history. What a combination! But I think it adds up to something. We...

June 27, 2011

Dear Bob-- I have been working again, taking temporary assignments filling in for other physicians and working in urgent cares while I get my practice...

October 21, 2010

Bob-- I'm going to try to be quick today (unlikely), but I want to share two cases: 1) I saw a pleasant 32 year old woman...

Calling for Rep. McCann’s resignation while there is still time to run a different...

I am writing to suggest you run a different democrat in House District 8, Rep. McCann's district, because she has made herself unelectable and I would prefer that the seat remain in democratic hands. The reason for this is simple: Her sponsorship of HB1253 which represents an attempt to take the right to jury trial away from one million Coloradans. Please, Rep. McCann, do the party a favor and retire from public life to contemplate what in the world made you think going after the jury trial was a good idea in the first place.

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.

October 25, 2010

Bob-- A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from the mother of one of my teenage patients, a 14 year old Chinese-american boy...

The Pond, Learning and Humility

What an amazing ride I’ve had in the past few days on the tsunami of commentary from my previous post. While it’s been fun (dare...

The Empire of Humbug: Not So Bad Pharma

At the 50th American Psychosomatic Society meeting in New York, Michael Shepherd was speaking. His topic - The Placebo. When the lecture finished, Lou Lasagna said "this paper is now open for questions." Nothing happened. Nobody said anything at all. Lasagna couldn't refrain from commenting: "There are 3 possible explanations. First, you were all asleep and therefore you heard nothing. Secondly, it was so bad that since this speaker has come 3,000 miles you didn't want to embarrass him. Third, it is genuinely so original and new that you don't quite know what to make of it. I'll leave you to decide which it was". What had Shepherd said?