Monday, March 27, 2023


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).

Photo of a magnifying glass sitting on an open textbook

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 1: Why a Critical Textbook of Psychiatry?

The discrepancy between opinion and science is prevalent in psychiatric textbooks. The coming generations of healthcare professionals will learn a lot during their studies that is incorrect.

New York’s Mayor: We’re out of Ideas, so It’s “Back to the Cuckoo’s Nest”...

A psychiatrist obsessed with violence among the mentally ill, Torrey is dedicated to promoting involuntary hospitalization.
Close-up of a hand holding a tablet with a question mark on it. Below, scattered tablets with frowns or hearts.

Seriously Misleading Network Meta-analysis in Lancet of Acceptability of Depression Pills

It is a futile exercise to rank depression pills based on flawed trial reports and—most importantly—when the patients prefer to be treated with a placebo.

Problem-Solving Through Skills-Building: Motivating Kids to Change

Children can overcome all sorts of difficulties by learning specific behavioural or emotional skills with the help and support of their social network.

Mad in America’s 10 Most Popular Articles in 2022

A roundup of Mad in America's most read blogs and personal stories of 2022 as chosen by our readers.
Illustration depicting orange person looking frightened with orange ghosts swirling around them

Ghosts Popping out Everywhere: The Shifting Times We Live in and the Process of...

We are living in challenging times. Every day we hear or read or hear stories of racism, sexism, inequalities, oppression. Emerging, there are experiences...
Close-up of therapist's hands explaining a problem to his patients

When Violence Hits Home, Can We Keep Growing?

We want to share conversation we had coming out of these events in the hopes it might help others explore how to keep growing emotionally in an uncertain and sometimes violent world.
Profile of a bearded man head with a symbol of neurons in the brain

A Brain for Our Emancipation

In times of crisis, we are required to adapt to conditions of suffering to safeguard capitalist production. We are asked to adapt our flexible brains to a hostile environment, and the possibility of transforming that environment is suppressed.
A photo of Mayor Eric Adams at a podium, with many other people behind him wearing suits.

Consumer Advisory Board Chair: NYC Mayor Adams Did Not Consult With Us on New...

I chair the Consumer Advisory Board for the NYC Department of Mental Hygiene (DOMH). And I can tell you firsthand: We were not consulted before this plan came to fruition.
A Black woman sits with a therapist

Psychotherapy: Less Expensive and Better Than Pills, It’s What the Patients Want but Don’t...

Studies with long-term follow-up show that psychotherapy has an enduring effect that outperforms pharmacotherapy. Psychiatry does not deliver what the customers want.
Photo of pregnant person holding a glass of water and a handful of pills. Sitting cross-legged on couch. We cannot see her face.

Dubious Science: Downplaying the Risks of Antidepressants in Pregnancy

When popular websites, such as Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic, downplay the possible risks of antidepressant use in pregnancy, they are ignoring the evidence.
Illustration of a blue face; the back of it is dissolving into computer code

Data on Your Mind: Good Public Health or Mental Health Surveillance?

The ethics of data harvesting are murky and echo global concerns around the ways in which profiling technologies can be used to perpetuate discrimination.

Celia Brown, R.I.P.: Psychiatric Survivor, Pioneer, and Global Activist for Change

Celia Brown, a psychiatric survivor and activist who was revered — even beloved — for her foundational and ongoing efforts in mental health advocacy and the peer movement, has died after a battle with cancer.
Illustration of a brain on a blue background. A magnifying glass shows viruses inside it.

Tardive Dyskinesia, Chronic Lyme Disease, and Infection

The Bartonella bacteria, which is almost always associated with chronic Lyme disease, can cause dyskinesia too and it looks and is experienced the same as “tardive” dyskinesia.
Illustration of a box labeled "BITTER Pills" with some small capsules beside it

Number Needed to Treat with a Psychiatric Drug to Benefit One Patient Is an...

The number needed to treat with a psychiatric drug to benefit one patient is largely an illusion, because more patients are harmed than receive a benefit.
3D illustration of white DNA double helix against dark blue background. The center of the helix is erupting into a computer-network-like shape

The Schizophrenia Genetics Illusion—A Century of Failure and Hype

This is the schizophrenia game. It has been played for over a century, and it’s time to stop.

On the Brink of Psychosis

Most available narratives are sad stories centred around the aspect of a disease, or terrifying tales about psychiatric treatment. But what if there is also something in between?
Jesse Kohler

Interview: The Need for Trauma-Informed Schools

CTIPP Executive Director Jesse Kohler answers our questions about the organization's new report and what the findings mean for families and communities.
Illustration of a man in a suit with a weight chained to his leg. He is reaching for graphs and dartboards against a blue background.

The Mental Health Industry Speaks Volumes About Our Society’s Priorities

An educated public has a much better chance of advocating from the grassroots for safe and effective treatments in the face of a pharmaceutical industry more interested in profits than people.

Shedding the Limits of “Severe Mental Illness” Labels

When people seeking help are relegated to “the Other,” how can they ever form a “therapeutic alliance”? Without collaboration, treatment devolves into coercion and oppression. We must change our language and relationships so new narratives can be born.
3D illustration of a skeletal robot hand emerging from a laptop computer screen, against a background of purple and blue 80s style lasers.

New App Aims to Predict Whether People with Psychosis Are Worth Hiring

“Unfortunately, the ethical considerations of incorporating these tools are rarely acknowledged in published prediction articles,” the researchers write.
An illustration of dots that represent people forming the shape of the country Denmark, in the colors of its flag.

Denmark Is the Only European Country Where the Usage of Depression Pills Has Dropped

Between 2010 and 2020, the consumption of depression pills increased by 37% in 24 European countries. Denmark was the only country where usage dropped (a 4% drop).
3D illustration of a model house in construction on a table of blueprints

Feel Hopeless About Reforming a Broken System? Incremental Change Is Still Change

Despite all our efforts, it seems that a radical transformation of the system has not yet occurred. However, incremental changes can directly improve the lives of thousands.
Illustration of paper airplanes flying diagonally as a fleet from bottom right toward upper left. One plane in the lead is colored orange.

Improving Therapy Outcomes: The Case for Deliberate Practice

With Deliberate Practice, I doubled the number of sessions I had with my clients, cut the amount of unplanned dropouts in half, and improved the number who experienced clinical change.
A colorful illustration in blues and greens depicting a figure standing atop a globe, holding an orange ball in their hands.

Growing Good Mental Health with Choice Theory

On those days when I’m experiencing discomfort, anger or frustration, I ask myself: Which need is not being adequately met and which is driving my discontent?