Saturday, July 21, 2018

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).

Dear Roseanne, The Blood is At Your Doorstep

Chatter about Roseanne Barr's racist tweet is taking up far more space in our collective culture than, say, the murder of any one black or brown person by police in our country. If we want to shine light on the relationship between psychiatry and racism, let’s turn our attention to the people getting overlooked. People like Dontre Hamilton, whose death was the focus of the documentary ‘The Blood is at The Doorstep.’
birds trees relationship epistemology

Perspectives on “Reality” from an Alternative Epistemology

Contemplating human existence with a different paradigm of thinking will open our minds to perceiving the profound human diversities rooted in race and culture, developmental experiences, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma, hunger, or immigration status, to name but a few ways we are or become profoundly diverse as humans.
psychiatry puppet master

The Secret to Psychiatry’s “Success,” as Revealed by a Psychiatrist

Pills can’t be the main source of psychiatry’s sustained success, since they’re mostly placebos and people who take them usually worsen over time. Could psychiatry’s newly invented diseases themselves be the hot items that people are being manipulated into buying? Yes — I saw from within my field how it happened.
mad studies books

Introducing Our New ‘Mad Studies’ Webinar Series

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to organize a mad studies webinar series for Mad in America Continuing Education. I was absolutely thrilled about the chance to introduce people to the work of academics and activists who are working to offer new understandings of “madness” and “mental illness.” The series will begin on July 6th, 2018.
personality test

This Is Your Personality Test Result On Capitalism

Personality tests function for an employer, intentionally or otherwise, much like diagnostic criteria function for the mental-health system: these labels determine who gets resources that capitalism itself makes scarce — not only basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter, which require money to obtain, but empathy, understanding and support, which are kept in short supply.

ISPS Australia’s Response to Schizophrenia Awareness Week: Drop the Label!

It really is time to drop the label of schizophrenia, and ISPS Australia invites us to consider just that, in favour of understanding human experience and removing the impediments to a person making sense of their experience — impediments that exist due to the primarily biomedical perspectives that continue to dominate the mental health systems.
escaping cage of mental illness

Towards the Re-politicization of “Mental Illness”

In the models of other social movements, I implore us to advance a multifaceted, structural, cultural, and political analysis of mental illness in America, to illuminate the reality and mechanisms of sanism, and to then envision and implement ways of organizing American life around it that do not limit our potential for flourishing so drastically.
neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is Not For Everyone: The Dangers of Neurology

One thing I noticed, from the moment that I stepped out of my psychiatrist’s office, was how strangely blank and yet clear my mind was. I felt surprisingly calm and relaxed, and I decided to go back for another treatment the next week. What I couldn’t have known then was that after that next “treatment,” life would be completely destroyed for me.

Sizeism, Sanism, and the Oppressive Weight of Paternalism

Abuses committed in the name of health are the ultimate form of victim-blaming. Survivors of these abuses are often told that the abuse is justified and merited because how they are acting or the way they look is "unhealthy." Both psychiatric survivors and people of size are told that the violence and discrimination they experience occur for their own good.
integrity

Questioning the Integrity of Psychiatry

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists claimed that “the prescription of antidepressant or antipsychotic medications is something that a psychiatrist only ever does in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits.” How could a responsible professional body make an assertion so patently wrong?
just say no to stimulants sketch

The Next Deadly Epidemic: Adult ADHD and Stimulants?

I refuse to be one of the doctors that contribute to the next deadly epidemic. I see too many similarities between stimulants and opiates — they’re both strongly addictive, stimulate our pleasure centers, and have long-term dangerous mental and physical effects. And they both “work” in the short term without actually fixing anything.
UN meeting on human rights in mental health

UN Meeting on Human Rights in Mental Health: A Response

On May 14 and 15, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights held a meeting on human rights in mental health. The event represented tensions in the United Nations between the promotion of mental health and the promotion of the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
ADHD school boy

ADHD: Disempowerment By Diagnosis

Giving a diagnosis of ADHD can profoundly disempower students and lead to what psychologists call “learned helplessness.” Isn’t it time for those of us in education to reclaim our profession? Who are the teaching and learning experts? Doctors? Drug companies? We are! And if we don’t stand up—for our students—against disempowering diagnoses and harmful drugs, who will?
alien

Distinguishing Dissociative Disorders from Psychotic Disorders: Compounding Alienation

If a person recognizes the “alien” parts of themselves as being parts of themselves, they are likely to be seen as having PTSD or a dissociative disorder. If they see the “alien” parts of themselves as being literally aliens, or demons, they will likely be diagnosed as psychotic. But these experiences are really on a spectrum.
antidepressant use

The Long-term Consequences of Antidepressant Use: An Interview with Michael Hengartner

Researchers at the University of Zurich, led by Michael Hengartner, recently reported that antidepressant use was associated with worse outcomes in patients followed over 30 years. Here Hengartner provides more information about the study methodology and their findings.

May is Power Threat Meaning Month

In contrast to the medical ("mental illness") model, the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTM) is a non-pathologizing, unifying model of human bio-psycho-social functioning. It applies to all human beings — not just those of us with mental health labels. There is finally a provider-proposed paradigm that is worth the effort of making the public aware.
wooden nickels

The Myth of Mental Wellness: Can We Really Improve our “Mental Health”?

"Mental Illness" is nothing but a label for coping styles that disrupt society. Hence its flip side "mental wellness" is just a label for coping styles that contribute to society. So "happiness businesses" can't really "heal" people — they merely convert their coping tools to socially productive ones.

Three Antipsychiatry Scholarships: The Revolution Continues

A quiet revolution has just happened—a formidable piece of counter-hegemony. We now have antipsychiatry scholarships ensconced at all three universities in a major international city. And with this, antipsychiatry has made sizeable inroads into academia, laying down infrastructure and altering the discourse.
brain molecular research

Molecular Fingerprints? On the Science and Ethics of Transcriptomic Research

Who were these people whose brains were used in Gandal et al.’s research? How did they live and die? How did the researchers gain permission to open their skulls and extract brain tissue for research purposes? For information on the samples, you have to take a look at every single study. Which is what I did.
antipsychotic study magnifying glass

A Commentary on the Finnish Analysis of Outcomes of First Episode Schizophrenia

There are a number of well-recognised problems with this sort of study and we should be very cautious about accepting its conclusions at face value. The main problem is that it is an ‘observational’ study, not a randomised controlled trial, and these analyses can be seriously misleading. 
antipsychotic study bottle 2

20-year Outcomes for First-episode Psychosis: Impact of Neuroleptic Drug Discontinuation

The authors conclude that the risk of treatment failure or relapse after discontinuation of antipsychotics does not decrease during the first eight years of illness, and that long-term antipsychotic treatment is associated with increased survival. This is a sobering finding and the paper warrants careful review.
children on depression pills

Usage of Depression Pills Almost Halved Among Children in Denmark

After a number of years with a steadily increasing sales curve, the number of children and adolescents in treatment with depression pills decreased by 41% in Denmark. Despite this welcome development, pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry professors continue to deceive the population and deny the facts about these drugs.
mental health act

The Interim Report on the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: A Response

The report has succeeded in being supremely ambitious in its breadth, whilst remaining disappointingly cautious in its goals. The emphasis is on smaller changes in the immediate future, and kicking more progressive reform into the long grass. It alludes to but does not enshrine a rights-based approach.
power threat meaning framework

“The Power Threat Meaning Framework”: A New Perspective on Mental Distress

Many of us have drawn attention over the years to the problems and shortcomings of psychiatric "diagnoses." The Power Threat Meaning document draws together the various threads in this debate and blends them into a coherent, cogent, and highly readable account.
unhappy child root cause

The Unsung Psychiatric Impact of Strep Throat

A sea change is needed in the evaluation of children with perceived psychological disturbances. Parents are told that their child has a fictitious biochemical imbalance in the brain while real medical disorders are overlooked. In our family's case, it was Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS).

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