Thursday, February 20, 2020

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).

fake medicine fake disease

Real Doctors Are Peddling Fake Diseases: Here’s How to Spot Them

We’re bombarded with ads for newly discovered diseases. Are they all legitimate, or are some sham illnesses that were created to sell more drugs? Here are four ways to logically test whether or not something really is a classic (physically-based, symptom-causing) disease.
heart hands hold light love

Overcoming the Madness in Us All

I believe that the greatest challenge or threat to our identities and mental soundness comes from the fear of being unworthy of love. We cannot ameliorate this dread wholly on our own but must instead rely in part on resources outside ourselves who invite, encourage, exemplify or draw out our own capacity to feel and to give love.
love hope christmas cards

Cast Aside No One

When I first presented my cards to the woman at Newport Hospital's front desk, I was greeted with a smile, but when I told her to whom I wanted them sent, her smile quickly faded. She sighed and asked me to consider handing out my cards to "the other patients" instead, as if the patients in the psychiatric unit didn't matter at all.
foster child

The Invisibles: Children in Foster Care

Millions of current and former foster children experience multiple kinds of trauma, as documented in a six-part investigative series published in the Kansas City Star this month. Too often invisible, these young people deserve our attention and our care.
Zol Dolinsky death with dignity

Zel Dolinsky: I Have a Right to “Death With Dignity”

Researcher Zel Dolinsky once taught at medical school and worked as a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry. In his last emails, he told of how the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs led him to choose to end his life.
beauty magic

Merry, Beautiful, Unique: YOU

You and me, we are different. We live in the world of magic, where angels appear, where voices scare but also reveal, where visions show us the other, real, parallel world. God blesses only very few of us with such an ability. And that’s why you have to fight for this right.
stress response

Anatomy of a Suicide: Stress and the Human Condition

The Defense Cascade is a survival framework that evolutionary researchers are exploring as an explanation for extreme states that many people experience. It can help explain why chronic stress can make us feel like ending our life is the only reasonable way out.
medical ghostwriting

Medical Ghostwriting: When an “Author” Is Not Necessarily an “Author”

Ghostwriting, which is prominent in the psychiatry literature, is a scam in which pharmaceutical companies use an academic sleight of hand to stump the naïve reader. It is time for editors of the major medical journals to use the same standards of authorship found in the humanities and social sciences.
house of cards of poorly conducted informed consent

The House of Cards with Informed Consent Standards

I recently submitted a recommendation to Oregon’s mental health officials as they consider revising their clinical standards. If adopted, my proposal will open the door to a much wider recognition of the role that poorly conducted informed consent plays in the excessive use of psychiatric medications.
twins

Twin Studies and Ken Burns’ Upcoming Documentary on “The Gene: An Intimate History”

Siddhartha Mukherjee clearly knew little about the evidence supporting his claim that schizophrenia is a “genetic disease,” yet he thought he knew enough to reach strong conclusions in favor of genetics in what would become an award-winning book that was turned into a Ken Burns documentary.

Are Regulatory Bodies Prioritising Drug Company Interests Over Public Safety?

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is refusing to respond to the concerns of psychiatrists, parliamentarians, patients and other experts about the impending licensing of the street drug ketamine as a treatment for depression.

Is Australia’s Psychiatric System Redeemable?

We have reached the point where we have to ask: Is psychiatry doing anything useful for society, or has it degenerated to an insatiable, high-cost and self-sustaining rentier gorging on the public purse? The Australian Productivity Commission is holding an enquiry into mental health; it is to be hoped that this will assist in the process of uncovering the truth.
Mad in Norway

The Field of Mental Health Has Gone Astray, But We Can Fix It

People should have real choice. The research and knowledge about how to work differently are already there. Now we need politicians and policymakers to force the change and make it happen in the established services. Mad in Norway will be a leading voice in ensuring this change.
medical model mental health

Dr. Huda Has Written His Book: ‘The Medical Model in Mental Health’

Anti-psychiatry writers have devoted a good deal of time and energy to highlighting the distinction between general medicine, which I call real medicine, and psychiatry, which I call a hoax. The basic theme of Dr. Huda's book is that this distinction is not valid, and that psychiatry's claim to medical status is as well-founded as any bona fide medical specialty.
definition of relapse

What Does ‘Relapse’ Mean? Definitions Used in Antipsychotic Trials Are Unclear

Antipsychotic drugs are prescribed on the basis of trials that demonstrate a higher rate of ‘relapse’ in people who are withdrawn from these drugs compared to those who continue to take them. Yet, incredibly, there is no consensus about what ‘relapse’ means in this situation.
psychiatry roulette

The Matrix: Disentangling Anti-Psychiatry

For the last forty years, psychiatry has been comprehensively critiqued from a myriad of disciplines including sociology, psychology, and the user movement. Is there anything that can be salvaged from the psychiatry project? How would a psychiatrist practice ethically in such a nefarious environment?

In Memory of Julie Greene

With deep regret, Mad in America announces another loss in our contributor community. Julie C. Greene, writer and antipsychiatry advocate, lost her battle with kidney disease on November 29 at her home in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Julie had been an MIA blogger since 2014, including several pieces on the dangers of lithium.

A Tribute to Stephen Gilbert, Warrior Behind Enemy Lines

Stephen Boren, who posted here under the name Stephen Gilbert, passed away November 12 after a battle with cancer. Stephen offered a unique perspective, working as peer support staff at the same hospital where he had once been held as a patient. We will miss his daily presence on MIA.
Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media

Lighting a Spark to Heal Trauma: An Interview with Jesse Zook Mann

An interview with Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media about trauma, medication withdrawal, and the possibility for recovery. Jesse was severely harmed by psychiatry, but uses language that reaches people who identify with the mainstream paradigm of mental health and mental illness.
dark night wisdom emotional release

The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Light: Five Lessons Learned This Month

One month ago I suddenly found myself in a very dark place. There is a depth of wisdom that comes from dark or challenging emotional states, that with good support and hard work looking at the underlying (and sometimes ancient) dynamics can lead to enormous insights and compassion.
retraumatization psychosis

Seven Strategies to Avoid Retraumatization While Working with Psychosis

Stories related to psychosis can be intense, and can lead to traumatic recall when a sufferer retells them and does not feel contained or believed within the relationship. I have a number of suggestions for how to encourage the telling of stories without retraumatizing survivors in group settings and in individual encounters.
Mad in America MIA

MIA at Eight Years: Are We Fulfilling Our Mission?

Mad in America is about to turn eight years old, and as we are launching a fundraising effort to keep us going through 2020, I think it’s appropriate to ask the relevant question: Are we accomplishing what we set out to do?
future role of psychiatrists

Anthropologists Contemplate the Future Role of Psychiatry

Anthropologists who study the psychiatric field recently had papers published in two highly influential journals. While they both call for or describe reform initiatives, they point us in different directions with regard to the future role of psychiatrists. With a shift in resources, might psychiatry finally get it right?

Hearing Voices Network Launches Family & Friends Support Group

One of the HVN's fundamental principles is that "the person having these experiences is in the best position to decide or discover what they mean" and thus each person must "not try to speak for" another. The challenge for a family group will likely be for members to move past speaking about our loved ones to find or imagine the space where we ourselves are liberated.
anarchism

High Time for Anarchism in Mental Health

Anarchism has much to offer the debate. It can present a clear voice saying: Liberty is not an obstacle for quality treatment, it is rather the very basis of it. Research shows that the anti-authoritarian elements in methods such as Open Dialogue and Stabilizing Homes actually promote a stronger, fuller recovery in patients.

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