Friday, August 12, 2022


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).

Concept illustration: Blindfolded young woman walking through lightbulbs

The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Upcoming NICE Depression Guidelines

The new NICE depression guideline is a reflection of the field: you don’t really know what you’re doing, and you lack confidence that it’s doing any good.
Photo of a female pilot with her hands on her head, stressed/worried

Psychiatry in Aeromedicine: Who Is Denied the Privilege of Piloting an Aircraft?

Urging aviation students at the summit to seek help if they need it is a noble cause, but it sounds hollow when the FAA regulations are built on stigma.

From Horse Ranch to Home Ground: Healing Families via Telehealth

Since COVID, NISAPI has transitioned our collaborative therapy setting from barns and fields to kitchens and living rooms. Our clients report similar positive outcomes with telehealth as in person.
Illustration of trees shaped like human heads

Unity in Diversity: Rethinking Mental Health and Our Connection to Nature

Meditation, walks in nature, and artistic and musical activities: These all have something in common—they have the power to dissolve the boundaries between us.

What Is the Role of the Prosumer in the Mental Health System?

I believe "prosumer" is the best term to describe consumers of mental health services who are also traditional professionals in mental health care.
A child looks shocked to receive an overflowing handful of pills

ADHD: The Money Trail

Doctors, drug companies, and the news media have profited from skyrocketing rates of diagnosis and drugging for ADHD, and the law has created a perverse set of incentives for parents and children which favor the ADHD label.
A photo of a dirt path through the forest in bright sunlight

Inner Fire Is the Only Place I Would Go for Emotional Distress

At Inner Fire, people share meals, take walks, clean, and garden, learning how to live again after being disconnected from others, nature, and our authentic selves.
Photo of a face painted, glowing in ultraviolet light

Mad by Design: An Ancient Paradigm of Psychiatric Thought

To propose that madness may have a function is not to deny the toll it may exact on people, but to help us understand what problem it is meant to solve.

Thomas Insel and the Future of the Mental Health System

Insel says he has the answer—the same emphasis on neuroscience and genetics, which he admits led to no improvements under his leadership at NIMH.
Photo of two silhouetted people on top of a rock at sunset. One is helping the other.

Ending Coercive “Help”: A Review of “Reimagining Crisis Support”

The book presents a thoughtful, comprehensive plan for replacing the current coercive medical model of crisis “support” with something that actually helps.

An American History of Addiction, Part 10: My Strange Path to Recovery

Every drinking “experiment” I performed was already tainted. Every time I would try, I became angry and resentful, feeling like I had been tricked into joining a cult.

An American History of Addiction, Part 9: How I Became an “Addict”

My current allotment of Xanax had just run out, and I remembered feeling the last dose wearing off. My heart had started racing and I had become fidgety.

Apples and Oranges in Peer Support Research

Discussing a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of peer support: The co-opting of peer support specialists into roles that don’t fit with their purpose is a big problem.

Saving Lives or Cementing Stigma? A Review of “Just Like You…”

In my experience, episodes of anxiety and depression dwindle in the face of hope and empowerment, while broken-brain narratives lead to deeper despair.

Mad in (S)pain

A Q&A with the team members who edit and run Mad in (S)pain: "There must be a radical change in the way mental suffering is understood and cared for."

The Dramatic Results of John Weir Perry’s Diabasis House Program

John Weir Perry’s Diabasis House Program both built on and exceeded Jung’s previous understanding of psychosis.

The Grief Pill is Coming!

If you yearn or pine too long for your dead child, partner, spouse, or friend, you may be addicted to grief, according to the new revision of the DSM.

Mad in Finland

The people who run Mad in Finland have experienced profound awakenings in the course of their lives, moments of awareness when they understood the failures of the psychiatric disease model and saw its harms.

Mad in the UK

Mad in the UK describes its mission as “Fundamentally re-thinking UK mental health practice and promoting positive change.”

The Functions of the Mental Health System Under Capitalism

The mental health system is a system of care and control, legitimated by the concept of mental illness, and playing an important role in capitalist and Neoliberal societies.

Thomas Jobe: The Legacy of Research He Leaves Behind

Thomas Jobe was a collaborator in a longitudinal study that upended conventional thinking about antipsychotics. He died March 16.

Former NIMH Director’s New Book: Why, With More Treatment, Have Suicides and Mental Distress...

Psychiatry’s worsening outcomes despite increased treatment should provoke the consideration that a paradigm shift is necessary.
A map of the world with a green dot depicting the location of Mad in Sweden

Mad in Sweden

Lasse Mattila, founder of Mad in Sweden: "You only ask the question, ‘What’s wrong with you? What symptoms do you have?’ But you don’t ask: ‘What happened to you? What tragedies did you have?’”

Why Do We Lock People Up?

Every day, people who have not broken any laws have their human rights suspended indefinitely, without a formal judicial hearing, all on unsworn hearsay evidence and with practically no right of appeal.
A photo of a woman holding her bandaged wrist

Why Do People Self-Harm, and How Can We Stop It?

The psychiatric treatments I underwent did nothing to help me come to terms with my troubled past. Self-harm did not serve me well either. We must re-learn what to expect from ourselves.

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