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).

Illustration depicting a face with hypnotized eyes, strings like a puppet

It’s Health’s Illusions I Recall, I Really Don’t Know Health at All

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There is a core concept shaping the ‘market’ in health, the concept of an assay, that few doctors or patients understand.
3D render of placebo pills in row

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 3)

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Les Ruthven addresses the lack of evidence for antidepressants being better than placebo, as well as a note about ECT.
Vector illustration of a person looking upset, a dark ghost appears to torment them with red hands

A Psychotic Experience can Help to Process Difficult Memories

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The patient is talking, if sometimes more or less metaphorically, about real experiences. Hallucinations and delusions are not meaningless.
A black couple holds hands out of focus in background. In foreground, a therapist's hands on a clipboard taking notes.

De-privatizing Our Relationships

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I’m glad we’re chipping away at the cracks in psychiatry and psychology and de-privatizing our lives.
Miniature people - The worker at work with medicine pills

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 2)

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Les Ruthven addresses the scientific literature on antidepressant efficacy and FDA approval.

Mad in America’s 10 Most Popular Articles in 2023

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A roundup of Mad in America's most read blogs and personal stories of 2023 as chosen by our readers.
Dr. Gordon Warme, an older man, on a black background, with blue painted scribbles lighting up his legs

Dr. Gordon Warme: The Curious Case of an Unconventional Psychiatrist

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Dr. Warme bucked convention, examining the cultural role that shamans, witch doctors, and placebo cures played in medicine.

Conservatorship: The Racket That Ruined My Father’s Last Years

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I have watched as my father’s pursuit of happiness was swept away by the court system in his senior years.
White pills bounce out of clear bottle on blue background

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 1)

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Beginning the discussion on depression and antidepressant drugs. Are they as effective and safe as psychiatry claims?

Not Just a Dream: Finding the Mental Health Community I’d Been Longing For

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I dreamed of a place where healers weren’t afraid of intense states like madness. They embraced it; maybe they’d been through it themselves.
Cloud Shadow With Red Diffusion Light During the Disturbance Period. (Midday) — Jena, April 24th 1884.

Therapy by Script Undermines Healing; Connection Is the Key

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Healing from our deepest wounds comes through being in connection with people who cherish us and take us seriously.
Wooden little men holding hands on natural sunlight background. Symbol of friendship, love and teamwork

Reimagining Crisis Support: A Conversation with Tina Minkowitz

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The mental health system is always trying to get more resources for itself, insinuate itself into every aspect of life, subsuming every aspect of the fulfillment of human rights.
Man's Hand Arrow Sign Wooden Block On White Table Against Blue Backdrop

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 1, Part 3)

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About healthcare's focus on back end treatment rather than front end treatment: treating the symptoms rather than the causes of the health condition.

How the Medical Model Corrupted Mennonite Values

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How to square the violent restraint and isolation of a vulnerable patient with the empowering, pacifist values of the hospital's founders?

The Power Dynamics of Psychedelic Therapy

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I want people who have gone through psychedelic therapy to not feel alone if they felt silenced, controlled, or interpersonally hurt.

Q&A: What Is Executive Function, and How Can Parents and Teachers Help Kids Focus?

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Ask anyone who’s ever taught kids, and they’ll tell you a story about one student who sticks in their memory.
Closeup portrait, doctor woman, giving thumbs down gesture looking with negative expression, disapproval. Unhappy female health care professional. Emotion facial expression.

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 1, Part 2)

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Les Ruthven addresses off-label prescribing as well as physicians’ anti-science pushback against the use of well-conducted clinical trials.
Plenty of capsules and pills laying on a flag of Great Britain. Concept of medicine and heath care in the UK.

Beyond Pills: UK Parliament Must Support Social and Psychological Services Instead

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Davies calls on the UK Parliament to support the Beyond Pills initiative, and follow the evidence to put social and psychological help first.
Illustration: Lonely and sad stands a suffering man in a crowd of people walking by

Mental Disorder Has Roots in Trauma and Inequality, Not Biology

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The scientific evidence is of social/psychological, not biological, causation: negative environmental conditions, not disease.
Bed with restraints. Orange colored photograph

A Remarkable Feat: A Psychiatric Patient Changed the Law on Restraints

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The case of Silas Dam obliged the Danish government to increase rights for psychiatric patients subjected to belt restraints.
Image of male doctor pulling question sign with rope

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 1, Part 1)

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On the difference between basing a medical system on clinical belief versus one based on scientific evidence.

Decolonizing Psychiatry in Pakistan: A Reckoning with our Colonial Past and a Call for...

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Psychiatrist Yousaf Raza details the problems with psychiatric health care in Pakistan and shows how to find a way forward.

The Drug Taper Paradox

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When we look to pills to solve one problem, we forget the opponent processes the body will naturally employ to return to homeostasis.
An artist's posable mannequin lies flat amongst a pile of pills, dark lighting

The Lie That Antidepressants Protect Against Suicide Is Deadly

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Antidepressants do not protect against suicide. According to placebo-controlled trials, they double the risk of suicide.
Medical Stethoscope and Pills on Dollars

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Preface)

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Medical practitioners base their practice on clinical experience, rather than the sound published health research, which they distrust.