Monday, October 19, 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).

the words "continuing education"

A Positive Change for Mad in America Continuing Education

We are going to organize webinar events, starting this fall, that will be easier to register for (sign-up on Zoom), free (donations will be accepted), and often feature two or more speakers (or a panel), with more time devoted to an interaction with the audience.
DJ Jaffe, colonizer

An Obituary for My Colonizer: Reflections on the Legacy of DJ Jaffe

When I heard this morning that DJ Jaffe was dead my face went through its own mutation; a moment of surprise and wonderment followed by swift elation, and then, very quickly and now for so many hours afterward, an enraged, frustrated, quick-breathed grimace.
two sad women embracing

Can We Allow Suffering?

After 9/11, no psychiatrist, nurse, or social worker asked me what it felt like to watch as nearly 3000 souls left this planet in flames; what it felt like to be so afraid. There was a strange silence around it, as if this horrible event was unrelated to my mental state.

UN Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras: Biomedical Approach “Still Has an Important Role to Play”

In Pūras' new UN report, his use of biomedical language seems at odds with his message to move beyond the medicalization of distress.
woman blurry reflection

Dear “Psychology Today”: Believe Incest Survivors

Incest survivors are the neglected heroes of the #MeToo movement. Yet when it comes to entrenched narratives that silence incest survivors, mainstream media continues to propagate these harmful myths unchecked.
nurses in an old movie

Deep Sleep “Therapy” in Australia in the 1960s & ’70s: Could Something Like This...

Psychiatry has a history of continuing to perform harmful, even deadly procedures. But does it still happen? Medication-induced akathisia filled two and a half pages of the DSM-IV. Why was it written out of the DSM 5?
Woman transforming the polluted city into green and clean city environment

Inequities in Mental Health Services: It’s Time for a Reckoning and Rectification

Clinical education must include more training in macro skills that help build the supports, policies, and community infrastructures under-served clients need.
man looking upset with pills in front of him

SSRI Withdrawal’s Elephant in the Room: Tardive Akathisia

Slower tapering of antidepressant dose is generally more comfortable. However, success or failure after stopping completely mostly relates to whether tardive akathisia occurs.

Do We All Need Tinfoil Hats? Considering Schizophrenia

If alien species wanted to intervene in human society without fully revealing themselves, how would they do it? Choose a select number of individuals who are easily discredited by others in the group. In other words: Turn people into schizophrenics.

An American History of Drugs and Addiction, Part Two: Immigrating to a Temperance Culture

As Prohibition was taking hold on the East Coast in response to European immigrants, equal efforts for Prohibition were occurring on the West Coast, fueled by racist caricatures of Chinese immigrants.
Protester holding up sign "Are you next?" in front of the White House

Who Is a Danger to Others: The “Mentally Ill” or the Powerful?

If the cultural and socioeconomic structures of society had, from the beginning, allowed me to function, and even thrive, I undoubtedly never would have felt a need for antidepressants and “therapy.”
ecotherapy

Ecotherapy/Nature Therapy/Green Therapy

Do you love hiking, backpacking, gardening or taking walks in beautiful places? Ecotherapy explores how our relationship with nature is an essential and therapeutic part of our humanity.
biogenetic

Behavioural Geneticist Robert Plomin: “There Are No Disorders, There Are Just Quantitative Dimensions”

It is encouraging to hear leading scientists such as Plomin acknowledge that psychiatric diagnoses are fundamentally arbitrary and that the idea of a “cure” does not make sense with regards to psychological issues.
two paradigms

A Tale of Two Paradigms

Two recent mental health reports from Oregon are steeped in the medical model, written by "experts" without lived experience and sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.

Stop Saying This, Part Three: “Everything in Moderation” and More

Let’s start only accepting real relational offerings that do not make us contort, disavow comfort, strong-arm ourselves into appearing strong, or shoulder responsibility that is not ours.
chess pieces arranged on stairs

Identity, Oppression, and the Culture of “The Mentally Ill”

A "mental illness culture" means that full time work is seen as impossible and discouraged, and your social world only consists of other mental health "consumers" and mental health workers.
DNA symbol

Kicking Over a Straw Woman

The Galvin family is the quintessential example of "genetic" schizophrenia. But their history of sexual abuse, violence, and trauma provides a clearer and simpler explanation.
Bill Anthony

A Recovery Movement Jedi Master, Bill Anthony, Died Recently

The first time I met Bill was in 1991. I was just a couple years out of residency, and he was already the legendary “father of psychiatric rehabilitation.”
disease dictionary definition

Drs. Pies and Ruffalo Still Rattling Their Wooden Swords

Pies and Ruffalo argue that psychiatric diagnoses are "diseases" because the word "disease" can't be defined, and suggest that circular logic is scientifically valid.
Drunkard's progress lithograph 1826

An American History of Addiction: Ardent Spirits

Our fears about drugs and drug addiction have allowed our society to accept court mandated treatment and the continuing militarization of police.

Professional Mental Health Leaders: Experts in Humanity or in Marketing?

A lot of people, perhaps especially Americans, like a quick fix. Unfortunately, for those of us who get the “help” of the mental health system, the results can be disastrous.
hand touching orange electricity

Whose Finger is Taking the Pulse of America’s Shock Treatment Controversy?

My doctors presumed I had agitated catatonia and ran 450 volts of electricity through my head 116 times to “reboot” my brain. They called it electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I call it Electroconvulsive Trauma.
sign reads "stop doing what doesn't work"

Stop Saying This, Part Two: “Reframing” and More

Myths around reframing, having to love yourself before someone else can love you, and being triggered are all addressed in this blog.
woman holding her head annoyed wearing medical mask

Is COVID-19 Making Everybody Crazy?

The response to the pandemic promises a vast expansion of the market for therapists, but such claims carry great potential for harm, adding to the burdens of people with upsetting but understandable, deeply human feelings.

Racism and Radical Psychiatry

A radical caucus within the American Psychiatric Association tried to combat systemic racism in the 1960s. So why is the APA still behind the times?

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