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).

Comments by Shock Survivors and Their Loved Ones

The #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition has received over 2,200 signatures and 800+ comments. A more thorough analysis of those comments is forthcoming, however, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what people shared. The sixth, seventh, and eighth most common words used in the comments submitted through the petition were "damage," "barbaric" and "torture." We must continue the fight to make sure that the FDA hears the people who will be adversely affected by the proposed rule if it becomes an order. There is still a small window of time for you to sign the petition and leave a comment to the FDA.
stress response

Anatomy of a Suicide: Stress and the Human Condition

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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.

Holistic Recovery From Schizophrenia: A Mother and Son’s Journey

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I am a mother of a son who was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia in December 2003, a son who is doing well today...
psychological injuries

How Psychological Injuries Cause Physical Illness—And How Therapy Can Heal It

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How does experiencing physical abuse as an 8 year old shorten one's lifespan? How do insulting words turn into diabetes? Or sexual abuse trigger a heart attack 50 years in the future? Emotional wounds can damage DNA and produce a huge web of destructive effects, but therapy can turn the process around.

Herbs, Supplements, Foods That Can Aid in Withdrawal Symptoms

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When one is coming off of psychiatric pharmaceuticals, it's common to experience withdrawal induced anxiety, panic and psychosis. Here are some tips to help calm your body.
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.

My Daughter and Prozac

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While our daughter was growing up, my ex-wife treated our daughter’s body like a temple. She was the only kid among her friends not allowed to drink soda or cow’s milk as they might negatively affect her health. But Prozac for mild anxiety? Sure, no problem. I was honestly and genuinely shocked.

Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness

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In Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness, Bruce Cohen explains the expanding power and influence of psychiatry in terms of its usefulness to the capitalist system — the more useful it is, the more power it is given, and the greater its power, the more useful it becomes.

Carrie Fisher: Bipolar Meds and Heart Disease

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Carrie Fisher recently died of a heart attack at age 60. How likely was it that her heart attack was caused by her psych meds? Or that her psych meds increased her risk of death once the heart attack happened?
fight flight stress

Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response

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What if we don't have a depression epidemic, but a stress epidemic of traumatic proportions? What if we've been steered away from learning how our minds and bodies actually work, and into believing that our attempts to survive traumatic, threatening real-life circumstances are "symptoms of mental illness"?
Lonely, suffering man in a crowd of people who do not notice him.

Accounting for Mental Disorder: Time for a Paradigm Shift

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Many people continue to be victimized by psychiatry’s adherence to a model that exists to satisfy guild interests, not science.

ADHD: A Destructive Psychiatric Hoax

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Nobody is denying that inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can be real problems. The issue at stake, however, is whether it makes any sense to conceptualize this loose cluster of vaguely-defined problems as an illness.

I Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?

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In November 2000, I anxiously stood before the gathered four hundred and fifty mental health professionals, administrators, peers and academicians and said, "Hi, I'm Michael Cornwall and I don't believe in mental illness!"

Loss, Grief, and Betrayal: Psychiatric Survivors Reflect on the Impact of New Serotonin Study

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Loss, grief, and betrayal are felt deeply by many who have been affected by the myth of the chemical imbalance, especially now that it has been debunked.

New FDA Study Shows Benzodiazepines Can Cause Long-Term Injury

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The FDA has finally acknowledged the adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the dangers of withdrawal, and that the current packaging does not sufficiently warn of these harms.
Illustration depicting one yellow paper ship breaking away from a fleet of monochromatic ones

The Alternative to Psychiatry Has Been Discovered—We’re Just Not Using It

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The psychiatric solution and the psychological solution to psychopathology are fundamentally incompatible with each other.

The Trouble with Twin Studies

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As most readers are aware, it is widely believed that both within and without of psychiatry genetic factors play an important role in causing major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, ADHD, autism, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twin studies provide the main pillar of support for this belief which is often, though mistakenly, presented as a scientific fact.

The Mental Health Crisis of Today’s Youth—The Hidden Culprit Every Parent and Therapist Should...

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A therapist argues that achievement culture hurts youth mental health, and parents should focus on their children's inner wisdom.
autism definition

I Don’t Believe in Autism

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The conversation about what truly constitutes “autism” is an ongoing one. Although I resist the label personally, I do not begrudge anyone for identifying as autistic, or seeking out an autism diagnosis. Leaving this discussion within the domain of medicine is limiting. That’s why a new discourse is emerging, not among doctors, but among activists who push for autistic self-advocacy.
Cruz school shooting

Psychiatrist Says: More Psychiatry Means More Shootings

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Psychiatry not only increases the risk of violence by giving violence-inducing drugs, it lulls patients, families, professionals, schools and the public into an unrealistic and even disastrous sense of security. It's an irony of tragic proportions: Cruz was left unsupervised and free to buy a gun because he was faithfully taking psychiatric drugs that can cause violence.

Arrested Development: Britney Spears’ Memoir Is a Survivor’s Tale of Generational Trauma, Psychiatric Abuse,...

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Miranda Spencer discusses Britney Spears' new memoir and the harms of conservatorship.

Playing the Odds: Antidepressant ‘Withdrawal’ and the Problem of Informed Consent

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If I thought that it was possible, I would have opened a string of clinics all over the country to help get people off of antidepressants.  Unfortunately, the problems that sometimes occur when people try to stop an SSRI antidepressant are much more severe and long-lasting than the medical profession acknowledges, and there is no antidote to these problems. The truth is, giving people information about taking antidepressants is like giving information to people who are enroute to a casino; they go because they hear that some people win (at least for a time), but the losers are the ones who ultimately pay for it all — and the odds are not in their favor.

Not so Black: Ablixa and Homicidal Side Effects

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So now we know Soderbergh’s movie Side Effects is not so Black/Noir after all – more Fifty Shades of Grey. Emily Hawkins (Rooney Mara) is put on Ablixa by her psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) and while on it kills her husband. She apparently murders him while sleep-walking triggered by Ablixa and sleep walking being a perfect defense against murder she is acquitted.

Taking “Anti-Psychotics” When You Are Not Psychotic

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The Wunderink study has been discussed here in other blogs. In brief, using a randomized control design, Wunderink found that in adults diagnosed with a psychotic disorder continuous use of neuroleptics was associated with worse functional outcomes. Is this study relevant to those who do not experience psychosis?
psychological injury model

Why the ‘Psychological Injury Model’ Will Ultimately Triumph

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The Psychological Injury model will triumph, not just because literally thousands of studies show how trauma and stressful life events result in mental health problems, but because at our core, we know it is true. People hurt people, and people heal people. This cracks the intellectual foundation of psychopharmacology.