Friday, August 12, 2022

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).

Behaviorists Must Confront Psychiatry’s Pseudoscience

89
Despite the well-documented greater effectiveness of behavior therapy, psychiatry's choice of treatment for mental disorder heavily favors drugs.

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

195
In my experience, episodes of anxiety and depression dwindle in the face of hope and empowerment, while broken-brain narratives lead to deeper despair.

Cargo Cult Psychiatry

20
Cargo Cult Psychiatry uses the courts to force people, who are otherwise assumed to have the right to refuse treatment, to submit to their pseudoscientific approach to "mental health."
neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is Not For Everyone: The Dangers of Neurology

70
One thing I noticed, from the moment that I stepped out of my psychiatrist’s office, was how strangely blank and yet clear my mind was. I felt surprisingly calm and relaxed, and I decided to go back for another treatment the next week. What I couldn’t have known then was that after that next “treatment,” life would be completely destroyed for me.
Blog author, David Oaks, in wheelchair with Patch Adams, with blue hair and glasses. Both are picking their noses at the Oregon Country Fair, with trees in the background. Oaks says, "Searching for meaning."

July is Both Disability Pride Month and Mad Pride Month: Happy Bastille Day!

18
The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) supports both Disability Pride Month and Mad Pride Month: Both are July!”
quitting antidepressants

Lingering Side Effects of Quitting Antidepressants

15
Nobody told me what it would be like when I first stopped taking antidepressants. The worst is definitely over, but I’m still experiencing some lingering side effects. When the hyper-arousal to sights and sounds kicks in and my head starts buzzing, I’ve learned some ways to cope.
alternatives to suicide

Alternatives to Suicide: Strategies for Staying Alive

24
For more than 7,300 days of my life, waking up the next morning required me to make a conscious choice to diligently pursue something — anything — other than my impulse to die. Maybe the best teachers of how to avoid suicide will not be the people who are afraid someone else will die, but those of us who can explain how and why we regularly choose to live.

What is a Warm Line and What Should I Expect When I Call One?

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A warm line is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge. Unlike a crisis line, a warm line operator is unlikely to call the police or have someone locked up if they talk about suicidal or self-harming thoughts or behaviors. Most warm line operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen.
Illustration of pills, a brain, and a person with scribbles indicating displeasure

A Different Psychiatry Is Needed for Discontinuing Antidepressants

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The problems related to the use of antidepressants cannot be solved by an oversimplified psychiatry brainwashed by the pharmaceutical industry.
A child looks shocked to receive an overflowing handful of pills

ADHD: The Money Trail

8
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.

Mad in (S)pain

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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."
Illustration of prison bars made of prescription drugs with hands holding them

Are Antidepressant Drugs Being Prescribed Too Widely? A Review of “Evidence-biased Antidepressant Prescription”

3
Depression was considered a condition that most spontaneously recovered from, until drug companies changed that narrative.

A Hopelessly Flawed Seminar in “The Lancet” About Suicide

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The Lancet seminar is one of the most misleading articles about suicide I have ever seen. Depression pills double the risk of suicide in children and adolescents.

A Peek Inside the Modern Asylum

The psychiatric hospital of today is a panopticon, a modern prison for the daring mind and for weird behavior. I was once inside and thus, am inviting you to have a look. I will take your hand, and encourage you to join me, on an exploration of the inside of the psychiatric institution. We'll have a small peek, but in reality, it is much more distressing for the one who is being observed.

New WHO QualityRights e-training: Advancing Mental Health, Eliminating Stigma, and Promoting Inclusion

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QualityRights is WHO’s global initiative to improve the quality of care and promote the rights of people with mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities.

The UK’s IAPT Service Is an Abject Failure

31
Despite the hype, the IAPT is hardly “world-beating.” In fact, it is a doubtful model for other countries to follow. Over half of IAPT clients don’t even attend two sessions.

Three Suicides: Honoring Lives Lost to Benzodiazepines

21
I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.

Anti-Authoritarians and Schizophrenia: Do Rebels Who Defy Treatment Do Better?

78
Preface: Failing in my efforts to get this article published for the general public, apparently only here can I talk about a “cool subculture...
fight flight stress

Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response

47
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"?
A vector illustration: A female-presenting figure in the middle holds her ears; a figure to her left shouting into a megaphone; a figure to her right throwing speech bubbles at her

The New York Times Comments Section: A Literary Rorschach Test for the Masses

69
Bergner’s piece in The New York Times challenged the illusions of psychiatry. That made some people angry, outraged, or scared. The result is their comments section.
suicide attempter attempt survivor

Hegemonic Sanity and Suicide

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The “good” suicide attempt survivor wakes up in a hospital bed bathed in beautiful natural light, surrounded by the people who love them most, and they realize that their thinking was flawed and all those unsolvable problems can actually be solved if they are just compliant with medication and therapy. And then there's the “bad” suicide attempter who is angry that they lived, who challenges the status quo.

My Story and My Fight Against Antidepressants

98
I’d like to share a bit about what happened to me after being placed on these medications, and how I successfully got off. Until recently, I was embarrassed to talk about my personal experiences publicly, as I’m a professional who specializes in anxiety and depression. Today, medication free, I feel better than ever before, and I am now on a mission to help my current clients get off medications, and to inform others through my writing about the dangers and pitfalls of starting antidepressants.
holistic medicine

Holistic Approaches: A Proven Treatment for Psychotropic Drug Withdrawal

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Published in the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Mind Body Medicine, this case series is the first of its kind to document the methodology employed in the successful discontinuation of a range of psychotropic medications, with holistic support interventions providing long-term mood support.
Illustration of a brain made of paper disintigrating

The Shady World of Shock Treatment

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The risk of undergoing shock treatment remains. As the FDA warns, “The long-term safety and effectiveness of ECT treatment has not been demonstrated.”

The Day I Became Schizophrenic

62
Schizophrenia, to me, is nothing more than a word. All it really means is that you experience psychosis on a regular enough basis that it’s a factor in your life. And that you actually do, as the word “schizophrenia” indicates, have a mind that you share with some sort of outside presence.

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