Reappropriating Bipolar Beyond Pathology
It’s still not easy for me to say, “I’m bipolar.” Know that I’m bipolar for good reason, reappropriating a painful word, so those in pain can find me—so you can find me. This is how I reappropriate a term used to strip me of my humanity, a term used to sell me counterfeit versions of reality. I refuse to let go of a label that helps me find my people, no matter how painful it is to retain.
Rising Rates of Suicide: When Do We Acknowledge That Something Isn’t Working?!
Scapegoating a purported unseen "illness" may provide temporary comfort from acknowledging the horrors and injustice of the world, but it is a delusion — and one with fatal consequences for many. When 45,000 people a year would rather die than live in this world any longer, it might behoove us all to consider what is happening in the world to cause this.
Hegemonic Sanity and Suicide
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.
The Next Generation of the Mad Movement in NYC Looks Like This
It’s a Saturday afternoon in mid-June and there’s about 150 of us on the ground floor of a low income housing building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Institute for the Development of Human Arts is holding their founding event: “Making New Meaning: A School for Innovative Voices & Visions.”
We Need To Talk About Self-Care
Self-care the way we’re currently practicing it is unfulfilling in the dangerous way empty carbs are: it requires more and more to sustain itself, further sinking us in isolation and the illusion of self-sufficiency. We are not going to create a society that works for everyone by approaching the task of meeting needs as a zero-sum game. We need each other, because isolation kills.
Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 5: Psychiatric Diagnoses Are Not Reliable (Part One)
Psychiatric diagnoses have poor validity and do not tell us much about the nature, course, and treatment of the "diseases."
Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 6: Psychiatric Drug Trials Are Not Reliable
In this blog, Gøtzsche discusses the ways in which drug trials are biased, including breaking of the double-blind and industry manipulation.
Psychotherapy: Less Expensive and Better Than Pills, It’s What the Patients Want but Don’t...
Studies with long-term follow-up show that psychotherapy has an enduring effect that outperforms pharmacotherapy. Psychiatry does not deliver what the customers want.
Starvation: What Does it Do to the Brain?
The Minnesota Starvation Experiment was conducted at the University of Minnesota during the Second World War. Prolonged semi-starvation produced significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis, and most participants experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression and grew increasingly irritable. It really should not be a surprise to this audience that the brain’s functioning is highly compromised when the body is being starved of food (and nutrients). What we wonder is whether eating a diet of primarily highly processed foods low in nutrients has similar effects.
Catherine’s Story: A Child Lost to Psychiatry
A year ago today, our youngest child died, thanks to the adversarial actions and toxic treatments foisted on her by medical-model psychiatry. By telling her story, we hope to promote systemic change.
A Self-Help Version of EMDR Could Make Healing from Trauma Easier
Se-REM is a self-help version of EMDR that uses sound instead of eye movement for bilateral stimulation. My clients have reported finding it helpful for healing from trauma.
What is a Warm Line and What Should I Expect When I Call One?
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.
E. Fuller Torrey’s Review of Anatomy of an Epidemic: What Does It Reveal About...
E. Fuller Torrey, through his Treatment Advocacy Center, is the country’s most prominent advocate for outpatient commitment laws, which typically force people with a...
Exploring Psychiatry’s “Black Hole”: The International Institute on Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
When Carina Håkansson sent out an invitation for a symposium on "Pharmaceuticals: Risks and Alternatives," some of the world's top scientists, along with experts-by-experience, came from 13 countries to explore better ways to respond to people in crisis.
Response to Criticism of Our Serotonin Paper
Criticisms of the paper were contradictory. Some psychiatrists said that no one ever really believed the serotonin theory. Yet the public does believe it, and are very surprised to learn that it is a myth.
Lingering Side Effects of Quitting Antidepressants
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.
Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 3: Are Psychiatric Disorders Detectable in a Brain Scan?
Peter Gøtzsche discusses how textbooks portray brain imaging data for psychiatric diagnoses and the flaws with that body of research.
More on Neuroessentialism: Theoretical and Clinical Considerations
Mad in America readers are familiar with the variety of negative effects caused by emphasizing biologically based treatments for psychological disorders. Yet, over the past five years, research has identified another negative consequence which, I think, is less well known: increased prognostic pessimism. Long story short: numerous studies have found that individuals who more strongly endorse biological etiologies of psychological disorders tend to have increased prognostic pessimism.
No, There is no Such Thing as ADHD
Somewhere along the line we have lost the understanding that kids come in all shapes and sizes. Some kids are active, some are quiet; some kids are dreamers, others are daring; some kids are dramatic, others are observers; some impulsive, others reserved; some leaders, others followers; some athletic, others thinkers. Where did we ever get the notion that kids should all be one way?
Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 4: Are Psychiatric Disorders Caused by a Chemical Imbalance? ...
On the evidence base for textbooks' statements of the imbalance of neurotransmitters causing psychiatric disorders.
Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Hurt You?
What I was able to learn about the injury inflicted by TMS and the culture surrounding it is an incredible insight into the treatment itself and the nature of the medical model in its current form.
New FDA Study Shows Benzodiazepines Can Cause Long-Term Injury
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.
One Flew Over the Scientific Consensus’ Nest—The Story of Dr. Ophir and ADHD
The backlash against Dr. Yaakov Ophir, licensed clinical psychologist and promising scholar, began when he reported his findings about the scientific validity of ADHD.
We’re Obsessed with Labelling Suffering, But Our Power to Think about it Matters More
I needed Kierkegaard and Freud; my psychiatrist prescribed cereal bars. My despair was an imbalance to be corrected, rather than a relationship with the world.
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.