Friday, September 29, 2023


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).

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.
three identical strangers

“Three Identical Strangers” and the Nature-Nurture Debate

Three Identical Strangers is a riveting film describing the story of identical triplets separated at six months of age and reunited in early adulthood. Their story provides no evidence in support of the genetic side of the nature-nurture debate, but it does supply some evidence in favor of the environment.
Green stick figure, chalk on a blackboard, standing on its head, amid a crowd of identical white stick figures

Unattached Burdens: IFS Helps Us Understand What Psychiatry Ignores

To heal from unattached burdens requires an understanding of the mind that psychiatry lacks.
black and white art photo of birds and a silhouetted human figure near a building

A New Vision for Mental Health Care at Soteria Jerusalem

Despite living in Israel for five years, I had no idea that one of the few Soteria houses in the world was only a short train ride away.

Everyone’s Afraid of an Angry Woman: Honoring Sinéad O’Connor

In her tragic passing, I choose to honor her by raising up these words she said, by hearing and believing them.

DOOCE: A Case Study on the Failure of Psychiatry

Heather Armstrong’s life was taken by psychiatry, and our unwillingness to scrutinize their methods of madness.

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.
3D illustration of anatomic figure lying down with electric shock through its brain

Critical Psychiatry Textbook Chapter 12: Electroshock

Peter Gøtzsche discusses the poor body of research for the efficacy of ECT and the common effect of amnesia, which indicates brain damage.
Illustration of a head with hands over eyes and the word "PROPAGANDA"

The Media’s False Narrative About Depression Pills, Suicides, and Saving Lives

When the media tell of a serious harm of a psychiatric drug, they follow a standard script, including that they must also praise the drug.

Healing From Psychiatric Drug Harm, Part 1: First Steps

I needed to teach my nervous system, via different types of neuromuscular reeducation, that it was safe to move again. Before I could walk, I had to crawl, literally.
Vector style illustration of a woman hugging her knees with cloudlike scribbles on a blue-gray background

Splitting Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

Recognition of C-PTSD might be a double-edged sword, further marginalizing the very individuals it aimed to assist.
A white woman's face. A man's hand over her mouth.

“Borderline Personality Disorder” and Survivor Injustice

A common critique of the borderline personality disorder diagnosis is its complicity in oppressing abuse survivors.
blind to danger

The Three Most Important Facts About Psychiatric Drugs

Psychologist and educator Michael Corrigan was a guest on my radio show and brought up some questions about how to communicate with people about psychiatric drugs. Specifically, he asked, “What are the three most important things for anyone to know about psychiatric drugs?” Here is my answer.
a hand reaching out of a pool shaped as a head

“The Best Minds”: How the Dazzling New Book Falls Short

"The Best Minds" could be seen as a book that is critical of conventional psychiatry, but it falls short on pointing out its true faults.

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.
quitting antidepressants

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.
Sitting children in a row. A red graph marked with a red pill bottle increases from left to right

Paying Attention to ADHD Prescriptions in Your Community

A national study showed that ADHD drug abuse among U.S. high and middle school students has been rising for the past 20 years.

ChatGPT Changes Its Mind: Maybe Antidepressants Do More Harm Than Good

This week, I wanted to see what ChatGPT would have to say about the long-term impact of antidepressants and about the STAR*D study.
babydoll quadruplets

Hereditary Madness? The Genain Sisters’ Tragic Story

The story of the Genain quadruplets has long been cited as evidence proving something about the supposed hereditary nature of schizophrenia. But who wouldn’t fall apart after surviving a childhood like theirs? The doctors attributed their problems to menstrual difficulties or excessive masturbation — anything except abuse.

Can ChatGPT Defend the Long-term Use of Antipsychotics?

ChatGPT has perfectly captured the pattern of psychiatry’s response to the research that tells of harm done.

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.

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.

Book Review of Crash: A Memoir of Overmedication and Recovery by Ann Bracken

A powerful, heartbreaking wake-up call about how the severely damaging effects of medications that claim to relieve suffering can threaten generations in a family.

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

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

Q&A: How Can We See ADHD From Another Angle, and What Can We Do...

We all want to help our kids or our students, and sometimes finding the right key to unlock a child’s gifts is a matter of time, patience, trial, and error.