Friday, February 28, 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).

Psychosis for Mental Health?

What if we took individuals who are experiencing emotional crises called 'psychosis' and offered them safe spaces of respite? Similar to the psychedelic trip, environment, supportive relationships, and interpretation of experience appear key to whether the experience of psychosis is transformative or destructive.

The Sedated Society: the Real Story of our Prescribing Epidemic

BBC 5 live ran a recent piece that aimed to explore why antidepressant prescriptions have doubled in the last ten years. Unfortunately, it failed to address the drivers of this epidemic – industry-backed diagnostic inflation and the lax regulation of medicines.

Editorial Misconduct: Finnish Medical Journal Rejects Paper on Suicide Risk

Editorial misconduct is as serious as scientific misconduct, and doctors should know how dangerous antidepressants are, at all ages. I have therefore uploaded my correspondence with the Finnish Medical Journal regarding my paper they rescinded their offer to publish.
Mickey Nardo (photo by Abby Nardo)

Farewell Mickey Nardo, 1 (not very) Boring Old Man

Mickey studied how the intimacy between leading academic psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical companies had impacted our profession. His blog was a treasure trove of analysis and information. Mickey did some heavy lifting, and for that we are all indebted.

Mickey Nardo: Tangled up in Life

Mickey Nardo died yesterday. Here is a brief account of his career, chiseled out of him for the Restoring Study 329 site. What strikes me most is his interest in the tangles people end up in. This certainly is a theme that ran through his blog.

Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care

Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson are psychiatrists who blog at Shrink Rap. On one topic we agree — the subject of involuntary care is the most contentious and troubling topic for psychiatry. To their credit, they have directed an enormous amount of attention to this subject in their latest book.

Disobedience: What Can We Risk?

It is possible to heal, and at the same time healing also means restoring the part of oneself that can face violence and disobey to protect what is most sacred. I am that sacred, and so are you.

SMILES Study: Depression and Nutrition

The question this study asked was: In adults with depression who eat a poor diet, does teaching them about nutrition have an impact on their mental health? At the end of the 12-week intervention, the answer was: Yes.

Why I Resigned From The Mighty

The apprehensions I'd initially had about joining the team returned to my mind. I'd allowed my original cautious disposition to be overtaken by optimism when I had accepted a position of contributing editor with The Mighty, but my hopes were about to be dashed.

“Active Minds” — What Conversation Are We Changing?

Active Minds allows college students to start conversations on some of the most difficult struggles we face in life, but I urge the organization to lead the conversation away from bad science and towards the common struggles that we endure as human beings.

7 Years Off Psych Drugs: A Message to Those Labeled by Psychiatry (video)

Seven years ago, I completed a six-year process of withdrawing from six psychiatric drugs. That process was the impetus to start speaking up about what is happening in psychiatry with far too many of us being gravely harmed.

Trump and the Diagnosis Free-for-All

It would seem that who is 'mentally ill' is a movable target (much more so than, say, the cancer or diabetes to which it is often compared), sometimes based on convenience and strategy. If you hold enough power, you can decide who's sick, provided they don't have enough leverage to outdo you at your own game.

Vital Minds: Four Stories of Recovery

My patients have trashed themselves for decades, and after one month of dietary change, daily meditation, detox, and psychospiritual support, they are reborn. At a time when people are being euthanized for depression because they believe it to be a life sentence, it has never been more critical to spread the truth that healing is possible.

Intentional Peer Support: Creating Relationships, Creating Change

IPS is about creating a power-balanced, relational context in which we can begin to explore and even challenge the stories we have been taught. We can name our experiences, and challenge the meaning that we have constructed around those experiences. This fundamentally alters what we think of as “help,” but also challenges social and political constructs of disability.

Integrative Mental Health: 27 Non-drug Options that Work

Four years ago I dove into a deep and murky pond: the bottomless depths of medical databases that hold mental health research. After examining over 4000 studies, and hundreds of meta-analyses, I surfaced from my research and was hit with a startling “Aha” moment: non-drug approaches really work.

Sir Robin Murray and Our Collective Mea Culpa

Sir Robin Murray, a distinguished British professor of psychiatry, recently published a paper in Schizophrenia Bulletin titled, “Mistakes I Have Made in My Research Career.” I wonder what leads Robin Murray to acknowledge his mistakes when others seem to hunker down. I also wonder how I can know when I am misled in my assumptions.

Understanding Extreme States: An Interview with Lloyd Ross

In this interview, Lloyd Ross of ISEPP and I discuss how to help people experiencing delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and other problems commonly associated with a diagnosis of “schizophrenia.” We discuss the problems with the biological model of “mental illness” as contrasted with a more psychosocial, contextual model of distress.

ISEPP Calling for Organizations to Join in Petition

Using an invalid diagnostic tool flies in the face of professional ethical guidelines. The International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry has drafted an open letter to the APA and other professional organizations, publicizing concerns with the DSM's lack of validity and asking for ethical guidance. ISEPP is soliciting other groups to join us in this effort.

Killing “Schizophrenics”: Contemporary U.S. Psychiatry Versus Nazi Psychiatry

In any society that prioritizes economic efficiency, productivity and order above life and all of life’s varieties, people experiencing altered and extreme emotional states will be seen as defective and as burdens—monkey wrenches that disturb the societal assembly line.
Split

Spoiling Split: Hollywood’s Latest Run at ‘Alternative Facts’ 

Will ‘Split’ lead directly to someone dying or being beaten up? No, probably not. But, is it a pretty outrageous piece of evidence illustrating cultural trends that regularly represent people with psychiatric diagnoses as frightening and volatile? Absolutely.

Venomagnosia

In Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants, Dr. Peter Kramer makes two arguments that I agree with. The trouble for me is that Kramer’s clinical vision seems strangely rose-tinted. He is an advocate of using antidepressants to treat depression, but he doesn’t seem to see any of the problems antidepressants cause.

Chemical or Psychological Psychotherapy?

Prolonged use of psychotropic drugs can cause permanent brain damage, which can make it impossible for the patient ever to return to normal, and also cause a return to the disease state the patient originally came from.

Preventing Suicide in the UK – a Policy and Practice Divide

The Place of Calm’s innovative Peer Support Approach means suicidal people can stay up to 24 hours in a safe place in the community and receive practical and emotional support from trained professionals who have their own lived experience of mental health challenges. Evidence suggests that it saves lives and is cost effective. Yet its funding is now due to be cut.

SAMHSA’s Rose-Colored Lens

SAMHSA should be commended for undertaking an important educational task with laudable goals. Unfortunately, I have to conclude that SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice module on medications for psychiatrists is a very minimal and even misleading attempt at educating psychiatrists.

Service Dogs, Allergies and Trauma: Making Spaces Inclusive

Obstacles to accessibility are increasing in mental health settings, as well as settings designed to be alternatives to psychiatry, which ideally should be accessible to people with disabilities — including disabling allergies.

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