Tuesday, October 20, 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).

Introducing the ‘Parent Resources’ Page

I know how difficult it is for the average parent to get educated about alternatives to the “diagnose a mental disorder and provide a chemical fix” paradigm. I hope that this new MIA parent resource section that I’ll be curating will help to educate you and point you in the direction of valuable resources.

Burn Baby Burn (Psychopharmacology Part 3)

In the 16 years from 1952 to 1968, the world changed in astonishing ways. In the 16 years since I first gave this talk, it has changed almost as much again. When some future historian looks back at this period, will they say it was a time when the field’s significant figures tweeted while psychiatry burned?

Where Do We Go From Here?

We need to spread the word to a much wider group. We need to connect with that silent skeptical majority, and deliver the message: your skepticism is well-founded; psychiatry is a destructive, disempowering, self-serving, drug-pushing hoax; your instincts are correct.

Into the Woods: A Path Through Anxiety

As individuals, psychiatrists are undoubtedly well-intentioned. But the Prozac paradigm undermines the path of acceptance by its very agenda to “get rid of” or “fix” anxiety. It is by its nature a resistance — and what you resist, tends to persist.

Spirituality and ‘Mental Illness’

Is the suppression of spirituality in the West the reason for our struggle and suffering labeled as mental illness? Are we medicated to numb the pain and psychospiritual protest related to the felt wrongness in our modern lives? Here’s what I learned from my trip to India.

Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness

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.

Aliveness and Social Justice: Teaching the Principles and Practices of Open Dialogue

Over the past seven years, I have been teaching open dialogue principles and practices in a variety of settings. This blog will focus on the development of a training program, now based in Manhattan, and what I’ve learned from running this program and teaching this approach in the US.

SSRIs: Minimal Effectiveness and High Risk

If psychiatry were a bona fide medical field, a meta-analysis of this quality yielding these results would send Richter 9 shock waves through the profession. But the publication of this study on February 8 generated no discernible concern within the profession.

Tweeting while Medicine Burns (Psychopharmacology Part 2)

This is the world that lies in store for us. It is not the world of traditional medicine, where drugs treat diseases to restore the social order. It is a world in which medical interventions will potentially change that order.

Victims of Success: An Update from Mad in America Continuing Education

Within days of announcing the webinar and providing the link to register, we were deluged with enrollments. It turns out that a great many professionals, advocates and clinical managers are interested in learning about Open Dialogue and its application to an American community.

Letter to my Classmates on our 40th Reunion

It is hard for me to feel celebratory on the occasion of our 40th reunion. As my career winds down, I feel more disappointment and dismay than the glow of lifelong achievement.

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany (A Book Review)

In a work of quite remarkable scholarship, Ohler has traced how an enterprising drug manufacturer realised the potential of methamphetamine and managed to sell it to the High Command as a very valuable but entirely harmless drug that would allow soldiers to do without sleep for days.

Lyme is ‘All in Your Head’ – A Wake-up Call to Mental Health Professionals

Sufferers are desperate for mental health professionals to understand Lyme so that they will know to consider it as a potential differential diagnosis before plying a patient with psychotropic meds that may make matters worse.

Tweeting While Psychiatry Burns

Part one of a lecture given at a British Neuropsychiatric Association meeting on February 22 under the heading of Psychopharmacology: 1952–2017. In slide 2, you see Tokyo University on fire. The students have occupied the Department of Psychiatry and stay for ten years.

A Curse for a Cursed Profession

In “polite society,” cursing is largely verboten. Let me suggest, however, that if done in the correct spirit and adroitly, cursing can be a highly useful type of anti-oppression work. On top of which, it can be personally liberating.

Our Coming to Mad in Aotearoa

Madness cannot be separated from our cultural contexts. Our dream is that there are spaces for people of all cultures and countries who experience living with, through and beyond madness to tell their unique stories. We have created Mad in Aotearoa for all the people in our country.

Transformations to Liberation

My goal was to change my relationship with my voices from one that was adversarial to one in which I experienced them as allies. I was successful in that I now look at my voices, visions and other experiences as teachers, as gifts. It has not been an easy journey.

A New Paradigm for Psychiatry: Answering the Call from the UN

Once biochemical psychiatry is discarded, which will inevitably happen, what will replace it? The approach I will describe here is consistent with the nature of consciousness itself, with the neuroscience of the brain, with child development and attachment.

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.

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