Thursday, February 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).

deep brain stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation and Deeply Biased Researchers, Revisited

In the Washington Post last week, a new treatment was being advanced as a breakthrough for opioid addiction. What was this miraculous new intervention? Implanting electrodes deep in the brain, and using a battery implanted elsewhere in the body to zap the addict and keep him from relapsing.
rethinking psychiatry hospitalization survey

“We Need a New Paradigm” — Rethinking Psychiatry’s Hospitalization Survey

Rethinking Psychiatry put out a survey on people’s experiences of psychiatric hospitalization in the Pacific Northwest. The results showed tremendous dissatisfaction, with the overwhelming majority of respondents reporting that they did not feel safe, secure or respected in the hospital.
rebel minds

Capitalism Makes Solutions Impossible: A Review of ‘Rebel Minds’

Psychiatry’s role, Rebel Minds makes clear, is to prepare the population for capitalism’s purposes, and to cull the humans who it fails to prepare. The relationship is symbiotic: psychiatry trades in medicalizing and biologicizing human suffering, which capitalism produces an endless supply of; it’s a match made in heaven.
Revolt Against Psychiatry

The Revolt Against Psychiatry: A Book Review

The focus of Bonnie Burstow’s new book, The Revolt Against Psychiatry, “is not the problems that psychiatry presents but the attempt to counter them.” Burstow asks, “What pressures might we bring to bear to loosen the grip of psychiatry? We habitually seem to be losing the battle; so how do we turn the situation around?”
gene church genetics

Got a Gene for That? The Latest from the Chronicles of Gene Worshiping

Among the latest examples of profiteering from the gene fad, there is now an app to determine your personal level of gayness, and researchers claim to have finally found real biomarkers to diagnose schizophrenia through a simple hair sample! Make no mistake: this is about the religion of scientism, not about science.
holistic medicine

Holistic Approaches: A Proven Treatment for Psychotropic Drug Withdrawal

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.
bullying

Responding to Workplace Mistreatment and Bullying

When people have "paranoia" or "persecutory voices," often with a bit of curiosity I discover people in their lives who actually are out to get them. Real bullies, real persecutors. And then the work becomes work that all survivors — diagnosed with psychosis or not — have to do to regain safety, trust, and empowerment.
caduceus cross chemical imbalance faith

From Moses to Jesus to Prozac: A Theory on “Chemical Imbalances” and Faith

How are psychiatry and religion similar? Both systems utilize parent-like caretakers who alluringly promise easy solutions to life’s difficult realities. Both involve firm belief in a force that’s powerful and fate-controlling, yet completely undetectable (God or an inborn ‘chemical imbalance’).
pride

In Defense of Healthy Pride

How are we to differentiate the sort of healthy pride that accompanies hard-won, noble pursuits and is emotional sustenance for a person's self-esteem, and toxic pride, aimed at winning admiration from others as proof of one's superiority, possibly evoking the desire to use aggression and exploitation to attain power and dominance?
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

Changing the mental health and psychosocial support system in Germany requires public debate about the ways our society should help and support people in mental crisis and with chronic mental health problems. We believe the driving force behind all help and support should be humanitarianism and respect for inalienable human rights.
side effect

There Is No Such Thing as a Side Effect

There is no such thing as a side effect. There are only the real effects — plain and simple. If you’ve been through what I’ve been through, shuffling through life in a drug-induced haze for eight years — well, you don’t want to hear about “side effects” anymore, or anything about how they’re “secondary.”
mental health awareness

Building a Culture of Mental Well-Being

We used to turn to family, community, and religious/philosophical teachings to ease our despair. Now, one is expected to turn to psychiatrists and therapists. With depression rates rising throughout the world, modern society must find a way to enhance the individual’s capacity to build a meaningful, satisfying, and self-actualized life.
survivor voices academia

When Mad Voices Are Locked Out of Academia

The “inclusion” of the consumer/survivor voice in research has been gradually increasing, albeit with significant resistance, tokenism and co-option. Our recent experience of attempting to publish with Australasian Psychiatry highlights the barriers that still exist.
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.
peer staff escaping coercive

Peer Specialists in the Mental Health Workforce: A Critical Reassessment

It is time to seriously consider re-focusing our energy and resources away from placing peer staff in roles where they support the mental health system’s status quo, and toward the goal of making high-quality peer advocacy available to people faced with coercion by the mental health system.
sisyphus

The Sisyphus Cycle: How Everyday Stress Leads to Suicide

If you wanted to capture my mindset at the peak of suicidal longings — crushing odds, repeated failures, futility of existence, huge obstacles weighing me down — the story of Sisyphus would be it. After one too many trips around this block, enter suicide: the fail-safe tactic for escaping unbearable pain and suffering.

Deep Brain Stimulation and Depression

A new paper is touted as showing that deep brain stimulation "provides a robust antidepressant effect." Among the 28 patients in the study, 56 serious adverse events were reported, including infection, hemorrhage of the cortex and post-operative seizure. Yet the authors conclude that the results "support the long-term safety and sustained efficacy" of DBS.

UN Expert Calls for Major Shift in Suicide Prevention Efforts on World Mental Health...

On World Mental Health Day, UN expert Dainius Pūras calls for a shift away from medical solutions toward a rights-based approach to make life “more liveable.” He calls for states to address societal determinants of mental health, promoting autonomy and resilience.
riding into battle against unjustified commitment

Fighting Unjustified Commitment in Wisconsin: Leslie’s Story

Leslie was not experiencing any depression, psychosis, or suicidal or homicidal ideation. She was not a danger to herself or others. Yet she had been picked up by police, placed in handcuffs, and brought to the hospital, and her social worker intended to have her placed in a group home.
ritalin use in france

Countervailing Forces Against Ritalin Use in France

A new study in the journal Social Science and Medicine explores why French children take stimulants far less than children in the United States. The study looks at how particular forces in society, in concert with government agencies, became an effective check on stimulant marketing for kids in France.
treatment advocacy center cherry-picks data

Forced-Treatment Advocacy Group Cherry-Picks Data to Support Agenda (Again)

Did the Treatment Advocacy Center actually uncover research proving that poor psychiatric medication adherence plays a "significant" role in whether people diagnosed with schizophrenia become violent? If such research does exist, is it as compelling as TAC described?
I by Jeffrey Fidel cure bipolar diagnosis

A Doctor Cures His Bipolar Diagnosis Without Psychiatry: Review of ‘I’

I details what happened to Jeffrey Fidel when he quit psychiatric drugs and embraced an alternative, non-medical healing approach — a set of philosophical and spiritual teachings known as the Tao Te Ching and Hua Hu Ching.
Marci Webber

Marci Webber Granted a Conditional Discharge

In 2010, Marci Webber killed her four-year-old daughter during a psychotic episode that erupted while she was on a cocktail of psychiatric drugs. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity. A judge has now ruled that she should be discharged from a mental hospital.
DSM dark reality

The Problems with the DSM Mask a Dark Reality We’re All Complicit In

It would be comforting to conclude that the people in charge of such projects as the DSM are perhaps a little sociopathic or deviously immoral. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. We are all inextricably bound to, and complicit in, the problem we are attacking.

10 Reasons Why Psychiatry Lives On—Obvious, Dark, and Darkest

No matter how clearly the scientific case is made that psychiatry is a pseudoscientific institution, it continues to retain power. When we recognize that scientific truths alone are not setting society free, we begin to shift our energy to different strategies.

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