Thursday, April 25, 2019

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).

boy jumping

“ADHD: A Return to Psychology” Video Series

Most people believe that children diagnosed with ADHD misbehave because they possess an inferior inhibitory system that renders them less able to suppress unacceptable actions. However, this belief has numerous shortcomings. This series of videos challenges these assumptions and offers alternative explanations for why a child may exhibit ADHD behaviors.
survivor movement martin luther king

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Psychiatric Violence Survivor Movement

My question to the mental health reform movement, the mad movement, the critical psychiatry movement — whatever we call our movement — is: Will we join the movement to make real change, to get to the heart of human freedom and work to fulfill the promise of democracy against control by monied elites?
fake science

Fake Science and Checking Sources

The field of psychiatry is awash with systematic reviews, meta-analyses and other published articles proclaiming various discoveries. But can this research be trusted? Let's examine one such article, "Suicide prevention strategies revisited: 10-year-old review," in which the author claims that the "anti-suicidal effects of clozapine and lithium have been substantiated."
withdrawal shackles

Antidepressant Withdrawal: An Unknown Disorder?

Antidepressant withdrawal is no longer an unknown disorder since knowledge on this topic has grown enough to be translated into practice. As proposed by George Engel in 1977, medical doctors, including psychiatrists, can observe and listen to their patients and develop a program to treat withdrawal and restore health.
2nd Story respite house

The Never Ending Story: How 2nd Story Respite House Was Saved

We had built relationships with provider and peer organizations and NAMI. We had learned how to interface with the system and share the peer perspective. Ultimately, our relationships saved us. We had worked to start our own organization with the same providers who now were in position to step forward in our defense.
open dialogue

Open Dialogue: Does the Current Research Data Support Further Investment?

A leading US journal published an extensive literature review and analysis of currently available research on Open Dialogue. An accompanying commentary concludes, “The present data on Open Dialogue are insufficient to warrant calls for further research on the program other than those projects that are currently under way.”
new york times

Suicide, Ketamine, the Propaganda Model and the New York Times

A lengthy NYT op-ed had offered what I considered to be a fairly insane solution: “an old anesthetic called ketamine that, at low doses, can halt suicidal thoughts almost immediately.” Despite recognizing how much power the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industrial complex has over the NYT, I submitted my own op-ed in response.
bipolar drugs good bad ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Infographic on Bipolar Drugs

Bipolar drug therapy is a balancing act of benefits vs. harms. Odds of attributable benefit cluster in a 15-25% band, so 75%-85% don’t see substantial benefit. Stated differently, if five people take a bipolar drug, only one is likely to see substantial improvement due to it, but all five will have side effects.
antidepressant withdrawal research

Tumbling Further Down the Rabbit Hole of Antidepressant Withdrawal Research

One of the criticisms of our systematic review was that it failed to include five randomised control trials. Here we will show how groundless this is, and thus gain insight into how shadowy and ethically suspect antidepressant withdrawal research can get when viewed up close.
love power

How Love Can Reformat Our Lives

I say this about myself and everyone I have known in my life and work: No matter how overwhelmed and desperate we feel, recovery and growth depend on becoming open to loving and being loved, and seeming miracles occur when individuals change their life in recognition of these truths. Love wipes the slate clean.
mad in america 2018

Mad in America: 2018 by the Numbers

As 2019 begins, we at Mad in America are looking forward to continuing to broaden our efforts to provide informational and educational resources that will help our society "rethink psychiatry." The start of the New Year also provides us with an opportunity to look back and tally up our efforts in 2018.
mystery of madness

The Mystery of Madness Throughout the Ages

The roots of modern psychiatry go back to the Age of Enlightenment when madness was reduced by scientists to an ‘object’ of mind — an object which could be studied, analysed, and as some of them claim, even understood. Not only does psychiatry deprive madness of its mystery, it also makes it extremely boring. But madness is never boring, and shouldn't be.

7 Tips to Help a Distracted Child

Simple changes such as keeping a calm home environment, limiting media distractions and enrolling your child in sports will help a child who is inattentive or having problems focusing on his or her school work. They are also useful for any child and can even prevent inattentiveness in an ever-more-distracting world.
scientific freedom

Why We’re Establishing an Institute for Scientific Freedom

Scientific freedom and integrity are constantly under attack, particularly in healthcare, which is dominated by the drug industry and other economic interests. To help preserve honesty and integrity in science, the new Institute for Scientific Freedom will open on March 9 with an international meeting in Copenhagen.
minds of men

The Minds of Men: A Stunning New Film About Covert Mind Control

The importance of a remarkable new film, The Minds of Men, was underscored by otherwise inexplicable recent events surrounding government support of ECT. Without any testing or opportunity for public response, effective December 26 the FDA has approved ECT for infliction upon people with “treatment-resistant depression.”
voice hearing simulations

On Voice Hearing Simulations: Why They Should Be (Mostly) Banned

Voice hearing simulation exercises are designed to make participants feel frightened, overwhelmed, and unable to function. They don’t do anything to teach how people who hear voices work through that, the many effective strategies they use, or any of the benefits that some come to find in this way of being in the world.

Pathways to Enhance Well-Being: Free Resource on Alternative Wellness Practices

This week we e-release a new free booklet, Pathways to Enhance Well-Being. Its creation began with my colleague Linda Lentini sharing with me some of the barriers she experienced as she moved towards bringing alternative approaches such as meditation and breath practices into state psychiatric institutions.
young girl at a window on rainy day

7 Tasks for a Parent Whose Child Is Diagnosed with a Mental Illness

When I teach workshops or lead discussions on coming off psychiatric drugs and alternatives, there are invariably parents present who are at loose ends. They want to know how best to help their children, and how it can be possible for their child to live without medication. Here are seven ideas I share with them that may also help you.
humanity at the dawn of posthumanism

Reclaiming Humanity at the Dawn of Posthumanism: Conversation with Darcia Narvaez

The postmodern zeitgeist of the past few decades encourages us to believe that we can endlessly reinvent ourselves untethered to our human biology. But the explosion of research on the microbiome reminds us that we are deeply embedded in an ecosystem that lives within us and around us, without which we cannot survive.

Antidepressant Dependence Discussed at the Seat of Welsh Government – Video

In parts of Wales in the UK, one in six adults takes antidepressants and support for anyone struggling with dependence or withdrawal issues is patchy and inconsistent. To help draw attention to these issues, an awareness day was arranged for the Welsh Government and here we provide video of the presentations made at the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales.
twin studies

What Do Twin Studies Prove About Genetic Influences on Psychiatric Disorders? Absolutely Nothing

Assessing the validity of psychiatric twin research is important because it relates to the question of whether the main causes of psychological distress and dysfunction are located inside of the human body and brain, as mainstream psychiatry claims, or outside of the body and brain, as many critics argue.
anxiety

The Meaningfulness of Anxiety

Anxiety can be a clarion call from our better self, a nagging inner tension that will persist until real-life changes are made that attend to deeper needs. When anxiety is reduced to a symptom to be medicated away, or an aberrant emotion based on cognitive distortions in need of correction, the all-important representational value of that anxiety can be lost.
childhood bipolar

Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed

Diagnosing children with juvenile or pediatric bipolar disorder is largely an American phenomenon. Do we actually have more “bipolar” children in the United States—or are we simply labeling more of them as such? If it is ever fair to call a child “manic,” isn’t the child’s environment the direction in which we should look?
transcranial magnetic stimulation

What’s “Grand” About Electroshock and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

The December 4 "grand rounds" at the Oregon Health and Science University consisted of a presentation on what they call "Interventional Psychiatry"—an interesting euphemism for Electroshock, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and the comeback street drug, Ketamine.
madness mental health system

The Madness of Our Mental Health System

Why we should be deeply disturbed by the largely fictional ‘mental illness’ narrative and its resultant system, why we should be suspicious of who actually benefits from the whole enterprise, and, most importantly, why we can no longer countenance the unconscionable toll it takes on the health and well-being of ordinary citizens.

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