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 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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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’).
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.