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).

Climber snaps the safety carabiner on the rope. A climber on a cliff ties a safety knot

RADAR and the Dignity of Risk-Taking

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The goal may not be to eliminate risk, but to respect the risk that people are willing to take, and to help make tapering as safe as possible.
Unhappy Woman In Converstion With Friend Or Counsellor

“Get Over It”? A Response to Empower Parents to Repair Instead of Victim Blame

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An epidemic of children blaming their parents in therapy? In my 20 years as a psychologist, I've seen the opposite.

The Dangers of Precision Medicine: Mental Health Is Not a Battlefield

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Rather than a war to be fought within individuals, we should envision mental health as a garden to be carefully nurtured.
A male doctor looks slightly angry at a woman who looks sad in profile

“Impairment: Says Who?”: The Fundamental Question of Mental Health Treatment

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The criterion of "impairment" is defined not by the person seeking treatment, but by other people: parents, clinicians, courts, employers, and so on.
Miniature hazmat team inspects hazardous pills

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 5)

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Les Ruthven addresses increases in suicide and homicide caused by antidepressant drugs.
3d illustration of pawns over black background with red, orange and green circles

Toxic Interactions: Social Circumstances and Well-Being

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Social circumstances are indisputably connected to psychological well-being, but this has gained no traction in policy and service provision.
Lonely, suffering man in a crowd of people who do not notice him.

Accounting for Mental Disorder: Time for a Paradigm Shift

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Many people continue to be victimized by psychiatry’s adherence to a model that exists to satisfy guild interests, not science.
pills and money

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 4)

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Les Ruthven addresses a ghostwritten study claiming effectiveness of antidepressants for children and adolescents.

Arrested Development: Britney Spears’ Memoir Is a Survivor’s Tale of Generational Trauma, Psychiatric Abuse,...

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Miranda Spencer discusses Britney Spears' new memoir and the harms of conservatorship.

Giving Caregivers a Platform: Sherita, Mother of Tony

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This is the story of Sherita and her son Tony, and her efforts to help him following years of psychiatric drugs and hospitalizations.
Suffering young man on couch and compassionate woman.

What Helped—and What Didn’t Help—My Recovery

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In order to recover, it was necessary to give up the psychiatric treatment system, and the idea that I need something from that system, that I belong there.
Illustration depicting a face with hypnotized eyes, strings like a puppet

It’s Health’s Illusions I Recall, I Really Don’t Know Health at All

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There is a core concept shaping the ‘market’ in health, the concept of an assay, that few doctors or patients understand.
3D render of placebo pills in row

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 3)

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Les Ruthven addresses the lack of evidence for antidepressants being better than placebo, as well as a note about ECT.
Vector illustration of a person looking upset, a dark ghost appears to torment them with red hands

A Psychotic Experience can Help to Process Difficult Memories

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The patient is talking, if sometimes more or less metaphorically, about real experiences. Hallucinations and delusions are not meaningless.
A black couple holds hands out of focus in background. In foreground, a therapist's hands on a clipboard taking notes.

De-privatizing Our Relationships

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I’m glad we’re chipping away at the cracks in psychiatry and psychology and de-privatizing our lives.
Miniature people - The worker at work with medicine pills

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 2)

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Les Ruthven addresses the scientific literature on antidepressant efficacy and FDA approval.

Mad in America’s 10 Most Popular Articles in 2023

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A roundup of Mad in America's most read blogs and personal stories of 2023 as chosen by our readers.
Dr. Gordon Warme, an older man, on a black background, with blue painted scribbles lighting up his legs

Dr. Gordon Warme: The Curious Case of an Unconventional Psychiatrist

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Dr. Warme bucked convention, examining the cultural role that shamans, witch doctors, and placebo cures played in medicine.

Conservatorship: The Racket That Ruined My Father’s Last Years

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I have watched as my father’s pursuit of happiness was swept away by the court system in his senior years.
White pills bounce out of clear bottle on blue background

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 2, Part 1)

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Beginning the discussion on depression and antidepressant drugs. Are they as effective and safe as psychiatry claims?

Not Just a Dream: Finding the Mental Health Community I’d Been Longing For

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I dreamed of a place where healers weren’t afraid of intense states like madness. They embraced it; maybe they’d been through it themselves.

2023 in Review: A Paradigm Shift Is Underway

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Our growing community is eager to change the narrative of psychiatry. And that is how paradigm shifts occur: the collective voice for radical change grows ever louder.
Cloud Shadow With Red Diffusion Light During the Disturbance Period. (Midday) — Jena, April 24th 1884.

Therapy by Script Undermines Healing; Connection Is the Key

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Healing from our deepest wounds comes through being in connection with people who cherish us and take us seriously.
Wooden little men holding hands on natural sunlight background. Symbol of friendship, love and teamwork

Reimagining Crisis Support: A Conversation with Tina Minkowitz

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The mental health system is always trying to get more resources for itself, insinuate itself into every aspect of life, subsuming every aspect of the fulfillment of human rights.
Man's Hand Arrow Sign Wooden Block On White Table Against Blue Backdrop

Much of U.S. Healthcare Is Broken: How to Fix It (Chapter 1, Part 3)

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About healthcare's focus on back end treatment rather than front end treatment: treating the symptoms rather than the causes of the health condition.