Monday, July 23, 2018

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).

unhappy child root cause

The Unsung Psychiatric Impact of Strep Throat

A sea change is needed in the evaluation of children with perceived psychological disturbances. Parents are told that their child has a fictitious biochemical imbalance in the brain while real medical disorders are overlooked. In our family's case, it was Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS).
superhero of the psych ward

How to Get So You’re Running the Psych Ward

Being in a psychiatric prison is about power, and it should be treated that way. There are a number of strategies for how to get through life in a psych ward. Over the course of a couple of extended admissions I ended up developing my own personal strategy, which one would simply call Unceasing Persistence.
Verne Troyer

Verne Troyer’s Passing: What’s Prejudice Got to Do With It?

Again and again after an incident like this occurs, the media bombard the public with calls to bring about greater awareness of "mental illness" and the importance of "treatment" that is generally described in a narrow way. There is little discussion about why the person may have been suffering in the first place.
pregnancy

How Should We Treat Depression in Pregnancy?

What depressed pregnant women need is compassionate care and accurate information that recognizes the potentially severe consequences of depression while making it clear that chemicals going into a baby throughout its development will likely have consequences for that development.
psychotherapy underfunded by insurers

The Woeful Underfunding of Psychotherapy by Health Insurers

Psychotherapy reimbursement rates have been in decline for decades, even though insurance premiums have risen sharply. This is mystifying given that the vast majority of people prefer psychotherapy over medications, science shows it rivals the benefits of medications, and it saves insurance carriers money.
united states court of appeals

ECT Shock Treatment Class Action – Case Update April 2018

In March, 2018, the Court issued an Order denying class certification in the case filed against the manufacturers of ECT shock devices. Attorneys for the ECT victims strongly disagree with the Court's assessment, and have now petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to appeal the ruling denying class certification.
shining light

On Being Mad in Public

Even as you are being shown amazing and mystical things and having all sorts of mysteries clarified in your mind, you are also being placed in a position where no one will pay any attention to what you have to say, or if they do, the results of that attention will be negative (such as being locked up). The mysterious and powerful journey you are on is almost invisible to other people.
supposedly psychiatric meds save lives

“Psychiatric Meds Saved Your Life,” and Mine

It's not about whether it's right or wrong, true or false that psychiatric drugs save lives. It's about telling the stories that aren't being told. That's why psychiatric drugs saved my life after they destroyed my health and nearly killed me. They gave me something I care about and am passionate about writing about. They gave me a pathway to bring healing to others.
metacognitive

Metacognitive Training (MCT): A New Treatment Approach for Delusions

Since psychosis does not occur instantaneously and suddenly, but is often preceded by a gradual change in the appraisal of one’s cognitions and social environment, empowering metacognitive competence may act prophylactically to prevent or hinder a psychotic breakdown.
CVS

Your Pharmacist is Tattling On You!

A CVS pharmacy recently sent me a standardized form by fax with a dire warning about one of my patients. The form was called “MEDICATION NONADHERENCE THERAPY ADVISORY” and it said: “A review of your patient’s retail and mail prescription history indicates that the patient has not obtained his or her first refill.”
The Other Mrs. Smith

Book Review: The Other Mrs. Smith by Bonnie Burstow

In The Other Mrs. Smith, Dr. Burstow chose to use the fiction format, presumably because she felt it was the best way for readers to understand what it is like to experience electroshock and deal with the aftermath of massive memory loss. In this she succeeds spectacularly.
genetic code

Debunking The Latest Gene Study

The researchers suggest that their finding implies a common genetic cause behind five different “disorders.” This is big news! If true, it validates the biomedical view of mental “illness” and suggests that future medical treatments could “cure” these conditions. However, that grand conclusion is not supported by the data.
antidepressants withdrawal

Letter to The New York Times: Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Can’t Quit

Ten years ago, the recent New York Times article entitled “Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Can’t Quit” would have shocked me. I would have dismissed serious medication withdrawal as rare. But I tell my patients something different today.
psych drug withdrawal takes a village

“How Did This Happen?” – Being Injured By Pharmaceuticals Once Again

How did it happen to me? It happened because none of us have enough resources for the sort of brain injury and impairment the psychopharmaceutical drugs impart upon us. No one knows what is really being done to our brains and some of us are clearly more sensitive than others.
neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is Dead. Now What?

The neurodiversity movement is a public relations campaign that emphasizes the positive qualities associated with some presentations of autism—creativity, increased tolerance for repetition, enhanced empathy, and exceptional memory—while erasing or minimizing the experiences of autistics who are severely disabled.
autism

The Scientism of Autism

Autism is now simply assumed to represent a real, tangible, identifiable ‘thing.’ But no one is asking the obvious question: On what evidential basis can you conclude that autism represents a natural category that can be differentiated from other natural categories? According to the real science, autism should be seen as a fact of culture, not a fact of nature.

Apply Yourself, Your Whole Self, and Nothing But Yourself

Now, personality tests are being used to determine which side of the wealth gap people will fall on. Who you are is not neutral — the lens your personality-test results will be viewed through is: “are you a good worker?” Any definition of this will likely exclude psychiatric survivors, those labeled by the DSM and those who see, think, hear, speak and feel differently.
Leon Kamin

Leon J. Kamin (1927-2017): A Nemesis of Genetic Determinism and Scientific Racism

Leon Kamin should be remembered for his role as an intellectual nemesis of the purveyors of the false ideologies of scientific racism and genetic determinism. The Science and Politics of I.Q., Not in Our Genes, and Kamin’s other writings remain works of major importance.
psychiatric abuse

“How Long a Time”: Ten Cold Hard Truths For Ending Psychiatric Abuse

Here are the Ten Cold Hard Truths we must ALL confront in our organizing efforts. If we fail to understand and grasp these truths we will ALL be susceptible to “burnout” and/or a slide into dead-end reformist type strategies that will only derail our efforts to reach the day when we can truly end all forms of psychiatric abuse.
stress

How the Human Stress Response Explains Away “Bipolar Disorder”

Here we'll take a look at so-called 'mania.' We'll go through the criteria for a 'manic episode' symptom by symptom so you can see how the stress response is potentially operating. There's practically nothing that happens in human minds and bodies that the stress response doesn't potentially affect.

The Concerned Parents’ Project: 31 Questions

The Concerned Parents’ Project grew out of the idea that there may be parents out there who are confused and bewildered by the mixed messages on what it is to have normal and healthy childhood experiences. We posted a new question and answer for parents each day in March — a summary of all thirty-one questions can be found here.
freedom

10 Things I Learned in 5 Years Consulting With People Coming Off Psych Drugs

It's been over 5 years since I started offering non-medical consultations to people in the process of coming off or hoping to come off psych drugs. I wanted to share here some things I have learned in this process. Despite how far we have come, we have a long way to go in the quest to liberate all who wish to be liberated from psychiatry.
404 error

National Institute of Mental Health Violates Law on Posting Clinical Trial Results

Last year, over twenty major institutions worldwide jointly committed to posting the results of all their clinical trials within a 12 month time frame. NIMH’s frequent failure to do so is especially concerning because evidence distortion appears to be remarkably widespread in journal articles discussing trials of psychiatric drugs.
brain atrophy

Institutionalization: An Unacknowledged Cause of Psychiatric Outpatients’ Deterioration

Psychiatry didn’t really stop institutionalizing people; it just found new ways to do it. Institutionalization, rather than drug toxicity, best explains patients’ downhill course and their worsening after coming off meds, as they have lost the skills needed to cope with life’s challenges due to disuse.

A Tale of Two Studies

With increasing evidence that psychiatric drugs do more harm than good over the long term, the field of psychiatry often seems focused on sifting through the mounds of research data it has collected, eager to at last sit up and cry, here’s a shiny speck of gold! Our drugs do work! One recently published study on withdrawal of antipsychotics tells of long-term benefits. A second tells of long-term harm. Which one is convincing?

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