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).

How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

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After long-term use, most people are going to have serious symptoms when stopping SSRIs. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop.
Photo of hands stacking on top of each other in very yellow light

The Integration of Peer Support Principles in Community Mental Health Policy and Practice: Toward...

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Though there are obstacles, integration of peer support is already underway thanks to change agents in the mental health system.

Suicidal Tendencies, Part I: I’m Suicidal Because I’m Mentally Ill Because I’m Suicidal

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I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve heard “Research has found that about 90% of individuals who die by suicide experience mental illness.” Here’s what I believe it means in far too many instances: It’s an 'out.' It’s an easy answer that absolves us all of blame. If someone has a ‘sickness in the brain,’ then it doesn’t have to be our fault or even necessarily our concern.
A Black mother and daughter sit on the couch. Mother is explaining something to a sullen-looking girl.

The Psychiatric Peddlers in Your Schools

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Educators and parents must equip children with the necessary tools to meet the normal problems of childhood that psychiatry attempts to address.

Benzodiazepines in Canada: Is a Withdrawal Crisis Looming?

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Why are benzos, for short-term use only, being doled out, in some cases, for years? Nicole Lamberson and Mark Horowitz weigh in.

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.
empathy or compassion

Having Empathy Doesn’t Mean That You Also Have Compassion!

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There’s a very common, pop-psychology, new-age misconception that conflates being empathic with being caring and compassionate. But some of the most highly empathic people I’ve ever known have been con artists, grifters, unrepentant thieves, cynically manipulative fearmongering politicians, and heartless predators of every kind.
Colorful drawing of protesters

Mad Activists: The Language We Use Reflects Our Desire for Change

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There is not one movement but many, and the language people use reflects how accepting they are of the psychiatric explanation of their experiences.

Starvation: What Does it Do to the Brain?

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment was conducted at the University of Minnesota during the Second World War. Prolonged semi-starvation produced significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis, and most participants experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression and grew increasingly irritable. It really should not be a surprise to this audience that the brain’s functioning is highly compromised when the body is being starved of food (and nutrients). What we wonder is whether eating a diet of primarily highly processed foods low in nutrients has similar effects.

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.
fight flight stress

Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response

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What if we don't have a depression epidemic, but a stress epidemic of traumatic proportions? What if we've been steered away from learning how our minds and bodies actually work, and into believing that our attempts to survive traumatic, threatening real-life circumstances are "symptoms of mental illness"?

DOOCE: A Case Study on the Failure of Psychiatry

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Heather Armstrong’s life was taken by psychiatry, and our unwillingness to scrutinize their methods of madness.
Pills spilling out of a white bottle on a blue background

Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 15: Withdrawal of Psychiatric Drugs

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Peter Gøtzsche discusses withdrawal and how to taper off psychiatric drugs.

Medication Overload, Part II: The Explosion of Drugs for Kids

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An analysis of the huge increase in drugs for children, the role of Big Pharma, and a look at the impact on families and communities.

Q&A: What Is Executive Function, and How Can Parents and Teachers Help Kids Focus?

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Ask anyone who’s ever taught kids, and they’ll tell you a story about one student who sticks in their memory.

Interpersonal Caring as an Act of Resistance Among Socially Marginalized

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Some of the most marginalized and stigmatized people in a community are those with psychiatric diagnoses and those who are HIV positive.

Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Hurt You?

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What I was able to learn about the injury inflicted by TMS and the culture surrounding it is an incredible insight into the treatment itself and the nature of the medical model in its current form.

Intentional Peer Support: Creating Relationships, Creating Change

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IPS is about creating a power-balanced, relational context in which we can begin to explore and even challenge the stories we have been taught. We can name our experiences, and challenge the meaning that we have constructed around those experiences. This fundamentally alters what we think of as “help,” but also challenges social and political constructs of disability.

New FDA Study Shows Benzodiazepines Can Cause Long-Term Injury

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The FDA has finally acknowledged the adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the dangers of withdrawal, and that the current packaging does not sufficiently warn of these harms.

Mad in the Netherlands

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“We had a goal of being a gateway that provides access to international knowledge and information about psychiatry,” said founder and editor Monique Timmermans.

Antidepressants Increase the Risk of Suicide and Violence at All Ages

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Although the drug industry, our drug regulators and leading psychiatrists have done what they could to obscure these facts, it can no longer be doubted that antidepressants are dangerous and can cause suicide and homicide at any age.

Insane Medicine, Chapter 4: The Manufacture of Autism Spectrum Disorders (Part 1)

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Because the “scientists” who study, categorise, and establish guidelines for autism can’t find anything definitive, they resort to scientism. Over time, it becomes part of our cultural “common sense.”

In Memoriam: Matt Stevenson

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MIA blogger Matt Stevenson, who was best known to the MIA community for his frequent—and insightful—comments on MIA posts, died last Thursday. He took his own life, at age 32. His last message was this: Don't let a psychiatric diagnosis rob you of your hope.
Studio shot of bearded Persian man doctor against gray background in black and white

In Defense of Open Dialogue Research

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One of the original Open Dialogue researchers responds to a paper presenting a prejudiced and selective review of the scientific literature.
psychiatric drugs and violence

Prescripticide: A Proposal for Action and a Request for Your Help

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The primary factor protecting psychiatry’s unwarranted power and authority is that it is perceived as shielding society from folks who are believed to be dangerous. It would seem, then, that one logical step toward reducing society’s trust in biological psychiatry would be to reveal the evidence of a significant correlation between the use of prescribed psychoactive drugs and the commission of violent acts against oneself or others.