Thursday, September 23, 2021

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).

Do Psychiatrists Harm their Patients out of Stupidity?

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I think it is fair to say that many psychiatrists display an enormous lack of good sense and judgment. Psychiatrists are in the firm grip of a collective force field of an almost fundamentalist belief system that blinds them to the harm they unwittingly do and the human rights abuses they commit.
quitting antidepressants

Lingering Side Effects of Quitting Antidepressants

15
Nobody told me what it would be like when I first stopped taking antidepressants. The worst is definitely over, but I’m still experiencing some lingering side effects. When the hyper-arousal to sights and sounds kicks in and my head starts buzzing, I’ve learned some ways to cope.
autism definition

I Don’t Believe in Autism

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The conversation about what truly constitutes “autism” is an ongoing one. Although I resist the label personally, I do not begrudge anyone for identifying as autistic, or seeking out an autism diagnosis. Leaving this discussion within the domain of medicine is limiting. That’s why a new discourse is emerging, not among doctors, but among activists who push for autistic self-advocacy.

Things Your Doctor Should Tell You About Antidepressants

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The conventional wisdom is that antidepressant medications are effective and safe. However, the scientific literature shows that the conventional wisdom is flawed. While all prescription medications have side effects, antidepressant medications appear to do more harm than good as treatments for depression.
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"?
NAMI

“Not all NAMIs!”: Why Even the Best Local NAMI Chapter is Still a Problem

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Every time I write about NAMI, at least one person approaches me and says, “But not all NAMIs!” Yes, all NAMIs. Every. Last. One. Because even the best of the local chapters are benefiting from the systemic oppression perpetuated by the dominant group to which they are tied. They all participate somehow in sustaining the imbalance.

10 Reasons Why Psychiatry Lives On—Obvious, Dark, and Darkest

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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.

Back to Basics: What’s Wrong with NAMI

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It seems one mostly needs to already know what they’re looking for in order to find the most established criticisms of this particular organization. And even with knowledge and intent, it can require some fairly persistent Googling efforts to unearth all there is to be found.

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.

The BBC, Harrow, and a Public Left in the Dark

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The recent report by the BBC on medication-free treatment in Norway, when viewed in conjunction with the media silence on Martin Harrow's latest publication, reveals why the public remains misinformed about the long-term effects of antipsychotics.
Woman trapped in a glass

The Sins of Conservatorship: Why Britney Spears Compared It to Slavery

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For the last three years of my mother’s life, she was under absolute control of her conservator. If we dared to object to the neglect or abuse, retaliation was certain.

Electroshocking Children: Why It Should Be Stopped

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In a recent commentary, University of Toronto historian Edward Shorter laments the efforts of people like myself in states like Texas who have successfully put limits on shocking children in order to induce grand mal convulsions. His argument is that we who have fought against this are denying children a benevolent medical treatment. In order to understand why Shorter’s plea to use electroshock on children is so egregious, we need to know what it does to children’s brains, which means a look at the science.

Forced “Treatment” is Torture

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I have opposed involuntary treatment for my entire career and first began criticizing it in the medical literature in 1964.  As Thomas Szasz originally taught, involuntary psychiatric treatment is unconstitutional and an assault on basic human rights.   I am also against it on scientific grounds, because after hundreds of years, this violation of human rights has generated no scientific studies to show that it benefits its victims. I am encouraged by the excellent blog by Peter C. Gøtzsche on MadinAmerica.com, which inspired me to put a new section, Psychiatric Coercion and Involuntary Treatment, on my website, and to compose these further observations of my own.

Reflections on Being a Therapist

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Three-and-a-half years ago I quit my career as a psychotherapist. I’d done it for ten years in New York City and had given it my all. It was a career that chose me, loudly, when I was 27 years old. I learned a huge amount from it and I believe I was helpful to a lot of people. It also represented a vital stage in my life. But then the time came to leave. That also came as a sort of revelation.
pill shaming

The Pill Shaming Phenomenon: What’s It Really About?

At best, the underpinnings of the ‘pill shaming’ accusation are misguided. At worst, they represent a concerted effort on the part of the current power structure to use us against ourselves (and they don’t need any more help). It’s the same old story packaged up as if it were something new and ultra woke.
sigmund freud

Freud: The First Anti-Psychiatrist

420
Freud showed disdain for psychiatrists — he saw their untruthfulness and harmfulness. An antidote for the medical model’s infestation of our culture would be to reintroduce some of Freud’s theories to the public. After all, wouldn’t the medical model’s opposite be the best means of counteracting it?
eugenics

Psychiatric Eugenics Then and Now—You Betcha It’s Still Happening

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Most are oblivious to the fact that psychiatric eugenics initiatives continued to exist—and beyond that, to flourish—long after the end of what is normally thought of as “the eugenics era” (roughly, late nineteen century to 1945). Sadly, we are not learning from history what we direly need to learn.

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 5 (Part 6): Patient Stories and Conclusion

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In an evidence-based healthcare system, we should not use interventions that do more harm than good, but that's just what psychiatry does.
suicide attempter attempt survivor

Hegemonic Sanity and Suicide

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The “good” suicide attempt survivor wakes up in a hospital bed bathed in beautiful natural light, surrounded by the people who love them most, and they realize that their thinking was flawed and all those unsolvable problems can actually be solved if they are just compliant with medication and therapy. And then there's the “bad” suicide attempter who is angry that they lived, who challenges the status quo.
Roxanne Stewart-Johnson and her children

The Great Triumph of Roxanne Stewart-Johnson: Psychiatric Refugee

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Roxanne fled to Canada, and received formal refugee status, as a psychiatric refugee after being threatened with psychiatric imprisonment and forced drugging in Jamaica.

The Politics of Distress: A Discussion With Dr. James Davies on His New Book,...

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James Davies on the medicalization and individualizing of distress and its connection to neoliberal ideology, and the need to focus on pervasive inequality and other social causes.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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TMS is a psychiatric treatment that uses a rapidly alternating magnetic field to induce electric currents in the brain. These currents stimulate neurons, causing them to "fire." When used repetitively, TMS is said to alter the excitability of the brain area that has been stimulated. In the psychiatric field, TMS is being used increasingly as a treatment for depression, particularly with so-called treatment-resistant clients. I Googled the string "TMS + depression" and got 1.35 million hits. So the idea is attracting attention.

Does the Psychiatric Diagnosis Process Qualify as a Degradation Ceremony?

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Sociologist Harold Garfinkel, in his landmark article "Conditions For a Successful Degradation Ceremony" wrote that "Degradation ceremonies are those concerned with the alteration of total...

Why We Must Strike the Terms “High Functioning” and “Low Functioning” from Our Vocabulary 

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As I have various discussions about mental health and disability on the internet, I am disturbed at how many people continue to use the terms “high functioning” and “low functioning” when referring to people with psychiatric or other disabilities. I have heard people refer to their family members as “low functioning.” I have seen these terms used by advocates to bully and discredit other advocates who critique calls for increased levels of involuntary treatment as “high functioning” individuals who don’t know what they’re talking about.

Reflections on a Psychiatric Indoctrination, or, How I Began to Free Myself from the...

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(dictionary.com) Cult, n. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or...

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