Friday, August 12, 2022

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).

MIA Webinars: Past, Present and Future

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We are pleased to announce that Charmaine Harris, who is a part of the POD team, will join the peer-supported Open Dialogue panel on Wednesday as a co-host.

Open Season on Mental Patients

23
No one is safe from psychiatry’s project of medicalizing every variation of human emotion and behaviour, especially people viewed with suspicion and contempt by the powerful.

Peer Values Versus Violence: A View from Lived Experience

30
Some of us have survived violent, coercive forms of socially condoned mental health treatments. But many of us grow past the pain, into healing and compassion.

The Grief Pill is Coming!

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If you yearn or pine too long for your dead child, partner, spouse, or friend, you may be addicted to grief, according to the new revision of the DSM.

Mad in México

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Mad in México, which launched in September of last year, exists to make “los abandonados” heard. It aims to amplify those voices, empower them, embolden them.

Emotional Pain and the Possibility of Finding Hope

29
The human need to not be left alone when we are suffering is very great. During such times our very basic human needs for being valued, seen, heard and cared about arise as we are at our most vulnerable and are dependent on the goodwill of others.

The Power of Activism

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Getting support from other psychiatrized people, outside of the system, has the potential to be mutual. You are not being “treated” or talked down to. The contact is genuine and natural.
woman blurry reflection

Dear “Psychology Today”: Believe Incest Survivors

30
Incest survivors are the neglected heroes of the #MeToo movement. Yet when it comes to entrenched narratives that silence incest survivors, mainstream media continues to propagate these harmful myths unchecked.

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.
helping children angry child

Helping Children With Angry Outbursts

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Finnish psychiatrist Ben Furman reviews various non-drug therapies for children with aggressive outbursts of anger, including the Kids' Skills approach that he and social psychologist Tapani Ahola developed. These approaches focus on helping children come up with their own ideas for overcoming their problems with the help of family and friends.
Robin Williams RIP

The Creativity and Suicide of Robin Williams: A Phenomenological Study

45
My purpose in writing this case study is not to suggest that creativity is a mere byproduct of trauma, or to deny the role of so-called mental illness in suicide, but to situate these phenomena within the context of human lives. To render them humanly (rather than medically) intelligible. With his mind and body disintegrating, Robin Williams took his life to thwart the eradication of self.
autism definition

I Don’t Believe in Autism

41
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.
prescriptions and suicide

Suicides Are Increasing – And So Are Antidepressant Prescriptions

Disturbingly, our study and others reveal that the black box warning is now ignored in many countries, since antidepressant prescriptions for children are on the rise again. Despite increasing certainty that antidepressants are ineffective and likely cause suicidal behavior in young people, psychiatry continues to claim that they reduce suicide risk.

Why Should Suicide (Or Voluntary Death) Be a Civil Right?

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Regardless of what one's moral stance is on the value of life, or the meaning of death, it is time to recognize that there are people whose views differ from ours, and that we do not have the right to force them to live (and die) the way we want to. We all die; it's the journey that matters, not the destination.
A world map depicting the location of Mad in Canada

Mad in Canada

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Mad in Canada aims to bridge the “knowledge gap” between practice and science, pushing patient care further up the list of priorities.
silhouette of soldiers

The Persistent, Misdirected Search for Causes of Trauma-based Suffering

37
In the United States and other countries that have a military, there is often a great deal of talk about supporting veterans, but way too often, research aimed at learning what will be helpful is misguided and can even be harmful. The same applies to nonveterans who have been through traumatic experiences. Two new studies exemplify such wrongheaded approaches.
Silhouette of man and woman's handsin form of heart

Engaging “Madness”: A Guide for Significant Others and Families

12
Using personal stories from my own family, my new booklet Engaging 'Madness' paints a clear picture of what an alternative healing journey outside the biomedical paradigm can look like.

Thomas Jobe: The Legacy of Research He Leaves Behind

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Thomas Jobe was a collaborator in a longitudinal study that upended conventional thinking about antipsychotics. He died March 16.
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.

Mad in Finland

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The people who run Mad in Finland have experienced profound awakenings in the course of their lives, moments of awareness when they understood the failures of the psychiatric disease model and saw its harms.

Making Peer Counseling Radically Accessible

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I imagined a world in which anyone can hit a button on their phone and be connected with a compassionate and empathetic listener, 24/7. So in 2019, I founded Peer Collective. Today, there are 30 peer counselors on the platform offering 30-minute counseling sessions for just $14.

CRPD Absolute Prohibition Campaign and Course

7
For a long time I have been interested in offering a course on CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) to pass on my knowledge to other activists and allow more people to take up the frustrating and passionate responsibility of human rights work. Finally I have come up with a plan that is doable.

In Memoriam: Birgitta Alakare

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On February 19, 2021, the world lost Birgitta Alakare, the former chief psychiatrist at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland and a pioneer in the development of Open Dialogue.

Reimagining Healthcare

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The conventional Western classification systems of health conditions are based on flawed science shaped by reductionist, hierarchical, and profit-driven ideologies. THEN wants to create a new paradigm built upon principles drawn from systems science, the life course perspective, developmental neurobiology, and other evidence-informed studies.
childhood bipolar

Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed

29
Diagnosing children with juvenile or pediatric bipolar disorder is largely an American phenomenon. Do we actually have more “bipolar” children in the United States—or are we simply labeling more of them as such? If it is ever fair to call a child “manic,” isn’t the child’s environment the direction in which we should look?

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