Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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).

Enslaved to Abilify

A very gifted and compassionate friend recently said that she feels enslaved to Abilify - that she has tried to taper off it several times but always ends up slipping into an extreme state, no matter how slow she tapers. She said this repeated experience makes her feel like a slave, because she has to go back on the drug to stop the very intense extreme state induced whenever she tries to stop taking it.
behavioral genetics

A ‘Blueprint’ for Genetic Determinism

Robert Plomin's Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are was seen as a "declaration of victory of nature over nurture." Plomin has a 40-year track record of unfulfilled gene discovery claims and predictions, and there is every reason to believe that his new polygenic score claims and predictions are merely a continuation of this trend.

Dear DSM-5: I Still Have Some Questions

It has been almost a year since DSM-5 was released in May 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Critics have lined up to outline significant concerns about the consequences that will result from its use. Among many issues, DSM-5 has been lambasted for its overpathologizing of normal, fluctuating patterns of development, aging trends, social responses, societal fads, and general behavioral patterns. The controversy that has ensued has brought about significant questions about the future of DSM.

The Case Against Antipsychotics

This review of the scientific literature, stretching across six decades, makes the case that antipsychotics, over the long-term, do more harm than good. The drugs lower recovery rates and worsen functional outcomes over longer periods of time.

Exploring How Muslim Therapists Work With Jinn Possession

How do Western-trained Muslim therapists work with clients that believe they are possessed? How do they balance their belief in Jinn with their knowledge of psychological/sociological theory? How do they formulate and work with a client in the British context?

E. Fuller Torrey’s Review of Anatomy of an Epidemic: What Does It Reveal About...

E. Fuller Torrey, through his Treatment Advocacy Center, is the country’s most prominent advocate for outpatient commitment laws, which typically force people with a...
quitting antidepressants

Lingering Side Effects of Quitting Antidepressants

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.

Stop Saying This, Part Three: “Everything in Moderation” and More

Let’s start only accepting real relational offerings that do not make us contort, disavow comfort, strong-arm ourselves into appearing strong, or shoulder responsibility that is not ours.

Holistic Recovery From Schizophrenia: A Mother and Son’s Journey

I am a mother of a son who was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia in December 2003, a son who is doing well today...

The Hearing Voices Movement: In Response to a Father – ‘My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’

There was a heart-breaking and disturbing story in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper entitled, My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’, which featured edited extracts from a book written by the father of a child called Jani. He describes how Jani is admitted into a psychiatric hospital when she is 5, diagnosed with schizophrenia when she is 6 and by the time she is 7, she has been put on a potent cocktail of psychotropic medications.
autism definition

I Don’t Believe in Autism

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.

Reflections on a Beautiful Mind

In the past 50 years, the story of John Nash, as told first in the book A Beautiful Mind and then in the film that starred Russell Crowe as the great mathematician, is perhaps the best-known story of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia who “recovered.” Today, with obits appearing in the newspaper following his death on Saturday in a car crash in New Jersey, it is worth remembering how the true story of his recovery was hijacked in the movie and turned into an ad for a second generation of psychiatric medications.

Herbs, Supplements, Foods That Can Aid in Withdrawal Symptoms

When one is coming off of psychiatric pharmaceuticals, it's common to experience withdrawal induced anxiety, panic and psychosis. Here are some tips to help calm your body.

Three Suicides: Honoring Lives Lost to Benzodiazepines

I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.
psychological injuries

How Psychological Injuries Cause Physical Illness—And How Therapy Can Heal It

How does experiencing physical abuse as an 8 year old shorten one's lifespan? How do insulting words turn into diabetes? Or sexual abuse trigger a heart attack 50 years in the future? Emotional wounds can damage DNA and produce a huge web of destructive effects, but therapy can turn the process around.

A Peek Inside the Modern Asylum

The psychiatric hospital of today is a panopticon, a modern prison for the daring mind and for weird behavior. I was once inside and thus, am inviting you to have a look. I will take your hand, and encourage you to join me, on an exploration of the inside of the psychiatric institution. We'll have a small peek, but in reality, it is much more distressing for the one who is being observed.
55 steps to informed consent

55 Steps to Informed Consent

55 Steps is a new film based on a true story that centers around two women: Collette, a lawyer with a tendency to work long hours, and Eleanor, who has spent far too much time incarcerated in hospitals. Over the course of five years, Collette fights for Eleanor’s right to choose whether or not she takes psychiatric drugs. This film is imperfect, but its importance can’t be ignored.
Zyprexa Papers

Big Pharma Meets Big Diagnosis, Big Courts, and Big Psychiatric Hospitals

Gottstein’s book is The Pentagon Papers of the traditional mental health system, because he exposes a mind-blowing number and variety of cold-blooded, calculating actions on the part of Eli Lilly in trying to hide what it knew to be the devastating effects of its hugely profitable Zyprexa.

The Real Myth of the Schizophrenogenic Mother

Acknowledging the role of trauma inflicted by a given individual’s mother is not the same as laying all blame for “mental illness” at the feet of motherhood. Meanwhile, a mountain of evidence has accumulated linking schizophrenia to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and many other categories of adverse childhood experiences.
psychological injury model

Why the ‘Psychological Injury Model’ Will Ultimately Triumph

The Psychological Injury model will triumph, not just because literally thousands of studies show how trauma and stressful life events result in mental health problems, but because at our core, we know it is true. People hurt people, and people heal people. This cracks the intellectual foundation of psychopharmacology.

I Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?

In November 2000, I anxiously stood before the gathered four hundred and fifty mental health professionals, administrators, peers and academicians and said, "Hi, I'm Michael Cornwall and I don't believe in mental illness!"

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

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.
community hearing voices

Hearing Voices: Let the Community Lead

A collective knowledge of lived experience is a straightforward answer for improving millions of lives, but it has become clear that it will take an organized community of voice-hearers and their allies to take back credibility and authorship on the narrative of our own lives.

The Mirror Repeats: The Art of Phoebe Sparrow Wagner

It is uncomfortably difficult to look at Phoebe Sparrow Wagner’s art. That much is intentional. She shakes up the viewer’s sense of wellbeing and security so that they can better identify with the plight of the mental patient.
nurses in an old movie

Deep Sleep “Therapy” in Australia in the 1960s & ’70s: Could Something Like This...

Psychiatry has a history of continuing to perform harmful, even deadly procedures. But does it still happen? Medication-induced akathisia filled two and a half pages of the DSM-IV. Why was it written out of the DSM 5?

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