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).

The Mad in the World Network: A Global Voice for Change

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Mad in Ireland is the newest Mad in America affiliate. The network of affiliate sites is becoming a global voice for change.
suicide silhouette

Deadly Serious: Talking Openly About Suicide

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The suicide crisis is real. The pain is real. The deaths are real. None of us can afford to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this isn't happening. But the helplessness and confusion about what to do about it are also real. And that's why peer relationships and peer-developed modalities can be so helpful. Many of us have been there and are still alive to talk about it. We know what ways of relating gave us hope and helped us to continue on.
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.
childhood bipolar

Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed

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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?

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.
crossroads

2017: A Wake-up Call on Mental Health and Human Rights

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At Mental Health Europe, we see 2017 as having been a crossroads for mental health and human rights. Let’s ensure that this yields concrete change in 2018 with the support of like-minded communities ready to take the discussion to the next level and truly enact this as a civil rights movement.

Mad in (S)pain

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A Q&A with the team members who edit and run Mad in (S)pain: "There must be a radical change in the way mental suffering is understood and cared for."

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.
African woman in traditional clothes standing, looking, hand to eyes, in field of barley or wheat crops at sunset or sunrise

From a Paranoid Schizophrenia Diagnosis to a Peer Researcher in Nigeria

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The mental health system needs to adopt the principle of holistic care, promoting fundamental rights and the relevance of family support.

Playing the Odds: Antidepressant ‘Withdrawal’ and the Problem of Informed Consent

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If I thought that it was possible, I would have opened a string of clinics all over the country to help get people off of antidepressants.  Unfortunately, the problems that sometimes occur when people try to stop an SSRI antidepressant are much more severe and long-lasting than the medical profession acknowledges, and there is no antidote to these problems. The truth is, giving people information about taking antidepressants is like giving information to people who are enroute to a casino; they go because they hear that some people win (at least for a time), but the losers are the ones who ultimately pay for it all — and the odds are not in their favor.

CRPD Absolute Prohibition Campaign and Course

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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.

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.

Disobedience: What Can We Risk?

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It is possible to heal, and at the same time healing also means restoring the part of oneself that can face violence and disobey to protect what is most sacred. I am that sacred, and so are you.
Silhouette illustration of female figure dancing behind bars with giant hands reaching out to enclose her

Szasz and the Liberation of the “Mental Patient”

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By setting standards of equality, competence, and accountability, Szasz worked for the liberation of the "mental patient.”

Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness

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In Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness, Bruce Cohen explains the expanding power and influence of psychiatry in terms of its usefulness to the capitalist system — the more useful it is, the more power it is given, and the greater its power, the more useful it becomes.

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.
europe

Will the European Elections Be a Chance for Mental Health?

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European citizens from 27 different countries will soon go to the polls to elect their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. As an advocacy organisation, we see those elections as an opportunity to call on current and future European leaders and policymakers to bring mental health to the heart of European policies.
Sun glare through a thick forest of tall trees

Beyond Greenspaces and Mental Health: The Power of the Wild

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Tensions of sustainability, climate change, and global mental health: grassknots, greenspace, and climate psychology.

CHOICES Back on Track

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Last year I reported that CHOICES, Inc. had lost its way and was implementing an ACT team. There is no doubt in my mind that CHOICES was on the wrong path, but the new Executive Director is committed to getting CHOICES back to a peer-run program.

The Functions of the Mental Health System Under Capitalism

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The mental health system is a system of care and control, legitimated by the concept of mental illness, and playing an important role in capitalist and Neoliberal societies.

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.
open dialogue

Re-humanising Mental Health Systems: A Discussion with Jaakko Seikkula on the Open Dialogue Approach

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Clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor Jaakko Seikkula, along with Markku Sutela, created the Open Dialogue approach to acute crises in Finland.
Creative collage portrait of mini black white gamma astonished girl touch huge arm palm isolated on drawing background.

Why I Resigned from Mental Health America

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When MHA lobbied for expanding forced treatment, I could no longer allow myself to be a cog in the oppressive, profit-driven, psych industry wheel.
Photograph of man's lower face with a pill on his tongue

Psychedelics—The New Psychiatric Craze

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Psychedelics have become popular through the potent mixture of financial interests and desperation. Evidence for their beneficial effects is lacking.

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.