A sea change is needed in the evaluation of children with perceived psychological disturbances. Parents are told that their child has a fictitious biochemical imbalance in the brain while real medical disorders are overlooked. In our family's case, it was Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS).
Sir Robin Murray, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in London, states that he ignored social factors that contribute to ‘schizophrenia’ for too long. He also reports that he neglected the negative effects antipsychotic medication has on the brain.
In a philosophically rigorous article, Spanish researcher Marino Pérez-Álvarez examines the logic of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In just two decades, pointing out the pseudoscience of the DSM has gone from being an “extremist slur of radical anti-psychiatrists” to a mainstream proposition from the former chairs of both the DSM-3 and DSM-4 taskforces and the director of NIMH. In addition to the pathologizing of normal behaviors, another explanation for the epidemic — the adverse effects of psychiatric medications — is also evolving from radical to mainstream, thanks primarily to the efforts of Robert Whitaker and his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.
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.
Recent years have seen an influx of numerous studies providing an undeniable link between childhood/ chronic trauma and psychotic states. Although many researchers (i.e., Richard Bentall, Anthony Morrison, John Read) have been publishing and speaking at events around the world discussing the implications of this link, they are still largely ignored by mainstream practitioners, researchers, and even those with lived experience. While this may be partially due to an understandable (but not necessarily defensible) tendency to deny the existence of trauma, in general, there are also certainly many political, ideological, and financial reasons for this as well.
As most readers are aware, it is widely believed that both within and without of psychiatry genetic factors play an important role in causing major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, ADHD, autism, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twin studies provide the main pillar of support for this belief which is often, though mistakenly, presented as a scientific fact.
With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?
Study reports on the less-examined findings of difficult and painful meditation-related experiences.
The latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences features several prominent researchers arguing that mental health concerns are not “brain disorders.”
Twin studies supply the most frequently cited evidence in favor of important genetic influences on human behavioral differences. In an extremely small yet influential handful of studies, twin pairs were said to have been reared apart in different families. Twin researchers and others view this occurrence as the ultimate test of the relative influences of nature (genes) and nurture (environment). According to this view all behavioral resemblance between reared-apart MZ twin pairs (known as “MZA” pairs) must be the result of their 100% genetic similarity, because such pairs share no environmental similarity. But, far from being separated at birth and reared apart in randomly selected homes representing the full range of potential behavior-influencing environments, and meeting each other for the first time when studied, most MZA pairs were only partially reared apart, and grew up in similar cultural and socioeconomic environments at the same time.
Already-existing ICD codes provide a diagnostic alternative to biomedical models of health by contextualizing suffering within psychosocial conditions, yet these codes are underutilized.
After a few weeks it became clear to me the complete lack of comprehension that I faced as a person claiming to have been cured of psychosis. Being a schizophrenic claiming to no longer suffer from schizophrenia only made me seem more schizophrenic due to the current culture of psychiatry.
More than a year on from the release of DSM-5, a Medscape survey found that just under half of clinicians had switched to using the new manual. Most non-users cited practical reasons, typically explaining that the health care system where they work has not yet changed over to the DSM-5. Many, however, said that they had concerns about the reliability of the DSM, which at least partially accounted for their non-use. Throughout the controversies that surrounded the development and launch of the DSM-5 reliability has been a contested issue: the APA has insisted that the DSM-5 is very reliable, others have expressed doubts. Here I reconsider the issues: What is reliability? Does it matter? What did the DSM-5 field trials show?
Holistic psychiatry teaches that within each and every one of us there are great and latent powers, which are beyond the ordinary life. Daily progress in self-development is not the result of accident or chance, rather it comes from a steady practice of working on yourself.
In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”
Throughout the ages, convulsions, contortions of the body and face, including the tongue, super-human strength, catatonic periods, long periods of wakefulness or sleep, insensitivity to pain, speaking in tongues, and a predilection for self-injurious behaviours have all been offered as physical evidence of possession. The modern day interpretation, however, comes with a plot twist befitting a media spectacle. There is growing consensus in the medical community that many prior accounts of “demonic possession” may have represented original accounts of what is now broadly known as autoimmune encephalitis.
From Curious Mind Magazine: Jerome Kagan, one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, believes that the diagnosis of ADHD is a mere...
A new study highlights the role heavy metal music plays in the mental health of adolescents facing adversity.
Trauma makes the speech centers of the brain shut down. This is why talking about abuse is so difficult: the words are blocked. If you reclassify trauma effects as trauma-strokes, and you adapt physiotherapy to take this clinical evidence into account, then you come up with Verbal Physiotherapy.
Interviews with psychosocially oriented psychologists demonstrate their experiences of discomfort with the hegemony of the medical model in their place of work and the conflicts that arise when they attempt to provide alternatives.
Criticisms of the DSM-5 spark alternative proposals and calls to reform diagnostic systems in the mental health field.
Autism is now simply assumed to represent a real, tangible, identifiable ‘thing.’ But no one is asking the obvious question: On what evidential basis can you conclude that autism represents a natural category that can be differentiated from other natural categories? According to the real science, autism should be seen as a fact of culture, not a fact of nature.
The Framework is an ambitious attempt to outline a conceptual alternative to the diagnostic model of mental distress. It builds on the Division of Clinical Psychology’s 2013 Position Statement recommending work in conjunction with service users to develop a multi-factorial and contextual approach.
As a clinical psychologist and someone who was herself “diagnosed” and “treated” for “serious mental illness,” Noël Hunter has a unique vantage point to view the mental health profession. I spoke with her about her new book, which offers an insightful critique of mental health’s diagnostic and treatment irrationalities.