Tuesday, December 6, 2022
stress response

Anatomy of a Suicide: Stress and the Human Condition

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The Defense Cascade is a survival framework that evolutionary researchers are exploring as an explanation for extreme states that many people experience. It can help explain why chronic stress can make us feel like ending our life is the only reasonable way out.

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.

Risk of Suicide After Hospitalization Even Higher Than Previously Estimated

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New analysis of post-discharge suicide rates finds estimates 6 times higher than recent studies.

Study Confirms Higher Suicide Risk for Sexual Minority Adolescents

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Researchers report that sexual minority adolescents have considered, planned, and attempted suicide substantially more than their heterosexual peers.
depression happy mask suicide

Suicide in a Culture of Mandated Happiness – Who’s to Blame?

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We live in a culture of mandated positivity and compulsory happiness, which somehow remains untouched by the current political, social, ecological and economic realities of the world. If you’re distressed, it must either be your bad attitude (which is a choice) or your broken brain (which is not a choice); god forbid we look anywhere outside the self.

Traditional South African Healers Use Connection in Suicide Prevention

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Study finds that traditional healers in South Africa, whose services are widely used by the country’s population, perform important suicide prevention work.
babydoll quadruplets

Hereditary Madness? The Genain Sisters’ Tragic Story

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The story of the Genain quadruplets has long been cited as evidence proving something about the supposed hereditary nature of schizophrenia. But who wouldn’t fall apart after surviving a childhood like theirs? The doctors attributed their problems to menstrual difficulties or excessive masturbation — anything except abuse.

Mental Health Concerns Not “Brain Disorders,” Say Researchers

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The latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences features several prominent researchers arguing that mental health concerns are not “brain disorders.”

The Real Myth of the Schizophrenogenic Mother

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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.

How Reliable is the DSM-5?

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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?
unhappy child root cause

The Unsung Psychiatric Impact of Strep Throat

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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).

The Power Threat Meaning Framework One Year On

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The team that developed the Power Threat Meaning framework as a diagnostic alternative reflects on the response to the framework after one year.

Developing Alternatives to the DSM for Psychotherapists

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A new article suggests counselors and psychotherapists are dissatisfied with current diagnostic systems and outlines some potential alternatives.

Why the Rise of Mental Illness? Pathologizing Normal, Adverse Drug Effects, and a Peculiar...

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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.
twins

Bad-Science Warning: The “Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart” (MISTRA)

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The huge impact of the MISTRA, in addition to the harmful and regressive social and political policy implications that flow from it, necessitates a detailed analysis of the “science” behind the study’s major claims and conclusions. Here I offer a new critique of this famous and influential “separated twin study.”

The Trouble with Twin Studies

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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.

Mental Health Professionals Critique the Biomedical Model of Psychological Problems

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While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.

Trauma, Psychosis, and Dissociation

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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.

Psychotherapy is Less Effective and Less Accessible for Those in Poverty

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A special issue explores the connection between poverty, mental health, and psychotherapy.

Dehumanization Linked to Poorer Mental and Physical Health

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A new review finds that dehumanizing language, including self-dehumanization, is connected to anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.

Psychology and Poverty: An Interview with APA President Rosie Phillips Davis

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MIA’s Gavin Crowell-Williamson interviews psychologist Rosie Phillips Davis about her presidential initiative to address deep poverty.

Psychologist Debunks Common Misconceptions of Maslow’s Hierarchy

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Utilizing Maslow’s published books and essays, psychologist William Compton delineates common myths and attempts to respond to them.

What Does Social Justice Really Mean for Psychologists?

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Without clarity and consensus around what social justice means, psychologists risk perpetuating injustices that undermine their stated mission.

Trauma Resiliency Model: A New Somatic Therapy for Treating Trauma

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Report presents new body-based therapeutic approach for shock and complex developmental trauma.

Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

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Psych meds can not only put weight on regardless of how you otherwise care for yourself, they also tend to make people feel gravely lethargic and vaguely sick all the time. I could not exercise as I had before. Could not. It doesn't matter how much mental health professionals try to tell us that if we just exercised we'd be okay in the face of neurotoxic drugs that cause weight gain, because the fact is the drugs impede that capacity. This is not widely appreciated or understood and people on psych meds are again traumatized and made to feel guilty for something that is truly outside of their control as long as they are taking these medications.

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