Monday, July 13, 2020

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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.”

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.
drowning in antidepressants

Ambushed by Antidepressants for 30 Years

They helped me function for a while, but the debilitating side effects of antidepressants held me prisoner. I'm still having a hard time understanding how this could have happened. It's been suggested to me by a therapist that what I'm going through now is another kind of PTSD: the ongoing trauma of realizing what antidepressants did to me for 30 years.

The Paradox of White Americans’ Mental Health

Are White Americans’ poor mental health outcomes caused by Whiteness?

German Psychologists Declare “the Drugs Don’t Work”

Jürgen Margraf and Silvia Schneider, both well-known psychologists at the University of Bochum in Germany, claim that psychotropic drugs are no solution to mental...

Zoloft Does Not Improve Depression, Even in Severe Cases, Study Finds

Despite their finding, the researchers suggest that SSRIs be given to people who do not meet criteria for depression or anxiety.
hospitalization hospital

Prepared, Yet Unprepared: My Involuntary Hospitalization Adventure

Overall I learned a great deal during my hospital adventure. The whole experience seemed like a comedy of errors. For me the only people there who were truly out of touch with reality were staff members. All of the patients were very present, albeit in some distress. The reasons for their distress were not unreasonable.

Matt Samet: Climbing Out of Benzo Madness

Rock climber, author, and MIA Blogger Matt Samet discusses his experience becoming addicted to, and subsequently coming off of, benzodiazepines.
hospital pills

Catching My Breath After A Panicked Journey

$24,000 later and no one knew what was wrong with me. They sent me home with a bag of pills. After being in the hospital, I developed a fear and mistrust of doctors. My general practitioner suggested antidepressants. More pills. It was all they could recommend. I wouldn’t take them. My anxiety worsened. I was obsessed with the idea that if I slept, I would die. So, I stayed awake as much as I could. For an entire year, this was how I lived.

Benzodiazepines Linked to Treatment Resistant Depression

Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
freedom from antidepressants

My Fight Against Antidepressants, Part III: Breaking Free

I had managed to get off the drugs again, this time with practically no withdrawal reactions other than some disturbances to my sleep which eventually settled down. I truly feel that I have been given a second chance because I am aware of how many people struggle terribly with these drugs just as I did.

Researchers Set the Record Straight on Controversial Zoloft Study

An issue of Lancet Psychiatry is devoted to clarifying the lack of efficacy for Zoloft (sertraline).

Is Xanax Really the Bad Guy?

While any effort to generate awareness and potentially curb the benzodiazepine epidemic is commendable, we have to ask ourselves, is Xanax just the scapegoat in this situation? Will legislative action and media attention for only one benzodiazepine out of so many make any difference?

Psychotherapy Less Effective for People in Poverty and Those on Antidepressants

A new study finds poorer depression and anxiety outcomes in psychotherapy for people in economically deprived neighborhoods and those on antidepressants.

Benzo Drugs, UK Fudge, Cover Up and Consequences

In 1980, the British Medical Journal published a “Systematic Review of the Benzodiazepines” by the Committee on the Review of Medicines. The committee denied the addictive potential of Benzodiazepines and limited their suggestions to short term use. The results have been devastating.

Brain Scans Cannot Differentiate Between Mental Health Conditions

A new study analyzing over 21,000 participants found that differences in activation of brain regions in different psychological “disorders” may have been overestimated, and confirms that there is still no brain scan capable of diagnosing a mental health concern.

“Silent” Forms of Child Abuse Strongly Tied to Depression

Psychological abuse and childhood neglect are strongly associated with depression in adulthood, according to a meta-analysis of childhood trauma and depression published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders. “The findings clearly highlight the potential impact of the more ‘silent’ types of childhood maltreatment (other than physical and sexual abuse) on the development of depression,” the researchers conclude.

Are ADHD Drugs Causing PTSD?

In an opinion piece in today's New York Times, Richard A. Friedman notes the increase of PTSD in the miliatary from .2% in 2002...

Still Mistreating the Elderly with Psychiatric Drugs: Benzodiazepines

Despite safety concerns, a new study reveals that there has been no change in the use of benzodiazepines in the elderly from 2001 to 2010.

Nonclinical Factors are Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults

White race and size of initial prescription, along with poor sleep quality, are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults.

Living in One of R. D. Laing’s Post-Kingsley Hall Households

Kingsley Hall was the first of Laing’s household communities that served as a place where you could live through madness until you could get it together and live independently. It was conceived as an “asylum” from forms of treatment — psychiatric or otherwise — that many were convinced were not helpful, and even contributed to their difficulties. By the time I arrived in London in 1973 to study with Laing there were four or five such places. Getting in wasn’t easy.

JAMA Article Challenges CBT as Gold Standard for Psychotherapy

A review of CBT research findings raises questions about its status as the “evidence-based” psychotherapy of choice.

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in Older Adults Used in Rural and Low Income Areas

Benzodiazepine prescription practices may be in response to an epidemic of distress, rather than being used to treat specific mental health diagnoses.

Psychodynamic Therapy Revealed to be as Efficacious as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Meta-analytic study finds that psychodynamic therapy outcomes are equivalent to those of CBT and other empirically supported treatments.

Diagnosis and Treatment Have Changed: Depression and Anxiety Have Not

Researchers investigating the state of mental health in Canadians from 1994 to 2008 found no change over time, but "the frequency of diagnosis and...

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