Thursday, June 4, 2020

To Live and (Almost) Die in L.A.: A Survivor’s Tale

After 25 years of chronic emergency, 22 mental hospitalizations, a stint at a “community mental health center,” 13 years in a "board & care," repeated withdrawals from addictions to legal drugs, and a 12-year marriage, I plan to live every last breath out as a survivor, an advocate, and an artist.

In Memory of Julie Greene

With deep regret, Mad in America announces another loss in our contributor community. Julie C. Greene, writer and antipsychiatry advocate, lost her battle with kidney disease on November 29 at her home in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Julie had been an MIA blogger since 2014, including several pieces on the dangers of lithium.

People Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at Increased Risk for Parkinson’s

Increased Parkinson's risk could be related to lithium, antipsychotic, and antiepileptic drug use.

Prenatal Valproate Exposure Linked with ADHD Diagnosis in Children

Children who were exposed to anti-seizure drug valproate in utero were 48% more likely to develop ADHD, according to a new study.
bipolar drugs good bad ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Infographic on Bipolar Drugs

Bipolar drug therapy is a balancing act of benefits vs. harms. Odds of attributable benefit cluster in a 15-25% band, so 75%-85% don’t see substantial benefit. Stated differently, if five people take a bipolar drug, only one is likely to see substantial improvement due to it, but all five will have side effects.

Study Explores Connections Between Diet and ‘Serious Mental Illnesses’

Study finds that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression have diets that are more inflammatory and higher in calories.

Gradual Tapering is Most Successful for Withdrawal from Antipsychotics

Mixed-Methods study explores the experiences of antipsychotic discontinuation among service users.

Valproate Linked to Decreased Brain Volume in Children Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

Researchers find that valproate decreases brain volume in a region associated with emotion processing across all participants.
bipolar

Reappropriating Bipolar Beyond Pathology

It’s still not easy for me to say, “I’m bipolar.” Know that I’m bipolar for good reason, reappropriating a painful word, so those in pain can find me—so you can find me. This is how I reappropriate a term used to strip me of my humanity, a term used to sell me counterfeit versions of reality. I refuse to let go of a label that helps me find my people, no matter how painful it is to retain.
depression sleeping woman

The Breaking Point

How did I become someone who could barely function? I was a high-performing sales executive ranked in the top 2% of an international business communications company. But now, after using powerful psych meds for depression and anxiety for more than a decade, I couldn’t do basic things like go to the grocery store, plan a meal, make dinner, or get together with friends.

Bright Light Therapy More Effective Than Medication Alone for Bipolar Depression

A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has found bright light therapy to be a powerful intervention that could provide an alternative to medication for people with “bipolar depression.”
stress

How the Human Stress Response Explains Away “Bipolar Disorder”

Here we'll take a look at so-called 'mania.' We'll go through the criteria for a 'manic episode' symptom by symptom so you can see how the stress response is potentially operating. There's practically nothing that happens in human minds and bodies that the stress response doesn't potentially affect.

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

Confronting existential anxiety through “Basal Exposure Therapy” shows promising results in people withdrawing from psychotropic drugs.
mind body case study

Changing Mental Health, One Published Case Report At A Time

Lifestyle interventions are the only corrective measures that are sufficiently complex to resolve the stress response factors that drive pathology. This case draws from twenty years of published scientific literature on psychoneuroimmunology and the connection between the gut, immune system, endocrine system, and the brain.

Study Explores Meanings of Bipolar Disorder to Those Diagnosed

The narratives about Bipolar Disorder promoted by drug companies may influence how those diagnosed understand themselves.

Researchers Push for Transparency of Mental Health Outcome Data

A new analysis of UK mental health data suggests the way organizations deliver mental health services can alter patient outcomes.

Study Privileges the Voices of Persons Hospitalized Against Their Will

How people are treated after being hospitalized can either help them to overcome the traumatic effects of coercion or make them worse.

New Research Documents Widening Mortality Gap for Bipolar and Schizophrenia

Analysis of longitudinal data from 2000-2014 demonstrate mortality gap is widening between persons with a diagnosis of bipolar or schizophrenia compared to the general population

Waking Up is Hard to Do

Finally I’m moving in the right direction, rescuing myself from the pernicious grip of psychotropic drugs. It’s been exceptionally challenging, dealing with the adverse physiological reactions my body’s been going through. Waking up may be the toughest thing to do. Ultimately, the way I see it, it’s the only thing to do.

Study Suggests Mania More Common in Psychosis When Antidepressants Used

A prospective cohort study of those labeled high risk for psychosis finds a higher prevalence of antidepressant use among those who develop manic symptoms.

Childhood Bipolar Disorder More Rare Than Previously Claimed, Study Finds

Re-examination of meta-analytic claims finds the prevalence of pediatric bipolar disorder is close to zero.

In Chronic Patients, Antipsychotics Have Limited Efficacy in Reducing Symptoms

A large review and meta-analysis of 167 studies across 60 years dissects placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials of antipsychotic drugs.

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.”

Anticonvulsant Implicated in Birth Defects in up to 4,100 Children, French Study Finds

Between 2,150 and 4,100 children suffered from severe malformations connected to valproate prescription.

Could ‘Treatment Resistance’ be an Effect of Antidepressants?

Previously taking antidepressants could make individuals less likely to respond to treatment for bipolar II depression.

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