One thing I noticed, from the moment that I stepped out of my psychiatrist’s office, was how strangely blank and yet clear my mind was. I felt surprisingly calm and relaxed, and I decided to go back for another treatment the next week. What I couldn’t have known then was that after that next “treatment,” life would be completely destroyed for me.
When voices are engaged with creativity and compassion, the result can be a positive change in the relationship with voices, leading to much greater peace of mind. But how can people learn how to facilitate this? A new video series by Charlie Heriot-Maitland, Rufus May and Elisabeth Svanholmer offers some practical ideas.
Mixed-Methods study explores the experiences of antipsychotic discontinuation among service users.
There was a heart-breaking and disturbing story in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper entitled, My Daughter, the Schizophrenic’, which featured edited extracts from a book written by the father of a child called Jani. He describes how Jani is admitted into a psychiatric hospital when she is 5, diagnosed with schizophrenia when she is 6 and by the time she is 7, she has been put on a potent cocktail of psychotropic medications.
Part 1 of this series examined how the disease model of addiction intersects with the genetically based “mental illness” theory and practice of Biological Psychiatry. Part 2 analyzed the serious limitations and sometimes harmful effects of the domination of addiction treatment by the Twelve Step (disease model), and how Biological Psychiatry has both seized upon and expanded the culture of addiction in this country. What follows will be a presentation of some alternative methods for overcoming addiction problems.
If a person recognizes the “alien” parts of themselves as being parts of themselves, they are likely to be seen as having PTSD or a dissociative disorder. If they see the “alien” parts of themselves as being literally aliens, or demons, they will likely be diagnosed as psychotic. But these experiences are really on a spectrum.
Dr. Gail Hornstein, author of Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness, discusses the importance of personal narratives and service-user activism in the context of the global mental health movement.
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.
Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”
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.”
Study reports on the less-examined findings of difficult and painful meditation-related experiences.
In this piece for The New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar profiles the philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark, whose work argues that our minds are inseparable...
Association found between long-term antipsychotic use and poorer performance on cognitive tasks in adults diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia.’
Hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms have been reported after methylphenidate (Ritalin) treatment for ADHD.
Akansha Vaswani interviews Dr. John Read about the influences on his work and his research on madness, psychosis, and the mental health industry.
In this month’s issue of the journal Brain a new study investigates whether the drugs prescribed to control seizures can increase the risk of...
Review compares the effectiveness of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for improving physical health outcomes in people diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The voices were extraordinary; in a way, they were like ghosts. I could not see them, but only divine them by the turmoil they stirred up in Annie. They were not polite house ghosts who knew when to leave; they were ne’er-do-wells she could not get rid of. They were tormentors and torturers, testing the limits of her sanity, blackmailing her into submission.
Schizophrenia, to me, is nothing more than a word. All it really means is that you experience psychosis on a regular enough basis that it’s a factor in your life. And that you actually do, as the word “schizophrenia” indicates, have a mind that you share with some sort of outside presence.
Many individuals diagnosed with eating disorders describe and internal ‘voice,’ which may be linked to experiences of childhood trauma and dissociation.
Voice hearing simulation exercises are designed to make participants feel frightened, overwhelmed, and unable to function. They don’t do anything to teach how people who hear voices work through that, the many effective strategies they use, or any of the benefits that some come to find in this way of being in the world.
An article on contributory injustice describes the clinical and ethical imperative that clinicians listen to service users experiences.
Researchers recently completed a first of its kind, large-scale international survey of attitudes about mental health and they were surprised by the results. According to their analysis published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, people in developed countries, like the United States, are more likely to assume that ‘mental illnesses’ are similar to physical illnesses and biological or genetic in origin, but they are also much less likely to think that individuals can overcome these challenges and recover
In the last few years I’ve developed a sincere admiration for those youth workers who specialise in working with young people pushed out onto the edge of society. I’ve witnessed, first hand, the ease with which they can broach topics that would leave many of us feeling uncomfortable. The best of them can speak about sex, violence, drugs and exploitation in a real and pragmatic way that signals a deep acceptance and understanding of the dilemmas young people face – with no blame or judgement. This ability to transform the taboo into the ordinary is something I’ve tried to develop in my own work. Through Voice Collective, a project supporting children and young people who hear voices in London, I specialise in training youth workers to do the one thing that can push them far outside of their comfort zone – talking with young people about hearing voices.
A new study in JAMA Psychiatry investigates the relationship between trauma and psychotic experiences.