Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Crazy Talk: The Dangerous Rhetoric of Mental Illness

In this piece for Eidolon, Jessica Wright discusses the ways that labeling people as "crazy" and "mentally ill" has served to justify oppression throughout history....

Femme Fatales, ‘Female Psychopaths,’ and Narrative ‘Science’

In this piece for Repeater Books, Tristam Vivian Adams discusses the ways sociopaths and psychopaths are portrayed in the media, and the ways we...

Don’t Blame Trump’s Brain

From Discover Magazine: Using psychiatry and neuroscience to explain President Trump's personality and behavior leads to circular reasoning. "We don’t need these kinds of quasi-scientific analyses of...

Testimonial Injustice and Borderline Personality Disorder

From The Huffington Post UK: The diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder frequently serves to invalidate the trauma of women who have experienced abuse. "‘BPD’ is so...

An Eminent Psychiatrist Demurs on Trump’s Mental State

In this opinion piece for the New York Times, Allen Frances, chairman of the task force that wrote the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental...

Psychologists and Psychiatrists Approach Mental Health Differently

Psychiatrists and psychologists have traditionally taken distinct approaches toward mental health and, according to a new study, these differences may be here to stay....

Unhelpful Utterances: 6 Comments We Should No Longer Hear From Mental Health Professionals

Professionals are paid to share their wisdom with those who are, typically, less informed. But, when dealing with mental health professionals in the psychiatric arena, it is wise to retain a degree of skepticism about the words spoken by the doctors and nurses commissioned to help reduce human misery and suffering.

Omega-3 Screening for Psychiatric Symptoms?

There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet may be connected to a diverse array of psychiatric symptoms. In a new study published this month, psychiatrist Robert McNamara and Erik Messamore provide an overview of the evidence and call for screening of omega-3 deficiency in people experiencing symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, mood disorders, and psychosis.

“6 Hospitalized, One of Them Brain-Dead, After Drug Trial in France”

Six men were hospitalized and one was pronounced brain dead after participating in a phase 1 clinical drug for a mood, anxiety, and motor dysfunction drug manufactured by Bial and administered by Biotrial. Carl Elliott, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota, said investigators should look into questions like how much the men were paid and whether they properly consented to the trial. “Many Phase 1 trial volunteers are poor and unemployed, and they volunteer for trials like this because they are desperate for money,” he said. “This means they are easily exploited.”

Study Examines Women’s Experiences of Hearing Voices

An international group of researchers from multiple disciplines has published a historical, qualitative, and quantitative investigation into voice-hearing in women. The interdisciplinary project, freely available from Frontiers in Psychiatry, explores how sexism, exploitation, and oppression bear on women’s’ experiences of hearing voices.

Talk Therapy Linked to Changes in Brain Activity

Talk therapy has long been associated with symptom and behavioral changes, but new research shows that it may also lead to neural changes in the brain. The recently published research found that transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) was linked to alterations in neural circuitry in women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

“Forensic Psychiatric Patients and Staff View the Effects of ‘Mental Illness’ Differently”

“Offenders sentenced to forensic psychiatric care do not consider their mental illness to be the main reason for their crime. Instead, they point to abuse, poverty or anger toward a particular person.”

Book Review: “Overmedicated and Undertreated”

A former pharma executive has broken ranks with the industry in a new book by reporting how multiple psychiatrists, schools, and his desperate hopes pressed him to allow higher and higher doses of antipsychotic medications. The result: his 15-year-old son's death from Seroquel.

“The Vacuum of the Mind: A Self-Report on the Phenomenology of Autistic, Obsessive-Compulsive, and...

In this month’s Schizophrenia Bulletin, a person diagnosed with autism, OCD, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and major depressive disorder provides a first-hand close reading and description of their own psychiatric experiences.

Disease Theory of ‘Mental Illness’ Tied To Pessimism About Recovery

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

Drug Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder Not Supported By Evidence

New research published in the August issue of Psychiatric Annals evaluates the results of randomized control trials on the use of various psychotropic drugs for patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Despite the “American Psychiatric Association’s practice guidelines endorsement of SSRIs as first-line therapies for BPD,” the results of the meta-analysis reveal that pharmacotherapy in BPD is “not supported by the current literature,” and “should be avoided whenever possible.”

Perception of Mental Disorders as ‘Contagious’ Leads to Isolation

Willingness to interact with someone with a mental health diagnosis may be tied to the misperception that disorders can be transferred from one person to another, according to a new study published in the Journal of Memory & Cognition.

Personality Disorders Largely Being Treated Inappropriately by Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are giving drugs to most people with emotionally unstable personality disorders outside of the best-practice clinical guidelines, and an accompanying editorial stated that the reason is because "therapy takes time."

The Scarlet Label: Close Encounters with ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’

To help my non-recovery oriented colleagues understand the stigma/resentment associated with ‘borderline personality disorder,’ I simply mention this: “Let’s say I call you and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a referral for you. She’s been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder . . .’” I need to go no further; without fail, my colleague will smile or laugh. We both know that such a referral is a no-no, so much so that it doesn’t even have to be mentioned; it is a given.

Deconstructing Psychiatric Diagnoses: An Attempt At Humor

Based on my experience both as a therapist and client in the mental health field, I have learned that when therapists or psychiatrists give you the following diagnoses all too often here is what they really mean:

Psychiatry: We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mental Health

My name is Leah Harris and I'm a survivor. I am a survivor of psychiatric abuse and trauma. My parents died largely as a result of terrible psychiatric practice. Psychiatric practice that took them when they were young adults and struggling with experiences they didn’t understand. Experiences that were labeled as schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. My parents were turned from people into permanent patients. They suffered the indignities of forced treatment. Seclusion and restraint. Forced electroshock. Involuntary outpatient commitment. And a shocking amount of disabling heavy-duty psychiatric drugs. And they died young, from a combination of the toxic effects of overmedication, and broken spirits.

Childhood Stress Subtypes Predict Adult Psychiatric Subtypes

A review of the literature from 2001 to 2011 on child abuse, neglect, and psychiatric disorders finds that early life stress subtypes can predict...

I Wonder if There is Some Axis II Going on Here? Further Thoughts on...

This blog was prompted by an invitation to do a guest post on the site of one of my favorite bloggers, 1 Boring Old Man. This is my response to the notion that there are certain conditions - Schizophrenia among them - that correspond more directly to biomedical conditions

NARPA Reflections: The Necessity of Disability

I think it is time to reclaim the word disability. Disability needs to be appreciated. To the extent we value community over isolation, anything anyone cannot do, or needs help with, builds community. There are infinite examples in every career and walk of life of how necessary “disability” (since we're calling it that) is for connection, service and meaning in life. Without it we'd have absolutely no need for each other. And the fastest way to despair is to feel unnecessary.

DBT and Psychiatry for Borderline; Equally Poor at 2 years, But Long-Term Remission is...

A prospective study in the American Journal of Psychiatry compares Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with psychiatric management for borderline personality disorder, founding that outcomes...

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