United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius PĆ«ras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

Psychodynamic Therapy Revealed to be as Efficacious as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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

Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness & Diagnostic Distractions?

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Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?
drowning in antidepressants

Ambushed by Antidepressants for 30 Years

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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.

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.
involuntary commitment

What It’s Like to Be Involuntarily Committed

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Ten years after being fired for taking a mental health leave after the Virginia Tech massacre, I was diagnosed as "schizophrenic" and involuntarily committed to a hospital. Now I have a job and a life, but I'm still forced to take drugs and report to a social worker.

Psychology Needs New Concepts and Healing Models for Racial Trauma

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Contemporary empirical research explores new ways to conceptualize and heal racial trauma through anticolonial and sociohistorical lenses.
alien

Distinguishing Dissociative Disorders from Psychotic Disorders: Compounding Alienation

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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.

Correcting Misconceptions of Trauma-informed Care with Survivor Perspectives

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Trauma-informed approaches have the potential to promote recovery but must involve survivors and service-users to prevent the experience of retraumatization within psychiatric and mental health services.

First-Person Accounts of Madness and Global Mental Health: An Interview with Dr. Gail Hornstein

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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.

Controversial Exposure Therapy for PTSD Challenged

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Research published in the May 2015 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry questions the use of exposure therapy, the "gold standard" treatment for patients...

Non-Medical Treatments for PTSD Effective, Study Suggests

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Group-based MBSR and PCGT therapies effective as a complementary treatment for PTSD.

What Would a Trauma-Informed Society Look Like?

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Imagine if we, as a society, started recognizing trauma, pain, grief, fear, the need for connection and understanding, and oppression without defensiveness or denial. What if, hypothetically, we saw the signs in people who were "defiant," "withdrawn," "oppositional," "depressed," "manic," or otherwise as desperate pleas to have their needs met, and stopped telling them they were sick for doing so? What would a society that actually encouraged expression of emotion, compassion, and empathy look like?

Time’s Up: Culture of Denial Impacts Mental Health of Sexual Abuse Survivors

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Study finds that not believing sexual abuse survivors often leads to self-blame and mental health issues.

The Conflicts That Result From Globalizing Euro-American Psychology in India

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Researchers examine the transformation of work, life, and identity in India as a result of Western corporate and psychological culture.

How Complex Trauma Changes a Person

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From GoodTherapy.org: Although not currently listed in the DSM, the diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress (C-PTSD) has gained widespread acceptance in the mental health community. The...

Decontextualized Depression and PTSD Diagnoses Fail Indigenous Communities

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A case analysis of an American Indian woman illustrates how the DSM diagnostic criteria misrepresent the lives of indigenous people.

Valuing Posttraumatic Growth in Psychosis

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Individuals who experience psychosis can also experience posttraumatic growth, which can be a central component of the recovery paradigm.

What If We Are All Wrong About Mental Illness?

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From Thoughtful Living: The biomedical model of psychiatry, along with the DSM, is deeply flawed and can often be misleading. To improve, mental health services...

Prazosin Ineffective for Preventing Suicidal Thoughts — May Worsen Nightmares

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A new study found that prazosin was associated with increased insomnia and nightmares, and did not reduce suicidal thoughts.

VA Hospitals Perform Worst on Inpatient Psychiatric Care

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The results of the cross-sectional study show that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) owned hospitals perform worst on most measures.

What if ACEs (Adverse Childhood Events) Were the Basis of Mental Health Treatment? 

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What would happen if the mental health system fully recognized the pervasive and profound impacts of trauma on their clients? How might a deeper appreciation of the multi-faceted sequelae of childhood maltreatment and toxic stressors reshape mental health services? While the implementation of trauma-informed care in mental health programs has made significant inroads, the dominant bio-reductionist model continues to constrain and undermine progress.

We Need Ecstasy and Cocaine in Place of Prozac and Xanax

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From Aeon: While psychiatric drugs are often ineffective and can have serious side effects, there are many psychedelics and other illicit substances that have proven...

“The Drugs That Built a Super Soldier”

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"During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military plied its servicemen with speed, steroids, and painkillers to help them handle extended combat,” Lukasz Kamienski writes...

Providing Trauma Informed Brief Counseling to College Students

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Recommendations on how to provide trauma-informed, short-term counseling to college students who have experienced sexual assault and interpersonal violence.