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?
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.

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.

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.”

Research Is Shedding New Light on Hearing Voices

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From Psychology Today: Although auditory hallucinations are commonly thought of as a sign of mental illness, research shows that hearing voices is common among the general population...
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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Mental Health in Black and White

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When I looked through my mountains of medical records, I saw that the providers who listed my race as black applied diagnoses like major depressive disorder and PTSD. The providers who saw me as white preferred diagnoses of panic disorder and borderline personality disorder. Of course, my experiences are just anecdotal. But if racial bias due to subjective experiences of practitioners can play such a large role in mental health diagnostics, how is this even considered a scientific discipline?

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...

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.

“Psychiatric Drugs and Veteran Suicides”

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US Congressman David Jolly has introduced a bill calling for studies on the link between veteran suicides and psychiatric drugs. The International Society for...

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.

The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma

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In this piece for The New Yorker, Junot Diaz reflects on the impact of his experience of childhood sexual abuse and the ways that therapy...
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.

No Evidence PTSD Treatments Helping Veterans

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No one has been tracking whether or not US veterans have been benefiting in any way from over $3.2 billion annually in mental health...

Art and Images in Psychiatry

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Between 2002 and 2014, JAMA Psychiatry published monthly essays by Dr. James C. Harris exploring the role of visual arts in representing emotional distress, trauma, life...

Good Psychologist, Bad Psychologist

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In this episode on BBC Radio, psychiatrist Raj Persaud reports on the CIA's so-called "enhanced interrogation" program, which has frequently been characterized as torture. He discusses...

Childhood Trauma Predicts Lack of Response to Antidepressants

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Research in Translational Psychiatry finds that childhood maltreatment and trauma predict a greater likelihood of developing chronic depression, and a reduced likelihood of responding to treatment...

Can Psychedelics Help End Addictions with One Dose?

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Q13 Fox News discusses recent research giving psychedelics to people struggling with alcohol or cigarettes. David Nutt, an Imperial College London neuro-psychopharmacologist "thinks psilocybin...

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...

DARPA’s Brain Chip Implants: Breakthrough or Total Disaster?

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From Gizmodo: Some researchers believe that deep brain stimulation - a surgical procedure involving the implantation of electrodes that send electrical signals to specific areas...

Minority Discrimination Linked to Psychosis

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A study published in this month’s issue of the Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology found that perceived discrimination related to minority status may precede...