What It’s Like to Be Involuntarily Committed
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.
Mental Health Professionals and Patients Often Disagree on Causes of Symptoms
A new study finds that clinicians’ disregard for mental health patients’ insight into their own condition may be detrimental to treatment.
The Day I Became Schizophrenic
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.
The Real Myth of the Schizophrenogenic Mother
Acknowledging the role of trauma inflicted by a given individual’s mother is not the same as laying all blame for “mental illness” at the feet of motherhood. Meanwhile, a mountain of evidence has accumulated linking schizophrenia to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and many other categories of adverse childhood experiences.
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.
From Stoned to “Schizophrenic”: My Mental Healthcare Journey
During a period of self-doubt, I chose to see a psychiatrist because I was engulfed in negative thoughts and couldn't find a direction in life. The slightest joys came only when I was high. Though my weed addiction was likely causing all of my symptoms, my psychiatrist’s response was to prescribe antipsychotics.
Involuntary Hospitalization More Likely With Psychosis Diagnoses and Few Resources
New study links involuntary hospitalization with psychotic diagnosis, previous involuntary hospitalization, and economic deprivation.
How Race and Class Impact Schizophrenia and Substance-Use Diagnoses
A new article explores how psychiatric diagnoses are differentially applied to people of different racial and class backgrounds.
Seven Strategies to Avoid Retraumatization While Working with Psychosis
Stories related to psychosis can be intense, and can lead to traumatic recall when a sufferer retells them and does not feel contained or believed within the relationship. I have a number of suggestions for how to encourage the telling of stories without retraumatizing survivors in group settings and in individual encounters.
Parachute NYC Peer Support Program Presents Challenges and Opportunities
Anthropologists study Parachute NYC to identify challenges and opportunities for implementing peer support and Open Dialogue practices.
Relapse in Antipsychotic Drug Trials is Poorly Defined
There is a lack of consensus in the definition of ‘relapse’ across randomized controlled trials of antipsychotic maintenance treatment for schizophrenia and psychosis.
Hereditary Madness? The Genain Sisters’ Tragic Story
The story of the Genain quadruplets has long been cited as evidence proving something about the supposed hereditary nature of schizophrenia. But who wouldn’t fall apart after surviving a childhood like theirs? The doctors attributed their problems to menstrual difficulties or excessive masturbation — anything except abuse.
Mental Health Services Turned My Daughter’s Crisis into a Way of Life
My world turned upside down when my daughter nearly died from a serious suicide attempt. After several years as her caretaker I began to wonder: What can we do to change the way our mental health services are organized so they won't turn a crisis into a way of life for already distressed and vulnerable people?
Psychiatrist Describes Role in Open Dialogue Model of Care
Psychiatrist outlines varying roles in Open Dialogue model, fostering service-user and family agency through meaningful conversations with a team of providers.
De-Othering “Schizophrenia” by Placing it in Socio-Historical Context
Understanding schizophrenia as a non-enigmatic, understandable human experience goes against a history of institutional “othering” that has sustained psychiatric legitimacy and further marginalized service-users.
Fighting for the Meaning of Madness: An Interview with Dr. John Read
Akansha Vaswani interviews Dr. John Read about the influences on his work and his research on madness, psychosis, and the mental health industry.
Service-Users See Long-Term Antipsychotic Use as Compromising Recovery, Review Finds
A new meta-review examines the experiences of antipsychotic drugs use among people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.
Sodium Nitroprusside Shows No Efficacy in Schizophrenia Treatment
Researchers question biases of preliminary trials that found that sodium nitroprusside, an antihypertensive drug, has positive effects on schizophrenia symptoms.
The Role of Racial Bias in the Overdiagnosis of Schizophrenia
Researchers detect disparity between white and African American patients diagnosed with schizophrenia when symptoms of a mood disorder are present.
Valuing Posttraumatic Growth in Psychosis
Individuals who experience psychosis can also experience posttraumatic growth, which can be a central component of the recovery paradigm.
What I Have Learned from My Psychosis
During my periods in forced hospitalization, I did not feel that the psychiatrist understood how much I suffered. When I stayed in solitary, I felt that the earth would vanish. There I was, locked away from my loved ones. I thought I wasn’t allowed by the secret service to talk with anyone. But during my psychosis, I met God, and I found out that God is love.
Psychiatrists View Drug-Free Programs for Psychosis as “Unscientific,” Study Finds
A new study provides an insider’s look into how psychiatrists view the establishment of drug-free programs in Norway.
Adderall Use Associated with Increased Risk of Psychosis
Twice as many teenagers with ADHD experienced severe psychosis when taking Adderall, as compared to Ritalin, according to a new study.
First-Person Accounts of Madness and Global Mental Health: An Interview with Dr. Gail Hornstein
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.
Stigmatizing Effects of the Psychosis-Risk Label
Study examines the effects on participants of being told they are at risk of developing psychosis.