“Virtual Autism” May Explain Explosive Rise in ASD Diagnoses
New clinical case studies have found that many young children who spend too much screen time—on TV’s, video games, tablets and computers—have symptoms labeled as “autism.” When parents take away the screens for a few months the child’s symptoms disappear.
Peer-Support Groups Were Right, Guidelines Were Wrong: Dr. Mark Horowitz on Tapering Off Antidepressants
In an interview with MIA, Dr. Horowitz discusses his recent article on why tapering off antidepressants can take months or even years.
Helping Children to Overcome OCD: 6 Creative Strategies for Parents
Here, Dr. Ben Furman offers a creative approach to helping children who struggle with OCD. Explaining why behaviors like reasoning, reassuring, and superstitious rituals don’t work, he suggests engaging alternatives that teach kids how to manage their “worry monster” and make sense of their distressing experience.
Very Slow Tapering Best For Antidepressant Withdrawal
A new article in Lancet Psychiatry finds that slower tapering of SSRIs is better for preventing antidepressant withdrawal effects.
Suicide in the Age of Prozac
During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.
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.
Zel Dolinsky: I Have a Right to “Death With Dignity”
Researcher Zel Dolinsky once taught at medical school and worked as a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry. In his last emails, he told of how the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs led him to choose to end his life.
New Study Concludes that Antidepressants are “Largely Ineffective and Potentially Harmful”
A new study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry concludes that “antidepressants are largely ineffective and potentially harmful.”
Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?
A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.
Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed
Diagnosing children with juvenile or pediatric bipolar disorder is largely an American phenomenon. Do we actually have more “bipolar” children in the United States—or are we simply labeling more of them as such? If it is ever fair to call a child “manic,” isn’t the child’s environment the direction in which we should look?
No, There is no Such Thing as ADHD
Somewhere along the line we have lost the understanding that kids come in all shapes and sizes. Some kids are active, some are quiet; some kids are dreamers, others are daring; some kids are dramatic, others are observers; some impulsive, others reserved; some leaders, others followers; some athletic, others thinkers. Where did we ever get the notion that kids should all be one way?
Antidepressants Do Not Prevent Suicides, May Increase Risk
When the CDC released data revealing an increasing suicide rate in the US, some experts, speaking to major media outlets, speculated that the increase...
How “Mental Health Awareness” Exploits Schoolchildren
Imagine being a parent at a meeting with educators to discuss Johnny's academics or behavior. Suddenly, your child’s teacher is telling you that he needs to see a doctor for an assessment of a suspected “mental disorder,” which usually leads to a prescription for medication. Warned of “the risks against failing to intervene,” you will likely acquiesce.
Helping Children With Angry Outbursts
Finnish psychiatrist Ben Furman reviews various non-drug therapies for children with aggressive outbursts of anger, including the Kids' Skills approach that he and social psychologist Tapani Ahola developed. These approaches focus on helping children come up with their own ideas for overcoming their problems with the help of family and friends.
Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Hearing Voices Network self-help groups are an important resource for coping with voice hearing, study finds.
Q&A: How Can I Motivate My “Deadbeat” Teenager?
My 19-year-old son has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and ODD. He refuses to go to school or get a job; instead, he just hangs around and plays video games. He has prescriptions but refuses to take them. Frankly, he contributes nothing to the household but stress and is a bad role model for his siblings. How can I make him take his meds and shape up?
Q&A: My Child Is Self-Harming. How Can I Help?
I walked in on my teenaged daughter cutting her upper leg with a razor. I have also noticed multiple cuts and what look like cigarette burns on her wrists and torso. She’s always made excuses about them, but now I realize she has been self-harming for a while. She swears she isn’t suicidal. What’s this all about, and what can I do?
Lancet Psychiatry Needs to Retract the ADHD-Enigma Study
Lancet Psychiatry, a UK-based medical journal, recently published a study that concluded brain scans showed that individuals diagnosed with ADHD had smaller brains. That conclusion is belied by the study data. The journal needs to retract this study. UPDATE: Lancet Psychiatry (online) has published letters critical of the study, and the authors' response, and a correction.
Suicide Rates Rise While Antidepressant Use Climbs
Multiple media sources are reporting on new data from the CDC revealing a substantial increase in the suicide rate in the United States between 1999...
Traditional South African Healers Use Connection in Suicide Prevention
Study finds that traditional healers in South Africa, whose services are widely used by the country’s population, perform important suicide prevention work.
Neurodiversity is Dead. Now What?
The neurodiversity movement is a public relations campaign that emphasizes the positive qualities associated with some presentations of autism—creativity, increased tolerance for repetition, enhanced empathy, and exceptional memory—while erasing or minimizing the experiences of autistics who are severely disabled.
I Want Change
Only two hours after we got home, Dan fearlessly told me of the suicide plan that he'd devised while in the hospital. He had all that time to think about it while nobody was listening. He'd lost his dignity, his identity and his place in society. He had lost the will to live.
Q&A: Is My Child Being Overdrugged?
My eight-year-old daughter has diagnoses of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and ODD. She is taking four prescribed drugs, but she is still suffering and her behavior hasn’t changed much. Her doctor is suggesting adding yet another med. I’m wondering how many drugs are enough? I am starting to think she should go off some of them. I want to trust the psychiatrist, but I’m just not sure anymore.
Study Confirms Higher Suicide Risk for Sexual Minority Adolescents
Researchers report that sexual minority adolescents have considered, planned, and attempted suicide substantially more than their heterosexual peers.
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.