I Want Change

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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.
childhood bipolar

Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed

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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?

Antidepressant-Induced Mania

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It is generally recognized in antipsychiatry circles that antidepressant drugs induce manic or hypomanic episodes in some of the individuals who take them. Psychiatry's usual response to this is to assert that the individual must have had an underlying latent bipolar disorder that has "emerged" in response to the improvement in mood. The problem with such a notion is that it is fundamentally unverifiable.

Emotional Child Abuse Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

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Different types of child abuse have equivalent psychological effects, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. It has previously been assumed that emotional and verbal abuse could have different or less harmful impact on a child’s psychology than physical or sexual abuse, but research now suggests that these forms of abuse can be just as damaging.

Valproate Linked to Decreased Brain Volume in Children Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

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Researchers find that valproate decreases brain volume in a region associated with emotion processing across all participants.

The Mountain Man

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Self-acceptance is a very human experience, and a necessary one in the pursuit of personal happiness. In my experience, the mental health field does an abysmal job of addressing this truth.

Experts Decry Dangerous Use of Antipsychotics in Children

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In a featured article for Psychiatric Services, psychiatrists from Dartmouth raise the alarm on the increasing numbers of children prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs. Despite the fact that data on the safety of long-term use of these drugs in this vulnerable population “do not exist,” the rate of children and adolescents being prescribed antipsychotic drugs have continued to increase over the past fifteen years.

Does DSM-5 Matter? Yes; but not for Psychiatrists

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What makes the DSM so pernicious is that it is a cultural document whose influence transcends not only psychiatric practice but also the Western civilization from which it originates. Each revision of the DSM rescripts and reimagines how we make sense of our experiences, reinterprets what thoughts, feelings and behaviors are socially sanctioned, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Researchers Call for Reappraisal of Adverse Mental Effects of Antipsychotics, NIDS

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In a study published yesterday, researchers from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo bring attention to a condition known as neuroleptic-induced deficit syndrome (NIDS)...

Making the Case Against Antidepressants in Parliament

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On Wednesday, May 11, there will be an inquiry by a work group in the U.K.’s Parliament into whether increases in the prescribing of antidepressants are fueling a marked increase in disability due to anxiety and depression in the U.K. I wrote about a similar rise in disability in the United States in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and the All Party Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence, which is the Parliamentary group that organized the debate, asked me to present the case against antidepressants.

Childhood Adversity Influences Levels of Distress in Voice Hearers

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Research finds that hearing negative voices explains how childhood adversity is related to distress.

SSRI Antidepressants Increase Surgery Risks

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There is accumulating evidence that taking SSRI antidepressants increases the risk of bleeding and other complications during surgery, according to a review published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

Hypotheses, Scientific Evidence, and On Being Compared to an AIDS Denier

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In today’s Boston Globe (April 14), Dr. Dennis Rosen, a pediatric lung and sleep specialist at Children’s Hospital in Boston, reviews my new book,...
sad girl

To Make Adolescence Permanent, Just Label it “Bipolar Disorder”

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When parents accept the bipolar label, something seems to click in their minds, and it’s in this instant that their kid’s life is forever ruined. Now they retrospectively view all the turmoil that began in puberty as due to permanent brain illness rather than normal, outgrowable adolescent issues.

Study Connects Environmental Risk Factors and Psychosis

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A meta-analysis of known risk factors for psychosis finds elevated risk with the presence of childhood trauma, adverse life events, and affective dysfunction.

Could ‘Treatment Resistance’ be an Effect of Antidepressants?

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Previously taking antidepressants could make individuals less likely to respond to treatment for bipolar II depression.

Daughter of a Psychiatrist

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Here I was, 15 years old and already in a long-term treatment facility. I was, on paper: crazy! This entire time, all the adults in my life had been speaking for me. I never felt like I was any of the things they said, but I went along with it. What else could I have done? Every time I rebelled, it only confirmed to my mother what she thought of me.

Bright Light Therapy More Effective Than Medication Alone for Bipolar Depression

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A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has found bright light therapy to be a powerful intervention that could provide an alternative to medication for people with “bipolar depression.”

Michael Samuel Bloom

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by Chaya Grossberg July 25, 2012 He also told me the shrinks were changing around his drugs and adding more.  They added an antidepressant or two to the Lithium and increased doses and eventually he seemed to have very little life left in him.  Our phone calls became trying for he was so down, practically dead sounding a lot of the time, and I felt unable to do anything or say anything to make a difference.  To even try felt futile and I wondered if talking to me at all was becoming the burden of yet another person he couldn't connect with. In the early years, he liked to think of us as being in the same boat, both mentally ill, since I'd also had a meltdown and I also am extremely sensitive and go through extreme states.  But as the years went by, especially towards the end, I seemed to be in the ever growing “other” camp in his eyes, which meant I was yet another person who didn't get what it was like to be him. And at that point I can confirm I did not, and perhaps did not want to.

Different Forms of Childhood Adversity Related to Specific Psychosis Symptoms

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In this month’s issue of Psychological Medicine, researchers from King’s College London found evidence for associations between different types of childhood adversity and specific symptoms associated with psychosis. As current categorical approaches to psychosis and schizophrenia diagnoses come under increasing scrutiny, this study adds support to sociological and psychological theories and treatments.

Study Explores Māori Community’s Multifaceted Understanding of “Psychosis”

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A new study explores how “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” are viewed within the Māori community in New Zealand.

Anticonvulsant Implicated in Birth Defects in up to 4,100 Children, French Study Finds

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Between 2,150 and 4,100 children suffered from severe malformations connected to valproate prescription.

45% of Children and Adolescent Inpatients Prescribed Antipsychotics

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In a rare long-term study of antipsychotics used in children and adolescent inpatients, the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT followed 3,851 consecutive admissions...

Antidepressants Associated with Increased Risk for Manic Symptoms

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An analysis of medical records in the UK reveals that the use of certain antidepressants for depression is linked to a heightened risk for mania and bipolar disorder. The research, published this week in BMJ Open, found the strongest effect for serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the antidepressant venlafaxine.

Many Foster Kids Are Still Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Drugs

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Many experts expressed concern when the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions to children in foster care showed a rapid increase, peaking in 2008, and new recommendations and policies have tried to curb the use of these drugs. While the rate has plateaued, a new study points out that the “new normal” prescription levels are still dangerously high. The data reveals that almost one in ten children in foster care are currently being prescribed antipsychotic drugs with dangerous side-effects, many for diagnoses like ‘ADHD’ and disruptive behavior.