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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
After seeing the family for two sessions I came to the conclusion that what Adam was suffering from was inconsistent discipline, temper tantrums and misbehavior that were inadvertently encouraged by his parents. The correct prescription for Adam was not an antipsychotic medication that might cause him harm, but family therapy to help the parents implement a behavioral program that would fit Adam’s needs.
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.”
Researchers find that valproate decreases brain volume in a region associated with emotion processing across all participants.
Researchers recently completed a first of its kind, large-scale international survey of attitudes about mental health and they were surprised by the results. According to their analysis published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, people in developed countries, like the United States, are more likely to assume that ‘mental illnesses’ are similar to physical illnesses and biological or genetic in origin, but they are also much less likely to think that individuals can overcome these challenges and recover
Researchers offer a critical take on the inclusion of the Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in the DSM-V.
A new report on pediatric bipolar critically examines the current evidence base and calls for more research before the diagnosis is used.
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.
It is important to distinguish, and not simply pathologize, experiences that are manic-like because they are time-honored states of mind associated with aspiration, ambition, and goal-achievement. The need to generate boundless energy, overtalk the issues to sustain single-minded focus and motivation, and have a somewhat grandiose vision of what can be accomplished, combined, can eventuate in a manic mix of tendencies necessary to bring higher-order goals to fruition.
With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?
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.
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.
The narratives about Bipolar Disorder promoted by drug companies may influence how those diagnosed understand themselves.
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.
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)...
The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our...
A new study explores how “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” are viewed within the Māori community in New Zealand.
Between 2,150 and 4,100 children suffered from severe malformations connected to valproate prescription.
My heart envisions a future of grassroots community-based, free, accessible, welcoming, non-judgmental and safe spaces for young people in the middle of the hurricane of adolescence. They will be spaces completely free of the false and destructive dualism of “mental health” and “mental illness”, spaces in which no professionals are in sight, no illusions of quick-fix solutions offered, no top-down authority to direct the conversation. They will be spaces facilitated by those of us who’ve reclaimed what it means to be human—to suffer, to yearn, to fall into the depths of darkness, to fly high on the waves of euphoria, to think about death as a solution to life, to hear voices, to experience paranoia, to be debilitated by panic and anxiety, to feel completely helpless, hopeless, and alone.
A new study explores sexual violence and intimate partner violence in college women with mental health related disabilities.