Thursday, March 21, 2019

Antidepressant-Induced Mania

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.

Making the Case Against Antidepressants in Parliament

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 bipolar

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?

SSRI Antidepressants Increase Surgery Risks

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.
sad girl

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

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.

Daughter of a Psychiatrist

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.
can children have bipolar disorder

Can Children Have Bipolar Disorder?

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.

Bright Light Therapy More Effective Than Medication Alone for Bipolar Depression

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.”

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

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

Disease Theory of ‘Mental Illness’ Tied To Pessimism About Recovery

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

Minimal Evidence for Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in Childhood

Researchers offer a critical take on the inclusion of the Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in the DSM-V.

New Report Points to Gaps in the Evidence for Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

A new report on pediatric bipolar critically examines the current evidence base and calls for more research before the diagnosis is used.

Experts Decry Dangerous Use of Antipsychotics in Children

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.
healthy mania

In Defense of Healthy Mania

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.

Bipolar Diagnosis Linked to Childhood Adversity

With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?

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.

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

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.

Study Explores Meanings of Bipolar Disorder to Those Diagnosed

The narratives about Bipolar Disorder promoted by drug companies may influence how those diagnosed understand themselves.

Emotional Child Abuse Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

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.

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

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)...

Will Psychiatry’s Harmful Treatment of Our Children Bring About Its Eventual Demise?

The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our...

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

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

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

Reflections on a Pathologized Adolescence and a Vision For The Future

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.

Study Explores Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in College Women with Disabilities

A new study explores sexual violence and intimate partner violence in college women with mental health related disabilities.

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