I’d thought this teaching job would be my chance to make positive changes in children’s lives. But most of the recommendations in students' IEPs were related not to reading, writing, and ’rithmetic but to behavior control and obedience to adults. And the school seemed to be working very hard to prove that the kids were disabled and to get them certified as such.
Forty years after I had first been admitted to the hospital, I was ready to confront my past. So, I sent for my hospital records, and I read them. As an experienced clinician, I recognized immediately what the doctors hadn’t been able to see in 1960: my problem wasn’t ‘schizophrenia’ but PTSD, connected with incest.
Long-term opioid prescribing has not only been shown to not be helpful for chronic pain; it in fact worsens pain by repeatedly causing tolerance and withdrawals (the main symptom of which is pain). This is analogous to how psychiatric drug use, though often helpful initially, ultimately can cause people to become chronically “mentally ill.”
The general theme, that various "mental illnesses" are being "overdiagnosed" is gaining popularity in recent years among some psychiatrists, presumably in an effort to distance themselves from the trend of psychiatric-drugs-on-demand-for-every-conceivable-human-problem that has become an escalating and undeniable feature of American psychiatric practice. But the implicit assumptions – that there is a correct level of such labeling, and that the label has some valid ontological significance – are emphatically false.
When I was a young adult, I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and placed on lithium. I am 61 years old now, living on the edge of end-stage kidney disease. If I could undo everything, by all means, I would not have taken this drug. It is not safe for anyone at any age.
I imagine that everybody on this side of the issue knows by now that the eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Chief Psychiatrist at Columbia, and past President of the APA, called Robert Whitaker "a menace to society." The grounds for Dr. Lieberman's vituperation were that Robert had dared to challenge some of psychiatry's most sacred tenets! But in all the furor, it was largely ignored that in the same interview Dr. Lieberman had said something else that warrants additional discussion.
Since I left the psychiatric prescribing trenches and came south for the winter, I’ve been staying in a beach town within driving distance of a technology metropolis. I take breaks from my writing and walk to the beach. There, I meet and talk with the winners of the American dream. They are intelligent, highly educated and financially successful. They take their beach vacations here.
While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.
When former NIMH chief Dr. Thomas Insel speaks, people listen. Dr. Insel famously criticized the DSM a couple of years ago for its lack of reliability. He notably broke ranks with the APA by saying there were no bio-markers, blood tests, genetic tests or imaging tests that could verify or establish a DSM diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar or schizoaffective disorder. However in a new article he announces research that claims to have found bona-fide physiological markers that identify specific "biotypes" of psychosis. This system could, purportedly, identify a person as possessing a specific biotype of psychosis, instead of a DSM-category diagnosis.
Data shows that over a third of users experience permanent memory loss and that approximately half report not receiving adequate information about the risks from their doctors.
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.
Researchers investigate the first-person experiences of people who disagreed with their psychiatric diagnosis of psychosis.
Researchers detect disparity between white and African American patients diagnosed with schizophrenia when symptoms of a mood disorder are present.
Neuroscience researchers find no differences in brain connectivity between children with diagnoses of autism, ADHD, and those with no diagnoses.
STAT recently published an opinion piece arguing that the black box warning on antidepressants has led to an increase in adolescent suicide. It is easily debunked, and reveals once again how our society is regularly misled about research findings related to psychiatric drugs. STAT has lent its good name to a false story that, unfortunately, will resonate loudly with the public.
A new study provides an insider’s look into how psychiatrists view the establishment of drug-free programs in Norway.
Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”
Results from a 30-year prospective study demonstrated worse outcomes for people who took antidepressants, even after controlling for gender, education level, marriage, baseline severity, other affective disorders, suicidality, and family history of depression.
Despite little evidence for benefit, and substantial risk of harm, antipsychotics are commonly prescribed to children diagnosed with ADHD
Instead of hope and enthusiasm for their futures, too many children now grow up believing they are inherently defective, and controlled by bad genes and biochemical imbalances. They are shackled by the idea that they have ADHD and then subdued by the drugs that inevitably go along with the diagnosis. Unless something intervenes, many of them will go on to pass their days on Earth in a drug-impaired, demoralized state.
The fact that we shame people for acting like they need attention (and for actually needing attention) is self-defeating and maddening, not to mention absurd. Living in a society that punishes people for having fundamental needs like attention is probably one of the reasons people have developed behaviors “just” to “get attention.”
A new study conducted by Jeffrey Vittengl at Truman University has found that taking antidepressant medications resulted in more severe depression symptoms after nine years.
The story of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy is not only a tragedy within itself and for all those involved with them, it is emblematic of the situation faced by millions of young people in the western world and increasingly around the entire planet. Final installment in the series.
New research examines factors that make mindfulness interventions in school most effective for adolescent’s mental health outcomes.
A new article in Lancet Psychiatry finds that slower tapering of SSRIs is better for preventing antidepressant withdrawal effects.