Both Older and Younger Parental Age Linked to Mental Health

Recent research has focused on a seemingly high rate of psychiatric disorders in the offspring of older fathers.  New research in JAMA Psychiatry, using...

Japan Leads the Way Away From “Schizophrenia” as a Concept

Schizophrenia Bulletin follows the movement change to the name and concept of "Schizophrenia", revealing that Japan has taken the lead.  Japan, to remove the...

“Forget the Headlines – Schizophrenia is More Common Than You Might Think”

Despite the headline, this article in The Guardian reviews the notion that schizophrenia is "a wide range of often unrelated conditions, all of which...

Loss of a Parent in Childhood Raises Psychosis Risk

Children who lose a parent before the age of 3 are 84% more likely to experience psychosis as adults, according to research published in...

Non-Distressed Psychosis-Like Experiences Not Linked to Serious Mental Illness

Research from the University of Maryland finds that "Although 'psychosis-like experiences' (PLEs) may reflect elevated risk for onset of serious mental illness," further examination...

The Myth of Schizophrenia as a Progressive Brain Disease

Noted schizophrenia researchers Robin Murray, Robert Zipursky and Thomas Reilly write in Schizophrenia Bulletin that "mental health professionals need to join with patients and...

CAFÉ Study: Real Science or Marketing Exercise?

I received the following question from a reader regarding the controversial CAFÉ – Comparisons of Atypicals in First Episode of Psychosis - study. (This was the study in which Dan Markingson committed suicide.) "It appears that there was no head-to-head with a control group taking a placebo pill. Nor was there a control group featuring 'old' types of 'antipsychotic'. If that was the case then it is very poor study . . . what on earth can you hope to show from the data?" I started to write a response, but the subject is complex, and my response became the following article.

Childhood Bullying Linked to Psychosis

Research from the U.K. shows that involvement in bullying between the ages of 8 and 11, whether as victim or perpetrator, is linked to...

Investigate the Markingson Suicide? Not So Fast, Says University President

Responding to a letter signed by 175 scholars asking for an inquiry into the death of Dan Markingson at the University of Minnesota, the Faculty Senate voted to investigate clinical research at the university. But the university president says the Markingson case will not be part of the investigation. What is he trying to hide?

Canadian Study Links Cannabis and Psychosis in Youth

The Cannabis and Psychosis Awareness Project, a four-year study from Canada that was released on Tuesday, finds that smoking marijuana - particularly heavy use in...

“Psychosis Risk Syndrome is Back to Haunt Us”

Allen Frances adds to his catalog of DSM-5 mistakes with the return of the controversial - and ultimately rejected - "Psychosis Risk Disorder", under...

Childhood Adversity and Psychosis: From Heresy to Certainty

Presentation by John Read at the Meanings of Madness Conference. (Presentation begins at 5 minutes in.)

Environment is a Primary Factor in Transition to Psychosis

Researchers (including Jim van Os) find, in a three-year cohort study of 1272 people at possible genetic risk of psychosis, that "most transitions (to psychosis)...

Higher Genetic Risk for Schizophrenia Linked to Lower Risk of Psychotic Experiences

Research from the universities of Cardiff, Cambridge and Bristol finds no evidence of a link between genetic associations with schizophrenia and adolescent psychotic experiences....

Mental Illness, Right & Wrong, Drugs, and Violence

The recent incident in the grounds of Washington Capitol, involving a young educated woman, brought shock to many people. It was another opportunity to blame a victim of mental illness and demand further restraint and medical attention for such individuals. Yes, we are lacking dignified, caring, discerning and attentive treatment for those whose spirits are broken. But we certainly don’t suffer from a lack of medical treatment for such individuals. It is time for policy-holders, and our scientific community to ask the 'heretical' question; “Could the drugs be the culprit behind the violence?”

Of FEP’s, DUP’s and BS

First episode psychosis (FEP) and duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) remain the foci of great numbers of early intervention programs in Western countries. “Untreated” in DUP-anese is synonymous with unmedicated, which often creates a sense of urgency and a myopic fixation on getting these youth started on anti-psychotics and keeping them on. What is the impact of this medical model and its accompanying chemical imbalance narrative on these emerging adults? How often does it set them on a course of regained functioning and restored hope, or does it serve as a gateway into a lifetime of disability and discouragement?

As Lawyers and Bureaucrats Delay, The Body Count Rises

It took over twenty years for the state medical board to sanction a Minnesota psychiatrist who was responsible for the deaths and injuries of 46 patients. Today, in the Markingson case, it looks as if history is repeating itself. How many patients die while bureaucrats delay?

Creating Dialog on Approaches for “Psychosis” in New Jersey

What would happen if professionals opened their minds about the nature of madness?  What new possibilities might be created if they questioned labels such...

The Slow Torture of Mary Weiss

Dan Markingson was floridly psychotic and unable to give informed consent when University of Minnesota researchers coerced him into an industry-funded drug study. His mother, Mary Weiss, warned the researchers that Dan was in danger of killing himself, but she was ignored. Dan committed a violent suicide in 2004. Last week, after fighting the university and research regulators for nine years, Mary suffered a severe stroke. Her struggle for justice is in serious danger.

Guiding Voices, Trauma-Induced Voices

I have facilitated support groups and worked one-on-one with those who hear voices for nearly 10 years.. The insights I've come to from my own experience have often facilitated understanding for others. Here is what I have learned from my experience of hearing voices.

On “Schizophrenia”

The first time I heard someone labeled schizophrenic I was about 10 years old. A man was talking to himself and appeared to be house-less and perhaps on drugs. My mom, a very good teacher and explainer of things to me, said, “That man is schizophrenic. That means he can't tell the difference between what's inside of himself and what's outside.” In retrospect this seems like a relatively sophisticated and sensitive explanation; Falling in love, hearing music that enters our heart, having children/giving birth, connecting powerfully with another person in a meeting of the minds, feeling empathy, deeply caring about something, experiencing oneness with nature, are all examples of times when the line between inner and outer reality is blurred.

Tapering Off Medications When “Symptoms Have Remitted”: Does That Make Sense?

While a 2-year outcome study by Wunderink, et al. has been cited as evidence that guided discontinuation of antipsychotics for people whose psychosis has remitted results in twice as much “relapse,” a not-yet-published followup of that study, extending it to 7 years using a naturalistic followup, finds that the guided discontinuation group had twice the recovery rates, and no greater overall relapse rate (with a trend toward the medication group having more relapse.)

Madness and Play: Exploring the Boundary

When children do things like recoil in fear from monsters and ghosts in their darkened bedroom at night, it’s easy to see the “out of touch with reality” aspect of their experience as being closely related to the faculty that gives them their ability to play – their imagination. We help children through such challenging experiences by being with them, and by playing together, doing things like creating scary images together and then figuring out how to cope with them or laugh at them. In the process we help them explore how to create a world view that works to at least some extent and has room for joy and originality - when their imagination helps them (and maybe others) see the world in new ways.

How Much can a Psychiatrist Charge to Visit With a Dead Research Subject?

At the University of Minnesota, the answer is apparently $1,446. If harmless clerical errors were to blame for oddities like this, that fact should be easy to clarify simply by looking at the relevant documents.  But if there are systematic issues with the administration of clinical trials that makes it possible to bill for a visit with a dead subject, those issues would be important for other universities and private trial sites as well. 

What Happened After a Nation Methodically Murdered Its Schizophrenics? Rethinking Mental Illness and Its...

When we begin to question, we discover that (1) scientifically flawed research has been used to promote ideas around mental illness and its heritability, and (2) instead of focusing on nature vs. nurture causes of mental illness, it’s time to consider whether certain phenomena are really symptoms of pathology or instead are inextricable aspects of our humanity.