Committed at 16: Memories of a State Hospital

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While most of the sting is gone, even now — almost sixty years on — I can’t get through a single day without thinking about shock treatment and the state hospital. I regularly have dreams or nightmares about being lost in a strange place and someone making me feel like dirt.

“Hearing Voices: The People Who Say Talking Back is the Only Answer”

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Journalist Emma Reynolds profiles Amanda Waegeli, Ron Coleman, Nathan Grixli and Lyn Mahboub about their experiences coming to the Hearing Voices Network (HVN). HVN was established 10 years ago in Australia and provided a support group that encouraged people to listen to their voices rather than trying to block them out. The group now operates in 25 countries.

Hallucination is Common in Children and Adolescents

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Hallucinatory experiences are common in childhood and adolescence, and most cases discontinue in the short-term, according to a review of the data conducted by...

DSM-5 Retreats from Some Controversial Diagnoses

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The APA DSM-5 Development website announced today that "Psychosis Risk" and "Mixed Anxiety Depression" will not be included in the DSM-5 (apart from recommendations...

Large German Anti-Stigma Campaign Shows Little Effect on Attitudes

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“Overall, this study showed that the information and awareness campaign had almost no significant effects on the general public's attitudes toward people affected by either schizophrenia or depression,” the researchers, led by German medical sociologist Anna Makowski, wrote. “One could assume that deeply rooted convictions cannot be modified by rather time-limited and general activities targeted at the public.”
road

Enjoying the Road Less Traveled

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The people that my son and I continued to consult with over the years didn't talk of mental illness as a brain disease, a chemical imbalance, or a problem with one's genes. Depending on the therapy, they spoke in terms of restoring life force energy, changing cellular vibration, learning to listen and understand, and building a self.

Psychiatrists View Drug-Free Programs for Psychosis as “Unscientific,” Study Finds

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A new study provides an insider’s look into how psychiatrists view the establishment of drug-free programs in Norway.

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

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

Many Psychiatric Patients Sent Home With Multiple Antipsychotics Against Guidelines

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Despite the fact that clinical practice guidelines specifically recommend against the use of more than one antipsychotic at once, new research reveals that as...

And That’s the News from the Department of Psychiatry

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In the business of clinical trials, the most valuable commodities are the research subjects. Filling clinical trials is hard, and filling them quickly is even harder. That’s why in 2000 a clinical investigator told the HHS Office of the Inspector General that research sponsors were looking for three things from research sites: “No. 1—rapid enrollment. No. 2 — rapid enrollment. No. 3 — rapid enrollment.”

“California Moves to Stop Misuse of Psychiatric Meds in Foster Care”

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On Tuesday, NPR told the story of DeAngelo Cortijo. DeAngelo became a foster kid at age 3 after his mother attempted suicide. He was “diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders, attachment disorder, intermittent explosive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder,” and was prescribed “a combination of antipsychotics, antidepressants and stimulants, and was told that taking them was his only hope of being normal.” Through equine therapy, DeAngelo was eventually able to get off all of his medication. Now, California is hoping to pass reforms that would prevent foster kids, like DeAngelo, from being “prescribed antipsychotic drugs at double to quadruple the rate of that not in foster care.”

Madness and the Family, Part III: Practical Methods for Transforming Troubled Family Systems

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We are profoundly social beings living not as isolated individuals but as integral members of interdependent social systems—our nuclear family system, and the broader social systems of extended family, peers, our community and the broader society. Therefore, psychosis and other forms of human distress often deemed “mental illness” are best seen not so much as something intrinsically “wrong” or “diseased” within the particular individual who is most exhibiting that distress, but rather as systemic problems that are merely being channeled through this individual.

How Can Two Such Radically Different Experiences Both Be Called “Schizophrenia”?

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-Psychiatrist Jose Andres Saez Fonseca disposes with the language of the diagnostic manuals, and tries to grapple with different ways of seeing.

New Review Suggests Higher Recovery and Remission Rates for Psychosis

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Meta-analysis gives updated recovery and remission rates for persons identified as having a first-episode psychosis and those diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Study Examines Women’s Experiences of Hearing Voices

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An international group of researchers from multiple disciplines has published a historical, qualitative, and quantitative investigation into voice-hearing in women. The interdisciplinary project, freely available from Frontiers in Psychiatry, explores how sexism, exploitation, and oppression bear on women’s’ experiences of hearing voices.

Hidden Invaders

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From Discover Magazine: Some children's symptoms of psychiatric disorders, including OCD, psychosis, and eating disorders, are caused by an autoimmune response to infections resulting in brain inflammation. "PANS...

Review of the Evidence: Childhood Adversity High in Schizophrenia and Other Disorders

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Researchers from Australia and the UK found that people with a schizophrenia diagnosis almost four times more likely than controls to have a history of...

Stigmatizing Effects of the Psychosis-Risk Label

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Study examines the effects on participants of being told they are at risk of developing psychosis.

Neuroscientists Recreate Ghostly Presences in Laboratory

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Neuroscientists have been able to consistently recreate in people the feeling of another person or ghostly entity hovering nearby, according to a study reported...

CAFÉ Study: Real Science or Marketing Exercise?

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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.

“Schizophrenia Breakthrough” – Or a Case of Ignoring the Most Important Evidence?

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Last week, the headlines blared: "Schizophrenia breakthrough as genetic study reveals link to brain changes!"  We heard that our best hope for treating “schizophrenia” is to understand it at a genetic level, and that this new breakthrough would get us really started on that mission, as it showed how a genetic variation could lead to the more intense pruning of brain connections, which is often seen in those diagnosed with schizophrenia.  “For the first time, the origin of schizophrenia is no longer a complete black box,” said one (while admitting that "it's still early days").  The acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) described the study as “a crucial turning point in the fight against mental illness.” But is all this hype justified?

No Proven Treatments of Any Kind for Psychosis or Schizophrenia in Children or Youth

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There are no proven treatments of any kind for children or adolescents experiencing psychosis or schizophrenia, according to a meta-analysis of randomized comparison trials published in PLOS One.

Creating Dialog on Approaches for “Psychosis” in New Jersey

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

Social Adversity and Crime Victimization Increase Risk of Psychotic Experiences Five Fold

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Researchers parse out factors within urbanicity that leads to risk for psychotic experiences.

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...