Monday, October 25, 2021
Illustration of colorful blocks resembling tetriminoes

“Tetris for Trauma” Viral Twitter Thread: A Master Class in Misleading Psych Research

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A TV writer claims that research shows that Tetris is “literally a trauma first aid kit.” Her tweets sound scientific, but the research behind it is unconvincing.
Photo of Darby Penney sitting beside a flower and candle

Remembering Darby Penney — A Fierce Advocate for Justice and Human Rights

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Celia Brown, Ron Bassman, and Peter Stastny mourn the loss of Darby Penney, who fought to transform the mental health system in New York.
Photograph of two faces in psychedelic colors with dark background

Ending The Silence Around Psychedelic Therapy Abuse

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All the new hype about miracle psychedelic treatments as the next wave of cures for mental disorders leaves out the risk of therapy abuse.
Helena Hansen

Combatting Structural Racism and Classism in Psychiatry: An Interview with Helena Hansen

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MIA interviews psychiatrist and anthropologist Helena Hansen about bringing structural competency to psychiatry while rebuilding communities.

Anatomy of an Industry: Commerce, Payments to Psychiatrists and Betrayal of the Public Good

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The 2013 federal Open Payments legislation, which requires pharmaceutical companies to disclose their direct payments to physicians, was expected to help counter the corrupting...
Poster for the documentary film "Cured"

In a PBS documentary, ECT Is Bad for “Curing” Homosexuality, but Great for Depression!

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A new documentary about gay activists' defeat of the APA ends with a disclaimer that ECT is "effective" for severe depression. Bruce Levine spoke with the filmmakers.

Books Under Review: Fall 2021

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Reviews of four recent books reflecting various perspectives on the mental health system, including explorations of the DSM and Open Dialogue.

The WHO Calls for Radical Change in Global Mental Health

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The World Health Organization newly published guidance for community mental health urges an end to forced treatment and the adoption of person-centered and rights-based services.
insomnia drugs

Polydrugged With 12 Different Drugs… For Insomnia

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Before my nightmare with psychiatric medication began, my life was full and happy. But since being prescribed 12 different psychiatric drugs in one year, I have become bedridden, ill and jobless.

“Never Look on the Dark Side”: The Science of Positivity from Early Eugenics to...

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The "science" of happiness has always been inextricably linked to eugenics. Modern positive psychology, with its focus on genetics and willpower, is no different.
akathisia

Akathisia: Very Nearly the Death of Me

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Akathisia is truly an indescribable thing—and has to be one of the most hellish experiences on earth. It’s like your brain is hijacked. Every day I thought could be my last.

Suicidality: When Your Feelings Are Too Dangerous

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After finding a cop at my door, I learned it wasn’t safe to talk about my feelings of wanting to die. As a result, I spent the better part of the next decade not telling anyone when I was suicidal.
Illustration depicting a blue figure with three monkeys climbing on them

What We Have Always Known but Psychiatry Forgot

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When I came off my last medication, my psychiatrist said to me, “You will get sick again.” Psychiatry has always been sure that I would never recover from bipolar disorder.
Photograph of East Wing and a field of buckwheat

Inner Fire: Where Seekers Have a Choice

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A Vermont residential community program helps people taper or stay off medications with holistic care embedded in a pastoral setting.

Making Mental Health an Ongoing Priority:  A Patch Adams Approach

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My brother’s sudden death and Mental Health Awareness Month spurred me to spend May making small, very personal efforts to both honor his memory and move the mental health conversation forward.

The Case of Joshua Spriestersbach: If This Is a Horror Story, What Does it...

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Spriestersbach was imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for almost three years. The more he told the doctors that he was not Thomas Castleberry, the more they believed that he was psychotic.

So Long, Pill Mill: A Letter to My Former Patients and Their Families

I love being a psych nurse practitioner, and I never want to feel that my only role is pushing pills. The private practice I started is my effort to move away from this dysfunctional system.
Photo of Don Weitz

Remembering Don Weitz, 1930-2021

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My hero, mentor, and very dear friend Don Weitz died comfortably, in his home, on the afternoon of September 1, attended by his loving twin children, Lisa and Mark.
Illustration of a head filling up with pills

Psychiatry Is the Cause, Not the Solution

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I have found that trauma is frequently at the root of many eventual psychological and medical issues. Medications often only worsen the disconnection caused by trauma.

Meds vs. No Meds? My Search for Freedom of Mind

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I have stayed on the same daily, 10 mg dosage of Abilify for the last few years. Although I am compliant, I am not satisfied: I do not feel whole. I do not feel authentic.

My Partner Abused Me. I Was the One Locked Up

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Every day, psychiatrists in Australia’s mental health system write reports denying the sanity of women who are victims of sexual assault, rape, or domestic violence. I know: I was one of them.

“Getting to the Root Causes of Suffering”: An Interview with Patricia Rush, M.D.

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Dr. Rush talks about the THEN Center and the links between childhood trauma, inequality, human development, and chronic illness.

Screening for Bipolar: Have You Ever Been “Unusually Happy” for More than a Week?

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A new questionnaire funded by AbbVie conflates antidepressant side effects with bipolar disorder and doesn’t actually meet the criteria for being considered “screening.”
Roxanne Stewart-Johnson and her children

The Great Triumph of Roxanne Stewart-Johnson: Psychiatric Refugee

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Roxanne fled to Canada, and received formal refugee status, as a psychiatric refugee after being threatened with psychiatric imprisonment and forced drugging in Jamaica.
Carlton Brown

Unheard Voices: Carlton Brown

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In the first installment of MIA's Unheard Voices series, Carlton Brown talks about his life, living on the streets, the psychiatric system, and survival.

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