Sunday, October 2, 2022

Books Under Review: Spring 2022

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Reviews of four recent books reflecting various perspectives on the mental health system.

August 20, 1985: The Day My Psychotic Episodes Ended

10
I didn’t know that I had never fully experienced my emotional pain until I was thrown into an altered state. With “psychosis” I plowed through layers and layers of pain, alone in the night.
Photo of Darby Penney sitting beside a flower and candle

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

9
Celia Brown, Ron Bassman, and Peter Stastny mourn the loss of Darby Penney, who fought to transform the mental health system in New York.

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

16
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.
Illustration of a head filling up with pills

Psychiatry Is the Cause, Not the Solution

42
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.
Photograph of East Wing and a field of buckwheat

Inner Fire: Where Seekers Have a Choice

10
A Vermont residential community program helps people taper or stay off medications with holistic care embedded in a pastoral setting.
trauma informed world

The Year Of Potentiality

13
I lost three years of my life to my first psychosis. I am living proof that your entire world can be smashed into a trillion pieces and you can recover and turn the broken pieces of glass into a kaleidoscope.

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

16
A new questionnaire funded by AbbVie conflates antidepressant side effects with bipolar disorder and doesn’t actually meet the criteria for being considered “screening.”
Illustration depicting a blue figure with three monkeys climbing on them

What We Have Always Known but Psychiatry Forgot

37
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.
Roxanne Stewart-Johnson and her children

The Great Triumph of Roxanne Stewart-Johnson: Psychiatric Refugee

9
Roxanne fled to Canada, and received formal refugee status, as a psychiatric refugee after being threatened with psychiatric imprisonment and forced drugging in Jamaica.

My Partner Abused Me. I Was the One Locked Up

14
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.

It’s All About Rights—or Should We Say “Unequal Privileges”

5
On May 26, MindFreedom will partner with “I Love You, Lead On” to host the fifth in an educational series to create cross-disability understanding of common themes and initiatives.

Psychotherapy Can Prevent Relapse When Discontinuing Antidepressants

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“Short and simple psychological programs can prevent people from relapsing when they stop their antidepressants.”
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.

Lead Exposure in Childhood Impacts Personality and Mental Health

3
A study of over 1.5 million people in Europe and the US links the development of less adaptive personalities with childhood lead exposure.

No, the FDA’s Black Box Warning Did not Increase Suicides

8
Researchers again debunk the claim that the FDA black box warnings on antidepressants led to more suicides.

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