Lithium Use Leads to Chronic Kidney Disease
New evidence suggests that lithium, commonly prescribed for bipolar disorder, can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.
Experiences of Depression Connected to Declining Sense of Purpose
In-depth interviews find that those who screened positive for depression did not explain their experience in terms of diagnostic symptoms.
Brave New Apps: The Arrival of Surveillance Psychiatry
Large, centralized, digital social networks and data-gathering platforms have come to dominate our economy and our culture. In the domain of mental health, huge pools of data are being used to train algorithms to identify signs of mental illness. I call this practice surveillance psychiatry.
Talking About Psych Diagnoses and Drugs: A Primer for Parents & Professionals
It is important to tell parents the truth about what can and cannot be known about their child. In this way, people come to appreciate that labels and treatments offered by psychiatric professionals are far from being grounded in hard science.
A Massachusetts Benzo Bill That Mandates Informed Consent
H. 3594 would require pharmacists to distribute pamphlets containing information on benzodiazepine misuse and abuse, risk of dependency and addiction, handling and addiction treatment resources. This would be a major legislative response to the prescribing patterns for these drugs today.
7 Years Off Psych Drugs: A Message to Those Labeled by Psychiatry (video)
Seven years ago, I completed a six-year process of withdrawing from six psychiatric drugs. That process was the impetus to start speaking up about what is happening in psychiatry with far too many of us being gravely harmed.
What We Are Talking About When We Talk About Community Mental Health
While I struggle with whether I can work in an ethical way when there are forces and perspectives prominent in our culture that are antithetical to mine, I have kept my day job as a psychiatrist in a community mental health center in Vermont. This is a reflection on that work and the value I observe in the efforts of my colleagues day in and day out.
Time to ‘Drop the Disorder’
It was February 2016, the UK-EU referendum debate was beginning to warm up and my tolerance for absorbing toxic tweets and frustrating Facebook posts was dwindling fast. What then pushed me over the edge was yet another celebrity-inspired media frenzy about a psychiatric “illness.”
Carrie Fisher: Bipolar Meds and Heart Disease
Carrie Fisher recently died of a heart attack at age 60. How likely was it that her heart attack was caused by her psych meds? Or that her psych meds increased her risk of death once the heart attack happened?
Is Society or Psychiatry to Blame for the “Seriously Mentally Ill” Dying 25 Years...
Adults in the U.S. diagnosed with “serious mental illness” die on average 25 years earlier than others. This is not controversial, as establishment psychiatry and its critics agree. What is controversial is who is to blame?
The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 (SB 2680) Would Be a Huge Step...
There is indeed a crisis in the mental health business. The crisis derives from psychiatry's spurious and self-serving premise that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are brain illnesses that are correctable by psychiatric drugs.
Powerful Advocacy has Shut Down Halloween “Attractions” that Ramp Up Prejudice
This year, two major North American theme park chains—Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Six Flags—came up with some really terrifying concepts, featuring a creature that apparently haunts the nightmares of a lot of Americans: Me. Well, not exactly me, but people who, like me, have mental health conditions.
Evolution or Revolution? Why Western Psychiatry Won’t Change by Incremental Steps
...but how realistic is it to expect that the biological skew of Western psychiatry can be sustainably changed one small step at a time?
Study 329 Continuation Phase
All the fuss about Study 329 centers on its 8-week acute phase. But this study had a 24-week Continuation Phase that has never been published. Until Now.
Psychiatry’s Current Greatest Controversy: Fraud, Bullsh*t or What?
In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Australian dissident psychiatrist Niall McLaren titles his article, “Psychiatry as Bullshit” and makes a case for just that. The great controversies in psychiatry are no longer about its chemical-imbalance theory of mental illness or its DSM diagnostic system, both of which have now been declared invalid even by the pillars of the psychiatry establishment. The great controversy today has now become just how psychiatry can be most fairly characterized given its record of being proven wrong about virtually all of its assertions, most notably about its classifications of behaviors, theories of “mental illness,” and treatment effectiveness/adverse effects.
Rejecting the “Medications for Schizophrenia” Narrative: A Survivor’s Response to Pies and Whitaker
As a psychiatric survivor who has personally experienced severe psychosis, my criticisms focus on the relative lack of attention to what psychiatric drugs actually are, and on the uncertain, contested nature of the supposed target of these drugs: “schizophrenia.” I will elaborate on each of these points with references, as well as highlighting alternative approaches to helping psychotic people.
It’s Possible — and Beneficial — to Stop Feeling Guilt and Shame
I believe the emotions of guilt and shame are culturally induced negative emotional experiences that almost all of us are tragically made to feel from infancy or childhood on. But guilt and shame are not now, nor ever were, hard-wired human emotional necessities.
Dear Son: A Mother’s Experience of Psychiatry, Racism and Human Rights
I wanted to spare you, my son, from suffering like I did. I wanted to give you every opportunity I could. You have grown into a good man, a caring and successful man, yet you still have to fear for your life in this country. You still feel pain when you see what is happening.
Depression, Antidepressants, and Expectancy
This study reinforces a large body of evidence suggesting that an individual’s expectancies for improvement significantly contribute to their actual improvement. The importance of expectancies is worth paying attention to now as more clients, clinicians, and researchers are endorsing a reductionist view of psychological disorders -- i.e., that psychological disorders are fundamentally brain disorders.
Enough is Enough Series, #5 – The ADHD Fiction is Exposed. The French Have...
The time has come that the fictitious ADHD qualifies for my ‘Enough is Enough’ series. It’s time to stop addressing pharmaceutical psychiatry on its own terms: its fraudulent and corrupt 'science,' its spurious 'evidence base,' and its imaginary psychiatric ‘diseases.’ I’m done with this. The evidence is in. Let’s get real. Psychiatry has become a profession of drug pushers. As a psychiatrist I am beyond troubled. Let’s get real.
The Algorithm Will See You Now: A Geek Tragedy
We would, in fact, save vast amounts of money by giving the pharmaceutical companies ten times the inflated prices they currently receive for drugs as part of a bargain that ensures only 10% of those currently taking lipid-lowering drugs, antidepressants, biphosphonate and other drugs end up on them. The savings would come from not having to treat treatment-induced disabilities.
Helpful and Hopeful Thoughts
The basic idea behind successful psychotherapy is that our thoughts create our feelings. And, luckily, our thoughts are changeable. I have personally experienced how liberating only one thought can be to a complex problem. That's why I would precent some of the thoughts that I have found most useful personally, and in therapy with patients, over 25 years.
Searching for a Rose Garden: Challenging Psychiatry, Fostering Mad Studies
Searching for a Rose Garden: Challenging Psychiatry, Fostering Mad Studies is a timely and unique collection of essays that should be of interest to anyone with personal experience with, or research interests in, mental difference, psychiatrization and its resistance.
My Daughter and Prozac
While our daughter was growing up, my ex-wife treated our daughter’s body like a temple. She was the only kid among her friends not allowed to drink soda or cow’s milk as they might negatively affect her health. But Prozac for mild anxiety? Sure, no problem. I was honestly and genuinely shocked.
Confessions of a Trespasser
In a recently published commentary in Psychiatric Times, Ronald Pies and Joseph Pierre made this assertion: Only clinicians, with an expertise in assessing the research literature, should be weighing in on the topic of the efficacy of psychiatric drugs. They wrote their commentary shortly after I had published on madinamerica “The Case Against Antipsychotics,” and it was clear they had me in their crosshairs.