Why West Virginia Has the Second Highest Prescription Drug Overdoses in Nation

Did you know that West Virginia has the second highest rate of deaths from prescription drug overdoses in the country? I didn't, until I...

What To Do With Advocates Who Refuse To Learn About Drug Downsides

I get a lot of ideas from other advocates from online forums like the Alternatives Facebook discussion group,  where we have a gathering of about...

Icarus Project Celebrates Our 10th Anniversary with Visions of Paradigm Shifts in Mental Health...

We’ve managed not only to survive with our scar songs, mad wisdom, and crooked beauty, but by 2012 to grow into an international community of activists, artists, healers, scholars, lovers, fighters, and dreamers!

Martin Keller, Principal Investigator of Controversial Paxil Study, Leaves Brown University

I just learned that Dr. Martin Keller, principal investigator of the controversial Paxil study 329, has retired from his position as a professor of...

Building Mental Health Exit Ramps: 5 Actions You Can Take in 10 Minutes

I've been working for 2 1/2 years on a system to provide non-medical care for people with emotional distress. I want it to be...

Coming Off Psychiatric Medication with Laura Delano – New Madness Radio Interview

What do you when medications for your emotional problems become worse than the problems themselves? Laura Delano went to a psychiatrist at age 18, and for the next decade was prescribed nineteen different psychiatric drugs. After devastating physical and emotional effects, she began a journey to become medication free -- and re-discover who she is.

Five Nights in Finland

I have just attended the 17th International Conference on the Treatment of Psychosis in Tornio, Finland. I am full of thoughts and I keep trying to figure out how I will explain this meeting to others.

RxISK Stories: Withdrawal from antidepressants – V’s story

I quit taking Prozac using a step-down method. Started in Sept. 2011 and finally off in January 2012. I experienced severe loss of balance early on, which progressed into full-blown ataxia & parasthesia. Have had extensive blood-testing & MRIs of brain & cervical spine, all negative! I have to believe this is a result of coming off Prozac, although most sites say the withdrawal side effects don't last this long.

The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: A Sane Approach to Psychiatric...

Millions of people believe that psychiatric medications have saved their lives, while millions of others report that their psychiatric medications were unhelpful or made...

Launching the Beyond ‘Anatomy’ Forum

When I first read Anatomy of an Epidemic in 2010, something inside of me ignited.  I had no idea that such a sensation was...

Mad In America Forums and Other Updates

Today we are launching discussion forums on Mad in America. We intend for these forums to serve three broad purposes. 1) Furthering discussion of the issues raised here. 2) Sharing personal experiences with psychiatric drugs, and 3) Providing a platform for personal networking and activism.

Psychiatry as a Mixed Blessing

In the late 70’s, before the invention of CT scanners or MRI scanners, I practiced emergency medicine. Without these sophisticated tools, I had to look at a patient and make a decision about whether or not they appeared ill or in distress. A doctor had to examine the patient; smell the patient, touch the patient, talk to the patient; this was crucial to the decision making process of diagnosis and treatment. With that sort of background, why do my observations and opinions as a psychiatrist somehow no longer matter?

Anosognosia: How Conjecture Becomes Medical “Fact”

Readers on this site have wondered how the notion of a "chemical imbalance" could have been accepted by so many when the research did not actually support the concept. A recent paper from the Treatment Advocacy Center that summarizes studies of anosognosia in psychosis gives some clue as to how this type of thinking becomes entrenched and accepted.

How You and I Can Take Back Translational Medicine – THIS WEEK!

I've been hearing about translational medicine for a long time and wondering what it was. For the most part, it's a huge subsidy to...

The History and Future of Our Psychiatric Survivor Movement

Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you a little movement history which I am sure many of you don't know.

Reporting Adverse Reactions to Psychiatric Drugs – How Doctors and Regulators Fail Us

In Medicine there’s a saying “if you hear hoofbeats, don’t look for zebras.” It’s a reference to the wisdom of looking for the most likely explanations when making a diagnosis rather than looking for those that are rare and unusual. Hoofbeats are of course more likely to be the common horse than the rare zebra. My encounters with New Zealand’s pharmacovigilance system over the past four years have been akin to a safari, where I have witnessed scientists involved in pharmacovigilance and medicines regulators wildly hunting zebras while a rather large and obvious horse was standing on their toes.

Please Stop Saying “Medical Model.”

There are two main problems with the term "medical model." First, it automatically frames the debate in the terms of the oppressor, and secondly, it's confusing. Many people in our community say "medical model" when we mean, "The idea that something wrong in my brain caused my emotional suffering." So why not just use a term that says this? When we say "Disease Model" we can clarify exactly what we are against. With just one word changed we can say we do not believe that a mental "disease" came from nowhere to put us out of action.

22 Human Rights Defenders Tell Senate: Ratify Disability Rights Treaty Without Limitations

Psychiatric survivors know that U.S. law does not protect our rights under the CRPD and needs to be changed; it is also contrary to human rights principles for any country to assert that its own law represents the limit of its treaty obligations.

Watchdogs or Show Dogs?

Beginning in the 1990s, a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies began to set up bioethics advisory boards, ostensibly to obtain guidance about controversial ethical issues. Over the years, the ties between industry and bioethics have gradually grown closer, with companies setting up endowed chairs and hiring bioethics consultants. Yet very little is known about how bioethics advisory boards work. What exactly is their purpose? Do they prevent ethical wrongdoing, or do they provide ethical cover?

Study 329’s Authors: Should Those Who Live in Glass Houses Throw Stones?

For the past several years whenever a critical essay has come along examining the work of Irving Kirsch and his colleagues I have made an effort to examine the validity of the proposed arguments. Kirsch and his colleagues used the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the unpublished trials of antidepressants and then pooled the clinical trial data – both published and unpublished ─ and analyzed it as a single data set. It is common for pharmaceutical companies to only publish those studies that find their products effective, and to withhold the negative studies, making it difficult to reach accurate conclusions by examining only the published data. Kirsch and his colleagues have reported that in the company sponsored clinical trials, the SSRIs only marginally outperform placebo, with the difference being statistically different but not clinically significant.

When Medical Muckraking Fails

Everyone knows how muckraking is supposed to work.  An investigative reporter uncovers hidden wrongdoing; the public is outraged; and the authorities move quickly on...

A Chance for Ohio

While there was much to criticize in the final report of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, the basic observation that the...

A New Understanding of “Psychosis”

When I first entered a state of altered reality (called psychosis) at the age of 25, I was exhilarated. Then, when I could not...

Jonah Lehrer was also Wrong About Antipsychotics

We spend a lot of time writing about knowledge dissemination in mental health, and over time, have increasingly recognized the important role of science...

The First Ever USA Olympic Gold Medal in Judo – and a Recovery Story

This morning Kayla Harrison won the first ever Olympic gold medal in the history of USA Judo. Kayla has overcome many, many obstacles on...