Sunday, April 5, 2020
man sits on floor against wall of tunnel

Social Determinants of Health and the Continued Individualization of Suffering

We need to stop believing that suffering people are genetically inferior or “diseased.” You, as sufferer, are not alone in having social determinants of health. They are universal. They are systemic. And they are not solvable or “addressable” at the individual level. The only way to alleviate negative social determinants of health is to create a more equitable, inclusive, and just society.
supreme court

Supreme Court Decides Case on Insanity Defense

The debate between the majority and dissent shows how distorted and destructive the stereotypes of madness are as they have passed down through the law. But there are also winds of change coming from tensions inherent in the insanity defense itself, and we should take this opportunity to develop some sensible policies.
mind, body, soul, spirit

43 and Finding Wellness: Attending to the 4 Bodies

My personal and professional experiences have taught me that the only way to address mental health is holistically. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, I believe it is necessary to attend to all of your bodies—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—in order to achieve wellness.
Madwomen in the Attic logo

Making a Mad Community, from Attic to Attic: Part Two

Part Two: Jessica Lowell Mason describes founding a mad community, Madwomen in the Attic, the challenges faced during its first year, the importance of community, and projects and hope for the future. "This two-part piece outlines our struggle to build a mad community across locations, across differences, across challenges, across borders and barriers, across countries."
Madwomen in the Attic logo

Making a Mad Community, from Attic to Attic: Part One

Part One: Jessica Lowell Mason describes her personal experiences with involuntary commitment, the psychiatric system, and the courts—leading to her founding of a mad community, Madwomen in the Attic. "This two-part piece outlines our struggle to build a mad community across locations, across differences, across challenges, across borders and barriers, across countries."

Researchers Find Paroxetine Harms Developing Brain

Researchers at Johns Hopkins test paroxetine on developing brain cells and discover numerous neurotoxic effects.
papercut figures surrounding quarantined COVID virus

US Considering Policies That Will Lead to Mass Death Of Psychiatric Patients

Being a psychiatric patient likely puts you at much greater risk for illness or dying from COVID-19. While most of the talk about "mental health in the time of the pandemic" focuses on mindfulness, ways to relieve your stress, and the accessibility to psychiatrists during social distancing, this reality of COVID-19 and mental health is being overlooked.
silhouette of soldiers

The Persistent, Misdirected Search for Causes of Trauma-based Suffering

In the United States and other countries that have a military, there is often a great deal of talk about supporting veterans, but way too often, research aimed at learning what will be helpful is misguided and can even be harmful. The same applies to nonveterans who have been through traumatic experiences. Two new studies exemplify such wrongheaded approaches.
human rights

Joint Statement on COVID-19 and Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities

During this global pandemic, organizations have come together to issue a joint statement making recommendations to governments on how to respect and ensure the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities, who are among the groups more vulnerable to human rights violations as well as infection with and severity of the illness.
man wearing suit with tv for head

The Perils of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising

The job of educating the public on common medical conditions and the range, efficacy, benefits, and risks of potential treatment options should be undertaken by an independent and objective government health agency, not a for-profit, multi-billion dollar industry with a conflict of interest.
woman being led away in handcuffs by two police officers

The Cost of Being Psychotic in America

People living with psychosis—people like me—are dying because we are being discriminated against by people who’d rather see us hurt than attempt to work with us and give us the decency and respect that should be accorded us as a human right. And nobody deserves to be assaulted or shot after they’ve reached out for help.

Paula J. Caplan – Listen to a Veteran

This week on MIA Radio, we chat with Paula J. Caplan, clinical and research psychologist, author of books and plays, playwright, actor, director, and activist. Paula is also a passionate and steadfast advocate for service members, veterans and their families.
hospital discharge

My Hospital Discharge Summary: An Intriguing Work of Fiction

I recalled a brief intercourse with a lady two months earlier that went something like this: “Why don’t you want to take medication?” to which I replied, “Because I think psychiatry is a sham.” Needless to say, my response hastily resulted in a temporary though adequately lengthy loss of my autonomy.
hearts and minds

Tending Hearts and Minds: Changing the Mental Health Paradigm in Our Schools

Our school professionals are under constant pressure to help funnel children into the mental health system and ultimately—and tragically for many—toward psychotropic drugs. So we designed a professional development symposium to address alternatives.
Teacher lecturing student. Blackboard reads "Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance"

Psychiatry and the Stupidification of America

There are three steps to modern psychiatry’s successful business formula: 1. Get people to think that they’re stupid even though they’re smart. 2. Train them to actually think stupidly. 3. Directly stupidify them with chemicals.

Iatrogenic Domino: I Was Poisoned by Polypharmacy

I did not suddenly develop some perverse form of mental illness out of thin air. I was a victim of repeated misdiagnoses, unrecognized adverse drug reactions/drug toxicity, and profound polypharmacy.
hands in circle reaching for speech bubbles

From FACT to POD: How a FACT Team Integrated Open Dialogue

Work with open dialogue always starts with a "network meeting" in which the person of concern is invited to talk with members of their social network (i.e., family, friends, co-workers) and at least two professionals from the care team. The main guideline was "nothing about you, without you."
lone man standing among giant pills

National Boards of Health Are Unresponsive to Children Driven to Suicide by Depression Pills

Peter C. Gøtzsche reports what happened, or rather did not happen, when he contacted National Boards of Health in eight countries with his serious concern that the use of depression pills in children is increasing and leads to more suicides. The continued official denial that these drugs cause suicide and that something substantial needs to be done is appalling.
discrimination

The Psychiatric Narrative & The Boston Globe: Violence, Force, & Derogatory Labels  

The Boston Globe recently published an atrocious opinion piece, “Massachusetts law meant to protect people with mental illness may make them sicker.” Though framed as an attempt to shed light on a need for better mental health laws, the piece insults those of us of who have been labeled with mental health diagnoses.
emotion faces illustrations

A Book Review of “Acceptance: The Defining Voice of Validation”

This is no goody-goody book but one that compellingly draws our attention to what in our hurried, overburdened lives too easily gets lost, that is, the essential human need for acceptance and validation. Validation, the author says, "is a joining with the distressed person to reflect or give voice to that person’s feelings accurately."
man's back on blue background vector illustration

Please Stop Saying Depression Is Like Diabetes

It seems more and more common for people who consider themselves mental health advocates to make the argument that “mental illness is like physical illness.” Have you heard this “depression is like diabetes” tactic? I have a hard time seeing how this is advocating for those in emotional distress.

Does Longer Duration of Untreated Psychosis Cause Worse Outcomes?

New research counters the long-held assumption that a longer duration of untreated psychosis is associated with worse outcomes.

Psychology is Not What You Think: An Interview with Critical Psychologist Ian Parker

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Ian Parker about critical psychology, discourse and political action, and whether psychology has anything left to offer.

To My Black Crows of Wisdom

Some might wonder why I'm still stumbling in the desert when there are cars and jobs and museums downtown, but really, the turquoise dawn is in the canyons. The thing is, my people seem to need this nutrition, the rarified medicine of this particular cactus and that specific root that I haven't found anywhere else.

How Radical Women Changed Psychiatry in the 1970s

Women’s issues and mental health were embedded in radical mental medicine fifty years ago. Feminism and sexual politics in the late 1960s and 1970s led to a reassessment of gender-based hierarchies in the mental health establishment, and transformative change was the result.

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