Thursday, December 9, 2021
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.

What Can We Learn from Alcohol? A Paradigm Shift in How We View Distress

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The effects of alcohol—both positive and negative—have a lot to teach us about the biomedical view of psychiatric diagnoses and the drugs prescribed to treat them.

Review: “(Mis)Diagnosed: How Bias Distorts Our Perception of Mental Health”

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Psychiatric diagnoses can be shaped by prejudice, reflecting biases that ignore trauma, diminish populations, and invalidate humanity and experience.

Newborn Babies Go Through Antidepressant Withdrawal

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A new study finds that newborn babies experience antidepressant withdrawal after birth if their mothers take SSRIs when pregnant.
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.
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.
story

Truth-Telling and Consequences

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It’s at that point of asking for help from someone in authority, someone we should be able to trust, that many have their story stolen from them.

Psychiatric Drugs may Reduce Social and Emotional Capacities

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Research finds that social cognition and emotional processing abilities can be disrupted by psychiatric drugs.
Photograph of man's lower face with a pill on his tongue

Psychedelics—The New Psychiatric Craze

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Psychedelics have become popular through the potent mixture of financial interests and desperation. Evidence for their beneficial effects is lacking.

Tapered Antipsychotic Withdrawal Mitigates Risk of Psychotic Symptoms

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Research suggests that slowly tapering off an antipsychotic reduces the risk of withdrawal psychosis compared to abrupt discontinuation.

Interview: Moving Toward a Human Rights Approach to Student Mental Health

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Psychologist Jim Probert of the University of Florida's student counseling center explains why "Our goal is not to take the steering wheel out of the person's hands."
Woman trapped in a glass

The Sins of Conservatorship: Why Britney Spears Compared It to Slavery

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For the last three years of my mother’s life, she was under absolute control of her conservator. If we dared to object to the neglect or abuse, retaliation was certain.

“Relapse” in Antidepressant Trials Likely Caused by Sudden Withdrawal

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A new study investigates how antidepressant withdrawal effects often get confounded with depression relapse in clinical trials.
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.
A bird soars between bright clouds

Can Psychotherapy Promote Liberation? Addressing Power Dynamics in Clinical Practice

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Just as it risks transmitting harmful narratives about pain and distress, psychotherapy might also subvert these very harms in pursuit of genuine healing and transformation.

Jim van Os and Peter Groot: When Assessing Antidepressant Withdrawal Methods, RCTs Fall Short

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Jim van Os and Peter Groot discuss their paper: “Successful Use of Tapering Strips for Hyperbolic Reduction of Antidepressant Dose: A Cohort Study” published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.
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.

Rights Based Global Mental Health and Social Exclusion: An Interview with Ursula Read

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MIA interviews the anthropologist Ursula Read about her research on mental illness, human rights, and social exclusion in Ghana.

Sudden Antipsychotic Withdrawal—Not Low Dose—Leads to Relapse

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A new article in Lancet Psychiatry debunks past studies claiming that those on low doses of antipsychotics are more likely to relapse.

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.

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.

Lead Exposure in Childhood Impacts Personality and Mental Health

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

Garbage in, Garbage out: The Newest Cochrane Meta-Analysis of Depression Pills in Children

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In May 2021, Cochrane published a network meta-analysis of depression pills for children. The abstract is misleading and reads like drug company marketing.

Necessary Powers: How I Became Fire

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When a person is in hell, surrounded by enemies, without a protector or strong force on their side of any kind, that person needs to become their own powerful spokesperson.
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.

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