Friday, September 20, 2019

Neuroscientists Suggest That Social Inequalities Can Permanently Alter Our Brains

A recently published article illustrates how the concept of neuroplasticity has been used to explain social inequalities, like poverty, by linking them to biomarkers in the brain.

Addressing the Roots of Racial Trauma: An Interview with Psychologist Lillian Comas-Díaz

MIA’s Hannah Emerson interviews Comas-Díaz on the need for culturally competent care in a medicalized and individualistic society.

No Evidence for Brain Asymmetry in Depression

A new study debunks the theory that depression is associated with brain asymmetry.
graphic detail

No Graphic Detail: The Injustice of Being Silenced

They tell us we’re too fragile to speak our own truth, and that those around us are too fragile to hear it. If you must name what happened to you, at least slap a “trigger warning” on yourself, and don’t “paint a picture.” Fuck that. The truth is that graphic detail can make some of us stronger in a way that silence never could.
Marianne Williamson

We Must Hear Marianne Williamson’s Message About the Overuse of Antidepressants

Although some of Marianne Williamson's rhetoric on the subject of the overuse of prescription medications may be over the top, the topic deserves much more public attention and debate, since it is a crisis as real as the opioid epidemic.
buddhist hands peers

“Peers,” Therapeutic Harm, and Buddhist Forgiveness

I'd like to be peers with anyone struggling against persecution, anyone struggling toward the promise of dignity and respect for marginalized communities, for freaks and weirdos. To fit the diversity of our experiences, maybe our definitions need to be as flexible and individual as we are.
surveillance psychiatry

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.
hate speech

Blaming the “Mentally Ill”: This is Hate Speech

As could be expected, in the wake of the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton, we have politicians such as President Trump and others such as E. Fuller Torrey blaming the killings on the “mentally ill.” We have heard this over and over again, and I think it is time to call this out for what it is: Hate Speech.

Study Explores Service Users’ Views on Diagnostic Criteria

Researchers investigate service users' lived experiences and their views on mental disorder classifications.

Derek Blumke – The Mad in America Veterans Initiative

On MIA Radio we interview Derek Blumke, who tells of his time serving in the military, his experiences taking and coming off psychiatric drugs and his role as editor of MIA's new Veterans Initiative.

How Biotechologies Preserve the Idea of the Disordered Brain

Social scientists explore how psychiatry’s use of biotechnology is being used to reinvent and secure the idea of the disordered brain
antidepressants and suicide

Antidepressants and the National Suicide Epidemic

We encourage young people to see themselves as fragile creatures whose brains can go haywire for any reason, or no reason at all. Then we tell them they have the “disease” of depression and ply them with drugs with a known link to worsening depression and suicidality going back for decades. How many more will have to die before this changes?

Risk of Cardiovascular Death Increased After Psychiatric Hospitalization

The rate of death due to heart-related problems is more than double the rate in the general population after psychiatric hospitalization.

Adding Fluoxetine to Therapy Not Superior to Therapy Alone in Depressed Teens

The addition of fluoxetine to CBT did not further reduce depressive symptoms in young people with moderate-to-severe depression.
suicidal

How “Safe Messaging” Gaslights Suicidal People

Suicide prevention constructs a reality in which the problems of suicide lie within suicidal people. Sanity is constructed around wanting to live, insanity around wanting to die. Within this paradigm, the suicidal person can never be trusted. They are fragile, vulnerable, demanding protection, surveillance, and management.

Craig Wiener – ADHD: A Return to Psychology

On MIA Radio this week, Miranda Spencer, Mad in America's Parent Resources editor, interviews Dr. Craig Wiener, a licensed psychologist who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families. He discusses approaches to helping children with "ADHD" behavior that don't involve drugs and constant monitoring.

Improving Mental Health Research through Community Participation

Clinical mental health research that includes community participation circumvents problems with traditional research.

Toward a Critical Self-Reflective Psychiatry: An Interview with Pat Bracken

MIA’s Justin Karter interviews critical psychiatrist and philosopher Pat Bracken about the necessity of challenging received wisdom.

Helping People Come Off Medication—Bad for Business?

The message in journal editorials, comments and opinion articles, is that 'this new study shows great promise' and that 'we need further research'. My interpretation is: 'give us the money and we will be happy to carry this out'. With the implied promise that, once this new research has been done, we will get a better world. Sadly this is rarely ever the case.

How Community Environments Impact Mental Health

Drawing on the relationship between nature and wellbeing, researchers propose a model to improve community environments to improve mental health.
eugenics

Psychiatric Eugenics Then and Now—You Betcha It’s Still Happening

Most are oblivious to the fact that psychiatric eugenics initiatives continued to exist—and beyond that, to flourish—long after the end of what is normally thought of as “the eugenics era” (roughly, late nineteen century to 1945). Sadly, we are not learning from history what we direly need to learn.

The Complexity of the Indigenous Historical Trauma Concept

Researchers explore how the processes of colonization may impact the well-being of indigenous populations today.
paying people to take pills

It’s the Economics, Stupid: The Problems With Paying People to Take Pills

A recent article in Psychiatric Services looks at the use of payments to people for taking their psychiatric medications. I was horrified to read it. We need to reevaluate our prescribing practices, and the true risk-benefit ratio for these drugs, before we throw money at people along with pills.

Antidepressants Blunt Ability to Feel Empathy

A new study suggests that taking antidepressants impairs empathy, while the experience of depression itself does not.
yellow wood therapy

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood: A Tale of Psychotherapy

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and not knowing which one to take, I stood straight, watching my life pass me by. But in therapy, I began to feel the knots of my life come alive inside me. The point is not just to talk, it is to feel your story inside, to hear your silences, and to realize who you are… and who you can be.

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