Sunday, September 15, 2019

Vital Minds: Four Stories of Recovery

My patients have trashed themselves for decades, and after one month of dietary change, daily meditation, detox, and psychospiritual support, they are reborn. At a time when people are being euthanized for depression because they believe it to be a life sentence, it has never been more critical to spread the truth that healing is possible.

Intentional Peer Support: Creating Relationships, Creating Change

IPS is about creating a power-balanced, relational context in which we can begin to explore and even challenge the stories we have been taught. We can name our experiences, and challenge the meaning that we have constructed around those experiences. This fundamentally alters what we think of as “help,” but also challenges social and political constructs of disability.

Integrative Mental Health: 27 Non-drug Options that Work

Four years ago I dove into a deep and murky pond: the bottomless depths of medical databases that hold mental health research. After examining over 4000 studies, and hundreds of meta-analyses, I surfaced from my research and was hit with a startling “Aha” moment: non-drug approaches really work.

Sir Robin Murray and Our Collective Mea Culpa

Sir Robin Murray, a distinguished British professor of psychiatry, recently published a paper in Schizophrenia Bulletin titled, “Mistakes I Have Made in My Research Career.” I wonder what leads Robin Murray to acknowledge his mistakes when others seem to hunker down. I also wonder how I can know when I am misled in my assumptions.

Understanding Extreme States: An Interview with Lloyd Ross

In this interview, Lloyd Ross of ISEPP and I discuss how to help people experiencing delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and other problems commonly associated with a diagnosis of “schizophrenia.” We discuss the problems with the biological model of “mental illness” as contrasted with a more psychosocial, contextual model of distress.

ISEPP Calling for Organizations to Join in Petition

Using an invalid diagnostic tool flies in the face of professional ethical guidelines. The International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry has drafted an open letter to the APA and other professional organizations, publicizing concerns with the DSM's lack of validity and asking for ethical guidance. ISEPP is soliciting other groups to join us in this effort.

The Outing of a Consumer

The problem with being a consumer is that we get consumed. I’ve been the bacon at far too many mental health picnics. Someone’s salary gets paid, someone’s program gets funded, someone’s career gets enhanced, someone gets accolades for being so altruistic and such a great savior — and me, what do I get? Exposed, laid bare, and isolated.

Killing “Schizophrenics”: Contemporary U.S. Psychiatry Versus Nazi Psychiatry

In any society that prioritizes economic efficiency, productivity and order above life and all of life’s varieties, people experiencing altered and extreme emotional states will be seen as defective and as burdens—monkey wrenches that disturb the societal assembly line.

Neuroscience-based Treatment Program Proposed for Adolescent Depression

A study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience proposes a new model for the treatment of adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Split

Spoiling Split: Hollywood’s Latest Run at ‘Alternative Facts’ 

Will ‘Split’ lead directly to someone dying or being beaten up? No, probably not. But, is it a pretty outrageous piece of evidence illustrating cultural trends that regularly represent people with psychiatric diagnoses as frightening and volatile? Absolutely.

Venomagnosia

In Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants, Dr. Peter Kramer makes two arguments that I agree with. The trouble for me is that Kramer’s clinical vision seems strangely rose-tinted. He is an advocate of using antidepressants to treat depression, but he doesn’t seem to see any of the problems antidepressants cause.

Children with ‘ADHD’ Commonly Prescribed Antipsychotics

Despite little evidence for benefit, and substantial risk of harm, antipsychotics are commonly prescribed to children diagnosed with ADHD

Chemical or Psychological Psychotherapy?

Prolonged use of psychotropic drugs can cause permanent brain damage, which can make it impossible for the patient ever to return to normal, and also cause a return to the disease state the patient originally came from.

Preventing Suicide in the UK – a Policy and Practice Divide

The Place of Calm’s innovative Peer Support Approach means suicidal people can stay up to 24 hours in a safe place in the community and receive practical and emotional support from trained professionals who have their own lived experience of mental health challenges. Evidence suggests that it saves lives and is cost effective. Yet its funding is now due to be cut.

SAMHSA’s Rose-Colored Lens

SAMHSA should be commended for undertaking an important educational task with laudable goals. Unfortunately, I have to conclude that SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice module on medications for psychiatrists is a very minimal and even misleading attempt at educating psychiatrists.

Researcher Acknowledges His Mistakes in Understanding Schizophrenia

Sir Robin Murray, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in London, states that he ignored social factors that contribute to ‘schizophrenia’ for too long. He also reports that he neglected the negative effects antipsychotic medication has on the brain.

Service Dogs, Allergies and Trauma: Making Spaces Inclusive

Obstacles to accessibility are increasing in mental health settings, as well as settings designed to be alternatives to psychiatry, which ideally should be accessible to people with disabilities — including disabling allergies.

Many Patient Advocacy Organizations Are Funded By Industry

New research investigates the financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) of patient advocacy organizations (PAOs) in the United States.

CYP Testing to Help Prevent Dangerous Adverse Drug Reactions

Drug-drug interactions can be extremely dangerous, even if the CYPs are genetically normal. The picture becomes even more grim if we take into account drug-gene interactions. Genetic testing for variants in the CYP enzyme system will definitely save lives.

Brain Scans Cannot Differentiate Between Mental Health Conditions

A new study analyzing over 21,000 participants found that differences in activation of brain regions in different psychological “disorders” may have been overestimated, and confirms that there is still no brain scan capable of diagnosing a mental health concern.

Surviving and Thriving After a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia

I have wanted to go public with my story ever since I started getting so dramatically better via holistic means, but I consistently chickened out. It wasn’t until I hopped on a plane to Boston to meet other psychiatric survivors at the Mad in America Film Festival in 2014 that I found the community and forum to do so.

Soteria Shelter Program in Hungary: Crisis as Danger and Opportunity

We believe that if we do no harm, crisis is not only danger but opportunity. We do not “treat” anybody or force anyone to do anything. We are together in order to help the people in crisis by means of our presence. Our ethical motto is: “It can happen to you, too.”

Antidepressant Use May Increase Risk of Hip Fractures in Older Adults

Study finds antidepressant use is linked to increase in hip fractures in community-dwelling older adults with and without Alzheimer’s disease.

Peer-run Organizations Help People with Criminal Justice Involvement Return to the Community

Because of the enormous obstacles confronting individuals with behavioral health conditions who have been incarcerated, many peer-run organizations have risen to the challenge and have created programs to help these people rejoin the community.

BPS Releases Review of Alternatives to Antipsychotics

BPS releases report encouraging behavioral interventions for people with dementia, rather than antipsychotics

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