We Need to Talk About Doctors

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Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) came into favor in the wake of thalidomide as a method to evaluate drugs and their risks. They were supposed to...

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

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In Salem Village in the winter of 1692, nine-year-old Betty Parris and her 11-year-old cousin Abigail Williams began exhibiting strange behavior.  A local doctor could find no physical evidence of any ailment. When other young women in the village started exhibiting similar behaviours, Sarah Good, a homeless begger, Sarah Osborne, a woman who rarely attended church, Tituba, a slave from a minority ethnic group, and Dorothy Good, a four-year-old child, were accused of bewitching the girls. They were interrogated and sent to jail.

Witty A: Report to the President

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Faced with questions about the $3 Billion fine imposed on GSK – is it just the cost of doing business? - Andrew Witty snapped back: “Although corporate malfeasance cases end up looking very big, they often have their origin in just… one or two people who didn’t quite do the right thing. It’s not about the big piece. The 100,000 people who work for GSK are just like you, right? I’m sure everybody who reads the BMJ has friends who work for drug companies. They’re normal people… Many of them are doctors."

Proposal From Italy: An International Collection of Recovery Stories

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We want to start an international initiative to promote the writing of recovery stories in every country, with the ultimate goal of sharing at an international level the most compelling ones from each country. Our proposal is born from an awareness that recovery stories are necessary today in order to give back to mental sufferance its meaning and transparency, to fight the biographical opacity of biological theories (the broken brain) and to guarantee decisional power to those who are offered (or imposed) mono-dimensional or dehumanizing treatments.

From Independent to Institutionalized

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Dutch peer support education has changed dramatically over time since its inception. Peer support education has evolved over time from empowered and independent peer support education to institutionalized peer support education. In effect the (future) peer support workers in the Netherlands could become clinician-friendly peer support workers who merely represent peer support work in name but not in practice.

Father Munchausen, I Presume!

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I’ve had some criticism of the recent Doctor Munchausen posts. They’re not fair on doctors. Many people have told me of lives saved by good doctors. It’s not fair to tar these good doctors with the brush of a few Dr Munchausens here and there. So there’s bad doctoring and good doctoring and great doctoring. What would great doctoring mean?

Not So Bad Pharma

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The invitation from the London Review of Books to review Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma™ reads: “We were unsure, at first, what a review could add that isn’t already in the book – scrappy summaries and bits of praise are not for us. The book is of sufficient importance that the main thing is to get someone who knows what they’re talking about to present the material confidently... frame the discussion”. My head said it was inconceivable that the LRB wouldn’t take a review, even if it was at odds with the invitation to praise Bad Pharma. But my gut told me the inconceivable was about to take flesh.

Driving Us Crazy: A Festival About Madness in Society, and in All of Us

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I am proud and happy to announce that our webpage DrivingUsCrazy was launched today. It will help us to get the word out about the international film festival taking place in Gothenburg, 16-18 October, 2015, and also to highlight the issue of madness every day until then — and hopefully for many days afterwards.

Governments Delivering Customers to Big Pharma

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What distinguishes the pharmaceutical industry from the producers of other potentially harmful products, is the fact that, governments have passed legislation allowing detention of potential customers and forced administration of its product to consumers who do not wish to purchase it. Imagine if goverments passed laws allowing other industries to detain potential customers and force them to use their products.

American Woman

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On Thursday, May 31, 2001, a woman whose name is known only to GlaxoSmithKline emailed the company:   "My name is... I was diagnosed with panic...

RxISK Stories: If You’re Going to Look After Patients, Man Up

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Pharmalot has just posted a piece - 'Controversial FDA official, Tom Laughren, retires.' This is a must read for anyone with anything to do with mental health - both the post and the comments afterwards where some have posted that they still believe the Black Box warnings on antidepressants arose because of pressure from the Church of Scientology rather than in response to the data.The post will likely seem boring to many. But the comments won't - they seethe with anger.

How Come the Word “Antipsychiatry” is so Challenging?

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So here we go again; another meeting with another young person who describes how he is in an acute crisis - you may call it - and is diagnosed and prescribed neuroleptics. He is told by the doctor that he suffers from a life-long illness and he will from now on be dependent on his “medication.” As long as people are met this way I see no alternative than showing that there are alternatives. If that means being "antipsychiatry," then I am more than happy to define myself and our work in that way.