Technology and Suicide

6
Large numbers of studies are being conducted with many claiming internet use causes structural changes in the brain similar to those found in the brains of drug addicts. No snorting, smoking or injecting required. You just have to look at this drug for long enough and your brain is damaged. Is it possible your laptop and mobile phone are the crack cocaine of gadgets?

A Critique of Genetic Research on Schizophrenia – Expensive Castles in the Air

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In the light of the much trumpeted claims that recent research has identified genes for schizophrenia, it is important to review the track record of this type of endeavor. Despite thousands of studies costing millions of dollars, and endless predictions that the genetics of schizophrenia would shortly be revealed, the field has so far failed to identify any genes that substantially increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Me, My Brain, and Baked Beans

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I’ve spent much of my professional life studying psychological aspects of mental health problems. Inevitably, this has also meant discussing the role of biology. That’s my academic day-job. But it’s not just academic for me. I’m probably not untypical of most people reading this; I can see clear examples of how my experiences may have affected my own mental health, but I can also see reasons to suspect biological, heritable, traits. As in all aspects of human behaviour, both nature and nurture are involved and they have been intimately entwined in a complex interactive dance throughout my childhood and adult life.

No More Tears? The Shame of Johnson & Johnson

12
In 1972, prisoners at Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia were paid $3 to have their eyes held open with clamps and hooks while Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo was dropped into them. In 2011, mothers of newborns were arrested when their babies tested positive for exposure to cannabis, a false result caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Foaming Baby Wash. Young men have undergone mastectomies to remove breasts grown as a result of Johnson & Johnson antipsychotics, which were used as a result of Johnson & Johnson's criminal promotion of its drugs for off-label purposes. And now, Johnson & Johnson has announced the removal of carcinogenic chemicals from their No More Tears baby shampoo.

Do You Still Need Your Psychiatric Diagnosis?

21
Do you still need your psychiatric diagnosis? The answer for practical purposes is probably ‘Yes.’ In the current system, diagnosis is essential for accessing services and benefits and, particularly in the USA, for covering your treatment costs. But do you need to believe in your diagnosis? Do you have to accept this particular attempt to explain your difficulties, and to take it on as part of your identity by becoming one of the ‘mentally ill’? since psychiatric diagnoses have been admitted to be non-valid even by the people who drew them up, professionals should not be offering people the ‘choice’ of describing their difficulties in diagnostic terms in the first place. That would still leave people with the right to adopt whatever explanation suits them as private individuals.

Study 329: Big Risk

5
Study 329 seems to fit the classic picture: It has Big Pharma ghostwriting articles, hiding data, corrupting the scientific process and leaving a trail of death, disability and grieving relatives in its wake. But is it at fault alone? Both Big Pharma and Big Risk (the insurance industry) were once our allies in keeping our hopes alive – in keeping our children alive and well. They are now a threat. And of the two – Big Risk is the bigger threat.

Hunting the Woozle, and Open Dialogue 

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It isn’t easy coming to a point in your career where you begin to question widely held beliefs about the nature of mental illness, and how it should be treated. Indeed it becomes starkly obvious that, no matter what you think and believe, even know in your heart to be true, the world runs along different lines. Sometimes I can be full of hope for change, but frequently it angers and frustrates; often I am rendered melancholic by the mountain that lies ahead. Let me explain.

Sense about Science: Follow the Patient

19
The simple act of defining doctors or patients concerned about adverse events as “critics” is a rhetorical stroke that marginalizes concerns – makes you a one-percenter rather than one of the ninety-nine percent. The pharmaceutical market is the least free market on earth.

Elimination of Bias, Not Disclosure of Bias, Must be the Standard

14
Disclosure is an insufficient strategy for mitigating bias because bias does not result from the concealment of financial ties but from their effects. Even worse, social psychologists have demonstrated that when individuals disclose a competing interest, they give even more biased advice.

Children, Youth and Mental Health in British Columbia: A Presentation to the Legislature

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"From years of personal and professional experience, I must tell you my biggest fear is that we’re massively misunderstanding the emotional and mental suffering of children and teens. We’ve taken their feelings, thoughts and suffering and transformed them into symptoms, diagnoses, reductive theories and then prescribing them an array of psychiatric drugs with dire short- and long-term consequences. We’re drugging their emotions, their thinking and their quest for meaning into disabling silence."

Shh… Just Whisper it, But There Might Just Be a Revolution Underway

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The idea that our more distressing emotions can best be understood as symptoms of physical illnesses is a pervasive, seductive but harmful myth. It means that our present approach to helping vulnerable people in acute emotional distress is severely hampered by old-fashioned, inhumane and fundamentally unscientific ideas about the nature and origins of mental health problems. We need wholesale and radical change in how we understand mental health problems and in how we design and commission mental health services.

Why Do the Stories Psychiatrists Tell Their Patients Matter?

13
Why do stories matter? Why is it that what a psychiatrist says to a patient about their experiences can have such a powerful effect - for good or for ill? This is something that has puzzled me for many years. It still does.

If Not Meds, Then WHAT?

A great deal of the information published on MadInAmerica is devoted to this very important question, so many constructive ideas are often presented. We think that nutrition and diet should always be part of the conversation.