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.
Those of us who question psychiatry’s relationship with medication may be be dismissed as ‘Pill Shamers’ or branded as irresponsible and dangerous voices by those who are convinced medication is the only way of treating someone’s ‘illness’. The debate can feel like a fight between two intractably opposed sides, giving the impression that we must either be ‘for’ or ‘against’ medication. Unfortunately the information and space needed to explore our complex relationship with medication – as practitioners and people – is in short supply, making the concept of informed choice a bad joke. Over the next two years, we will bring together a book made of contributions from people who have successfully taken control of their use of medication.
Academia has long been the official search engine for knowledge. Here supposedly are the ivory towers where seekers after truth, men and women intellectuals, teach new generations and carry out learned research, to add to the sum of human wisdom. It also has a longstanding history of questionable relationships; from those with the arms trade, to continuing over-reliance on big pharma psychiatric research funding.
A couple of days ago, after two years of fighting, I received Mylan Pharmaceuticals assessment of the causal link between their drug Fluox and my son's suicide. Their conclusion is identical to that of the New Zealand drug regulator Medsafe, that the SSRI antidepressant Fluoxetine is the probable cause of Toran's death. The rating of 'probable' includes an assessment that Toran's suicide was 'unlikely to be attributed to disease or other drugs.'
The area of politics that counts most for most of us is healthcare. Big Healthcare is now the biggest business in the United States and in the Western World. We desperately need a new compact between we the people and those who govern our healthcare – or at least a new compact between the doctors who make money for pharma by putting pills in our mouths and the pharmas of this world. Instead, we are told that to question the judgments of the scientific literature is to engage in an irrational War on Science itself.
In recent months the English pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has assiduously portrayed itself as an advocate of transparency, and in support of access to clinical trial data. Well, in support of "Responsible Access." "Responsible" here essentially means that a researcher commits to the primacy of RCTs and statistical significance over an analysis of adverse events. It would not, for example, be responsible to claim that an SSRI causes suicide, a statin muscle damage or cognitive failure, or hypoglycemics cause hypoglycemia unless a trial has shown this to happen to a Statistically Significant extent – and they never do.
There is a hunger out there for a foundational critique of psychiatry—something that pulls no punches, minces no words. That is, there is a hunger for a reasoned antipsychiatry position. Something that explains how we ended up here, provides solid evidence that psychiatry should be abandoned, and begins theorizing what we might do instead.
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.
In Belgium, patients with mental health problems mostly receive drug treatment despite the emphasis in international guidelines on the importance of psychological approaches. Currently one in ten Belgians takes antidepressants. That makes Belgium the European leader when it comes to antidepressant prescriptions and costs our country 300 million euros annually. This has been a glaring concern for our Minister of Health. From January 1, 2016, all psychologists and psychotherapists in Belgium will need to register in an official list. This should slash the number of unqualified therapists and help more Belgians stay off antidepressants.
Those of you who read the New York Times may have seen its coverage of the British Psychological Society’s recent report, ‘Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help.’ The report has been widely welcomed and many have seen it as a marker of how our understanding of these experiences is changing. The report has not been without its critics. We (Editor Anne Cooke and co-author Peter Kinderman) are coming to New York this month to launch the report in America.
"The Antidepressant Era" was written in 1995, and first published in 1997. A paperback came out in 1999. It was close to universally welcomed. It was favorably received by reviewers from the pharmaceutical industry, perhaps because it made clear that this branch of medical history had not been shaped by great men or great institutions but that other players, company people, had been at least as important.
I really valued the massive Melbourne Hearing Voices conference last week. The theme of reconciliation between voice hearers and mental health workers was a powerful one. This emphasis on creating understanding conversations at the conference was encouraged with dialogues between people on specific subjects - medication, spirituality, psychological approaches to voices etc. - rather than keynotes. It seemed a move away from presentations of competing knowledges, toward a more dialogical conference; a respectful exchange of different viewpoints, feelings and values. When you have a range of views in a presentation it’s less easy to adopt a “good guys vs. bad guys” mentality; you start to see the complexities in more relief. The surprise for me was that I liked it.
The controversy over “Study 329” on the effects of Paxil in teen depression has raised questions about the state of ALL medical research. I decided to look at the research for the most recent psychiatric drug approved by the FDA, a new antipsychotic called cariprazine or Vraylar. I located twenty studies of Vraylar on www.ClinicalTrials.gov, the U.S. government-sponsored registry for clinical trials. Three were still in process, and seventeen were completed. Not one had shared its results on the government website, a supposedly mandatory step.
I quit taking Prozac using a step-down method. Started in Sept. 2011 and finally off in January 2012. I experienced severe loss of balance early on, which progressed into full-blown ataxia & parasthesia. Have had extensive blood-testing & MRIs of brain & cervical spine, all negative! I have to believe this is a result of coming off Prozac, although most sites say the withdrawal side effects don't last this long.
There used to be a wonderful cartoon series called 101 Uses for a Dead Cat, which led me 25 years ago to give a talk at a British Association for Psychopharmacology meeting entitled 101 Uses for a Dead Psychiatrist. That was back in the days when Psychopharmacology meetings were places of debate and the British Journal of Psychiatry was guaranteed to have something of real interest in every issue.
A century ago Freud and Jung made us aware of the biases underpinning what patients say. Not everything should be accepted at face value. In particular claims of abuse may not be based on reality. We needed experts – analysts – they claimed, to tease out what is real from what is not. The Catholic Church was once intensely hostile to Freud, but when it came to child abuse adopting a Freudian approach was very convenient. But while Freud essentially denied that real abuse was taking place and got away with it in his life-time, the Catholic Church has learnt to its cost that many claims of abuse are real.
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...
Often it is a relief to get an understanding of how we have developed a psychological problem, and it is especially good if we can feel that there is a reason for the problem that it is understandable. When I suffered from a phobia, it was a relief to understand that I probably had linked fear to an insect when I was a child. And it was even more satisfying when I understood that there was nothing wrong with my brain — that the problem was in what I had experienced. It was in my “software.”
In England, childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has become big news. The increasing understanding of the level of childhood sexual abuse and how this produces mental anguish has of course reached the psychosis arena, and encouraged academic study. Whilst the majority of psychiatrists continue to privilege a biological explanation of psychosis, more and more workers recognise abuse as at least a trigger if not a cause of psychosis. It's important to develop thinking points for teams struggling with, or more generally avoiding, the CSA/psychosis link.
In 2009, my friend Leonie’s 22-year-old son Shane killed himself and another young man after taking Citalopram for 17 days. Eighteen days after Shane’s death, Psychiatrist Dr Michael Corry publicly stated his view that he could not have done what he did had he not been on Citalopram. Initially Leonie admits to thinking he was mad. How could medicine prescribed by a doctor have anything to do with what had happened to her son?
On 25 October 2013, the World Health Organization issued a press release promoting guidelines produced by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Safety Event Reporting (PROSPER) Consortium. The consortium aimed to “to improve [drug] safety reporting by better incorporating the perspective of the patient” with the aim of the guidance produced “to ensure that the patient ‘voice’ and perspective feed appropriately into collection of safety data.” Rather than 'quietly protecting the health of every person on this planet, every day' it seems clear that WHO is quietly protecting the interests of pharmaceutical companies and their advisors on planet 'profit from patients', every day.
The World Health Organisation was established in 1945 to provide leadership on global health matters. According to its Director General Dr Margaret Chan, it...
I had an epiphany the day I first saw my son in a coffin after his suicide. The moments following his hanging himself were...
During the past 29 years I have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, Biploar II and complex PTSD. I have tried numerous drug combinations and have been through ECT several times. None of this helped me. My road to recovery started when I decided to rebel against conventional psychiatry.
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...