The Effects of Practicing Psychotherapy on Therapists’ Personal Lives

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A new study, published in Psychotherapy Research, explores how having a career in psychotherapy affects therapists’ personal lives.
David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace: Suicide and the Death of Agency

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Today is the 10th anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s suicide. While it’s not fair to build an entire theory on an incredibly complicated issue like suicide around one person, Wallace’s death should challenge the common narratives around suicide — that “mental illness” causes it and that “we can’t ever know why people do it.” Both of these are self-serving platitudes that are simply not true.
stress response

Anatomy of a Suicide: Stress and the Human Condition

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The Defense Cascade is a survival framework that evolutionary researchers are exploring as an explanation for extreme states that many people experience. It can help explain why chronic stress can make us feel like ending our life is the only reasonable way out.

Researcher Acknowledges His Mistakes in Understanding Schizophrenia

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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.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

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During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.

Rigorous Study Finds Antidepressants Worsen Long-Term Outcomes

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A new study conducted by Jeffrey Vittengl at Truman University has found that taking antidepressant medications resulted in more severe depression symptoms after nine years.

Part II: Michelle Starts Prozac and Sees the Devil

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By 2011, anyone who read the scientific literature would have known that children cannot tolerate SSRIs and should not be given them. Neither Conrad nor Michelle seemed to have been warned about the common adverse effects (such as nightmares and compulsive suicidality) of the SSRI antidepressants they were on.
alternatives to suicide

Alternatives to Suicide: Strategies for Staying Alive

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For more than 7,300 days of my life, waking up the next morning required me to make a conscious choice to diligently pursue something — anything — other than my impulse to die. Maybe the best teachers of how to avoid suicide will not be the people who are afraid someone else will die, but those of us who can explain how and why we regularly choose to live.

New Book Deconstructs Ideology of Cognitive Therapy

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CBT forwards a hyper-rational perspective of human suffering that complements a managerialist culture of efficiency and institutionalization in the Western world.

Three Suicides: Honoring Lives Lost to Benzodiazepines

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I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.
man contemplates suicide

Rising Rates of Suicide: When Do We Acknowledge That Something Isn’t Working?!

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Scapegoating a purported unseen "illness" may provide temporary comfort from acknowledging the horrors and injustice of the world, but it is a delusion — and one with fatal consequences for many. When 45,000 people a year would rather die than live in this world any longer, it might behoove us all to consider what is happening in the world to cause this.

Bipolar Diagnosis Linked to Childhood Adversity

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With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?

New Data on the Adverse Effects of Meditation and Mindfulness

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Study reports on the less-examined findings of difficult and painful meditation-related experiences.
clozapine medication

My Mother Accidentally Took My Medication

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Although I have usually been the one suffering from side effects, with others watching on, the roles were reversed in this incident. Seeing my mother impaired caused me heartache, and I am now rethinking my treatment regimen. Is this stuff good for me for the long term? Is this the only stuff that can help me, or is there an alternative?
stoned or schizophrenia

From Stoned to “Schizophrenic”: My Mental Healthcare Journey

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During a period of self-doubt, I chose to see a psychiatrist because I was engulfed in negative thoughts and couldn't find a direction in life. The slightest joys came only when I was high. Though my weed addiction was likely causing all of my symptoms, my psychiatrist’s response was to prescribe antipsychotics.

New Data Show Lack of Efficacy for Antidepressants

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An article published this month in the journal BMC Psychiatry suggests that there is a lack of efficacy for SSRIs and that they significantly increase the risk of serious side effects.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Dementia

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A new study finds that elderly individuals using antidepressants are at significantly higher risk for dementia compared to depressed individuals who did not take the drugs.

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius PĆ«ras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

Researchers Recommend Diagnosing Social Adversity Rather than Individual Disorders

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Already-existing ICD codes provide a diagnostic alternative to biomedical models of health by contextualizing suffering within psychosocial conditions, yet these codes are underutilized.
safety

ASIST Suicide Prevention Training: “Safe” for Who?

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Ever since the cops and CPS were called on me by someone at an ASIST Suicide Prevention training, I've been trying to see it all as a gift. What better proof to counter those who claim it's "safe" to tell than what happened to me? What better evidence that our system responses are seriously off track? It wasn't safe. Not for me.
diagnosis curse

Does a Psychiatric Diagnosis Have the Impact of a Medical Curse?

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Over and over I've seen the aftermath of that ritual of receiving and internalizing a lifelong, pathologizing diagnosis. I don't think we can underestimate the uncanny power of receiving such proclamations about our personhood by people sanctioned by our culture to serve as arbiters of truth.

Mental Health Professionals Critique the Biomedical Model of Psychological Problems

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While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.

Study Finds Heavy Metal Music Beneficial to Mental Health

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A new study highlights the role heavy metal music plays in the mental health of adolescents facing adversity.

Using Mindfulness Meditation to Cope with Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings

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Suicidal torment is magnified by the loss of hope. People in life-or-death survival conditions, such as being lost in the wilderness or being held prisoner of war, will dream and plan for the future in order to make their present conditions tolerable. The critically ill heart patient expresses his faith in his upcoming surgery by making a date to play golf six weeks after the operation. But the depressed person sees no viable future. There is nothing to look forward to, no dreams to fulfill, only the never-ending hell of the eternal present.

Adam Maier-Clayton: Assisted Suicide and Mental Illness

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If we describe “death with dignity” as a benefit, a good thing, a release and relief and a mercy for people with chronic unbearable and unmanageable pain, why do we also describe exclusions from assisted suicide for people with mental illness as a protection rather than discrimination?