Comments by Shock Survivors and Their Loved Ones

The #FDAStopTheShockDevice petition has received over 2,200 signatures and 800+ comments. A more thorough analysis of those comments is forthcoming, however, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what people shared. The sixth, seventh, and eighth most common words used in the comments submitted through the petition were "damage," "barbaric" and "torture." We must continue the fight to make sure that the FDA hears the people who will be adversely affected by the proposed rule if it becomes an order. There is still a small window of time for you to sign the petition and leave a comment to the FDA.

Peer-Support Groups Were Right, Guidelines Were Wrong: Dr. Mark Horowitz on Tapering Off Antidepressants

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In an interview with MIA, Dr. Horowitz discusses his recent article on why tapering off antidepressants can take months or even years.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation No Better Than Placebo for Treatment-Resistant Depression

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A new study in JAMA Psychiatry found that transcranial magnetic stimulation was no better than placebo for treatment-resistant depression.

MIA Survey: Ex-patients Tell of Force, Trauma and Sexual Abuse in America’s Mental Hospitals

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In a MIA survey of people who had been patients in mental hospitals, nearly 500 respondents told of an experience that was often traumatic, and frequently characterized by a violation of their legal rights, forced treatment with drugs, and physical or sexual abuse. Only 17% said they were “satisfied” with the “quality of the psychiatric treatment” they received.

Cognitive Impairment from Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use Remains Even After Drug Withdrawal

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Long-term benzodiazepine use shown to effect cognitive function during current use and for years after drug discontinuation.
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

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Changing the mental health and psychosocial support system in Germany requires public debate about the ways our society should help and support people in mental crisis and with chronic mental health problems. We believe the driving force behind all help and support should be humanitarianism and respect for inalienable human rights.

Adverse Effects: The Perils of Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

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Hundreds of people have been given remote control deep brain stimulation implants for psychiatric disorders such as depression, OCD and Tourette’s. Yet DBS specialists still have no clue about its mechanisms of action and research suggests its hefty health and safety risks far outweigh benefits.
crossroads

2017: A Wake-up Call on Mental Health and Human Rights

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At Mental Health Europe, we see 2017 as having been a crossroads for mental health and human rights. Let’s ensure that this yields concrete change in 2018 with the support of like-minded communities ready to take the discussion to the next level and truly enact this as a civil rights movement.

Antidepressants Do Not Prevent Suicides, May Increase Risk

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When the CDC released data revealing an increasing suicide rate in the US, some experts, speaking to major media outlets, speculated that the increase...

Suicide Rates Rise While Antidepressant Use Climbs

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Multiple media sources are reporting on new data from the CDC revealing a substantial increase in the suicide rate in the United States between 1999...

Risk of Suicide After Hospitalization Even Higher Than Previously Estimated

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New analysis of post-discharge suicide rates finds estimates 6 times higher than recent studies.
europe

Will the European Elections Be a Chance for Mental Health?

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European citizens from 27 different countries will soon go to the polls to elect their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. As an advocacy organisation, we see those elections as an opportunity to call on current and future European leaders and policymakers to bring mental health to the heart of European policies.
antidepressants

Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence

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After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.

Abolishing Forced Treatment in Psychiatry is an Ethical Imperative

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Forced treatment in psychiatry cannot be defended, neither on ethical, legal or scientific grounds. It has never been shown that forced treatment does more good than harm, and it is highly likely that the opposite is true. We need to abolish our laws about this, in accordance with the United Na­tions Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which virtually all countries have ratified.

An Anti-Violence Mental Health Plan

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It seems almost every week now that we hear of a mass murder/shooting in the media. By now the pattern is too familiar to be as frightening as it once was. The response has also become reflexive: Guns should be made less available, especially to people with mental illnesses, and potentially dangerous people should be treated for their mental illnesses − involuntarily if necessary − so they can live safely in our community. Yet, nothing much changes, outraging the next set of victim’s families and communities.
decision in Norway

Forced Drugging with Antipsychotics is Against the Law: Decision in Norway

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In all countries, we need to work for ensuring that forced medication for psychiatric patients is forbidden by law. Virtually all countries, apart from the US, have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which prohibits forced drugging, but not a single country has done anything.

Feral Psychiatry: The Case of Garth Daniels

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Garth Daniels, a 39-year-old Melbourne man, has been shackled for 110 days and forced to undergo ECT 94 times at three times a week against his will. Last year, his family asked me to provide a second opinion on Garth’s case. As predicted, my recommendations against continued ECT were quickly dismissed by the hospital. There are critically important issues at stake in this case.
55 steps to informed consent

55 Steps to Informed Consent

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55 Steps is a new film based on a true story that centers around two women: Collette, a lawyer with a tendency to work long hours, and Eleanor, who has spent far too much time incarcerated in hospitals. Over the course of five years, Collette fights for Eleanor’s right to choose whether or not she takes psychiatric drugs. This film is imperfect, but its importance can’t be ignored.

The Curious Case of over 50 Consecutive ECTs in Melbourne

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Over the past few weeks I have been witness to, and increasingly involved in trying to stop one of the most extreme examples of psychiatric brutality I have encountered in my 40 years in this field. And I have encountered quite a few. I suggest you sit down before watching and reading. This is not your usual, run-of-the-mill psychiatric abuse story.

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

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A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.

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 Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”
Ueckermünde Germany institution

Inhumane Medicine in Germany: A Dark Chapter Continued

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Although I left Ueckermünde without the ability to speak, heavily traumatized and barely able to move, I managed to reclaim life after more than a decade. Today I am one of the few witnesses who survived the Hell of Ueckermünde, who can tell the story of my companions and raise awareness of the injustice committed against us as well as demand answers.

Maternal Antidepressant Use Tied to Autism

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In a major study, published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics, the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy was found to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 87-percent. Previous studies reveal that more than 13-percent of women currently use SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.

It’s the Coercion, Stupid!

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Both Michel Foucault and Thomas Szasz dated the beginnings of a distinct Western institutional response to madness to the late 1500s-early 1600s. But while for Foucault it started in France with the creation of the public “hôpital général” for the poor insane, for Szasz it began in England with the appearance of for-profit madhouses where upper class families shut away inconvenient relatives. Regardless of their different ideas on the beginnings of anything resembling a mental health system, both authors agree that it was characterized by the coercive incarceration of a specially labeled group.

Evolution or Revolution? Why Western Psychiatry Won’t Change by Incremental Steps

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...but how realistic is it to expect that the biological skew of Western psychiatry can be sustainably changed one small step at a time?