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.
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.”
A CVS pharmacy recently sent me a standardized form by fax with a dire warning about one of my patients. The form was called “MEDICATION NONADHERENCE THERAPY ADVISORY” and it said: “A review of your patient’s retail and mail prescription history indicates that the patient has not obtained his or her first refill.”
The FDA approved the prescribing and sale of a new hi-tech compliance-monitoring “antipsychotic” drug this week. A new chapter in human darkness has descended — one that is applauded by the alliance of control addicts that made it happen.
New analysis of post-discharge suicide rates finds estimates 6 times higher than recent studies.
Psychological abuse and childhood neglect are strongly associated with depression in adulthood, according to a meta-analysis of childhood trauma and depression published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders. “The findings clearly highlight the potential impact of the more ‘silent’ types of childhood maltreatment (other than physical and sexual abuse) on the development of depression,” the researchers conclude.
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.
I am a survivor of forced psychiatry, and I bring this perspective with me as a human rights lawyer. People with disabilities have a right to be as we are and not to have our bodies and minds made over to suit other people. We alone have the right to decide whether a medical treatment will support who we are or detract from who we are, and that is why free and informed consent is the essential requirement.
MIA's Peter Simons interviews David Cohen, PhD, on his path to researching mental health, coercive practices, and discontinuation from psychiatric drugs.
Every culture has its share of individuals who break down in bewilderment. People who hallucinate, behave beyond norms, seek to die, think in strange ways.
The recent publicity surrounding the Justina Pelletier case has focused attention, not only on the spurious and arbitrary nature of psychiatric diagnoses, but also on the legitimacy and appropriateness of mental health commitments. It is being widely asserted that these archaic statutes are fundamentally incompatible with current civil rights standards, and the question "should mental health commitments be abolished?" is being raised in a variety of contexts.
On March 25, Joseph Johnston, Juvenile Court Justice in Boston, Massachusetts, issued a disposition order in the case: Care and protection of Justina Pelletier. The background to the case is well-known. Justina is 15 years old. Judge Johnston did not return Justina to the care of her parents, but instead granted permanent custody to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), with a right to review in June. The disposition order is somewhat terse and sparing in its tone, but reading between the lines, it seems clear that the court has determined that Justina either does not have mitochondrial disease or that, even if she does have mitochondrial disease, her concern about this matter is inappropriate and excessive.
...but how realistic is it to expect that the biological skew of Western psychiatry can be sustainably changed one small step at a time?
What would it take to go about abolishing psychiatry? If we truly eliminated all the horrid practices that are currently committed by the mental health system, what would the world look like? What follows are 15 ways our society would need to change before we could be confident that we are free from the tyranny of the mental health system.
From Atlas Obscura: In the 1930s, hundreds of people with mental disabilities committed to the now abandoned DeJarnette Sanitarium were forcibly sterilized and experimented on by the...
On World Mental Health Day, UN expert Dainius Pūras calls for a shift away from medical solutions toward a rights-based approach to make life “more liveable.” He calls for states to address societal determinants of mental health, promoting autonomy and resilience.
A new review finds that dehumanizing language, including self-dehumanization, is connected to anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.
Dr. Dainius Pūras argues that the status quo in mental health treatment is no longer acceptable and demands political action to promote human rights.
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.
The experience with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's visit to the US is a watershed for our work against forced psychiatry. Step by step, global and national advocacy support each other as part of a worldwide movement to abolish forced psychiatry using the UN human rights framework.
A review of the literature demonstrates that coercive practices lack empirical support and violate human rights.
There is indeed a crisis in the mental health business. The crisis derives from psychiatry's spurious and self-serving premise that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are brain illnesses that are correctable by psychiatric drugs.
From The Guardian: As antidepressant prescriptions rise and have doubled in the past decade, mental health experts are becoming increasingly concerned about adverse effects and...
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.
On May 14 and 15, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights held a meeting on human rights in mental health. The event represented tensions in the United Nations between the promotion of mental health and the promotion of the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.