Sunday, December 8, 2019

Involuntary Hospitalization More Likely With Psychosis Diagnoses and Few Resources

New study links involuntary hospitalization with psychotic diagnosis, previous involuntary hospitalization, and economic deprivation.

Measuring How Mental Health Professionals See Service Users’ Rights

A new scale has been developed and validated to examine beliefs held by mental health professionals towards service users’ rights.

Dehumanization Linked to Poorer Mental and Physical Health

A new review finds that dehumanizing language, including self-dehumanization, is connected to anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.

Refugees and Immigrants Experience Increased Medical Coercion

Refugees and first-generation immigrants of African descent are at greater risk of experiencing medical coercion when compared to immigrants of other visible minority communities in Canada.

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

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.
CVS

Your Pharmacist is Tattling On You!

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.”

UN Expert Calls for Major Shift in Suicide Prevention Efforts on World Mental Health...

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.
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

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.

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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.”

Humanizing Mental Healthcare by Reducing Coercive Practices

A review of the literature demonstrates that coercive practices lack empirical support and violate human rights.

It’s the Coercion, Stupid!

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.

Mad Science, Psychiatric Coercion and the Therapeutic State: An Interview with Dr. David Cohen

MIA's Peter Simons interviews David Cohen, PhD, on his path to researching mental health, coercive practices, and discontinuation from psychiatric drugs.

Forced Psychiatry is Torture

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.

Justina Pelletier: The Case Continues

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.

Electroshocking Veterans and Their Fetuses

I have long been concerned with the way society responds to people who come back from war. Veterans are routinely funneled into psychiatry’s grasp. Over the decades, some people who fought in wars have shared with me their experiences of being psychiatrized upon return from war. Sometimes these experiences included veterans being stripped of their second amendment rights, and a host of other constitutional, civil, and human rights violations as they began to be forced into complying with psychiatric regimens, and on several occasions this included veterans being subjected to electroshock.

Feral Psychiatry: The Case of Garth Daniels

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.

Defeating Goliath: Mental Health is a Social Justice Issue, and People with Lived Experience...

While I have lived just a few miles away from the Capitol for the last fifteen years, I have been unsure about getting involved in legislative advocacy. I’ve been intimidated by the complexity of the legislative process, and more inclined to leave it up to others who I perceive as having more experience than me. And honestly, I haven’t felt very hopeful about effecting change. My cynicism had turned to “learned helplessness.” And then along came a mental health bill so destructive, so regressive, that I had to step out of my uncomfortable comfort zone.

The Taint of Eugenics In NIMH-Funded Research Today

Recently, Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, identified the “NIMH’s Top 10 Research Advances of 2011.” He wrote: “This has been a year of exciting discoveries and scientific progress . . . Here are 10 breakthroughs and events of 2011 that are changing the landscape of mental health research.”

How Do Clients Solicit Medication Changes With Psychiatrists?

Researchers examine psychiatrist-client interactions and find that clients are often left with few opportunities to make explicit requests to change their medication regimen.

Risk of Suicide After Hospitalization Even Higher Than Previously Estimated

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

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

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

DeJarnette Sanitarium

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...

A Three Pronged Approach to Mental Health System Change

I thought I would begin my blogging career with a description of how I see three elements that reinforce each other in ways that...

Rep. Tim Murphy May Be in Violation of Professional Psychological Ethics & the Law

As a former practicing clinical psychologist, I find Congressman and psychologist Tim Murphy's actions deplorable, a disgrace to the profession, a violation of the ethical principles that guide psychologists in their duties, and an attempt to use his credentials as a psychologist to manipulate the public and Congress to believe obviously false statements. As a result of becoming increasingly concerned about Congressman Tim Murphy's false, public statements conflating mental illness with violence, I contacted the Pennsylvania Psychology Licensing Board and formally requested the implementation of a State ethics investigation of Representative Tim Murphy, Ph.D. I invite you to do the same by emailing the PA board at [email protected]

A Discussion of Justina Pelletier and Boston Children’s Hospital

Justina Pelletier, who lived with her parents in Connecticut, had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a rare and debilitating illness, and had been receiving treatment for this from Mark Korson, MD, Chief of Metabolism Services at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. In February of last year, Justina's parents took her to Boston Children's Hospital with flu-like symptoms. Dr. Korson had recommended an admission to Boston Children's so that Justina could be seen by Alex Flores, MD, a gastrointestinal specialist who had recently transferred from Tufts to BCH. But instead, Justina's care was taken over by the psychiatry department.

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