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.
Sometimes I get so sick of the lies of biological psychiatry that I must speak out. At these moments I find silence to be a kind of emotional death: a death of my spirit, a death of my critical faculties, a death of my courage. I speak out because I am alive and I wish to align with life.
Recent press coverage of top star Britney Spears, who remains under a personal and professional guardianship, reflects conventional attitudes about “mental illness” that are both stigmatizing and encourage legislation that promotes forced treatment.
A new study tracks the approval of the latest antidepressant, vortioxetine, by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The...
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Researchers examine psychiatrist-client interactions and find that clients are often left with few opportunities to make explicit requests to change their medication regimen.
Concerns have been raised about inconsistent and unreliable results, which may lead to injustices in sentencing or even wrongful convictions.
A new scale has been developed and validated to examine beliefs held by mental health professionals towards service users’ rights.
...but how realistic is it to expect that the biological skew of Western psychiatry can be sustainably changed one small step at a time?
I thought I would begin my blogging career with a description of how I see three elements that reinforce each other in ways that...
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...
Leading human subjects ethics researcher questions exploitation of uninsured minorities in experimental drug trials.
Dr. Dainius Pūras argues that the status quo in mental health treatment is no longer acceptable and demands political action to promote human rights.
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.
New analysis of post-discharge suicide rates finds estimates 6 times higher than recent studies.
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.
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.
A new review finds that dehumanizing language, including self-dehumanization, is connected to anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.
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 Conversation: Neoliberal policies and conditions may be at least partly responsible for the growing mental health crisis and decline in collective well-being in...
Again and again I am told the ‘severely mentally ill’ are impaired and incapable, not quite human. I am told the “high utilizers” and “frequent flyers” burden services because they are different than the rest of us. And when I finally do meet the people carrying that terrible, stigmatizing label of schizophrenia, what do I find? I find – a human being. A human who responds to the same listening and curiosity that I, or anyone, responds to. I find a human who is above all terrified, absolutely terrified, by some horrible trauma we may not see or understand.
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.