Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Barbara Ehrenreich: Why I’m Giving Up on Preventative Care

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In this piece for Literary Hub, Barbara Ehrenreich critiques the overuse of preventative medicine and describes how our healthcare system's emphasis on screenings and early...

Book Review: “Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs”

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Mad Science is not 'just another critical mental health book' - the authors are not simply telling the same-old-story. Instead, it is innovative, creative, and thought-provoking. All of us hold fundamental assumptions about mental health diagnosis, coercion, and drugs. Mad Science guides the reader through identifying these assumptions, and then rigorously evaluates the underlying scientific evidence.

6-Year-old Boy Committed to a Psych Ward

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From BuzzFeed News: A six-year-old boy in Jacksonville, Florida was recently committed to a psychiatric institution for throwing a temper tantrum in school. There, he...

How my Experience With Psychiatry Traumatized me

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In this piece for Youth Ki Awaaz, Nibu Augustine recounts his traumatic experiences with psychiatry and the mental health system, including forced drugging and adverse...

My APA protest speech: “Keeping the Channel Open”

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If you haven't been labeled mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association, you have to ask yourself what's wrong. Perhaps you were ahead of the game: you knew not to reveal yourself to them, you knew how to avoid them, you found other social support, and if so, a big congratulations. If not, what's wrong? Why have you conformed?

Call for Submissions: Smash Paternalism Anthology

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A new anthology is seeking essays, short stories, poetry, and visual art on the topic of paternalism, i.e. abuses or human rights violations that are...

“Holding Big Pharma Accountable: Why Suing the Pharmaceutical Industry Isn’t Working”

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Writing for the Huffington Post, Caroline Beaton looks into how drugs continue to make billions in sales even after they lose lawsuits for fraud and misconduct. “The persistence of Big Pharma's fraud despite ubiquitous legal action suggests that our present efforts to hold the industry accountable are ineffective,” Beaton writes. “New polices in motion will make potentially unsafe drugs even easier to bring to market and promote.”

Snail’s Pace Race

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I live a slow paced life. I meditate every morning, refuse to get a smart phone (yet), and it takes me generous amounts of time to do things. This isn't because I am “stupid” or slow to get things. Sometimes I wonder how others get so much done each day - yet the quality and vibration of what I do is unique. It needs time. How does this relate with psychiatric drugs? Psych drugs are rooted in impatience, urgency, emergency.

I was Forced to Choose Between an Abortion or a Mental Hospital

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In this personal essay for MarieClaire, one woman shares her story of being locked up in a mental hospital for refusing to have an abortion.

Proove Biosciences Sells Off Assets as CEO Departs

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From STAT: Proove Biosciences, which sold dubious DNA tests to predict opioid addiction risk, has been placed into court-ordered receivership for restructuring and asset sale. Experts...

We Need Ecstasy and Cocaine in Place of Prozac and Xanax

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From Aeon: While psychiatric drugs are often ineffective and can have serious side effects, there are many psychedelics and other illicit substances that have proven...

Autism as a Mode of Being

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Autism is not a disease or an entity. It is not something that we must seek out to eradicate. Rather, it is a mode...

How Neoliberalism is Damaging Your Mental Health

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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...

Oregon Court Affirms Forced Medication for Defendants

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The Oregon Supreme Court ruled yesterday that judges can force criminal defendants to take antipsychotic medication in an effort to make them competent for...

Drugs for Bad Behavior Cause Alarming Weight Gain in Kids

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From National Post: Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly being prescribed to children as young as two for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, aggression and behavior problems. A...

PsychRights’ Letter to the President’s Task Force on Gun Violence

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I am flattered and pleased to have been asked by MadInAmerica to post here the letter PsychRights wrote Monday to Vice President Biden regarding the misguided, counterproductive and very dangerous focus on identifying and forcing "treatment" on people diagnosed with mental illness as any part of the solution to gun violence in the United States.

Stranger

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I am quarantined in Stabilization. In front of me an old woman with cherry lipstick and a clipboard asks questions about sexual abuse, but my mind is through the square window on the door behind her. In that room I see a steel bed surrounded by emptiness. On top of it lay leather straps that are uneven in width where they’re wearing thin. Each strap has a set of holes to fasten the buckles tight, and I can see quite clearly that the ones nearest the end are circles while the ones furthest away have stretched into ovals. Tonight will be a Haldol night.

Psychiatry: We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mental Health

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My name is Leah Harris and I'm a survivor. I am a survivor of psychiatric abuse and trauma. My parents died largely as a result of terrible psychiatric practice. Psychiatric practice that took them when they were young adults and struggling with experiences they didn’t understand. Experiences that were labeled as schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. My parents were turned from people into permanent patients. They suffered the indignities of forced treatment. Seclusion and restraint. Forced electroshock. Involuntary outpatient commitment. And a shocking amount of disabling heavy-duty psychiatric drugs. And they died young, from a combination of the toxic effects of overmedication, and broken spirits.

Unhelpful Utterances: 6 Comments We Should No Longer Hear From Mental Health Professionals

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Professionals are paid to share their wisdom with those who are, typically, less informed. But, when dealing with mental health professionals in the psychiatric arena, it is wise to retain a degree of skepticism about the words spoken by the doctors and nurses commissioned to help reduce human misery and suffering.

13 Reasons to Watch 13 Reasons Why

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From Acting NT: Many mental health advocates have objected to the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which centers around the suicide of a teenage girl. Here...

From the Loony Bin To Stand-Up Comedy

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I was sixteen and going on seventeen and I had never gone crazy before.  I think the most startling aspect of it is how...

Regarding Representative Tim Murphy’s Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act

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Representative Murphy has released the second version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). Few can argue that the mental health system and the current approach towards helping individuals and families in crisis are abysmal. H.R. 2646 is an effort to create increased service provisions and to enhance interventions that many professionals, family members and service users alike believe to be effective. When people are desperate and suffering they do not wish to be told "Sorry, there's nothing we can do." And so, it is understandable and even laudable that so many support the proposals laid out in H.R. 2646. But the bill is based on distorted and faulty logic that misrepresents the research and evidence base. This is highly disconcerting. And so a collective of mental health professionals, mental health advocates, and persons with lived experience came together to produce the following documents in response to H.R. 2646.

Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze

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From ABC: The self-help and self-improvement industry are more popular and widely accepted than ever. However, the moral imperative to constantly think positive and always...

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