Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Towards a More Humane Approach: From Medicalization of Experience to True Understanding

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For mental distress to be alleviated, it is often very important to understand how individuals construct meaning. For some this sense of meaning comes...

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...

Trial Over Suicide and Texting Lays Bare Pain of 2 Teenagers

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From The New York Times: Michelle Carter, a 20-year-old woman, is currently being tried for urging her boyfriend to kill himself via text message. According to...
forced treatment

“All for the Best of the Patient”

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For psychiatric ‘help’ to happen by force is a paradox and makes absolutely no sense. It can destroy people's personality and self-confidence. It can lead, in the long run, to physical and psychological disability. My dear daughter Luise got caught in this ‘helping system’ by mistake, but she didn't make it out alive. I'm sad to say I later discovered that the way Luise was treated was more the rule than the exception.

How Victorian Women Were Oppressed Through Psychiatry

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From The Atlantic: In the mid- to late 1800s, psychiatric institutions were used to oppress women and reinforce patriarchal norms. The new Netflix show Alias Grace, based...

On the Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Violence

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One of psychiatry's most obvious vulnerabilities is the fact that various so-called antidepressant drugs induce homicidal and suicidal feelings and actions in some people, especially late adolescents and young adults. This fact is not in dispute, but psychiatry routinely downplays the risk, and insists that the benefits of these drugs outweigh any risks of actual violence that might exist.

Reading ‘Girl, Interrupted’ in the Psych Ward

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In this piece for Electric Lit, Anne Thériault shares how the book Girl, Interrupted helped her survive her 72-hour hold in a psychiatric ward following a suicide attempt. "The psychiatric...

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.

Trump’s Pick for Mental Health ‘Czar’ Highlights Rift

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From The New York Times: President Trump's nominee to direct SAMHSA, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, who is a strong proponent of the medical model of psychiatry,...

The Great Turning

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When I first heard of the proposed “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013” (H.R. 3717)”, I felt relieved and thought “maybe somebody has finally got it!” However, as I read and processed the words I realized just how much Tim Murphy didn’t get it. Is this mental health system broke? Yes it is. Can it be fixed? Yes it can. But we must do it collectively and with the experience and voices of those with true lived experiences including their families and allies. I stand with millions of others who have shown through our resiliency that our movement is real, has saved lives and most of all we have people that can give voice to what really needs to be changed within the system. If only people will listen.

May the ‘Force’ NEVER EVER Be With You! The Case for Abolition

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A growing body of evidence indicates that forced “treatment” in today’s mental health system, including all forms of forced hospitalization and forced drugging, may actually cause FAR more harm than good. Recent published studies and articles point towards evidence of physical and psychological harm that, in some cases, may contribute to more suicidality and patient deaths, as well as overall worse outcomes in a person’s state of recovery.

Tim Murphy Mental Health Bill: More Expensive and Less Effective

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Here is a short review of the Tim Murphy mental health bill. I show the research that was left out when the bill was written, how advocates can approach the issue, and what the main problem with ignoring the research will be.

Félix Guattari: Origins in Trotskyism and Psychoanalysis

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In this piece for Non.copyriot.com, Andrew Ryder discusses the life and ideas of the psychotherapist, philosopher, and activist Félix Guattari, whose work united many of...

The Mental Health System Can’t Stop Mass Shooters

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In this piece for The New York Times, psychiatrist Amy Barnhorst explains why it is not feasible for mental health professionals to identify or treat people...

App Allows You to Call Volunteers to Help the Homeless

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From Healthline: A new app, Concrn, allows users to request assistance from mental health volunteers for homeless people in need. The creators of the app...

CIA Torture Psychologists Compared to Poison Gas Manufacturers

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From American Civil Liberties Union: Last week, the defense attorneys of the psychologists behind the CIA's torture program, James Mitchell and John "Bruce" Jessen, compared their...

Crazy Talk: The Dangerous Rhetoric of Mental Illness

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In this piece for Eidolon, Jessica Wright discusses the ways that labeling people as "crazy" and "mentally ill" has served to justify oppression throughout history....

UN: US Should “Generally Prohibit” Non-consensual Psychiatric Treatment

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The Human Rights Committee, a UN committee of experts that monitors the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has issued a recommendation that the United States “generally” prohibit non-consensual psychiatric treatment, while going on to set out criteria for when “it may be applied, if at all.” It did not meet our expectations but marks progress. Keep our eyes on the prize: Use the recommendation to argue against any backsliding initiatives such as the Murphy Bill and the federal funding for outpatient commitment that has just passed the House in a bill on Medicare.

Judi Chamberlin and the Fight Against Institutionalizing Women

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In this piece for Rooted in Rights, s.e. smith chronicles the life of Judi Chamberlin and discusses the important role she played at the intersection of...

What Should Happen When Things Go Wrong?

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In this piece for the National Survivor User Network, Martin Coyle highlights some of the shortcomings of the UK's Mental Health Act in light of its...

Madness in Civilisation: A Cultural History of Insanity

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Until recently the history of psychiatry was a neglected backwater whose murky depths were explored largely by psychiatrist. The impression conveyed by books such as Tuke’s Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles, Macalpine and Hunter's Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry: 1535 - 1860, Berrios and Freemen's 150 Years of British Psychiatry 1841 - 1991, or Fuller Torrey and Miller's The Invisible Plague, is one that sees psychiatry and modern systems of mental health care as the inevitable outcome of progress through scientific thought, a (white European male-led) narrative from darkness and ignorance to enlightenment and knowledge.

Murphy’s Mental Health Bill a Threat to Civil Liberties

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In an Op-ed for the Times Union, Madeleine Ringwald explains how the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act “would severely disable protection and advocacy organizations from protecting the civil, legal and human rights of people in mental health services.” “Whether you examine it through a scientific, civil rights or bottom-line lens, Murphy's bill should appall you,” she writes. “Any legislation that bolsters institutionalization at the cost of community-based services seeks not to help those with mental health needs, but help society find ways to hide, suppress and silence them.”

“Too Many PA Foster Children are on Psychiatric Meds”

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For Philly.com, staff writer Stacey Burling reports on the PolicyLab analysis of psychiatric drug use among Pennsylvania children on Medicaid.  “Many children in foster...

Psych Ward Ramblings

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In this piece for Medium, activist and survivor Louisa J. Harvey describes the experience of being locked in a psychiatric institution on an involuntary hold. "This is not...

$8 Million Awarded to Family Of Man Who Died in Risperdal Trial

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A California jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical and a psychiatrist were responsible for the death of 25-year-old Leo Liu. During a clinical trial for Risperdal, Liu died of a heart injury that was “further complicated” by the drug and ignored by the study doctors. Janssen was found 70% responsible for Liu’s death and ordered to pay $5.6 million to the family.

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