Sunday, July 25, 2021

Mental Health Patients Overlooked in Compulsory Treatment

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From The Sydney Morning Herald: A new review found that mental health patients' decision-making capacity is very rarely considered in court rulings on involuntary treatment. "The...

A Three Pronged Approach to Mental Health System Change

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

Latest Antidepressant a Case Study in Institutional Corruption

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A new study tracks the approval of the latest antidepressant, vortioxetine, by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The...

The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma

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In this piece for The New Yorker, Junot Diaz reflects on the impact of his experience of childhood sexual abuse and the ways that therapy...

Feral Psychiatry: More on the Garth Daniels Case

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On Wednesday, May 18th, Daniels had what was probably his 102nd consecutive episode of ECT. As always, he told the staff that he did not want it and did not consent to it; as always, he got it. Later on the next afternoon, Garth left to join his family in Brisbane. None of us have a crystal ball but his position now seems much better than at any stage in the past. Let's look at some of the facts and opinions surrounding this case.

Lithium

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In this piece for Healing Journey, Anne O'Beirne briefly summarizes the history of the medical usage of lithium and describes the impact that the drug has...

The Risk That Survives a Psych Ward Stay

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From OZY: The suicide rate for former psychiatric inpatients is 44 times higher than that of the general population. According to Australian psychiatrist and professor Christopher Ryan,...

Components for a Good Neuroleptic Withdrawal Program

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The United States desperately needs good programs to help people withdraw from neuroleptic drugs. From all I have seen and heard, there aren’t any - none at least that can reputably claim to get good results on a fairly consistent basis. Again and again I find myself challenged to envision such a program, and in reply to the challenge I have broken down this hypothetical program into various components.

Bring Back the Asylum?

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This week a commentary, written by members of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and titled “Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum” was published in JAMA Online. The authors recommend a return to asylum care, albeit not as a replacement for but as an addition to improved community services and only for those who have “severe and treatment-resistant psychotic disorders, who are too unstable or unsafe for community based treatment.” The authors seem to accept the notion of transinstitutionalization (TI) which suggests that people who in another generation would have lived in state hospitals are now incarcerated in jails and prisons. While I do not agree, I do find there is a need for a safe place for people to stay while they work through their crisis.

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.

“This Needs to Stop”

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Electroshock survivor Nancy Rubstein and professor, author, and antipsychiatry theorist Dr. Bonnie Burstow were recently interviewed for CTV News Channel about Dr. Burstow's new book, The...

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.

Drug May Lead to Early Death for People With Alzheimer’s

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From The Washington Post: A recent study found that benzodiazepines are associated with a greater chance of early death for those with Alzheimer's. "Researchers analyzed data on...

State Permanently Closes Psychiatric Hospital

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From The Boston Globe: The state of Massachusetts has permanently closed the Westwood Lodge psychiatric hospital due to issues of patient safety, quality of care,...

At the Intersection Between Black Pride and Mad Pride

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The Grand Jury indictment on January 21st of a Georgia policeman for the felony murder of Anthony Hill brought national attention to the intersection of Black Pride and Mad Pride. Hill, who was black and a veteran, was murdered in March 2015 while in an extreme state or “mental health crisis.” He was naked and clearly unarmed when shot by a white policeman. The indictment brings attention to the failure of mental health care system in America.

Good Psychologist, Bad Psychologist

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In this episode on BBC Radio, psychiatrist Raj Persaud reports on the CIA's so-called "enhanced interrogation" program, which has frequently been characterized as torture. He discusses...

Mental Health Seclusion Rates Increase

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From Stuff: More than 800 New Zealand mental health patients were held in seclusion at some point last year, representing a six percent increase in...

Ethical Failings in Experimental Drug Safety Trials

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Leading human subjects ethics researcher questions exploitation of uninsured minorities in experimental drug trials.

Study Identifies Psychiatric Patients at Greatest Risk of Coercion

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In an effort to reduce coercion, researchers isolate associated factors including age, relationship status, location, and diagnosis.

My Own Journey Through the Mental Health Quagmire

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Through my undergraduate and graduate studies, I cannot recall once encountering a critical voice. The academic world was steeped in bio-psychiatric conceptions and the...

APA: Do Not Take a “See No Evil” Approach to Torture

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From Psychology Today: The American Psychological Association has previously taken a number of steps to take responsibility for its involvement in torture and make amends to...

“With Coercive Control, the Abuse Is Psychological”

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“Coercive control describes an ongoing and multipronged strategy, with tactics that include manipulation, humiliation, isolation, financial abuse, stalking, gaslighting and sometimes physical or sexual...

NSUN is Advocating for a Rights-Based Mental Health Act

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The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) has expressed concerns about the UK government's plans to reform the Mental Health Act, as the government's current approach...

Psych Ward Reviews: A Yelp for Psychiatric Facilities

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From Undark Magazine: A new app, Psych Ward Reviews, gathers anonymous reviews of patients' experiences with inpatient treatment at public and private psychiatric and general...
revolution

How Would We Know If We Overthrew the Mental Health System?

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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.

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