Thursday, November 26, 2020

Word Salad is Not “Disorganized Thought and Speech”

This piece for Holistic Elephants discusses the role of social context and environment in our perception and construction of "word salad," a common symptom of psychosis and...

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

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.

How Victorian Women Were Oppressed Through Psychiatry

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...

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.

Why You Can’t Get Informed Consent From a Doctor

What is informed consent? Informed consent obviously means if you are being given drugs you should know the common and potential adverse affects, drug interactions, risk of dependency and addiction, and counter-indications with other substances, health conditions or health concerns. This is the baseline of informed consent (which many people don't receive) but there is an incredible amount more that is included in what you deserve to know about any drug you are prescribed or medical system you are advised to subscribe to.

Some Thoughts on Insanity Defense

I am not comfortable with an all-or-nothing insanity defense that is both legally and socially stigmatizing because it sets the person apart as someone who is legally determined to be incapable of being treated as a moral agent. This stigma spills over onto all people who are psychiatrized, and it is part of the conception of madness that also ends up serving as a justification for civil commitment, since we are perceived (incorrectly) as outside the reach of ordinary law.

Antipsychotics, Restraints, and Seclusion Raising Concerns

From ABC Australia: Australia's high rate of antipsychotic prescriptions, as well as the frequent usage of restraints and seclusion, has raised concerns among Australian mental health advocates, researchers,...

Humanizing Mental Healthcare by Reducing Coercive Practices

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

Vermont Probes Whether Drug Makers Violated its Gift Ban

From STAT: The Vermont attorney general is currently investigating whether drug and medical device companies may have violated state law by giving gifts or payments to health...

Living With Depression Under Capitalism

In this piece for rs21, Kate Bradley writes about the depression she has experienced as a result of capitalism and societal oppression, and the way...

An Open Letter to Colin Powell

Dear Colin Powell: You shared that your wife was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having a ‘chemical imbalance.’ You said she was, as a result, put on psychotropics and found success after doing so. I’m not going to attempt to take that away from her, but whereas so many issues encompass shades of gray, the chemical imbalance theory does not. The chemical imbalance theory is not just unproven; It is debunked. But you need not take my word for it.

Thoughts on Psychiatric Incarceration When Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

We are, more and more, as individuals with “mental health diagnoses,” living in a reality of senselessness, absurdity and and arbitrary outcomes. While I often believe that our movement simply calls itself a movement, but does not really move at all, it is in fact possible today to say that we are part of a post-Justina movement. The attention to her case highlights both the senselessness and the absurdity, but perhaps not the arbitrary nature of how the system functions for those it impacts.

Conquering Benign Paternalism

On Wednesday, July 18, the Heritage Foundation sponsored a forum entitled “How to Bring Sanity to our Mental Health System.” It featured Dr. E....

Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics on Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

One-third of adults with an intellectual or developmental disability are dispensed antipsychotics, despite having no existing psychiatric diagnosis.

Cause of Death: Unknown

A new film, "Cause of Death: Unknown" investigates the pharmaceutical industry and the deaths that have been caused by psychiatric drugs. The film will...

To Live and (Almost) Die in L.A.: A Survivor’s Tale

After 25 years of chronic emergency, 22 mental hospitalizations, a stint at a “community mental health center,” 13 years in a "board & care," repeated withdrawals from addictions to legal drugs, and a 12-year marriage, I plan to live every last breath out as a survivor, an advocate, and an artist.

Nuanced History of Asylums Shows Context Matters

A bottom-up approach to understanding the history of asylums allows us to learn from past successes and failures in the mental health system.

Are Neuroleptics “Anti-Psychotic”? Harrow’s 20-Year Outcomes

Martin Harrow along with his colleagues T.H. Jobe and R. N. Faull has published another paper on the long term outcome of people who experienced a psychotic episode. Funded by a grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, this paper adds to our knowledge of an extremely important and valuable study.

Reform of Mental Health Law Should Focus on Patient’s Voice

From The Irish Times: The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2017, which is currently making its way through the Irish legislature, would enact key policies and...

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.

PA State Representatives Introduce Bill to Ban ECT on Children

From Fox43: Last week, two Pennsylvania state representatives, Tom Murt and Stephen Kinsey, introduced a bill to prohibit the use of electroconvulsive therapy on children...

Ethical Failings in Experimental Drug Safety Trials

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

Support CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment

Mad In America bloggers, and everyone who is interested, you are cordially invited to participate in a Campaign to Support the CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment. The requested action is to write a blog post or contribute artwork, relevant to the purpose of the campaign, i.e. discussing and supporting the absolute prohibition that is promulgated under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  Posts should be ready for March 29, 2016, the opening day of the 15th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

A Conversation about Having Conversations about Psychiatry

In spite of constantly increasing opportunities to tell different stories to the canonical story of bio-psychiatry, it can be risky for academics to voice a different perspective than the mainstream model of mental illness. In this conversation, a communication professor and a psychology professor discuss their challenges and personal experiences with going against the grain, such as what it means to be labeled “anti-psychiatry” by colleagues and responding to students upset to learn their medications may not be all they thought they were.

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

From UPLIFT: In the shamanic view, emotional distress and psychosis signal a spiritual awakening or emergence, not a pathology. Western cultures can learn a great...

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