Wednesday, October 20, 2021

More and More States Are Outlawing Gay-Conversion Therapy

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From The Atlantic: States are increasingly moving to ban gay conversion therapy, restricting licensed mental-health practitioners including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers from practicing any...

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.

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...

United Nations Rep Brings Attention to Human Rights Violations in Psychiatry

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Dr. Dainius Pūras argues that the status quo in mental health treatment is no longer acceptable and demands political action to promote human rights.

“The Torturing of Mentally Ill Prisoners”

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This week’s issue of the New Yorker examines the treatment of people diagnosed with mental health issues in Florida’s prisons. The horrifying stories of...

Two Thirds of Patients See Physicians Who Receive Payments From Pharma

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Study finds more patients are visiting physicians who have ties to industry than previously thought.

Pro-Force Attitudes a Symptom of Post Traumatic Stress?

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The year before I was born, E. Fuller Torrey published ‘The Death of Psychiatry.’ Therein, he repeatedly made statements that are disdainful of the psychiatric profession and its core concepts. He also asserted that known brain diseases were responsible for "no more than 5 percent of the people we refer to as mentally 'ill’.” As recently as 1991, he has been quoted as calling for the end of psychiatry. In October of that year he said, “Now, if you give the people with brain diseases to neurology and the rest to education, there's really no need for psychiatry." I want to ask: “Edwin Fuller Torrey, what happened to you?”

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.

Health Care? More Like Health Scare!

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From the Lown Institute: For pharmaceutical companies who use scare tactics to sell drugs, every day is like Halloween. This list of egregious advertisements shows...

Social Work Professionals Face Creeping Fascism

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From Rabble: The regulatory body for social workers and social service workers in Ontario — the Ontario College for Social Workers and Social Service Workers — is...

Do Antidepressants Increase Risk of Adult Suicide?

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From From Insults to Respect: It is commonly assumed that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide in children and young adults, but not in adults...

Hearing on H.R. 3717 (“Murphy Bill”) to Take Place Tomorrow

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The House Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing tomorrow (Thursday, April 3, 2014) on the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," also...

“The Great ‘Mental Illness’ Hoax: Rampage Killings and the Gun Culture”

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Over at CounterPunch, Carl Boggs takes on the knee-jerk mental illness response that pervades the airwaves after every mass shooting. He writes: “What the mental-health fixation lacks is any semblance of historical or social context. Given the persistence of U.S. imperialism and militarism — and mounting fascination with combat and guns in a society transfigured by its warfare state — Washington remains a thriving center of global violence: repeated armed interventions abroad have found their domestic parallel in the world’s largest prison system, a deepening gun culture, home-bred terrorism, police atrocities, and a media culture filled with spectacles of warfare and bloodshed.”

Forced Treatment Ineffective: Advocacy Essential

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Most Americans would agree that we have problem with mental health in this country, but what many do not know when they consider that people who are in distress are not getting the help they need is that hospitals in this country are not giving people a choice when they are in the most need. This is based on laws that currently exist in 45 US States, which allow individuals to be petitioned into an inpatient psychiatric unit against their will if they are deemed to be a “danger to themselves or others.” I have worked for 3.5 years as a Peer Support Specialist within my local public mental health system, where I see this happen to the individuals I serve, on a regular basis. I myself have been forced.

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

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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...

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...

In the Matter of the Hospitalization of Mark V

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Today, July 1, 2016, the Alaska Supreme Court issued its Opinion in In the Matter of the Hospitalization of Mark V.    What strikes me the most about the case is that Mark's expressing the view that a psychiatric drug he was being required to take is poison, that it had side effects related to his sexual performance, and that it was killing him were all cited as proving Mark was delusional. As readers of this site know, these drugs can quite reasonably be characterized as poison, they do cause sexual dysfunction, and they are quite lethal to many many people, shortening lives on average by 25 years for those in the public mental health system, such as Mark.

The Law’s Flaw

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Tom Burns, M.D., Psychiatrist and Professor of Social Psychiatry at Oxford, recently said of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) that “compulsion added to otherwise decent care makes no difference.” This was no easy conclusion for Burns, who for twenty years “argued ardently” for Community Treatment Orders (CTO’s), which are described as the British version of California’s newly passed AOT laws. "I worked for more than 20 years to get the CTO law passed," he said. "I thought such laws were going to make a difference, but they don't."

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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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.”

Journey Through Madness

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What is termed ‘madness’ or ‘mental illness’ is for some the only means for expression of their being lost and confused in a world...

A University Ethics Scandal Turns Into a Business Opportunity

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From City Pages: In a 2014 University of Minnesota research scandal, a young man was coerced into an experimental drug study conducted by his psychiatrist that...

Involuntary Hospitalization More Likely With Psychosis Diagnoses and Few Resources

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New study links involuntary hospitalization with psychotic diagnosis, previous involuntary hospitalization, and economic deprivation.

First They Ignore You: Impressions From Today’s Hearing on H.R. 3717

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As I walked alone up the stairs to the Rayburn House Office Building this morning to attend the hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on H.R. 3717 - the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act - I thought about how I wasn’t truly alone. In spirit with me were all the people who had experienced scary, coercive, and dehumanizing interventions in the name of help. In spirit with me was every mental health provider who went into the field hoping to really make a difference in their communities, but became cynical and discouraged in the face of so many broken systems and broken spirits.

Letter to the Mother of a “Schizophrenic”: We Must Do Better Than Forced Treatment...

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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.

9 Arrested so far in Patient-Abuse Scandal at Whiting Forensic

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From the Hartford Courant: Nine state mental health workers at Whiting Forensic have been arrested and charged with cruelty to persons in the largest patient-abuse...

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