Monday, April 6, 2020

Reporter was Locked in Mental Hospital for 10 Days

This piece from Newsner chronicles the life and work of Elizabeth Cochran Seaman, a journalist who went undercover to expose the conditions at an infamous mental...

The Psychiatry Sandcastle Continues to Crumble

Psychiatry would long since have gone the way of phrenology and mesmerism but for the financial support it receives from the pharmaceutical industry. But the truth has a way of trickling out. Here are five recent stories that buck the psychiatry-friendly stance that has characterized the mainstream media for at least the past 50 years.

“Medical Error—The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US”

In this podcast from the BMJ talk medicine series, researchers discuss their finding that medical error is the third leading cause of death in...

“New ‘Smart’ Drugs Tell Doctor You’re Not Taking Them”

The Washington Examiner reports that the manufacturer of the antipsychotic Abilify is seeking FDA approval for new digitized pills that would alert doctors if patients fail to take their drugs on schedule.
involuntary commitment

What It’s Like to Be Involuntarily Committed

Ten years after being fired for taking a mental health leave after the Virginia Tech massacre, I was diagnosed as "schizophrenic" and involuntarily committed to a hospital. Now I have a job and a life, but I'm still forced to take drugs and report to a social worker.

Abolishing Forced Treatment in Psychiatry is an Ethical Imperative

Forced treatment in psychiatry cannot be defended, neither on ethical, legal or scientific grounds. It has never been shown that forced treatment does more good than harm, and it is highly likely that the opposite is true. We need to abolish our laws about this, in accordance with the United Na­tions Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which virtually all countries have ratified.

The Fictions and Futures of Transformative Justice

In this interview for The New Inquiry, two co-editors and three writers of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements discuss prison abolition and...

Challenges in Measuring Low-Value Healthcare

Differences in patient-centric versus service-centric measures make quantifying low-value care difficult.
Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry

Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry

Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry is a response by psychiatric survivors and allies to Operating in Darkness, a scathing 2017 report on British Columbia’s Mental Health Act Detention System. We hope that professionals will take note of the devastating effects of forced psychiatric treatment and be moved to speak out, and, above all, that survivors will feel encouraged and inspired by our efforts.

Representative Tim Murphy Resigns From Congress

From The Washington Post: Representative Tim Murphy, who has worked to decrease the civil rights of those labeled mentally ill, has announced that he will...

The History of Psychiatry and Gay Conversion Therapy

From The Huffington Post: Like religion, psychiatry has played a major role in oppressing LGBTQ individuals throughout history. "Once psychiatry comes along we get horrible “treatments”...

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...

Psych Ward Reviews: A Yelp for Psychiatric Facilities

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...

“Psychotic Shooters on the Open Frontier of Profit”

At CounterPunch, Joseph Natoli connects Big Pharma, mass shootings, and rampant inequality. He writes: “The Brave New World soma strategy to deal with a population that, were they not doped up, might violently disrupt that brave new world, is useful if a society is ‘creatively destroying’ a growing number of its population each day. While the poor have daily evidence of their poverty, a collapsing middle class live in the illusion that they are middle class and just a short distance, not from ruin, but from fame and fortune. They are, in short, heading for a catastrophic break-down. Big Pharma is already set to give us all a ‘soft landing.’”

“If You Wanted to Kill Yourself, You Would Have Done It”

From The Independent: The notion of choice is increasingly being used to discourage suicidal people from seeking help. Many people's suicidal thoughts and actions are...

Implant ‘Restores Consciousness’ to Man in Vegetative State

From The Guardian: A 35-year-old man who had been in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for 15 years has shown signs of consciousness after receiving...

“Saving Congressman Murphy from Fraudulent Information”

Dennis Embry, a clinical psychologist and government consultant on mental health, shares a letter he sent to congressman Murphy warning him about how he may have been misled concerning his mental health bill. “I am specifically writing you about erroneous, false information you’ve been given about the National Registry of Evidence Base Programs and Practices. That erroneous information is likely to cause serious problems, which have been withheld from you.”

Reflecting Back on a Campaign to Stop Forced Outpatient ECT

One of the most amazing activist campaigns I have been involved in during my 40 years of protest for human rights in the mental health system, was the effort to stop the involuntary electroshock of Ray Sandford of Minnesota. Ray reached MindFreedom in the Fall of 2008, and an international human rights campaign began for him.

Angry Caller to Help Line Tracked, Incarcerated in Psychiatric Hospital & Billed

John Albers was completely surprised when police came to his home at midnight and insisted on taking him to a psychiatric hospital, where he...

Psychiatrists Have Issued a Statement on Aversion Therapy

From BuzzFeed: The Royal College of Psychiatrists has issued a historic statement acknowledging the harm done to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who were subjected to...

Changing Law That Lets Mentally Ill Stay on the Streets

From the San Francisco Chronicle: San Francisco city officials are hoping to change the law that allows homeless individuals with mental health diagnoses to stay on...
forced treatment

“All for the Best of the Patient”

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.

Mental Health Act Review: Will We See Meaningful Change?

From Tales from the Madhouse: In fall 2017, the UK government an Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, inciting hope for radical revision of...

Tampa Council Proposes ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors

From the Tampa Bay Times: The Tampa City Council recently moved to ban mental health professionals from providing gay conversion therapy to minors, proposing penalties of...

“Electric Shock Therapy Led to Sunderland Patient Having Permanent Fit”

Update: Elsie Tindle has sadly passed away after a forced electroshock treatment triggered an epileptic fit and permanent brain damage. The psychiatrist, Eugene van...

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