Sunday, May 16, 2021

An FDA Whistleblower’s Documents: Commerce, Corruption, and Death

In 2008, a reviewer of psychiatric drugs at the FDA, Ron Kavanagh, complained to Congress that the FDA was approving a new antipsychotic that was ineffective and yet had adverse effects that increased the risk of death. Twelve years later, a review of the whistleblower documents reveal an FDA approval process that can lead to the marketing of drugs sure to harm public health.

Suicide Hotlines Bill Themselves as Confidential—Even as Some Trace Your Call

Every year suicide hotline centers covertly trace tens of thousands of confidential calls, and police come to homes, schools, and workplaces to forcibly take callers to psychiatric hospitals.

The Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering

A program offers psychotherapy in exchange for voluntary service in the community. But the act of volunteering itself can have mental health benefits of its own.

The Door to a Revolution in Psychiatry Cracks Open

The Ministry of Health in Norway has ordered its four regional health authorities to offer medicine-free treatment in psychiatric hospitals. A six-bed ward in Tromso, which is in the far north of Norway, is now providing such care.

Medication-Free Treatment in Norway: A Private Hospital Takes Center Stage

At the Hurdalsjøen Recovery Center in Norway, patients with a long history of psychiatric hospitalizations are tapering from their medications and, in a therapeutic environment that emphasizes a good diet, exercise, and asking patients "what do they want in life," are leaving their old lives as chronic patients behind.

The False Memory Syndrome at 30: How Flawed Science Turned into Conventional Wisdom ...

Soon after states finally began providing adults who remembered childhood abuse with the legal standing to sue, the FMSF began waging a PR campaign to discredit their memories—in both courtrooms and in the public mind.
Members of Rethinking Psychiatry at the 2014 symposium with James Gordon, M.D., who delivered a keynote talk on journeying out of depression.

Grassroots Activism: Rethinking Psychiatry Builds A Community

In the United States and abroad, a growing number of groups have devoted their mission and mindset to rethinking psychiatry, doing their best to...

Music Aids Mental Health: Science Shows Why

What can science tell us about music’s impact on our cognition and on our mood, on our capacity for empathy, and our sense of connection with others? How does it change the brain? How does it change us?

Muzzled by Psychiatry in a Time of Crisis

The American Psychiatric Association and its former president, Jeffrey Lieberman, have used the Goldwater Rule to try to silence Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee and colleagues who warned, in a collection of essays, about why President Trump is "dangerous." Why would a guild choose to do this?

MIA Survey: Ex-patients Tell of Force, Trauma and Sexual Abuse in America’s Mental Hospitals

In a MIA survey of people who had been patients in mental hospitals, nearly 500 respondents told of an experience that was often traumatic, and frequently characterized by a violation of their legal rights, forced treatment with drugs, and physical or sexual abuse. Only 17% said they were “satisfied” with the “quality of the psychiatric treatment” they received.

Soteria Israel: A Vision from the Past is a Blueprint for the Future

In Israel, there is a budding Soteria movement that foretells of a possible paradigm shift in care. The thought is that such care may become a first-line treatment for newly psychotic patients.

The Latest “Breakthrough Therapy”: Expensive New Drugs for Tardive Dyskinesia

The increased prescribing of antipsychotics, which frequently cause a brain injury that manifests as tardive dyskinesia, has provided pharmaceutical companies with a lucrative new market opportunity.

Lancet Psychiatry Needs to Retract the ADHD-Enigma Study

Lancet Psychiatry, a UK-based medical journal, recently published a study that concluded brain scans showed that individuals diagnosed with ADHD had smaller brains. That conclusion is belied by the study data. The journal needs to retract this study. UPDATE: Lancet Psychiatry (online) has published letters critical of the study, and the authors' response, and a correction.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.

Adverse Effects: The Perils of Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

Hundreds of people have been given remote control deep brain stimulation implants for psychiatric disorders such as depression, OCD and Tourette’s. Yet DBS specialists still have no clue about its mechanisms of action and research suggests its hefty health and safety risks far outweigh benefits.

Making Music, Healing Souls

The healing power of communal singing is at the heart of two organizations in England and Ireland: Sing Your Heart Out and 49 North Street.
veteran suicides

Screening + Drug Treatment = Increase in Veteran Suicides

For the past 15 years, the VA's suicide prevention efforts have focused on getting veterans screened and treated for psychiatric disorders, with antidepressants a first-line therapy. This effort has caused veteran suicide rates to steadily rise.

World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day 2020

This week on MIA Radio, we present the second part of our podcast to join in the events for World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day 2020...
cartoon drawing of many eyes on red background

Mental Health Apps: AI Surveillance Enters Our World

While the developers are promoting the apps as a public health initiative, they are effectively an AI that would be snooping on you at all times—ostensibly coming to know you better than you know yourself. And ultimately doing so for commercial purposes that will expand the psychiatric enterprise.

“Not Fragile”: Survivor-Led Mutual Aid Projects Flourish in a Time of Crisis

During the current pandemic, the practice of mutual aid—defined broadly as the ways that people join together to meet one another’s needs for survival and relationship—has become mainstream. Yet, often missing from major media coverage of mutual aid is any acknowledgment of its roots in movements led by marginalized people, including Black and Brown people, disabled people, mad people, and psychiatric survivors.

Twenty Years After Kendra’s Law: The Case Against AOT

The proponents of compulsory outpatient treatment claim that it leads to better outcomes for the recipients, and protects society from violent acts by the "seriously mentally ill." Those claims are belied by history, science, and a critical review of the relevant research.

The Whistleblower and Penn: A Final Accounting of Study 352

After 18 years, the full story of the scientific corruption in a study of paroxetine for bipolar disorder, and the psychiatrist who blew the whistle.
illustration of a voter box in a stormy ocean with a ladder

Voting While “Mentally Ill”: A Legacy of Discrimination

Legal and practical barriers to voting disenfranchise people judged "mentally incompetent." The centuries-old, unclear laws and regulations also disproportionately affect people of color.

Prescribing an Epidemic: A Veteran’s Story

Had I known what I know now, I never would have taken any of these drugs, and I absolutely would not have taken a role in which my outreach efforts to get veterans into mental health treatment might place thousands of lives at risk.

Mutual Support in an Age of Social Distancing

Connection, whether one-on-one or in groups, is at the heart of peer support. In a time when social distancing and stay-at-home orders proliferate, the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community/Wildflower Alliance (WMRLC) is finding creative ways to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances dictated by the novel coronavirus.

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