Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

Psychiatry, Fraud, and the Case for a Class-Action Lawsuit

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For decades, psychiatry committed medical fraud when it told the public that antidepressants fixed a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Generic city map with icons representing beds in 1950 and 2023

Busting the Deinstitutionalization Myth: We Actually Have More Beds Than Ever Before

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New data upends common beliefs about asylum closures, deinstitutionalization, and rates of psychiatric coercion.
Human brain in glass jar isolated. Sticker, print or blackwork tattoo design hand drawn vector illustration.

Causality in Mental Disturbance: A Review of the Neuroscience

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Psychiatry's medicalization of social and psychological suffering is not justified by the currently known biology.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

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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.
Photo depicting a gavel, scales, and a human skull all on a wooden table against a red background

In the Courts, a Partial Win for Informed Consent and ECT Justice

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Price Hancock views the Thelen verdict as a partial win. "The jury agreed that the manufacturer 'failed to warn.’ That's huge. It's a step in the right direction."

Teen Arts Exhibition: Beyond Labels And Meds: What It Feels Like To Be Me

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28 teen artists share the power of their creativity in this collection of profoundly moving, courageous, and beautiful artwork.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

An Open Letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie: A Plan for Deprescribing Veteran Suicides

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Through my research and experiences, I've found that what the Veterans Administration has been doing to fight the veteran suicide epidemic isn't working and appears to be unintentionally exacerbating it. These problems are fixable. But I need your help.

Anatomy of an Industry: Commerce, Payments to Psychiatrists and Betrayal of the Public Good

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Pharmaceutical companies paid psychiatrists $340 million from 2014 through 2020, corrupting every aspect of the testing and marketing of new psychiatric drugs.
A collage depicting cut-up photographs of David Carmichael and his son Ian, Lindsay Clancy and her children, and a bottle of pills spilling out

SSRIs, Lindsay Clancy, and Me

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Sharing the similarities between Lindsay Clancy's homicidal episode and my own will hopefully help prevent rare SSRI-induced suicides and homicides, including mass shootings.

The Door to a Revolution in Psychiatry Cracks Open

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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

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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.
Two photos. On the left, a woman cries while holding a phone to her ear. On the right, two police officers peer into the glass door of a home.

Roll-out of 988 Threatens Anonymity of Crisis Hotlines

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Even after their own advisory committee criticized call tracing, leaders of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have been lobbying government for cutting-edge mass surveillance and tracking technology. Privacy experts are raising concerns.

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.

Medicating Preschoolers for ADHD: How “Evidence-Based” Psychiatry Has Led to a Tragic End

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The prescribing of stimulants to preschoolers diagnosed with ADHD is on the rise, which is said to be an "evidence-based" practice. A review of that "evidence base" reveals that claims that ADHD is characterized by genetic and brain abnormalities are belied by the data, and that the NIMH trial of methylphenidate in this age group told of long-term harm.

William Styron: His Struggles with Psychiatry and Its Pills

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Author William Styron is often remembered for speaking about depression as an illness. But a review of his life reveals that psychiatric drugs may have triggered and even worsened his depressive episodes.
A set of brain scans in blue on black backgrounds

A Neuroscientist Evaluates the Standard Biological Model of Depression

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Current evidence does not support a biological hypothesis of depression. It is far better predicted by levels of childhood trauma, life stress, and lack of social supports.

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

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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.

Crisis on Campus: Mental Health Counselors Are Feeling the Crush

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A dramatic rise in demand for college mental health services has led to counselors feeling burned out. Counseling center directors are looking for solutions.

Muzzled by Psychiatry in a Time of Crisis

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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?
A prescription bottle. The label reads "Healthy diet" and "Exercise."

Art, Music, Exercise, and More: What Are the Recommended Doses for Improving Mental Health?

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Researchers have calculated the dose-response benefits of ordinary hobbies, habits, and lifestyle practices that are available without any trip to a doctor or a drug store.
adverse childhood experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences: When Will the Lessons of the ACE Study Inform Societal Care?

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The ACE study tells of how adverse childhood experiences increase the risk of psychological and physical problems in adulthood. When will we start incorporating these findings into public health policy and medical care?
veteran suicides

Screening + Drug Treatment = Increase in Veteran Suicides

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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.