Tuesday, December 6, 2022

DRC Will Challenge California’s Outpatient Committal Laws in Court

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Disability Rights California will challenge Los Angeles’ Assisted Outpatient Treatment program in court this fall, DRC attorney Pamela Cohen announced Friday. According to Cohen, California’s AB-1241 or “Laura’s Law” diverts funding from community mental health services and towards police, administrators and courts, doesn’t reach the people it purports to be trying to help, and violates people’s civil rights. “This is an illegal program,” said Cohen.
Illustration of the Queer Eye cast

Diving into Your Soul: Lessons from “Queer Eye”

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"Queer Eye" has a fresh, therapeutic twist: Installment after installment, it sends the repeated messages: Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. You’re beautiful. You’re good. We love you. Love yourself. Or, in the words of Van Ness: Yass, queen!

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

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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.

Prescribing an Epidemic: A Veteran’s Story

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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.
digital antipsychotic

The Rise of the Digital Asylum

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The digital pill Abilify MyCite, which is now being introduced into the market, foretells of a future where such technology is used to monitor the behavior, location and "medication compliance" of a person 24 hours a day.

America’s Psychiatric Facilities Are ‘Incubators’ for COVID-19

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As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the globe, whistleblowers at American psychiatric facilities paint a picture of mismanaged COVID-19 responses and lax safety protocols, putting patients, workers, and the surrounding communities in harm’s way. Some even allege coverups of deaths.
cartoon drawing of many eyes on red background

Mental Health Apps: AI Surveillance Enters Our World

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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.

Mad Pride Rises in Mexico

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The Mad Pride movement continues to spread around the world, with a first-ever march in Mexico City.
Photograph of East Wing and a field of buckwheat

Inner Fire: Where Seekers Have a Choice

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A Vermont residential community program helps people taper or stay off medications with holistic care embedded in a pastoral setting.

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 Hotlines and the Impact of Non-Consensual Interventions

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Those struggling with suicidal thoughts may stay silent instead of reaching out to suicide hotlines because they fear non-consensual intervention and the harmful impact of police involvement.

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?

Screening for Bipolar: Have You Ever Been “Unusually Happy” for More than a Week?

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A new questionnaire funded by AbbVie conflates antidepressant side effects with bipolar disorder and doesn’t actually meet the criteria for being considered “screening.”

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.
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.

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.

“Holy Shit!” Psychiatry’s Cognitive Dissonance on Display

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Even those who would seek to reform the profession of psychiatry cannot confront the reality that exists in the research literature

The Proactive Search for Mental Illnesses in Children

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Part one of a two-part Mad In America investigation into the expansion of psychological screening and electronic surveillance of children and youth. A new government-funded mental health training program for British Columbia family physicians and school staff promotes screening for mental disorders in all children and youth. Critics say the program omits key scientific evidence, seems more like drug promotion than medical education, and downplays serious potential harms. Nevertheless, programs like it are rolling out across Canada and the US.

Life Inside America’s Psychiatric Facilities During the Pandemic: Eyewitness Accounts

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Insiders paint a picture of chaos and fear in public and private psychiatric hospitals across the country. "Now that she has been discharged, Sevigny is getting the truth out, just as the nurse asked her to do. She also plans to continue to organizing in her state, with and on behalf of those who continue to be subjected to dangerous conditions in the name of care."
A zombie hand bursts from a grave. On the headstone is written "Serotonin theory: Rest in peace?"

The Serotonin Zombie: Authors of New Study Try to Breathe New Life into the...

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Despite new claims that their study provides "clear evidence" linking serotonin and depression, their data actually supports the opposite conclusion: serotonin levels did not correlate with depression.

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

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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.

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.

Music Aids Mental Health: Science Shows Why

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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?

World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day 2020

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

The Whistleblower and Penn: A Final Accounting of Study 352

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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.

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