Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia? What About Black People?

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In many respects it is difficult to fault the report Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia, recently published by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP)[i]; indeed, as recent posts on Mad in America have observed, there is much to admire in it. Whilst not overtly attacking biomedical interpretations of psychosis, it rightly draws attention to the limitations and problems of this model, and points instead to the importance of contexts of adversity, oppression and abuse in understanding psychosis. But the report makes only scant, fleeting references to the role of cultural differences and the complex relationships that are apparent between such differences and individual experiences of psychosis.

Compassion and the Voice of the Tormentor

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I'd like to share some personal thoughts on the nature of the Hearing Voices group method, and the insights that this kind of support generates. Through these groups, a tradition of mutual healing is being created that honors subjective experiences, and sharing our stories with each other in this way propels this exciting movement forward.

The ACE Survey is Unusable Data

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Do the effects of trauma matter more, or a person's ACE score? I think this is unusable data that harms people when you gather it. Here's why.

The Role of Intergenerational Trauma in the Perpetuation of Childhood Maltreatment

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A new study examines the role parent borderline pathology plays in the perpetuation of childhood maltreatment.

The Hearing Voices Movement: Beyond Critiquing the Status Quo

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We have just celebrated the anniversary of the rapidly expanding global Hearing Voices Movement which was founded more than twenty-five years ago following the ground-breaking research of Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher. Romme and Escher have advocated for a radical shift in the way we understand the phenomenon of Hearing Voices; in contrast to traditional, biomedical psychiatry which views voices as an aberrant by-product of genetic, brain and cognitive faults, their research has firmly established that voices make sense when taking into account the traumatic circumstances that frequently provoke them.

Evidence for Chile’s School-Based Mental Health Program

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Chile’s Skills for Life (SFL) program, the largest school-based psychosocial intervention program in the world, has demonstrated improved behavioral and academic outcomes for elementary students identified as “at risk.” A team of Chilean and U.S. researchers assessed the SFL program and will publish their results in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Therapy Recommended As First Line Treatment for Depression

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Following an extensive systematic review of treatments for major depression, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a recommendation to clinicians suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for major depressive disorder along with second-generation antidepressants. The results of the review revealed that CBT and antidepressants have similar levels of effectiveness but that antidepressants present serious side-effects and higher relapse rates.

Air Pollution Linked to Mental Health Problems in Children

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A new study, published in BMJ Open-Access this week, found a significant link between the level of air pollution in a community and the mental health of the children living there. After controlling for socio-economic status and other potential variables, researchers in Sweden discovered a strong association between the concentration of air pollution in a neighborhood and the amount of ‘antipsychotic’ and psychiatric drugs prescribed to children. The link remained strong even at pollution levels well below half of what is considered acceptable by the World Health Organization (WHO).

10 Reasons Survivors Might Know More Medicine Than Psychiatrists

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We've been discussing a potential role for psychiatrists on this site, and I wanted some of the doctors to understand why many mental health...

Relieving Poverty Significantly Improves Mental Health

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Giving money to people diagnosed with severe mental health issues can significantly improve depression and anxiety. A new study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Community Mental Health, found that giving about $73 US dollars per month for recreational spending can also reduce social isolation and strengthen a sense of self.

CASPER

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In August 2010, my friend and fellow ‘suicide mum’ Deb Williams and I established CASPER – Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education & Research. CASPER’s goals are to provide peer support to families bereaved by suicide, to educate politicians and opinion leaders on suicide and its prevention and to support families and communities to reclaim suicide prevention from medical professionals and governments.

Debate Ensues Over Rights-Based Approach to Mental Health

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Debate ensues as scholars and policymakers discuss how to bring a rights-based approach to mental health policy.

Study Explores Māori Community’s Multifaceted Understanding of “Psychosis”

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A new study explores how “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” are viewed within the Māori community in New Zealand.

Using the Power Threat Meaning Framework in Mental Health Nurse Education

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Scholars call for international mental health nurse curriculum to shift to a rights-based approach and teach the Power Threat Meaning Framework.

Study Finds Music Therapy May Be Effective in Clinical Practice

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In a new study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Professor Sam Porter and co-authors, present the results of a music...

Different Forms of Childhood Adversity Related to Specific Psychosis Symptoms

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In this month’s issue of Psychological Medicine, researchers from King’s College London found evidence for associations between different types of childhood adversity and specific symptoms associated with psychosis. As current categorical approaches to psychosis and schizophrenia diagnoses come under increasing scrutiny, this study adds support to sociological and psychological theories and treatments.

Exploring the Role of Community Engagement in School Psychology

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New research emphasizes the impact of school connectedness and community engagement interventions on students' mental health.

Living in One of R. D. Laing’s Post-Kingsley Hall Households

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Kingsley Hall was the first of Laing’s household communities that served as a place where you could live through madness until you could get it together and live independently. It was conceived as an “asylum” from forms of treatment — psychiatric or otherwise — that many were convinced were not helpful, and even contributed to their difficulties. By the time I arrived in London in 1973 to study with Laing there were four or five such places. Getting in wasn’t easy.

Inner Fire: Healing and Recovery Without Meds

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For five years, I and others worked to create a residential healing community in Brookline, Vermont, where people could recover from debilitating and traumatic life experiences, which often lead to addiction and mental health challenges, without the use of psychotropic medications. We welcomed our first six seekers to a yearlong, therapeutic and farm-based, day program last September, and we now can report on what we have learned during this time.

Psychotherapy is Less Effective and Less Accessible for Those in Poverty

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A special issue explores the connection between poverty, mental health, and psychotherapy.

Psychrights

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The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) is a non-profit public interest law firm whose mission is to mount a strategic legal campaign against...

Paxil Progress

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Paxil Progress is a forum for people engaged in withdrawal from Paxil. It also offers adverse drug reaction reporting, FDA Warnings, published withdrawal studies,...

Study Finds Heavy Metal Music Beneficial to Mental Health

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A new study highlights the role heavy metal music plays in the mental health of adolescents facing adversity.

To Live and (Almost) Die in L.A.: A Survivor’s Tale

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After 25 years of chronic emergency, 22 mental hospitalizations, a stint at a “community mental health center,” 13 years in a "board & care," repeated withdrawals from addictions to legal drugs, and a 12-year marriage, I plan to live every last breath out as a survivor, an advocate, and an artist.

eCPR (Emotional CPR): A Tool & a Process of Peacemaking

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A few months ago I had the great honor of speaking with Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations, after a talk he had given locally here in Washington, DC. We spoke about eCPR and there was a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. He looked deep into my eyes and said, “We are in the same line of work. We are peacemakers.” It was a profound statement that inspired me to think more about eCPR as a tool of peacemaking.