Dan Markingson

Ensuring Integrity of Studies: Analysis of the Dan Markingson Case

Dan Markingson was a 26-year-old mentally ill young man who violently killed himself in 2004 while enrolled in a drug-sponsored study of atypical antipsychotics among persons experiencing psychosis for the first time. Highly vulnerable individuals like Markingson should not be taken advantage of in the name of scientific research, and inability to protect such vulnerable subjects compromises the integrity of research.

Rethinking the Validity of Schizophrenia on World Mental Health Day

An open letter launched on World Mental Health Day, supported by people with lived experience, friends, family members, workers and researchers, calls on Rethink Mental Illness, one of the major English mental health charities, to co-create a new conversation about the diagnosis “schizophrenia.”

Reviving the Myth of Mental Illness

What do we mean when we say someone has a mental illness? If we are to take the phrase literally, we mean that someone’s...

Cured Meat: an Underground Art Take on Mental Healthcare

There was a time when I, as a young woman, had not yet been a prostitute, a heroin addict, a homeless bum, and all that. I was, at that time, a literature student, at a famous school, and things were going well. But an eerie stampede of social workers and mental hospital stays were overshadowing it all. The tentacular reach of psychiatric drugs into the deepest recess of my being was performing a nasty assault on me from within the bloodstream. In order for my life not to be wasted, it became imperative that I get away. So I said goodbye, America. Goodbye, everybody that I used to know.

Open Letter Re: This Morning‘s Feature on Depression

Recently, This Morning featured a story on depression, in which Dr. Chris Steele advised participants that their depression was due to a 'chemical imbalance' (despite obvious environmental explanations) and that antidepressants - possibly for life - were the solution. However both the 'chemical imbalance' notion and the medical solutions it implies, for which there has never been any evidence, are outdated and now known to be harmful. Our letter asks Dr. Steele to refrain from using information that cannot be scientifically substantiated, as doing so has serious implications for the health and well-being of the viewing audience - which may be in violation of broadcasting legislation.

More Delays on Sandy Hook Reports

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (SHAC) and the State Child Advocate's office still have produced no reports, and the deadlines continually come and go, with virtually no interest on the part of Governor Malloy or Connecticut state lawmakers. What is of interest, though, is the complete run-around and disconnect by those involved in producing the reports.

Badgers Included

The story of "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" has a great deal of personal significance to me because it was the last book I can remember reading to my three young daughters before taking Prozac. These memories have taken on a newer and more relevant meaning since Gary Greenberg invoked the title of that children's book in his excellent article for the New Yorker, "The Rats of NIMH," following Thomas Insel's blog, "Transforming Diagnosis," in which for a brief moment, the director of the NIMH disavowed psychiatry's bible, the "DSM-5."

The Ghost of Research Future

Two facts about Robert Califf are beyond question. He is an expert on clinical trials, who is already seen as a leading architect of the future of medical research. And as the New York Times put it, he has “deeper ties to the pharmaceutical industry than any FDA commissioner in recent memory”. A lot of senior figures in medicine support Califf in spite of his ties to Pharma. The guy is just so bright, and understands the nuts and bolts of drug research so well! Surely a person like this is more useful than some outsider who offers only a squeaky-clean resume, they argue.

Schizophrenia Becomes Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome

Anoiksis (the Dutch association of and for people with a psychotic vulnerability) has introduced a new name for the disease schizophrenia: Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome (PSS). Together with the old name, its attached prejudices, misleading significance and stigma can be thrown overboard.
drug companies money

Taking Big Pharma to Court: Why Lawsuits Have Little Effect on Drug Companies

2018 has already brought particular attention to the pharmaceutical industry’s “profit over patient” mentality, as drug manufacturers and distributors continue to be hit with civil cases throughout the country for their involvement in the opioid epidemic. But the sad fact is that these lawsuits are nothing new.

Well-Being Therapy: A Guide to Long-term Recovery

If a patient has high cholesterol or sugar, the doctor may prescribe a drug to lower what is too high, but he/she generally adds some suggestions: for instance to avoid certain types of food, to do more physical activity, to refrain from smoking. But if someone has a low mood and sees medical help, the doctor--particularly if he or she is a psychiatrist--will likely just prescribe a drug and not encourage any “self-therapy.” The problem with his approach to care is that psychiatric drugs, even when they are properly prescribed, may help very little in the long run and create a number of additional problems

The Making of Codex Alternus: What We Can Learn About Research on Non-Traditional Psychiatric...

In August of 2011 I started working on a document about alternative treatments for “schizophrenia” while taking a class on Microsoft Word at a local college. The document was about 20 pages long when I finished, and Dan Stradford posted the article on Safe Harbor. It is still there today and is one of the most viewed articles on the Safe Harbor website. I decided to turn it into a book: “Codex Alternus: A Research Collection of Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Associated Drug-Induced Side Effects
tim murphy

The Angry Congressman: Tim Murphy’s Lack of Insight

The most spectacular part of Rep. Murphy’s hypocrisy has nothing to do with abortion or reproductive rights. Allegations of his dangerous behavior and his lack of insight into his own actions would be enough to commit him, involuntarily, to psychiatric treatment under the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act that he championed.

How Canada’s Prisons Killed Ashley Smith: A National Crime and Shame

Ashley Smith was a very troubled and rebellious teenager. By the time she was 13, she was getting into trouble in school. On one occasion, Ashley was charged with the crime - actually a childish prank - of “throwing crabapples at a postal worker.” Ashley was convicted and sentenced to detention in New Brunswick Youth Centre. Prison psychologists and psychiatrists labeled her defiant behavior a “mental health issue”; a thinly disguised term for “mental illness.” There is no record of any detention or prison staff or health professional trying to understand Ashley’s resistance to authority as youth rebellion.

Response To Sandy Hook Report

I do not claim to know how to heal the wounds from the tragedy that occurred in Newtown on December 14th, 2012. Nor do I claim to know how to prevent future tragedies of this sort. The intent of this post is to oppose ineffective and inhumane practices, prompted by reactions to the events in Newtown and other communities, that are falsely thought to be effective.

Rep. Tim Murphy May Be in Violation of Professional Psychological Ethics & the Law

As a former practicing clinical psychologist, I find Congressman and psychologist Tim Murphy's actions deplorable, a disgrace to the profession, a violation of the ethical principles that guide psychologists in their duties, and an attempt to use his credentials as a psychologist to manipulate the public and Congress to believe obviously false statements. As a result of becoming increasingly concerned about Congressman Tim Murphy's false, public statements conflating mental illness with violence, I contacted the Pennsylvania Psychology Licensing Board and formally requested the implementation of a State ethics investigation of Representative Tim Murphy, Ph.D. I invite you to do the same by emailing the PA board at [email protected]

What We Talk About When We Talk About Bipolar Disorder

On the 6th of June 2013, ITV's This Morning hosted the News Review. One story was about the actor Stephen Fry and his recent publicity on how he has battled with his ‘bipolar’ condition and suicide attempts. While we don’t have any issue with this and the important message Mr Fry was trying to put across, we do have grave concerns over the comments made by the two guest speakers, and with what was imparted to This Morning’s vast susceptible viewing audience.

Finding the Way to Mental Health

I love counseling, and helping people deal with their emotional and relational problems. But in addition, I encourage anyone suffering from mental issues to consider that nutritional issues are also involved in their distress.

Reclaiming Humanity

Now that biological psychiatry has been discredited, I am championing a pro-suffering cultural shift. It is time to stop pretending that, with the assistance of hoped-for medical "miracles," we can eliminate everything we are afraid of. It is time that we get over ourselves and appreciate that a full existence as humans is fleeting and full of pain, suffering . . . and beauty.

Coming Out: Iatrogenic Illness Awareness Month

Our main reason for beginning an awareness month is the need for recognition-- a yearning to make the word “iatrogenic” and its corresponding language available to our community, and to the greater public as a household name. We don’t have the luxury of raising money for research, racing for the cure, or ribbons. For that we would have to be on the map. Why is it that something this pervasive gets so little traction?
ADHD school boy

ADHD: Disempowerment By Diagnosis

Giving a diagnosis of ADHD can profoundly disempower students and lead to what psychologists call “learned helplessness.” Isn’t it time for those of us in education to reclaim our profession? Who are the teaching and learning experts? Doctors? Drug companies? We are! And if we don’t stand up—for our students—against disempowering diagnoses and harmful drugs, who will?

NAMI and Robert Whitaker

Fireworks and heated debate were expected by many when Robert Whitaker recently addressed a group at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. So why was Whitaker invited to the national NAMI convention and how did it turn out?

Adam Maier-Clayton: Assisted Suicide and Mental Illness

If we describe “death with dignity” as a benefit, a good thing, a release and relief and a mercy for people with chronic unbearable and unmanageable pain, why do we also describe exclusions from assisted suicide for people with mental illness as a protection rather than discrimination?

“Prisons Without Bars” – Forced Institutionalization of People with Disabilities

In the wake of deinstitutionalization, we no longer have the vast asylum system we once did. Instead, something more insidious has taken root — for-profit institutions that call themselves neurorehabilitation centers, group homes, and other official-sounding names.
Marianne Williamson

We Must Hear Marianne Williamson’s Message About the Overuse of Antidepressants

Although some of Marianne Williamson's rhetoric on the subject of the overuse of prescription medications may be over the top, the topic deserves much more public attention and debate, since it is a crisis as real as the opioid epidemic.