Friday, November 22, 2019

Hearing Voices Network Launches Family & Friends Support Group

One of the HVN's fundamental principles is that "the person having these experiences is in the best position to decide or discover what they mean" and thus each person must "not try to speak for" another. The challenge for a family group will likely be for members to move past speaking about our loved ones to find or imagine the space where we ourselves are liberated.
babydoll quadruplets

Hereditary Madness? The Genain Sisters’ Tragic Story

The story of the Genain quadruplets has long been cited as evidence proving something about the supposed hereditary nature of schizophrenia. But who wouldn’t fall apart after surviving a childhood like theirs? The doctors attributed their problems to menstrual difficulties or excessive masturbation — anything except abuse.
trapped in mental health services

Mental Health Services Turned My Daughter’s Crisis into a Way of Life

My world turned upside down when my daughter nearly died from a serious suicide attempt. After several years as her caretaker I began to wonder: What can we do to change the way our mental health services are organized so they won't turn a crisis into a way of life for already distressed and vulnerable people?
ritalin use in france

Countervailing Forces Against Ritalin Use in France

A new study in the journal Social Science and Medicine explores why French children take stimulants far less than children in the United States. The study looks at how particular forces in society, in concert with government agencies, became an effective check on stimulant marketing for kids in France.
mental hospital

Memories of a Childhood in a Mental Hospital

My stay at the hospital had no impact on the problem that led to my admission. But it did exacerbate other problems and change me in fundamental ways. I am a deformed product of that ‘cutting-edge facility’ and the ‘treatments’ I received there — social isolation, pills and shots, ice bath and ECT.
A black rubber duck stands out among a group of yellow rubber ducks

“Please Be Normal!” My Experience Working for NAMI

At my job with a NAMI affiliate, I heard daily from people who looked at family members with “mental illness” as non-people, non-human, the “other.” In the office, it was no different. If NAMI had a tagline, it would be “Please be normal like us.”

William James’s Letter to His Depressed Daughter

If you discover that your child has been experiencing a bout with depression, what wise words might you share? Brilliant psychologist William James was forced to address this issue himself when his 13-year-old daughter, Peg, began to struggle with melancholy. I present his long, thoughtful reply for your consideration.
trauma wars adverse childhood experiences

U.S. Politicians Now “Trauma Informed”—Should We Be Hopeful?

It is good that the general public is finally hearing about the ACE Study, but I do not count on U.S. politicians to address the core implications of the ACE findings—the need to re-make U.S. society so as to (1) prevent preventable adverse childhood experiences, and (2) create a society in which healing from trauma can more easily occur.
online education

Inside an Online Charter School: Labeling Kids “Disabled” for Profit

I’d thought this teaching job would be my chance to make positive changes in children’s lives. But most of the recommendations in students' IEPs were related not to reading, writing, and ’rithmetic but to behavior control and obedience to adults. And the school seemed to be working very hard to prove that the kids were disabled and to get them certified as such.
voice hearers

The Voices My Daughter Hears

The voices were extraordinary; in a way, they were like ghosts. I could not see them, but only divine them by the turmoil they stirred up in Annie. They were not polite house ghosts who knew when to leave; they were ne’er-do-wells she could not get rid of. They were tormentors and torturers, testing the limits of her sanity, blackmailing her into submission.
child psychiatrist zoloft suicidal

Letter to My Child’s Psychiatrist

Dear Doctor, I wonder if you remember my son... you only spent about ten minutes with him, exactly four days after his first suicide attempt. I asked you if his medication, Zoloft, had anything to do with what was happening. You looked at me and said, "There's no way of knowing; there are too many factors involved."
Monarch eTNS device

FDA Approves Using Electricity All Night Long on Children’s Brains

The FDA just approved sales of an electrical device called the Monarch eTNS to be used on the brains of children diagnosed with so-called ADHD. The device “sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD,” according to the FDA press release. “Therapeutic signals”? Really?
trapped in mental health system

My Son and the “Mental Health” System

As a father whose 27-year-old son is trapped in the mental health system, I am painfully aware that I have been unable to protect him. At age 19, my son naively told his mother and his doctor that he was hearing voices, marking the beginning of a hellish nightmare which he is still unavoidably immersed in. I would like to explain my perspective on why this is the case.
lithium salts

Lithium: A Survivor’s Guide for Parents

When I was a young adult, I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and placed on lithium. I am 61 years old now, living on the edge of end-stage kidney disease. If I could undo everything, by all means, I would not have taken this drug. It is not safe for anyone at any age.

“Dad, You Were Right”: I Got Better When I Stopped Treatment

Through all the years that I was a mental patient, my parents were excellent advocates who constantly questioned what the docs were doing, even though my own faith in psychiatry was unwavering.... Amazingly, what cured me was not some type of “treatment,” but getting away from drugs and therapy.
red tape

Struggling Parents, Burdened Social Services: What We Can Change

Parents encounter many obstacles when trying to secure adequate educational, medical, psychological, and social supports for their children. These “dense bureaucracies” hurt not just families, but everyone.
postpartum depression

“Breakthrough” Treatment for Postpartum Depression: Game Changer or Misguided Magic Bullet?

Ultimately, the FDA Advisory Committee recommended approval of brexanolone by a 17-1 member vote. I was the only NO vote. I voted NO because as the sole Consumer Representative on the committee I didn’t believe the company had demonstrated that the potential benefits outweighed the potential for harm.
love hope psychiatric harm families

Where Can Families Turn for Help?

Watching my son be subjected to continuous harm by the drugs, how can I pretend that it's okay to maintain this abusive system of care? Who will push for accountability? As a mother, I want to share a meaningful connection with my son. I want to witness him happy, healthy and living the life he chooses.
student counseling

Student Counseling Services: Do They Really Help the ‘Mentally Ill’?

I used to think that the counseling center would help me to resolve my inner conflicts. That visiting the center would do some good for me. I have since realized that most mainstream “mental health” is more damaging than helpful. These days if student counselors see any problem with a student visiting the center, they send him or her to see a psychiatrist.
sales rep bribes doctor

Kick Big Pharma Out of the Classroom

School-based strategies such as the “talk to your doctor” campaign about any childhood problem have been extremely effective in helping the pharmaceutical industry to marginalize traditional child-rearing practices and replace them with advice from mental health “experts” and the use of dangerous drugs. These campaigns are reminiscent of now-illegal vintage tobacco ads in which doctors endorsed cigarette smoking.

How “Mental Health Awareness” Exploits Schoolchildren

Imagine being a parent at a meeting with educators to discuss Johnny's academics or behavior. Suddenly, your child’s teacher is telling you that he needs to see a doctor for an assessment of a suspected “mental disorder,” which usually leads to a prescription for medication. Warned of “the risks against failing to intervene,” you will likely acquiesce.

7 Tips to Help a Distracted Child

Simple changes such as keeping a calm home environment, limiting media distractions and enrolling your child in sports will help a child who is inattentive or having problems focusing on his or her school work. They are also useful for any child and can even prevent inattentiveness in an ever-more-distracting world.
young girl at a window on rainy day

7 Tasks for a Parent Whose Child Is Diagnosed with a Mental Illness

When I teach workshops or lead discussions on coming off psychiatric drugs and alternatives, there are invariably parents present who are at loose ends. They want to know how best to help their children, and how it can be possible for their child to live without medication. Here are seven ideas I share with them that may also help you.
childhood bipolar

Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed

Diagnosing children with juvenile or pediatric bipolar disorder is largely an American phenomenon. Do we actually have more “bipolar” children in the United States—or are we simply labeling more of them as such? If it is ever fair to call a child “manic,” isn’t the child’s environment the direction in which we should look?
suicidality

Why My Daughter Died and I Lived

To be a parent of a suicidal child is to be in a terrible position, where you hold in your hands the life most valuable to you and know that any slip of your hands may end that life. In the 1970s, my suicidality was treated nonmedically and I lived. In the 2000s, my daughter Martha’s suicidality was treated medically and she died.

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