psychological injuries

How Psychological Injuries Cause Physical Illness—And How Therapy Can Heal It

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How does experiencing physical abuse as an 8 year old shorten one's lifespan? How do insulting words turn into diabetes? Or sexual abuse trigger a heart attack 50 years in the future? Emotional wounds can damage DNA and produce a huge web of destructive effects, but therapy can turn the process around.
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?
trauma and madness

Psychiatric Retraumatization: A Conversation About Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services

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As a clinical psychologist and someone who was herself “diagnosed” and “treated” for “serious mental illness,” NoĂ«l Hunter has a unique vantage point to view the mental health profession. I spoke with her about her new book, which offers an insightful critique of mental health’s diagnostic and treatment irrationalities.
trauma-informed doctor

Trauma Outside the Box: How the ‘Trauma-Informed’ Trend Falls Short

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Becoming "trauma-informed" is often just a way to advance one's career and feel good about oneself while pretty much doing nothing different. Here's a glimpse into the ways in which mainstream services and trauma specialists are perpetuating harm while patting themselves on the back for being progressive and aware.
Kelli as a child

The Forced Psychiatric Treatment of a Child

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This is my story of forced psychiatric treatment as an eight-year-old girl, from my perspective as an adult mental health professional. Being held down kicking and screaming to be injected with a benzodiazepine is a human rights violation no child should endure for saying no to a pharmaceutical. In hindsight, when I reflect on that day, it feels like a form of child abuse.

Jeffrey Michael Friedman: Trauma and Forced Psychiatric Treatment

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An interview with Jeffrey Michael Friedman, clinical social worker and activist in the psychiatric survivors movement who provides trauma-informed therapy to victims of abuse and violence, including those who have survived abuses within the mental health system.
Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media

Lighting a Spark to Heal Trauma: An Interview with Jesse Zook Mann

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An interview with Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media about trauma, medication withdrawal, and the possibility for recovery. Jesse was severely harmed by psychiatry, but uses language that reaches people who identify with the mainstream paradigm of mental health and mental illness.
children of parents with mental health labels

Invisible Trauma: The Children Left Behind When Parents Are Hospitalized

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It would take decades before I recognized the trauma caused by repeatedly being separated from my mom when she was hospitalized. I grieved almost exactly the way children did who had lost a parent to death. Yet it was grief without closure because my mom was not dead, just... gone.

“If You Wanted to Kill Yourself, You Would Have Done It”

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From The Independent: The notion of choice is increasingly being used to discourage suicidal people from seeking help. Many people's suicidal thoughts and actions are...

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.
proposed act would address childhood trauma in america

Bipartisan “RISE from Trauma Act” Introduced to Address Childhood Trauma in America

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The Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) From Trauma Act, legislation designed to increase support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences, includes $50 million in funding for a “mental health in schools” program. Exactly what these programs would entail remains unclear.

The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma

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In this piece for The New Yorker, Junot Diaz reflects on the impact of his experience of childhood sexual abuse and the ways that therapy...
child abuse

Child Abuse, Mental Health and Mental Illness

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Psychiatrists and medical doctors don’t ask who was hitting who and how often in your family. These questions would largely put them out of business and invalidate their industries. These questions would make a mockery of their many years of schooling and many prescription pad options. But these questions would also heal.

We Still Buy the Lie That Chemical Imbalances Cause Depression

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From Quartz: Despite its inaccuracy, the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness continues to persist in public consciousness. The prevalence of this myth may be...

Art and Images in Psychiatry

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Between 2002 and 2014, JAMA Psychiatry published monthly essays by Dr. James C. Harris exploring the role of visual arts in representing emotional distress, trauma, life...
birds trees relationship epistemology

Perspectives on “Reality” from an Alternative Epistemology

Contemplating human existence with a different paradigm of thinking will open our minds to perceiving the profound human diversities rooted in race and culture, developmental experiences, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma, hunger, or immigration status, to name but a few ways we are or become profoundly diverse as humans.
trauma wars adverse childhood experiences

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

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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.
off meds onto nutrients

What Happened When I Went Off Meds and Onto Nutrients

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I remember clearly thinking, “I’m done. I’m not putting myself through this again.” I wasn’t going to settle for the side effects of a marginally better than placebo treatment again. Here is a brief look into my rollercoaster journey of recovery, returning to work, having my trauma re-triggered, finding a way through, and finally living well.

Psychiatrists Have Issued a Statement on Aversion Therapy

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From BuzzFeed: The Royal College of Psychiatrists has issued a historic statement acknowledging the harm done to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who were subjected to...

The Perspective of the Outside

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From Red Wedge: Mark Fisher, an author and scholar known for analyzing mental health under neoliberal capitalism, took his own life this past January. His...

No Guns in Schools

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The Society for Humanistic Psychology has released a statement by psychology faculty and students from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in opposition to the notion...

Trauma, Memory, and Mental Health

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In this episode of ABC Radio National's All In The Mind, Lynne Malcolm interviews three experts about the impact of trauma on our memory and mental health. One guest,...

Childhood Maltreatment Drives Self-Injury

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From Medscape: New research shows that individuals who were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused as children are more likely to engage in non-suicidal self-injury. Article →­

Links Between Benefits and Mental Ill-Health Could be Recorded

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From Vox Political: In a new proposal in the medical journal The Lancet, Kate Allsopp and Peter Kinderman have called for mental health professionals to record psychosocial...

Drop the Stigmatizing Term “Schizophrenia”

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Dr. Brian Koehler is petitioning the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization to drop the stigmatizing term "schizophrenia." Click here to sign the...