Tuesday, May 26, 2020
woman rejecting mask held by psychiatrist

Should You Ever Ask Someone “Are You Suicidal?”

For every person “Are you suicidal?” may assist, there are many more of us who are scared into silence when those words are uttered. Why? Well, “Are you suicidal?” is, in fact, the king of the suicide risk assessment questionnaire. “Are you suicidal?” has become the red, neon, flashing sign that screams “Stop! Don’t talk to me!” Perhaps this might just explain why suicide risk assessments are well known not to work.
Drawing of Trump and American flag

Should We Diagnose Donald Trump?

I have been involved in hundreds of commitment hearings in which psychiatric diagnoses were crucial. In that context, I have never witnessed the presence of all three factors: (1) the transparent (honest) use of diagnostic labels (which includes the acknowledgment of the inherent biases built into the labels as well as their limited validity), (2) allowing full voice to and full acknowledgment of the labeled person’s view of reality, and (3) using the labels in a manner that produced a useful understanding, which in standard mental health practice would require that the understanding be significantly more beneficial to the labeled person rather than the labeler.

Meditation Triggered My Psychosis; Reiki Healed It

James and I started talking about how we each fell on the path as seekers. He told me that he was a reiki master. A seed was planted within me. Even though my previous meditation practice did not work out, I still had spiritual longings and wanted to try again.
woman in medical mask peers out of darkness

What COVID-19 Has to Teach Us About Psychiatric Oppression

The answer to DJ Jaffe’s question as to whether or not forced incarceration in psychiatric facilities leads to fear of psychiatric facilities (or of reaching out for help in general) is an obvious one. Yet, it is important that we find ways to use this opportunity to draw the connections in bold, impossible-to-miss lines, and turn this crisis into a learning opportunity that might actually help move psychiatric oppression out of the shadows of the unknown and into the light.
cartoon drawing of a superhero ripping a sign that reads "DSM"

DSM Led Us Far Astray. Life Story Is the Path to Truth.

When the DSM-5 came out six years after the study was published, it ignored the evidence that psychological injuries caused 88% of “depression” in adulthood. It wasn't just this study that was sidelined. All the research that linked childhood trauma to later episodes of “depression” was ignored as well.

No Good Evidence That Antidepressants Prevent Relapse

Trials of antidepressants for relapse prevention are confounded by withdrawal effects caused by the drugs.

When Psychology Speaks for You, Without You: Sunil Bhatia on Decolonizing Psychology

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Sunil Bhatia about decolonizing psychology, confronting the field’s racist past, colonial foundations, and neoliberal present.
suicide versus support

Suicide Prevention and Service Failure in the U.K.

It's really hard to talk about suicide. We are constantly constrained by the notion that our mental health is our individual responsibility to manage, told to “live our best lives” by a never-ending campaign of exploitative wellness fads. A more collective conversation is needed.
flower

Why Compassionate Activism?

Compassionate Activism encourages people to “take a second look,” as Deron and Linda advised me to do. It is not the easiest thing to do, as we have learned the language and lived the life that profits some while others suffer. Knowing what has happened before can help light a pathway to where we want to be, so sharing the history of mental health is a big part of CA.

Dialogue Is Just What the Doctor Ordered: Town Halls in a Time of Crisis

The next Town Hall in this Dialogical Series, which is being jointly convened by MIA, HOPEnDialogue, and Open Excellence, will be held on May 15th at noon Eastern U.S. time. It will feature a discussion between Russell Razzaque of London, Regina Bisikiewicz of Poland, Corinne Hendy of Nottingham, Rob Cotes of Atlanta, and Martijn Kole of Utrecht that begins with their experiences of fostering a dialogical perspective in systems of “mental health” care.
A woman holding a sign that says LA Jails are the Largest Mental Health Institution in the Country."

Bedlam: Public Media, Power, and the Fight for Narrative Justice

A new mental health documentary awakens longstanding tensions around voice, representation, and the power to define problems and solutions.
Man holds sign reading "TRUMP THAT BOY DON'T ACT RIGHT"

The President’s Fitness: Can Professionals Help Decide?

For psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other therapists to claim that they are essential for warning people that Trump is dangerous is to claim special expertise and insight to which they are not entitled, and it simultaneously demeans the judgment of nonprofessionals and helps strengthen the power of their guilds.
group therapy

“Be Kind to Yourself… For Us!”

Ann: "I’ve fallen in love! With my group! And they’re in love with me!" Hugh: "The group and you have an important relationship that you’re creating together week after week. This includes breaking down the authoritarian boundaries that keep people in their “places” so that they can’t grow."

Induction to Virus Psychosis

Psychiatry: the science of the obligation to adhere to the norm. The norm has changed, and also changes whatever can be defined deviant and erroneously made pathological.

Therapy Under Lockdown: ‘I’m Just As Terrified As My Patients Are’

From The Guardian: Counseling has been good to me, and I hope good for my patients. But what if the premise of it is undone by circumstance?

Awakening: Shedding the “Mentally Ill” Identity and Reclaiming My Life

If I had not crumbled, brought to my knees beneath the weight of the misdiagnoses and sordid side-effects of the medications, I would not have had the opportunity to rise up and gain such a strong sense of self—something for which many spend their whole life searching.

Jordan B. Peterson’s Support of Corporal Punishment for Children: A Critique

In his book 12 Rules for Life, supposedly based on "cutting-edge research," Jordan Peterson attempts to justify the hitting of children as a form of discipline. But Peterson does so without citing a single study to support his view. In fact, this entire section of the book is bereft of any reference to any research supporting the effectiveness of corporal punishment.

The Launch of Mad in Sweden Culture Section

Today we launch our brand new culture section where you can find tips on books and films related to mental health issues, and which contribute to the critical review of the current health paradigm in the psychiatric field. The page also has its own section for poetry.
crowd in masks with signs

Mad in America and Activism

The question that is presently unanswerable is whether this crisis will stimulate progress or regression. I choose to believe that it is an opportunity but that we must fight to make it happen. My dream: To build compassionate communities where people who look, act, or think differently are supported in ways for them to develop their innate potential.

Not Stigma, Privacy: Why I Write Under a Pseudonym

If I disclose my situation, then professionally, the attributional association of “the therapist with schizophrenia“ will necessarily and inevitably follow. But this is not who I am. Rather, I am a therapist with a private medical issue and I prefer to maintain its confidentiality—no further justification needed.

Sam Himelstein – The Impact of COVID-19 and Social Distancing on Adolescents

Psychologist Sam Himelstein, PhD, talks about the impact of the coronavirus crisis and “social distancing” policies on adolescents, taking a look at the unique needs of teenagers and young adults and the challenges they may present for parents, caregivers, and other family members.

Allen Frances: Still Spinning the Story

Allen Frances' latest article: There are problems in the psychiatric field, but none of these problems can be blamed on psychiatry. But the spurious promotion of psychiatric "diagnoses" as real illnesses, and the routine prescribing of chemical and electrical "cures" were and are psychiatric inventions.

Exploring Dialogical Responses in a Time of Crisis: Are We Living in the...

Mad in America is proud to introduce a new venture: a web series of virtual “Town Hall” conversations, “Exploring Dialogical Responses in a Time of Crisis,” on Fridays at noon, eastern standard time. The first live town hall will be held on Friday, April 17.
Green sign that says "Stonecrest Center"

Detroit Psych Hospital Insiders Raise COVID-19 Concerns

From WXYZ News: "At the same time state health officials were urging people not to gather in groups, staff say group therapy inside the...

61 Mental Health Patients Test Positive for Coronavirus at Louisiana Hospital

From The Advocate: "Phillip Newton, interim president of Local 1695 at AFSCME Council 17, said the outbreak began early last week and administrators were...

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