How Coalition or Community Engagement Work Damages Advocates

Have you ever tried to do community engagement or join a coalition of people working on mental health stuff? If you have been unhappy doing coalition work or community engagement, they may have said it was you. They may have complained that you were too demanding or too triggered by your trauma issues. But the problem is not on us as advocates. This is a structural problem. How do you keep the disease model people from dominating?
hands holding a candle in the dark

The Smoldering Wick: Suicide and Faith

Some suicidal people may only benefit from the extraordinary selflessness and profound empathy demonstrated by St. Paul to his jailer. Credentials don’t measure for that.

Neuroscientists Too Often Exceed Chance Levels Only By Chance

-The findings of many neuroscientific studies are really just random background noise.

Teenagers on SSRIs

Last week, the Wall Street Journal has an article titled The Medication Generation by Katherine Sharpe which questioned the fact that a large number of teenagers are...

Remembering Jennifer Kinzie (1979-2021)

Jennifer Kinzie was a licensed mental health counselor who used her lived experience to guide her work—not only as a counselor and therapist, but also as a volunteer with psychiatric survivor groups.

Sanity, Friendship, Community

In the early 1970s I became acquainted with the work of R. D. Laing and in 1973 I decided to relocate from California to London to work with him. I thought I would stay there a year and then return to my graduate studies in San Francisco. Instead I stayed there for seven years; seven years that changed my life completely.

Bullying+Lying = Fear+Complying

Psychiatrist are the link between two entities; the pharmaceutical companies that engage in bullying and misinformation, and the consumers who respond with fear and compliance. The goal of this world-wide enterprise is to expand the superhighway that connects research for new drugs to clinical trials, and then to production and distribution.

Science and Pseudoscience in Psychiatric Training: What Psychiatrists Don’t Learn and What Psychiatrists Should...

Evidence based care is supposed to drive up standards, ensure uniformity, establish best practice, guide clinicians and protect patients. This should be celebrated. Instead, evidence-based mental health is openly disparaged, and when psychiatrists don’t get the results they want, they ignore them, suppress them, or denounce them. These attitudes have repercussions on the training of psychiatrists.

Brainwashing in the Medical Training | Two Letters to Alice Miller

From Just as children are often blamed for anything that happens to them, patients are often blamed, and thus denied adequate care, for their afflictions.

Ronald Pies Doubles Down (And Why We Should Care)

This past Saturday, I was on my way back from Europe to Boston, and while on a stop in Iceland, I checked my email and was directed to a new blog by Ronald Pies in Psychiatric Times, in which he once again revisited the question of whether American psychiatry, and the American Psychiatric Association (APA), ever promoted the idea that chemical imbalances caused mental disorders. And just like when I read his 2011 writings on this subject, I found myself wondering what to make of his post. Why was he so intent on maintaining psychiatry’s “innocence?” And why did it matter?

Is There an Optimal Sleep Duration for Adolescents?

A new study finds ideal sleep duration differs in adolescents for peak mental health and academic outcomes.

Psychological Support for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

We discuss the release of guidance which has been specifically written to support UK psychological therapists and their clients in having discussions about taking and withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. The guidance is a collaboration between counsellors, therapists, psychologists, peer support specialists and psychiatrists.

Coronavirus Hits Native American Groups Already Struggling With Poor Health Care

From The Wall Street Journal: "As tribal leaders around the country gear up for the pandemic’s arrival, they worry the federal agencies that are...

Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Women Taking Antidepressants

A detailed meta-analysis of the published research on women taking antidepressants during pregnancy finds that the rate of preterm birth is nearly doubled in the third...

Hearing Voices Workshop Comes to Vermont

I recently had the great pleasure of hosting a Hearing Voices workshop with Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Many people described this as one of the best trainings they had ever attended. Ron's message is inherently uplifting - after all this internationally known educator was once a mental patient given a poor prognosis. But in addition, they offered pragmatic suggestions for how to think about voices and talk to someone who is experiencing them.

Only When It Poured

Disposable toothbrushes and sporks. Crayons instead of pens. Little pills in little paper cups. Someone would come. Someone would go. The days turned into nights and back again.

My Response To Dr. Pies

In the October 2015 issue of The Behavior Therapist (pages 206-213), Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD, and Jonathan Leo, PhD, published an article titled Antidepressants and the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: A Reflection and Update on the Discourse. I thought the article had particular merit, and I drew attention to it in a post dated November 2.  In an email, Dr. Ronald Pies raised two objections: That the phrase "little white lie" as applied to the chemical imbalance theory was misattributed to him, and that he has never accepted payment from pharmaceutical companies with the intent or purpose of promoting their products. (Editor's note: Dr. Pies' response is now appended to this post.)

Pathologized Since Eve: Jessica Taylor on Women, Trauma, and “Sexy but Psycho”

Our guest today is Jessica Taylor, author of Sexy But Psycho: How the Patriarchy Uses Women’s Trauma Against Them, which was published in March...

Tapering Antidepressants: Why Do Tens of Thousands Turn to Facebook Groups for Support?

From BJGP Life: Recent research concluded that over half of people coming off antidepressants will suffer withdrawal symptoms, of which one in two cases will be severe.

Screening for Perinatal Depression: An Effective Intervention, or One That Does More Harm Than Good?

Why does the U.S. describe perinatal screening as providing a proven benefit, while the task forces in the U.K. and Canada see no evidence of such benefit?

Diagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

What can we say about the DSM that hasn’t already been said? Quite a lot, actually. The manual (full title: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), produced by the American Psychiatric Association, is incredibly powerful. It shapes research agendas, clinical practices, social care, economic decision-making and individual experiences internationally. As Rachel Cooper notes in her excellent new book, Diagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, changes to it impact ‘the lives of as many people as changes in the policies of most countries’ (p. 2). The DSM needs to be talked about.
brain zaps antidepressants

Dangers of Antidepressants: My Personal Struggle with Conventional Medicine

I believed my doctor knew best about my health. I trusted that he knew it would be safe to switch me from an anti-anxiety drug that I had been taking for several years and put me on this new drug. It was only during the horror I went through afterward that I found out everything about this evil drug all on my own. To this day, I still get brain zaps in my sleep.

Psychiatric Survivor Entrepreneurs

Many psychiatric survivors have created a gift economy of sorts in offering peer support, and this is by no means to criticize those offering their best guidance freely to those who desperately need it. In fact, the gift economy saved my life when it was threatened by psychiatric drugs. Yet, my entrepreneurial spirit, as chaotic and unsophisticated as it has been at times, has played a huge role in saving me from being a chronic mental patient with a chronic identity of “sick” or “failure” or “other”.

Study 329: By the Standards of the Time

The controversy over “Study 329” on the effects of Paxil in teen depression has raised questions about the state of ALL medical research. I decided to look at the research for the most recent psychiatric drug approved by the FDA, a new antipsychotic called cariprazine or Vraylar.  I located twenty studies of Vraylar on, the U.S. government-sponsored registry for clinical trials.  Three were still in process, and seventeen were completed.  Not one had shared its results on the government website, a supposedly mandatory step.

Dear Boston Globe, Part IV: A Taste of Your Own Medicine

The Boston Globe paints a picture (in the vivid way that they so love to do) that pins the system’s decline primarily on budgetary issues, but there is more than one way for a system to be ‘broken.’ In fact, where the Globe goes most wrong in their latest piece, ‘Community Care,’ is in their failure to adequately recognize that the system has always been broken in one way or another in this country.