They call this a highly powered mega study. The reasonfor including so many in the study is that then you can find a difference between two groups even if it is so small that it has absolutely no significant or noticable effect. It is interesting that they compare ADHD to depression in terms of how clear it is that it is a brain disorder: “We hope this work will contribute to a better understanding of ADHD in the general public, and that it becomes as apparent as major depressive disorder, for example, that we label ADHD as a brain disorder” Google on how to download research paper for free, and you may be able to download the whole paper. Report comment
They call this a highly powered mega study. The reasonfor including so many in the study is that then you can find a difference between two groups even if it is so small that it has absolutely no significant or noticable effect.
It is interesting that they compare ADHD to depression in terms of how clear it is that it is a brain disorder:
“We hope this work will contribute
to a better understanding of ADHD in the general public,
and that it becomes as apparent as major depressive
disorder, for example, that we label ADHD as a brain
Google on how to download research paper for free, and you may be able to download the whole paper.
There are other very basic problems too.
1. The classical “correlation is not causation” applies perfectly to this study. If there were a difference, it could be that a highly active body leads to smaller brain structures, or hundreds of other factors that would be very different between very active children and the more conventional.
2. Size of brain structures is not necessarily an indication of lower function. Women have smaller brains than men, with a much larger difference than what is found in this study. Height is very strongly correlated with brain size, 3 grams pr cm of body length. Should we therefore conclude that small women are disordered and tall men are the most intelligent? The brain actually goes through a pruning process in childhood, to get rid of brain cells that are not needed. Maybe the slight difference ,( if we should accept the results) is a result of children having streamlined their brain in this way?
3. In MRI studies, there are so many structures that are studies. If the researchers pick out regions that are smaller from 100, then even if there is no difference, 5 of the regions will be smaller at a statistically significant level. Seems to fit with number of regions in this study.
4. There is no reason to think bigger is better. Bigger structures would necessarily have slower processing. That is why pruning takes place to get more efficient structures.
The whole difference, should there actually be one, may easily be explained by the increased ADHD diagnosis of children who are the youngest (and smallest) in their class. Unless this is extremely accurately controlled for by using months of age for all participants, the data is totally invalid.
Well, here is the most popular one. It was made in the spirit that everyone can help themselves with emotion control techniques, without drugs, even if I don’t mention it directly in the video.
Here is the absolutely most popular I have ever made:
Here is one of my favorite self help techniques:
And one about drugs:
If you have any ideas about similar videos, please tell me. I have almost 2000 subscribers now, but dream about having a million , especially young people, so I can influence many. Please subscribe and spread on facebook etc.
The self help in the mame of antipsychiatry was a great idea. Maybe I will make self help youtube videos in that spirit.
These cartoons are really great! Good that they are multi lingual! Everyone should take a look. Lots of material for flyers etc. Can we copy freely?
Anyone may feel free to contact me on [email protected]
Richard: So sorry, didn’t think of that in my creative rush…
How about using our creativity to make one liner slogans and putting them here as a starting point.
Links to easily distributable material for influencing doctors would also be great. Youtube videos of tardive dyskinesia can make a strong impact combined with the risk estimates of 5%pr year. Put them on your phone and show them to your doctor next time you have an appointment.
Peter Goetzche estimates that each doctor kills one patient a year with psychotropics. How about telling them this stat!
Here are a few one liners to start with:
Antidepressants are drugs that kill the sex lives for 7 of 10.
Risperdal, Zyprexa and Seroquel make people die 25 years earlier.
Risperdal, Zyprexa and Seroquel and other antipsychotics kill more than 500 000 people every year.
9/11 killed over 5000, Vietnam over 70 000, Antispsychotics kills 500 000, EACH YEAR
Antidepressants double people’s desire to kill themselves
We have to be more creative than the industry. Part of being creative is to have ideas that are a bit outside the box without thinking they are too crazy.
Here are some both a bit traditional and obvious and some a bit crazy.
1.Contacting the opinion leaders of the youth, you tubers with more than a million subscribers. These include gamers, make up video makers, computer geeks, makers of fail compilations, life hacks, interesting party tricks etc. some of these have over 10 million subscribers who may all be influenced by messages in the videos. Make such videos yourself and attach slogans at the end or as commercial breaks.
2. A good person to contact would be Lily Singh who actually started her YouTube channel to deal with depression and wanted to become a psychologist
3. Contacting more professional YouTube makers such as Buzz Feed or ASAP science. They often have articles or videos supporting mainstream psychiatry.
4. Edit Wikipedia articles. You may be shut down quickly, but with good references to meta analysis your text may stay for years and influence millions.
5. Produce your own YouTube videos. Many videos about personal experiences with psychiatry get over 10000 views. People who write books on psychiatry are very happy of they sell 10000 books.
6. Make your own bumper stickers
7. Put slogans on flyers and put them on cars in parking lots, on trees and light poles, just like people do for lost cats.
8. People who hold large signs at crossroads are always looked at, so if you dare, make a big sign with your slog and hold it for an hour at a rush hour slow point.
9. Make a statement such as “70% get sexual problems from antidepressant drugs such as ..” It may be a good or bad idea to mention the brand name since many are not aware they are taking an antidepressant. They may think it is a mild nerve pill for anxiety. But in some places I imagine you may be sued
10. If you have money you could place ads with slogans.
11. Place ads with slogans in free classifieds that are read by many
12. Answer to any blog/article you can find with many readers. New York Times, Huffington post, the Guardian. Lead them to Bob’s, Peter G or Peter B’s books and MIA
13. Paint slogans on roads. They are hard to remove.
14. Get graffiti artists to make antipsychiatry art, with slogans.
15. If you are good with computers, overload pro drug sites
16. Contact all lawyers who deal with personal injury if you have been hurt by drugs. They are very keen to include many people in mass tort cases. Just google on tort or mass tort and the name of the drug that hurt you. You may not get millions but you will hurt the company.
17. Become a member of Nami sites e. g. Join Nami on LinkedIn. Then you may reach and argue with 10000 believers.
18. Be creative about getting into the school system. Parents could voice their concerns about adhd drugging in PTA meetings.
19. Give free lunches or small gifts to Doctors for listening to antipsychiatry messages. Make pens and cups with antipsychiatry slogans and hand them out at conferences. The profession seems to be controlled by these simple reinforcements.
20 Send research reports to as many doctors fax machines as possible.
21 Analyze what makes a video go viral and make such small viral videos on facebook or youtube.
22. Befriend journalists in any possible way and make them write articles or make programs favorable to antipsychiatry.
23. Challenge doctors to taste their own medicine, literally. That could be a strong experience that would seriously reduce their prescribing
24. Give doctors alternatives to drug pushing by teaching them other methods of treatment such as CBT, EFT, Mindfulness, ACT. Most of them want to help, and they like procedural methods like CBT, since it is very close to e.g. surgical protocols.
25. Make as many doctor appointments as you can, get a good relationship to the doctor and provide scientific easy to read material like excerpt of Whitaker, Goetzche or Bregging’s books. Make short videos on youtube that they can watch.
26. If you live on a street with a lot of traffic, put slogans in your windows or as posters on your walls. (A bit crazy, but could be worked into something useful) Make your own billboard in your garden. If you are the technical kind, make a video billboard in your garden. Someone just has to read a message once to start a change in that person’s life. The ripple effect can be quite extreme in some instancees
Well, some a bit crazy ideas. Please add to them. We can all do something in the good fight.
Thank you for a very interesting comment.
Do you agree with the following:
1. CBT has no physical side effects.
2. CBT can relieve symptoms as well or better than drugs, without numbing the patient
3. CBT is supported by research done in the same way as medical research so that medical practitioners will accept the results
4. In this way CBT has a chance of replacing harmful drug or ECT treatments, because those who administer the treatments see CBT as an equivalent technology.
5. The above does not mean that CBT is only this. CBT has the potential of permanently relieving problems of feeling thinking or behaving that limit people’s quality of life to the extreme.
6. It is possible to view CBT as a way of creating optimal quality of life, with whatever life circumstances a person may have. The need for the CBT intervention may be that the person has a very hard life situation or that the person has been exposed to extreme trauma. If CBT is then used to help the person live a meaningful life despite of these life circumstances, we are not going into the medical model. We are not asking what is wrong with the patient. We are asking “what happened with this person”, and how can we undo the effects of these events through therapy. All people can crack under the worst circumstances. CBT is a way of getting the person back to a meaningful life. Not fixing defects, but teaching more effective ways of coping with problems. In this way CBT therapists should use all the techniques on themselves to be optimally fit for helping their patients.
I am a CBT therapist, and I would like to offer my support to the view both of George Kelley and Victor Frankl.
You don’t have to think that there is something wrong or with the person or that therapy is a cure. In CBT-The basic premise of CBT is exactly what Kelley stated:
“reality is constructed based on people’s interpretations of events and therefore people can reconstruct their interpretations of their lives. This reconstruction is not a ‘cure,’ but something that many may find beneficial in therapy.”
One of the most important tenants in cognitive therapy is that the behaviors or feelings that are the focus of therapy are not “sick” or “disordered”, but that they are too extreme for the current situation. Paranoia is an adaptive response when a country is under occupation and you don’t know who is your friend and who is your enemy. OCD type handwashing is totally appropriate during a cholera epidemic.
The point with CBT is to help people interpret reality in such a way that they can do what they want to do with their lives. The best CBT for voices and delusions is actually normalization, not trying to get them away. I would tell patients that voices are normal phenomena for many people, and nothing to be more afraid of than normal thoughts that come spontaneously.
We all have our delusions, some limit us and some help us. What CBT can do with e.g. behavioral experiments is getting to an attitude where we actually try to find out if e.g.we are being surveyed by the FBI instead of jumping to conclusions that make our lives hard.
Another aspect of therapy is to find out what functions these beliefs can have in our lives and do something about the cause instead of just taking them away.
If you have such a meaningless life that you have to believe that you will be the next one to be called for a position in the Trump administration, we should do something about helping you find some more meaning in your life, like Frankl would have done.
If you are extremely depressed because your marriage is falling apart, we should do something about that, not try to “cure” the depression. If, however, you are interpreting everything your spouse is doing in a negative way, so that you are both becoming depressed and ruining your marriage, then we should definitely do something about this interpretive style.
So much can be done with our focus and interpretations of reality so that we can have a higher quality of life and not be victims of neither a harsh reality nor an unnecessarily negative interpretation of this reality.
I do not agree with a rather pessimistic and victimizing way of thinking that psychological problems are “ a manifestation of distress caused and maintained by numerous factors way beyond our control.”
We do not react to the real world, but our thoughts about this world. And these thoughts are possible to change if they are negative in such a way that they create a lower quality of life than is possible in the actual life circumstances. Many people have all that they need to lead happy lives, but have thought patterns that limit them severely. A classical example of this is the OCD patient who lives in a perfectly healthy environment but spends 10 hours a day washing and cleaning because he thinks he will be contaminated with dangerous germs if he doesn’t. Then it is our job as therapists to help him change these thoughts, e.g. through exposure training that can be done in 4 days.
Thank you for replying. The washout phase is usually used for another trick: to take out placebo responders, those who get better by just stopping their previous drug. The cold turkey withdrawal is the same even if the washout is not present.
You say: I’d give my left arm to have them. Doesn’t that sound a lot like what a drug addict would say? After a while, the antidepressant is the only thing that will alleviate the “strange nerve firings” that come from withdrawing. That is exactly what they are doing in the research, and why it seems like the drugs are working. They alleviate withdrawal from the previous drug.
The beaten man was a very good analogy. It is a bit like treating a broken leg with painkillers too. The person would able to walk on the broken leg, but the damage would just increase and the painkiller dose would need to increased or changed to a stronger one. Sounds a lot like what happens with ADs. Doses are increased, and nothing is done with the original trigger
Since all antidepressants are tested against a placebo group that is actually in total cold turkey withdrawal from their previous antidepressant, we have no idea of their efficacy. Even with this unethical design , the placebo group reaches the same level as the drug group just a few days later, even in heavily industry sponsored trials.
Why risk all the side effects, including possibly a 60x increased risk of death by suicide, and getting hooked on a life shortening drug when you could have waited just a few days and got just as good result without drug (actually even when you are in cold turkey withdrawal)
The reason the drugs seem to work a bit in very depressed patients is that these patients most probably had heavier doses and longer use than the others and therefore had heavier cold turkey reactions.
On label prescribing of antidepressants also lack any kind of scientific justification.the placebo group in almost all studies is a completely abrupt cold turkey withdrawal group. Patients are withdrawn from their previous drug and given placebo for a washout period of about a week. This makes all patients a lot worse naturally. Just read stories about patients missing only one dose of Paroxetine. So by the end of the week all patients are typically doing a lot worse than when the trial started , they are all in cold turkey withdrawal, and very prone to suicide, akathisia etc.
Then half of the group receive an antidepressant very similar to the one they were on before, and the other half, the placebo group get to continue in free fall cold turkey withdrawal.
So antidepressant research is not testing the effect of antidepressants in depression, but only how well they relieve withdrawal symptoms from cold turkeying the previous drug. The severely depressed just had higher doses of the previous drug or longer exposure and therefore got a heavier cold turkey reaction that was then somewhat ameliorated by the next drug.
We could get extremely good results if we tested alcohol like this. It would look like a fantastic effect, having the placebo group in delirium while the drug group had their alcohol back.
Thank you for a very good article as usual, Phillip, but the situation is much worse than minimal efficacy. The placebo reaches the same level on the rating scales just a few days after the drug, even in heavily industry sponsored trials like Gibbons et al (2012).
This is actually quite amazing since the placebo group in almost all studies is a completely abrupt cold turkey withdrawal group. Patients are withdrawn from their previous drug and given placebo for a washout period of about a week. This makes all patients a lot worse naturally. Just read stories about patients missing only one dose of Paroxetine. So by the end of the week all patients are typically doing a lot worse than when the trial started , they are all in cold turkey withdrawal, and very prone to suicide, akathisia etc.
Then half of the group receive an antidepressant very similar to the one they were on before, and the other half, the placebo group get to continue in free fall cold turkey withdrawal. One would think the drug group would feel much better than the placebo group right away, but it seems from the data that even stopping abruptly from an antidepressant, is just 3 points worse on the Ham-D, not noticeable either by patients or professionals, and they reach the same level as the drug group a few days later.
So antidepressant research is not testing the effect of antidepressants in depression, but only how well they relieve withdrawal symptoms from cold turkeying the previous drug. The severely depressed just had higher doses of the previous drug or longer exposure and therefore got a heavier cold turkey reaction that was then somewhat ameliorated by the next drug.
We could get extremely good results if we tested alcohol like this. It would look like a fantastic effect, having the placebo group in delirium while the drug group had their alcohol back.
A clear sign of the harmfulness and unethical nature of this design is that there were 22 serious events pr 1000 on placebo, compared to 31 on drug. How can a sugar pill create serious life threatening medical events? Cold turkey could definitely do that.
The suicide numbers are totally misleading since we know that abrupt changes in dose increase the risk of suicide significantly. So since researchers have put the placebo group into maximum risk for suicide with cold turkey, it makes no sense to compare this to the drug group, which actually should experience a relief of e.g. akathisia, because they are pulled out of the abstinence. Even with this design FDA found a doubling of suicide risk on the drugs, and some studies of paroxetine found a 600% increase over the cold turkey group.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the cold turkey increased suicide risk 10 times, so suicide risk on Paroxetine may then be 60 times higher than for non drugged patients. Peter Goetzshe writes about how suicides are directly hidden or moved to the placebo group, to try to hide the increased suicidality.
So all the fine points about noticeable effects drown in the sea of withdrawal. The studies are not testing drug vs something remotely neutral, it is drug compared to being plunged into the hell of withdrawal, as described by many patients.
This research actually only shows us that doctors are willing to give a drug that may increase suicide risk 60 fold to patients and the only benefit is that they reach a certain depression score a few days before the cold turkey group catches up with them.
However, it is actually quite reassuring that the cold turkey group is doing that well. The research gives some hope that withdrawal, even cold turkey, may go very well for most patients.
Thank you for this very positive reply.
Near-death.com is a very good place to start.
Thank you Rossa!
You are among the people I want to reach with hope. Never give up.
The light experience device looks very interesting.!
I just realized that without knowing it, you have given a very good confirmation of one aspect of Newton’s theory that is quite special. He states that souls at different levels of development have different colors associated with them. The beginners are yellow or white, and the very advanced souls are at the end of the visible spectrum with violet/lavender/indigo. So having a lavender aura would be a confirmation of your advanced stage. I actually thought “sage” referred to “wise person”, and not the herb, but maybe there is a double symbolism there too.
I am adding a small video I made about this article. I do this especially for those who have concentration problems due to excessive drugging etc. Please subscribe so you get notified about my other videos. I publish a lot about therapy techniques fro OCD, anxiety, depression etc.
The research shows that omega 3 can prevent a negative development of psychosis like processes in a young person. It is probably to simplistic to say: just add omega 3 and the psychosis will go away.This research was done on people who had not become so-called full blown psychotic yet.
Almost all research done on so-called psychosis/schizophrenia today is done on medicated patients. Most of these patients have grown too many dopamine receptors since their receptor system has been blocked by anti psychotics, and they will react very badly to quick removal of the drugs. A slow taper, good therapy plus omega 3 and other good nutrition would probably help this group a lot anyway.
I just became curious. Is there a story behind your screen name “LavenderSage”?
This is a beautiful story of how children take reincarnation for granted and that we adults are stupid for not understanding. My sister had a very touching comment when she was very young. She told my mother: “When i become a big mother and you become a little child, I will really hold you very tight.” It might just have been a childish thought, but it fits very well with the reincarnation in family groups that Newton discovered.
Reincarnation experiences in children has been studied by professor in Psychology, Ian Stevenson. He interviewed children from all over the world about spontaneous past life memories. Often the children could pick out the sons and daughters of the person they said they had been, in a crowd, and they knew hidden details about their houses. Some even had birth marks corresponding to how they had died in the previous life.
Here is a link to info about him and also to one of the most estensive NDE sites
This is very profound LavenderSage. Newton’s research actually puts the notion of karma in a different light. Many think we get hard lives because we have been bad in previous ones. Acording to Newton, it is the other way around: We choose our challenges because we want to develop and understand.
This view is also extremely comforting in that it solves a question many have problems with: How can there be a loving god when so many bad things happen to good people. Well, if the universe is constructed in such a way that we get to freely choose our challenges and that we always come back to harmony between lives, then we can actually believe in a loving God.
Thank you BPD!
Your endorsement means a lot.
You speak very well for me. This is exactly what I meant.
Thank you very much for your story LavenderSage. Keep them coming! This thread will be around for years, and the input from old souls like you is extremely valuable.
Great! I hope many will tell their stories in this comment section.
I really like that phrase “unconditional optimism”. Being able to see the positive even in suffering, like Michael Newton, may help us overcome adversity without breaking down. Napoleon Hill said: “Within EVERY adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater benefit. “
Thank you Fiachra for your encouragement. A bad reaction to cannabis may often be mistaken for so-called psychosis. Antipsychotics are started without trying to go without cannabis for a while. If the patient is non-compliant and suddenly stops the drug, he will get a psychotic reaction as withdrawal. The result is that both patient carers and doctors believe that the patient really is so-called mentally ill.
So happy that you mention getting better by connecting with spirituality. Reading about spiritual experiences and NDEs could be recommended to all who are feeling depressed and anxious. Often the ultimate fear is of death,and the ultimate loss is through death. So if death is just a transition to a better state, anxiety and depression may evaporate.
Hi Alex, thank you very much for your long and elaborate comment. You write really well and with a lot of wisdom. I did not mean the word “extreme” in a negative sense. “Extreme may mean “extremely good”. In many cases, so-called manic ideas may be very valuable, and the manic persistence in getting ones goal is probably something that brought us out of the Stone Age. “Normal” is overrated and quite boring.
A small experiment that may help spreading the message more, and also help those who have problems reading long texts. Remember, you can share the video on facebook etc.
Here is a video explaining some of the techniques.
Here is a very interesting sentence: “With respect to the moderating effects of medication use, no significant effect of the percentage of patients taking antidepressants was observed, only a trend-wise lower hippocampal volume in MDD patients in samples with a higher percentage of patients taking antidepressants.” this means that the patients who we’re taking antidepressants actually had most shrinkage. So much for starting treatment with medication early…
It is always interesting to look at the tables in these articles. The full text is free as usual with industry friendly results. The cohen’s d which would be zero if there were no difference is extremely close to 0.0 in the confidence interval. This means that just a few cases could render the result statistically non significant. Since this is a meta analysis, the researchers may exclude certain results if the feel the study was not good enough. So these are really weak data indeed.
Statistically the difference in hippocampal volumes is almost meaningless. There is over 92% overlap between the depressed group and the control group. If a person from the depressed group was picked at random there is only 56 % chance that he or she will have a smaller hippocampus than a person picked at random from the control group. If the groups were completely equal, the probability would be 50%. So there are 44% of so called “normals” who have smaller volumes than the socalled “depressed”.
There is a danger with big samples and looking actively for differences. It is like throwing a dart on a wall and then drawing a bullseye around it.
Anyway, how do we know that a smaller hippocampus is necessarily negative. Are shorter legs nessesaily inferior to longer legs? There is nessesary pruning going on in the brain all the time. Extra cell growth in a region is often looked upon as dangerous and not in any way protective e.g in the prostata.
Thank you very much Fiachra. This inspires me to write more.
I agree that drug induced problems in the hardware can be overcome through software adaptation. And in so many ways the brain is much better than a computer in that it can physically repair its hardware too.
Placebo treatment doesn’t have to include any kind of deceit. Like I have mentioned, using the best nutritional supplements such as massive doses of omega 3 and certain vitamins gives a realistic hope for change. By the way, to get a dose corresponding to 20 capsules of omega3, it is sufficient to eat one box of canned mackerel or a good serving of smoked salmon.
This reminds me of a very useful evidence based technique that I use with almost all my patients:
Write down, every day at least 3 good things that have happened this day. It can be as simple as drinking good tea from expensive china. If you are not sure you have enough to write one day, do some positive things so you have something to write. Many of my patients say this is the technique that really got them out of their problems.
It is important to write them down, preferably in a nice diary so that you can look at them later. Couples can do this together and quickly feel a closer connection.
This technique was found in research by Martin Seligman to be one of the most effective techniques for raising anybody’s mood.
Taking many drugs at the same time is pr definition not evidence based. All the drugs have been tested seperately in only short term trials, and very few have been tested in combination. So neither long term treatment nor poly pharmacy are based on research. Doctors who prescribe several drugs at the same time are not giving evidence based treatment.
Thank you so much for telling your story! People seem to be very different when it comes to both reactions to medication and to withdrawal. Some cannot be without their Paxil for a day without withdrawal symptoms. Getting a delayed withdrawal seems to happen to some, but there is a danger to expecting it also: it is easy to get a nocebo effect, a negative expectancy effect. I know this was not the case for you, but it could happen to others.
Very gradual withdrawal with small breaks if necessary, even increasing for a while of necessary, seems to be the absolutely best way.
You could look at the MIA directory. There are a lot of good and sensible doctors there.
This was a very good explanation of the placebo effect- not messing with the wound. Mechanisms for placebo effect may vary, but just leaving things alone is certainly one of the factors. That was the experience of researchers in the 70s: leave depression alone and it clears up.
Doctors could actually prescribed quite good placebos without deceiving the patients. Placebos work better if they’re given by the trusted medical professional. They also work better if they are big, colorful and have to be taken several times a day. Omega-3 tablets and several vitamin tablets could fulfill this need quite well and also have research showing that they are better than totally inactive placebo’s. The power of placebo can actually be harnessed by many different things, including exercise. Exercise actually has a good effect this set in itself compared to antidepressants, but they also lead to strong placebo effect. To stop smoking is also an advice that can be given but has a real effect but that would also have placebo effect.
So combining a very slow taper with all these real/placebo interventions could have a very strong effect. And this would be so scientifically correct that any doctor could prescribe it with good conscience.
Thank you John. I would encourage everyone to be devil’s advocate when it comes to this article. Even though I am sure that my reasoning is correct, the scientifically correct procedure would be to try to disprove it. I would also warn anybody against going cold turkey of medication even if these short-term trials seem to prove that this is okay for many people. A very gradual withdrawal is however recommended even by mainstream psychiatry for patients who have been symptom-free from six months to one year. I would suggest a maximum of 1% per day if anybody is going to withdraw. This can be done in many creative ways, for instance by using a nail file. Approximately three strokes with the nail file will give 1%.
To let your comments show to a larger audience, why don’t you all comment on Francis’ blog in Huffington post. It is still open for comments with only 2 very small comments. Huffington post gets 200 000 000 visitors pr month and many read Francis’ blog.
In my enthusiasm it may seem like I have encouraged readers to engage in edit wars on Wikipedia. This is completely against the philosophy of Wikipedia.
The other editors are usually very respectful, but they want consensus. This is actually quite a good thing.
So do like this:
1. Act on your own behalf, don’t gang up!
2. Read the Talk page for the theme (up to the left) and see how things have been discussed. This is very interesting!!
3. Submit changes you want on the talk page before you go in and do an edit.
4. Be respectful, assume good faith and go for consensus.
5.When it comes to references, Wikipedia prefers secondary sources,, summaries of resarch, not individual original articles. That means that Anatomy of an Epidemic would be better than the individual articles. Review articles, Cochrane and other meta studies are considered ideal references.
I just discovered that it is quite common for people to undo each others edits. So I undid the deletion 3 times and was informed that I was in an edit war since I had done this within 24 hours. Once my undoing was reversed within 2 minutes, so I thought it was done automatically.
I discovered that you can justify yourself in the talk page, edited just like the article, and then you are more likely to be accepted.
The talk about the article (upper left corner) is actually quite interesting, to see how the discussion has been going through the years. A lot of interesting info and article links.
I undid the deletion again today, so now Harrow and Breggin are back for a while. This is why we need an army, to revert with justification, politely and all over the place. Do not be rude or edit without justification.
I don’t know how to find your edit, Seth, but maybe you can paste it back? Maybe it is an idea to not take it in the beginning to not provoke too much? Anyway, with your caliber, you can match anyone in the justification for why you post!
Here is the comment I got from a Wikipedia user who removed the edits:
Biased Editing in Psychosis Article
I just read an article from the Mad in America website saying that the author is rewriting the psychosis article to basically fit his opinions and perceptions of psychosis. He is describing to others how they may do the same while flying under Wikipedia’s radar.
I normally don’t write anything on Wikipedia, but I know that bias and personal opinion is generally not tolerated, and I wanted to inform the staff. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 23:31, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Here is my reply: (you may copy any part of it to use in similar rebuttals)
I am sorry that you saw the necessity of removing 2 edits that were quite sufficiently referenced. The WHO studies are considered good unbiased references, compared to almost all research on drugs done by the makers themselves. I don’t know why you accuse me and others of flying under the radar. Wikipedia is a very democratic site and all you have to do to watch what I am doing is to be on the watchlist. Next time if you are going to remove something please base your reasons on research!
Thank you for notifying me. I was accused for flying under the radar, even if all was referenced. Seth’s edit was also removed. We should politely and with an explanation put the edits back! We have the science, these are not our personal views.
Thank you Ted for your support. I am so happy that this gives you hope.
I am sure there are legal topics where you and other legally qualified readers may contribugte, e.g. on involuntary treatment.
3000-6000 will read each of the big posts like “Psychosis” or “Borderline Personality disorder pr day, so anything that stays up only for a day will be very influential. So far the edit about the WHO studies has stayed since the 22 september, Harrow and Breggin, has stayed untouched, and I see now that some of you have includes Schaz and Laing. This is great!!! Keep on editing. After 10 edits and 4 days you will be able to edit “Schizophrenia” too!
Thank you Steve! The hopefully future long thread in the forums about topics we need to wite on is here:
These are very good ideas, and the central feature is to get positive ideas in places where people will search. I don’t know how many hits Amazon book review gets, but this can be checked out by looking at the rank of the book. Instagram is great for reaching young people. Like you said, surprise them with positive quotes, and informative sentences. We should build a bank of these statements , and they may also be used to influence thousands of information seekers on Wikipedia.
Brilliant idea! Any idea how to practically do this anyone?
I think these suggestions are very good! There seems to be many MIA readers capable of making apps. Go for it.
For everyone else: we can reach millions each year by editing Wikipedia! Just try it, it is really easy.
You can go to
to get access to all the original articles that Robert Whitaker is referring to in Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic . The short summaries could be pasted directly into Wikipedia. The reference could be both to the website, MIA and the original article. That would look really thorough and impressive.
Check out “Psychosis” on Wikipedia and see if you can notice my edit!
Very good point! I will put in Kirsch and try to find all the other references. Almost all of these are mantioned in Bregin’s and Whitaker’s book. We could reference articles on MIA to bring people to the site. Moncrief’s articles are well referenced.
A good idea is to search om MIA for the original reference, but also link the MIA article mentioning it. It is always impressive with many citations.
I just added the following to the page Psychiatric drugs on Wikipedia under the section “Research”
Research is usually done through Randomized Controlled trials where one group gets a placebo, usually a sugar pill, and the other group gets the drug. If there is a statistically significant difference between the drug and the placebo in two of these trials, the drug may get the approval of the FDA. These trials are usually performed by the makers of the drugs, and this may obviously bias the results in a positive direction. In addition companies may do as many trials as they want and just publish the ones with positive results. If a company does 40 trials, they may easily get 2 statistically significant trials bu chance, even if the drug has no positive effect. By having a large number of participants in a trial, it is easier to get a statistically significant result, even if the difference is clinically insignificant.
It appears instantly on the page. Let us see if it gets removed! If not, this is a fantastic way to spread the news. It is probably a good idea to keep the language as neutral as possible.
This page was viewed 12301 times in the last 90 days.
Check out the pages that are worth modifying on
Here are a few search words with amazing influence potential
in august 2014
abilify has been viewed 2861 times
zoloft has been viewed 6580 times
prozac has been viewed 7529 times
paxil has been viewed 2118 times
psychosis has been viewed 79625 times
Depression has been viewed 19581 times
OCD has been viewed 6777 times
anxiety has been viewed 78458 times
adhd has been viewed 23361 times
schizophrenia has been viewed 186579 times!!!
delusion has been viewed 28033 times
paranoia has been viewed 33315 times
Borderline personality disorder has been viewed 160796 times !!!
psychotherapy has been viewed 33848
psychoanalysis has been viewed 38552
suicide has been viewed 80086 times
Get started editing!!!
I admire your courage in trying to spread the news. I think we should just accept that we will get a lot of negativity against us for presenting views that are not mainstream. I actually think it is fun to get some “heat” when I discuss things on the NAMI group on linkedin.
Great idea! We actually have a very good director, actor, producer and camera expert in Kermit!
Maybe he can build on some of your ideas?
Emotional CPR is a very good positive idea that can be accepted by all, even if they may have a bias for biological thinking. Do you have any good links?
This is a very good idea! Money talks, and taxpayers care about how money is spent. Not only does so-called treatment cost a lot, but there is a lot of productive work and taxes also lost with people who don’t recover.
The trick will be how to get this info out. We have a lot more channels now than before. Sometimes individual case stories go viral on face book, especially if it touches peoples hearts.
Great ideas! Maybe we should gather youtube videos and powerpoints that may be used for such presentations. Make them really professional and available through MIA!
This is a very good so-called stepping stone idea. It is a bit crazy, but it may spark ideas for how to be seen.
demonstrators with signs outside the white house
2. Contacting your congressperson
3. Getting legislators or even Obama involved in mental health thinking in some way
4. Getting some national attention through some original action, even a hunger strike
This is a very good steppingstone idea. I would like to challenge all the readers to modify it into something that could really be done.
It is possible to do an inverse Rosenhan experiment. He actually did this himself. He told a lot of hospitals that many fake patients were going to come along, and many hospitals thought they discovered the fake patients, more than 40. The only thing was that no fake patients ever presented to the hospitals. This should not pose any ethical risks,just telling hospitals that are going to get fake patients and we will publish it. This might make them be more careful in their diagnostics.
It is easy to become member of the NAMI group on linkedin with over 10 000 members. It is also very easy to become top contributor there.
…by the way, the radio station way of influencing people is very interesting, but nobody is listening to mine at the moment!
It is very easy to do.
just click on the link and you have good music all day with some good CBT techniques and quotes from MIA in between.
I like your sentence: “people can’t unhear information once it’s been presented”. Many of these thoughts will mature in people’s minds, and the seeds we sow may bloom much later.
Great! This is just the kind of knowledge we all need to have and use!
Thank you Ted!
I think a lot can be done in the legal field. The billion dollar fines are among the most effective brakes om the pharma industry and may be the reason they are pulling out of psychiatry. and it all came from the simple idea that they are defrauding Medicare if they are promoting medication off label.
There should be a way of holding doctors responsible for irresponsible drugging that leads to injury or death. Any ideas are welcome.
Great! I like your black humor. Give us more please!!!
…And of course, people outside the US may edit the corresponding pages in their own language!
That is a brilliant idea. Never thought of that, but it is so obvious! Let us all staret searching for anything psychiatric we can edit!
We may start with
It is actually as simple as clicking on the edit link!!
I never realized that we may influence millions who search on exactly the topics we know something about. I can’t wait to put in my critical voice on any imaginable topic.
Please post ideas to wikipedia pages that may be edited!
Thank you Jessica!
We all have our talents and may contribute in our special ways. Personal stories are very powerful.
This is great! I am so happy that you are sharing your ideas. They are already inspiring me. I hope others will share ideas like you do. If some ideas are too crazy to put in print on MIA, please send them to me directly at [email protected].
Thank you very much for reposting my blog. This is what we all should do, reposting blogs that are useful. I admire your courage in trying all you can for your son. The willingness to try is very important.
In 2004 I was very sure that one particular therapeutic approach was not helpful, and I forgot all about it. 5 years later, a course participant encouraged me to try it, and I discovered it to be one of the most fascinating methods I have ever used. More about that in a later blog.
Thanks for your comment!
As I have stated above, we should be open to all therapies and approaches that may help without hurting, and without wasting precious time and resources.
Thank you for commenting. Of course there may be value in many other approaches that what I do. My philosophy is that psychologists should be familiar with and able to practice as many approaches as possible, so that we may adapt ourselves to the needs of the patient.
For some patients who have been traumatized, there is definitely a need to focus on the past. However, the focus may be briefer and more structured than what is often done. I will soon write a post about how trauma may be approached with a combination of CBT techniques and energy psychology, which may be superior to a more standard “just talking about it” approach.
My reason for being critical to some past focused therapies is that many patients who are easy to help with CBT have wasted years talking about their past. For some patients it may beneficial to talk about the past, and then I would do that, but with a focus on the here and now, and that it is by changing thinking now, through a psychological retraining, that real and lasting change may occur.
Thank you for the encouragement. The best way to thank me, is to spread the message on all the social media that you can.
In the original technique, you should send out what triggers you today. However, since the technique takes only 2 minutes to complete, you can experiment with different images. Sometimes I have had more success with going back to the original trauma.
The beauty of this technique is that you can do it all yourself. It is just a visualization, and normally we can make our selves feel very bad with negative images, so why not with positive. Just remember to take a small break (20 seconds) after the positive image (of yourself no longer phobic) comes in.
Great comment! Yes, this is what I see daily. It is the code. That is the beauty of Neouro Linguistic Programming, started by a programmer, Richard Bandler, and a Linguist, John Grinder.
Thank you for your encouraging words. These comments on MIA mean more to me than I thought they would.
You bring up a very interesting point about how certain symptoms can actually be helpful sometimes, and that taking them away needs consideration.
For example grandiose delusions may function as compensation for a very empty life.
That is why good therapy should be combined with an attention to the social situation of the patient, for instance friends, possibilities for social interaction etc.
Thank you for your positive words!
Yes, I really think there’s hope for everyone. If you think of the brain as a programmable system, then it is obvious that a good “programmer” can give everyone hope. A famous schizophrenia therapist once said in a lecture that marked me, that he wanted therapist for so-called schizophrenics who were interested in programming and detective novels, that there was a mystery to be solved and a program to be made.
In the later post I will discuss how liberating it can be to see the brain as a programmable system. This is quite different from Thomas Insel’s view that we can find brain circuits and do something about them.
The computer metaphor of the mind gives a lot of hope because it implies extreme flexibility. And this flexibility can be exploited through our natural language, in other words structured talk therapy. If we just think of physical circuits, like Insel, it is not at all clear how we can change them. If we instead think that e.g. OCD represents a much to high setting in the “carefulness program” of the brain, we know that we can reset it through talk therapy and direct exposure.
Thank you for the confidence in psychologists. I have given courses for nurses, psychiatrists, and general practitioners. They are usually all very positive to the techniques I mentioned as well as general CBT and mindfulness. Often doctors medicate because that’s all they have learned. In every case when the doctors and psychiatrists have got useful psychological techniques to use, they are very enthusiastic and try to use this in patients instead of drugs.
In the clinic where I work there is the same positive attitude. We all know CBT and metacognitive therapy, and nobody would know if they were treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist. And one of our most knowledgable therapists is a nurse.
Thanks for the positive reply.
It is good to see that there are many optimistic therapists around. Optimism has been shown to be an important factor for good results in therapy.
There are many good books on these subjects. The book where I found the therapy technique is called
Using Your Brain–For a Change: Neuro-Linguistic Programming by Richard Bandler, Connirae Andreas and Steve Andreas.
This is book is written for the lay person and contains many techniques that may be useful. Your niece would probably benefit from DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Yes, that is horrible! I have to write a post about this. I actually did not learn about this in my studies, but I hope things are better now.
Believing that you might do something horrible, totally against your moral values is a much more common problem than people think. We see it all the time in out clinic, Fathers and mothers think they may stab their children with knives, suffocate their children with pillows or do all kinds of sexually unacceptable things etc. More than 50% of totally normal people admit to thoughts like this on anonymous surveys.
These thoughts stick in the mind because they are so totally against our values, we are so shocked that we had them and we try too hard not to have them again. I will write a post on this on my blog very soon. With instructions for “re-programming” to stop the problem.
This is a very interesting comment! Cultural difference influences the diagnostic process quite a lot. The tolerance for various deviations in behavior is very culture dependent. What would be counted as a clear delusion in one country is completely normal in another. This argues heavily against viewing delusions as biological brain disease. I will write a post about this very soon on my blog.
We don’t use DBT directly, but more of the values from DBT indirectly. However, we use ACT directly , especially for hair pulling and skin picking.
There is another article out now on
Please comment there to. Your comments are an inspiration!
Normalizing is a really powerful meta cognitive technique. Not being afraid of emotions is just the key to mental health. We see that when patients dare to go into anxiety instead of running away from it, they get better very quickly.
By the way, I have made a web radio station where I give short psychological advice between every third song, very mainstream 80s, 90s and 2000s music.
I would love to read your story, and also stories from others who have been helped by specific therapy approaches. Much good can come from seeing oatterns in good therapy or self healing. My email is
Thank you for the positive feedback. I will soon publish more on MIA. In the meantime have a look at my website Pschology – Hope and Research. I just posted a new article:
Thanks for the encouragement. This means more to me than you may think. It make me feel I am living a purposeful life, sharing my knowledge and now probably helping many more through this blog. Thanks to all of you sharing the post on facebook. Through posting there we may reach thousands more.
I will soon have a blog about creative ways of really reaching the world.
Thank you for your encouraging comment! I will put a lot of similar article on my own blog and in an upcoming book on Amazon Kindle, and many will be published here as well.
I am so sorry you suffered for so long. This is actually the typical story for most of my OCD patients, and we don’t use only CBT. Some clients need more, e.g. meta cognitive therapy and ACT, and in some cases several more concrete techniques.
I get so curious when you say you don’t have OCD anymore. What helped finally? Psychologists should always learn from their patients what really works. You are the experts!
There are already a lot of positive attitudes from people working inside the system, like me. In the anxiety field, CBT and meta cognitive therapy are already among the most accepted treatments for anxiety in Norway.
You can get an introduction to these therapies from a series of videos I have made, compiled as a one hour video at
Thank you for the positive reply! This really touches me. There are now 2 more posts on my blog. Please have a look and comment, share etc.
MIA commenters should comment on the orignal articles as well. Then your opinion may be read by thousands. Here you are just preaching to the choir!
MIA commenters should comment on the orignal articles as well.Then it may be read by thousands. Here you are just preaching to the choir!
One interesting thought about voices: maybe they have a function. Could it be that voices are just thoughts that become extra clear to us because they are important or because we are not able to get through to ourselves with only normal level thoughts?
Often if you ask a person hearing voices what the voices are saying, they will tell you that the voices are saying things like:” you are stupid.” “you shouldn’t do that”, “you are fat”, “you are ugly”, “you can’t do anything right”. In other words, thoughts very similar to what we all have: negative automatic thoughts. Anorexic patients will constantly think “you are too fat, your bellie is bulging, you shouldn’t eat that” but usually they will identify these as thoughts. The self-critical person would say “I can’t to anything right “and identify this as a thought.
But what if the voices that we hear are just extra strong thoughts:Thoughts that we need to notice. What if this is a survival mechanism to get our attention. Imagine you are in the Stone Age. If you are walking on a path and intuitively feel that there is a bear coming up behind you. Imaginge that that this is an unconscious processing based on many cues in the environment. If you just start thinking, among many other thoughts: “Maybe there is a bear somewhere. Maybe I should try to get away”, you might not get your own attention because there are too many other thoughts.
There would be a definite advantage to having a way to ramp up the volume of the thought so that you would have to react to it. The brain may be doing this by giving the thought the sound of the human voice. So there might be a survival advantage of having voices that can get your attention. So maybe the phenomenon of voices is not so strange after all. Maybe voices actually give us survival advantage.
If voices made people very dysfunctional in the Stone Age,the trait would probably not survive, evolutionarily speaking.
Hearing voices is a very interesting phenomenon, especially since all «normal» people can do it. I am a psychologist from Norway, and I have worked with patients who hear voices in a new way, based on principles of cognitive therapy.
First of all, the phenomenon of hearing voices can be thought of as a normal human experience. Around 30% hear a clear voice at least once in their lifetime, 2% hear voices regularly, but only 1% have problems with them. 100% can hear voices right before they fall asleep, wake up during the night or right after they wake up. Lack of sleep for a few days makes almost everyone hear voices.
And we all hear approximately 60 000 sentences spoken in our heads daily. It’s just that for for most of us the voices don’t sound like actual sounds. They are what we call thoughts. I once had a patient who was very bothered about a so-called commanding auditive hallucination. She heard a voice saying,” hang yourself you swine”. It was a male voice and very threatening. She couldn’t say who it was but she was very afraid of the voice and told me: “Maybe I should just do it. Maybe I should just obey the voice”. She was at the time taking 4 different antipsychotics and they were not able to take away the voice or reduce stress about the voice.
I used principles from Cognitive behavioral therapy to see if I could create a link between the voice and positive self talk and at the same time use the principles of exposure training to limit the anxiety associated with the voice. I told her to imitate the voice: “Hang yourself yourself, you swine” and then say ”No! I’m going to live” in a positive voice inside her head in her own voice, very quickly and forcefully. I told her to take a break between each time she practiced this combination.
In other words, I told her to expose herself for exactly what she was afraid of and to attach this negative voice to a positive sentence in an automatic way, through classical conditioning by repeating the combination over and over. She did at least hundred pairings of the negative and positive phrases, and within two days the voice had disappeared.
There was was no change in the antipsychotic medication and she was very happy that she had made this on her own. The reason why this method works, is probably that she habituated to the voice, got used to it. She got used to the negative voice, and by actively imitating it, could take away that feeling of loss of control. She took control herself by attaching it to “No! I’m going to live”. So there were two processes at play. First the exposure training: she actively took control and exposed herself to the feared voice, and then took even more control by attaching it through repetition and classical conditioning to the positive voice. It would be very interesting to hear from other people who try this method on scary voices to see if the success is as rapid as it was with my patient. You can contact me at the following e-mail address [email protected]. All contributions will help furthering the work with voices.