Showing 100 of 164 comments.
He saw Donald Trump’s tweets and had an epiphany.
Scary description of a psychotherapy cult. I’m glad you listened to your own wisdom, did the research and wrote this article.
“Finally, unlike DSM–5, the HiTOP project adheres to the most up to date scientific evidence, rather than relying on expert opinion. HiTOP effectively summarizes information on shared genetic vulnerabilities, environmental risk factors, and neurobiological abnormalities. For example, it is becoming increasingly clear that genetic risk factors do not adhere to diagnostic categories, instead genetic research identifies broad genetic risk factors that cut across diagnoses and largely line-up with the HiTOP dimensions.”
bio-bio-bio “medical” model of psychiatry got replaced by bio-bio-bio “medical” model of (g)astro(entero)logy?
Transcendental Meditation™ (yes, it’s a trademark)
Great article, I agree that psychiatry is really a hard target.
But we have to ask ourself: how tribal are we? Are we maybe capital-S Skeptics, too? From our point of view, is psychiatry a hard target or a soft target?
“So I’m a skeptic, but with a small S, not capital S. I don’t belong to skeptical societies. I don’t hang out with people who self-identify as capital-S Skeptics. Or Atheists. Or Rationalists.
When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber.”
Maybe promoting was the wrong word, English is a foreign language? Should I say praising EMPowerplus? Or recommending? Or how should I describe it to not get moderated?
No question nutrition and mental health are linked, but promoting a company like truehope ist harmful. If Kaplan and Rucklidge were serious scientists they would do research without promoting this one product and company. This is just advertisment for a very expensive multi-vitamin that claims it is THE wonder supplement for all popular psychiatric diagnoses.
I couldn’t find any double-blind trial.
His name is Tom Andersen not AndersOn.
“It is easy to sit here and say how I would have voted. But in truth I don’t know.”
So you would possibly vote for murdering a human being?
The former resident Michael McEvoy thought he was killing a dragon. Why did this happen?
It’s staggering how disconnected from the most basic human traits these professionals are.
“Feeling Others’ Pain: Transforming Empathy into Compassion”
Sometime I have the impression psychologist know nothing about the mind.
This is the correct link for The Catastrophe (The New Yorker, April 27, 2015)
Thank you Jill, that is the science and information that is helpful.
As far as I understand it RC is not affiliated with Scientology, but is borrowing ideas from Dianetics. RC is criticized as cult or cult-like. Does anyone know more about RC?
symptoms of so called “mental illness” can be related to the gut flora, a leaky gut, inflammation, autoimmune reactions, food sensitivities, micronutrient deficiencies, etc.
fasting, for a short or long period, could have a small or big, positive or negative impact. so can changing your diet (for example getting rid of gluten containing grains, milk, eggs, …)
These are not real alternatives, but unscientific bullshit, that could be harmful too (because it is not working). A link to the website of Paula Curtis, a member of the Wholeness Center team (just one example):
“Energy work can be directed anywhere on the planet. How cool is that? Places and animals absorb energy just like we do. Paula can clear and balance the energy in your pets, home, office, or land. It’s especially helpful to cleanse the energy during times of transition.”
This not healing, this is delusional.
Why is they recommend suspension for Quetiapine for some countries (Bulgaria, Norway, Portugal,…), but not for others?
Did I understand Julia Rucklidge right, that she is a proponent of a disease model and doesn’t criticize diagnoses at all (“recover from schizophrenia”).
this talk makes me shiver…
I think it’s interesting, but it really depends what kind of interventions they are looking for and which they will implement in the future.
I understand it exactly like you. It’s a very interesting finding and I wonder how it can be explained.
I agree Joe. Regular reading Mad in America might one give the impression that a revolution is underway, but when I look what’s happening in my city I don’t see a revolution happening anytime soon. Quite the opposite, the medical model seems stronger than ever. But that is only my interpretation and I could be completely wrong. So yeah, where is the evidence?
“point of return website” not “point of no return”
Thanks elocin for that information. I went to the point of no return website and looked what they have too offer. The supplements are overly expensive and the amounts of vitamins are so low, that it’s quite unlikely you will experience any improvement (although they will not have any negative effects, if your not allergic to milk).
“The mindfulness-based psychoeducation group reported significantly greater improvements in […] insight into illness/treatment”
What does that mean?
Daniel, your comment about PTSD is my favourite. You wouldn’t call backpain a backpain disorder or overweight an overweight disorder.
BTW, thanks for putting your documentaries on youtube.
»A devoted Christian, faithful to his friends, his family and his God.«
»“I’ve decided I want to be an atheist,” he announced to his parents one day after school, explaining he was so disillusioned by friends who weren’t living out their faith that he wanted to wash his hands of Christianity. He even began looking at secular colleges to attend instead of the Christian schools he’d been leaning toward.
That dramatic episode of Greg’s life lasted about three months before he reverted to his old self, but it raised the first red flag hinting at his mental illness.«
Seriously? Trying to become an atheist is a hint for mental illness?
Really, we already have enough anti-stigma stigmatization campaigns founded by mental health “professionals” (in this case psychiatrist, psychoanalyst). Diagnosing people with bogus mental illnesses and doing so called anti-stigmatization campaigns are two sides of the same coin.
I’m not sure what the message of the film is. Mental illness exist, diagnosis might be valid, but stigma is bad?
Could the right-wing Christians / tea party movement please stop abusing Justina Pelletier for their propaganda.
“The Pelletiers are solid, community people; Catholic Church members, with strong family ties and core American values. Justina’s father has made a career in senior investments, and Lou and Linda have given their daughter Justina the kind of home every little girl dreams of, with her own room, a pool, and pets. Justina Pelletier really loves to play with her dogs.”
How do you know how Justina feels about her parents?
wonderful comment, so true. If you like to get in contact, you can write me an email:
I’m also very interested in the Open Dialogue approach, other forms of Dialogue and Restorative Circles and would be happy to get connected to people in Germany and Europe that share this interest.
“I can assure you, my daughter’s psychotic manic episodes were in no way meaningful nor were they caused by trauma.”
“I absolutely 100% believe the medical/genetic/biological basis for her mental illness.”
“Nobody will ever convince me that the meds do anything but help her.”
Kate, let’s stick to facts:
Your daughters condition most likely will get worse over the years, because of the medication. It might even kill or reduce her life expectancy by 25 years. And you are responsible by convincing your daughter and yourself she has a “mental illness”, it’s only medical/genetic/biological, insisting that she never had traumatizing experiences in her life.
If there really are no psychological and social reason for her “mental illness”, than find out what causes it. Check for food intolerances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, other reasons that causes inflammation and autoimmune reactions.
But to be honest: I think it’s just the easiest way for you to handle the situation. It’s a medical problem, nobody is responsible, you just have to take the drugs, there are no alternatives. It also takes away your fears that your daughter will kill herself intentionally or accidentally.
I think this is a very good summary of the little information we have:
I don’t know if this is the original photo, I just assumed it. I found it with google image search. It looks to me that someone took this photo and did some image manipulation to make it look more shocking.
AA, I don’t know how they came to the decision and who was involved. What qualifications and information do we have to know that Justina’s parents don’t abuse her?
But I think we agree, that this somatic symptom disorder diagnosis is questionable.
pictures don’t lie? really?
Okay, let’s look at the picture again, this time the original photo and not the photoshopped one:
To me (as a lay person) it doesn’t look so dangerous. Yes, there are at least bruises, but do you really believe the medical staff wouldn’t spot a sepsis and wouldn’t treat it? As far as I remember the tube is from the time before Boston Children’s Hospital. It’s one of the reasons they suspected medical child abuse, because they concluded it’s unnecessary.
What’s happening on that picture? You see the Justina’s mother and some other person pulling up Justina’s shirt and pulling down her pants a little bit. Taking a photo, releasing it to the press. We don’t see Justina’s face, we don’t know if she agrees with it or not.
Let’s face it, it seems the parents are not helping their daughter with their escalation strategies. We really don’t know what Justina’s medical problems are, if there are any. Maybe she has mitochondrial disease, maybe her parents just fucked her up? “Persistent and severe Somatic Symptom Disorder” doesn’t help either. How do you treat it? With all kinds of psychiatric medications?
Thank you, too. I didn’t know van Dusen and Swedenborg. Interesting read.
I just quoted Wikipedia. If you want to create a gun fight out of it, …
…, but quoting gurus like Gabriel Cousens would not convince me.
I think the transmethylation hypothesis is interesting, especially as there is recent research that links chronic fatigue and autism to methylation.
“Despite the apparent face validity of Hoffer’s “transmethylation hypothesis” (in which it was thought that the production of catecholamines could sometimes go awry and produce a hallucinogenic neurotoxin), it was ultimately rejected for two reasons: the alleged neurotoxins were never identified and the cause of schizophrenia became attributed to dysfunctions in neurotransmitters.”
For some people avoiding some foods makes a much bigger difference than supplements.
If you use fish oil, you should limit the omega-6 intake first (it’s inflammatory).
Don’t eat gluten, especially wheat gluten. Reduce cow milk products. They both have inflammatory and psychoactive properties (gluten exorphins, gliadorphin, casomorphines are opioid-like peptides).
And then you can also try a super-cheap prebiotic supplement: raw potato starch.
fox news is hard to watch… they drive me nuts…
Thank you Rossa! Wonderful post.
It also does not mean that the social oppression by psychiatry are in any way beneficial.
Good points. I think there is lots of evidence, that “early-life psychosocial adversities” have an effect on brain development. That doesn’t mean you have a psychiatric disorder that has to be treated with psychoactive drugs.
As someone who is not used to this kind of advertisement, I’m always baffled that it has some positive effect for the drug companies (patients asking for it, increased subscriptions).
In my country (as in all other countries with the exception of the US and New Zealand) direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising is forbidden. There is also no advertising of non-prescription drugs for sleep, mood and psychological disorders.
Paula, is there a PDF of your paper available? I don’t have a Mac.
I comment to each paragraph
1) Sounds like an advertisement for EMPowerplus again.
2) I agree. It seems that many of the “psychiatric disorders” defined by the DSM have some connection to trauma, stress, social relationships, nutrition (intolerance and deficiencies), gut microbiome and the immune system (inflammation, autoimmunity). I can understand that psychiatry distinguish between depression and psychosis, because they only want treat the symptoms with some psychoactive drugs. If you are looking for the cause of the symptoms, the psychiatric diagnoses are not very helpful anymore.
3) We already know that Vitamin D and B12 and folate could be helpful. Which new knowledge do you generate by a study with a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement?
4) I didn’t mean you shouldn’t do studies about vitamin / mineral supplements for mental health. But if I were at your position I would stay away from a company which such horrible marketing.
you might know this already: what’s also important is to keep the intake of Omega-6 fatty acids low.
maybe a EPA deficiency isn’t the cause of your depression? have you tried a multivitamin supplement?
I agree, Trollo. This study is already used by Truehope for marketing (it is featured on their start page). 18 from 22 studies linked on their Research page are from Rucklidge and/or Kaplan.
The biggest problem with EMP+ is the aggressive marketing: “Can EMPowerplus™ Cure ADHD & Depression?”. If I were a professor I would do everything to not get associated with this company.
They also claim that it works for “severe schizophrenia”:
You don’t even need a official diagnose by a psychiatrist for stigma. Everybody “knows” what depression, mania or psychosis looks like and that it is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, so people are often diagnosed and stigmatized by others even before their first contact with psychiatry.
The foundation of psychiatry is discrimination.
It is a cheaply produced and overpriced mutli-formula, nothing special at all. You can get better ingredients much cheaper.
Just for fun: cyanocobalamin contains cyanide and is not a natural form of B12.
As someone who worked over a year in a kindergarten, I would say that children who don’t qualify as hyperactive/impulsive by the ADHD symptom checklist are more likely to have some psychological troubles than the kids who are.
Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is _expected_?
Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is _inappropriate_?
Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities _quietly_?
Since when is this natural behaviour?
“It is as if the individuals who wrote these symptoms have never been around kids before. It’s as if they don’t like kids…”
I couldn’t agree more.
Why are you asking?
Is MiA an advertisment forum for overpriced micronutrient formulas?
> And the one-size-approach to open dialogue (or
> any other talk therapy approach) is not going to
> get this done.
> There are folks out there with *real* physical
> conditions who need care… not just talk.”
My understanding of Open Dialogue is that it is not restricted to talk therapy. It’s about figuring out together which support is most helpful and not jumping to premature conclusion. If there were the assumption that a real physical condition could be a cause of the emotional distress, there would be support in finding the right physician. (That is how I imagine Open Dialogue)
“Records: Father attacked son months before killing teen in Essex”
Reading that makes me even more angry. Even if she had some (so called) “mental health issues”, I feel this would be a normal reaction to the violent and traumatic experiences she had. Everyone should have the right to go through (so called) “mental health issues” without being hospitalized and drugged.
ReDiscover Adult and Family Services Manager Jean Schweer said, “Start by writing down a concise description of your child’s symptoms. Make a prioritized list of all your health-related concerns, from worrisome thoughts to physical aches and pains to weight loss to erratic behavior. Preparing this kind of information ahead of an appointment leaves more time during the appointment for a focused discussion, answers to your questions, and for the kind of assessment needed to eventually make a diagnosis and build a treatment plan.”
Help is available. You can learn to manage symptoms of mental illness and find ways to participate in a network of support. ReDiscover offers services for individuals and their families learning to cope with serious chronic illnesses.
“What treatment is available?
ReDiscover, and other community mental health agencies, provide services to help people with depression. There are a variety of antidepressant medications that can be used to treat depressive disorders, but care can typically include combined treatment of medication and psychotherapy.”
> So I’m baffled by Oli’s need to compare it to a cult.
I don’t have a need to compare it to a cult. I just spotted communication patterns that I know from cults or other cult-like organizations, e.g. the Mormon Church and non-religious organizations that look harmless from the outside
And what can we find on their website:
“Does it work for everyone?
No, but the best way to find out if it works for you, and for what you want, is to try it out. You are more than welcome to do so.”
Link to the four-part series in The New Yorker (1981)
“Science Oh Science ! WHAT CRIMES ARE COMMiTTED IN THY NAME !”
True! Let’s be clear. I’m critical of acupuncture, but when it comes to psychiatry I’m more than critical. It is organized crime, science gone wrong and delusional thinking.
I don’t think the idea of reforming psychiatry makes any sense. It’s like reforming fascism.
“Uninformed skepticism hurts patients.”
Please enlighten me. I’m still waiting for a comment that explains how acupuncture works (besides the effects of placebo and ritual).
“A well trained TCM doctor should be able guess your list of symptoms without you telling them first.”
Next topic: cold reading
“So you are free to confront your own biases, and trial TCM treatment to see if it works for you”
This is the same strategy cults use. The E-Meter  used by Scientology is also a harmless device. Why not just try Dianetics auditing “to see if it works for you. And then simply choose to stop if not satisfied. So what do you have to lose?”
I just started to think about the implications of a black box / closed source questionnaire and write a comment, but Neuroskeptic covered it all in part 2 :).
Is Kupfer talking in this video about their future assessment apps or about something else?
Placebo studies and ritual theory: a comparative analysis of Navajo, acupuncture and biomedical healing
Brett, thanks for comments that are pushing the discussion forward.
“Maybe we’re both right? If so, perhaps the question is how to think about a pseudoscientific, helpful placebo treatment? This is the question I posed initially, because how we answer this question has profound implications for many mental health treatments.”
Is it better to get a harmless instead of a harmful placebo treatment? Maybe. But I have concerns when people are encouraged to make treatment decisions based on false or incomplete information.
I have no problem with acupuncture as a ritual that is helpful for some people. My assumption is that the positive effects have to do with the relationship between acupuncturist and the client, relaxing setting, being heard, hopefulness, maybe some form of mindfulness, etc.
Convincing people with unscientific claims to get an acupuncture treatment is unethical (in my opinion).
From the article you quoted:
«“Although the data indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo, the differences between true and sham acupuncture are relatively modest, suggesting that factors in addition to the specific effects of needling are important contributors to therapeutic effects.”
There is no accepted mechanism for how the acupuncture works, the researchers said»
Mass media coverage of a study without a link to the study itself is not very convincing. The Guardian did a much better job in covering the study .
«Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, said the study “impressively and clearly” showed that the effects of acupuncture were mostly due to placebo. “The differences between the results obtained with real and sham acupuncture are small and not clinically relevant. Crucially, they are probably due to residual bias in these studies. Several investigations have shown that the verbal or non-verbal communication between the patient and the therapist is more important than the actual needling. If such factors would be accounted for, the effect of acupuncture on chronic pain might disappear completely.”
Ernst added that a potential problem with the trials in the meta-analysis was that, in all cases, the therapist knew whether he or she was administering real or sham acupuncture. “Arguably, it is next to impossible to completely keep this information from the patient. In other words, a trial is either both patient and therapist-blind, or not blind at all. Acupuncturists tend to tell us that therapist blinding is impossible, but this is clearly not true. I fear that, once we manage to eliminate this bias from acupuncture studies, we might find that the effects of acupuncture exclusively are a placebo response.”»
 Acupuncture for Chronic Pain – Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis
“How acupuncture is healing trauma after natural disasters”
It’s getting better and better…
“Does this make it any less valid?”
Yes, it does. We cannot just take something made up thousands of years ago, call it a philosophy (religion, believe system) and declare that science doesn’t matter for it’s validity.
Millions of people are helped by religion every day. Is this a proof that God exist (which one?)? Of course not. Does it mean it is okay to believe in science, but also deny evolution? No way!
And I sincerely believe that promoting acupuncture as one tool for emotional distress, might be very harmful in some situations. Like Steve Jobs tried to cure his cancer with alternative treatments including acupuncture . I’m not implying that you promote acupuncture for serious illnesses, but your argumentation supports a mindset, that could lead to such deadly decisions.
I’m open to the possibility that sticking thin needles in the skin (ear) to induce little pain can reduce pain. I just have not found any scientific evidence for the concept of the ear’s liver and kidney points and have no reason to believe that sticking needles at these specific points somehow supports detox.
Just because it’s mostly harmless, doesn’t mean it is a good treatment. Just because people are claiming it’s working, doesn’t mean that it is. May I remind you of all the clinical trials sponsored by the pharma industry that have positive outcomes? How many people report that drug X have saved their life? Still, if we look at the meta-analysis of these trials, we see that e.g. antidepressants are only slightly better than placebo (in the short term).
I don’t see any reason to be less critical, when the acupuncture lobby designing their own (probably biased) studies to proof that acupuncture works (better than placebo). Especially as we quote the studies of the Cochrane Collaboration (Peter Gøtzsche) when it’s about psychiatric drugs, but ignore their research when we discuss alternative treatments.
I think this is harmful for the reputation of MiA in the long-term.
Let the pseudoscientist speak for himself
“Much of the research has shown tremendous results in a wide variety of settings.”
Authors: Matias Vested Madsen, physician, Peter C Gøtzsche, director, Asbjørn Hróbjartsson, senior researcher
“Conclusions: A small analgesic effect of acupuncture was found, which seems to lack clinical relevance and cannot be clearly distinguished from bias. Whether needling at acupuncture points, or at any site, reduces pain independently of the psychological impact of the treatment ritual is unclear.”
Another video from her, where she talks about her experience with benzos.
The quote are from his newer book “Spark: The Revolutionary Science of Exercise and the Brain”
I’m astonished, that books like this are promoted on MiA. There not much in it besides exercise is good for your brain (which we know already), repeated over and over again embedded in psychiatric language and ideas.
Promoting this book is the most troubling part of this post. From the book:
“In 2006 he charted how various treatments influence BDNF, including all available antidepressants, as well as less common forms of treatment such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). They all boost BDNF in the hippocampus, and Duman pointed out that ECT, the most effective treatment, raises it by 250 percent.
But how is it that a blunt physical manipulation such as ECT — which sends an electrical current through the brain to induce a seizure — can work like drugs, therapy, and exercise? I think ECT provides a useful metaphor. If we look at depression as a sort of brain lock, then we can see a common thread between these approaches: They are all shocks of a sort. They send sparks flying to change the dynamic in the brain. Some parts are stuck in a constant whir, and others are locked in place. The key, I think, is to wake up the brain and the body so you can pull yourself out of the downward spiral.”
and about ADHD:
“Experts estimate that just over 4 percent of American adults — that’s thirteen million people — have ADHD, which is not to say that the remaining 96 percent of the population is completely free of attention problems. To a certain degree, everyone suffers from fleeting attention. And as I’ve mentioned, there are varying degrees of severity for many mental health disorders — shadow syndromes, which are personality traits that don’t necessarily meet the full checklist of symptoms doctors rely on to make diagnoses. People with shadows of ADHD might have constant problems with romantic relationships, for example.”
Psychiatry is offering the opposite:
– prevents good sleep (by medication)
– keeps you out of sunlight and from moving your body (by physical and legal restraints, medication)
– disturbs your metabolism (by medication)
It seems Psychiatry is designed for creating “mental illness”.
It’s not an exaggeration. Psychiatry is exactly like you describe it.
Psychiatry is a failure. Why wait another couple of decades and hope, that psychiatry will become a “complete profession” or scientific? We don’t need psychiatry as a profession, when there is biology, neurology, neuroscience, psychology, gastroenterology,…
No question, nutrition is important. I’m sure EMPowerplus™ can help people who have Vitamin or mineral defficiencies. But there is nothing special about EMPowerplus™, besides that it’s very expensive, but has the cheapest commercially produced forms of B12 and folate, that both usually do not occur in living organisms. There are cheaper and better vitamin supplements available. I also find the marketing misleading and potentially harmful, they are not better than big pharma.
> 2- How can Open Dialogue assist people who have been on psych drugs for long periods of time and have been deemed “mentally ill”?
Open Dialogue was developed for first-episode psychosis. The idea is that folks are never on large cocktails of meds. Most get well without any medication, others get benzos short-term instead of neuroleptics.
I don’t know if they use the Open Dialogue approach for people who have been for a longer time in the system / on too much medication. I guess it’s not part of the Open Dialogue training how to taper off medications, but you could have an ongoing dialog about the extreme challenges of tapering off and how to organise support within the community / the social network (You still would need someone who has experience in tapering off).
Everybody praises Open Dialogue, but we tend to forget that it only exist within a psychiatric system. As far as I understand Mary Olson’s Institute for Dialogic Practice offers training for people working in a clinical setting.
Open Dialogue needs to be liberated and independent from psychiatry.
the link is missing…
This Dr. Keith Ablow?
What if Justina Pelletier doesn’t have mitochondrial disease? What if the treatment she was receiving, was really hurting her? From the mitoaction.org website:
– There is no reliable and consistent means of diagnosis.
– Diagnosis can be made by one of the few physicians that specializes in mitochondrial disease.
and from the Boston Globe article: ‘Korson recognized that this approach made him a “lumper,” meaning he was more willing to lump patterns of symptoms together to get to a diagnosis, even if the patient did not have the classical markers associated with the illness.’
From the news I read it’s impossible to know if she has mitochondrial disease or if there was indeed something going on that could be described as “medical child abuse”.