What's New

How play strengthens your child’s mental health

On the Unicef website, a new page devoted to playtime breaks down the research-based benefits on children’s mental health, including the strengthening of bonds, the reduction of stress, and an increased ability to process...

Blogs & Personal Stories

Did Something Happen?! The Power of Poetry in Telling My Son’s Story

It's hard, if not impossible, to impose on my son’s story any kind of literary “sense.” As a writer and a mother both, this has been my challenge. 

Stealing My Mother From Me: The Horrors of Conservatorship

My beloved mother was mistreated, cheated, abused mentally, and alienated from her family by her conservator and the courts.

When the Help Becomes Part of the Problem

The feeling of being institutionalized and medicated over minor ailments is difficult to shake. I have been to countless therapy sessions attempting to deconstruct the feelings of dehumanization into digestible morsels.

Featured Articles

Giving Caregivers a Platform: Meagan, Mother of Matt

A mom describes her son's descent into the harms of psychiatry—and his way out. "It was really difficult to watch Matt decline. He had given up hope that he could get well."
A sepia-tone photograph of a lonely teddy bear small against a window.

Medical Journals Refuse to Retract Fraudulent Trial Reports That Omitted Suicidal Events in Children

The published articles underreported suicide-related events and provided false claims that the drugs were effective.
Charles Spencer (left); cover of "A Very Private School" (right)

Charles Spencer’s Story of Boarding School Abuse Is Haunting

But parents are still sending children away to board, and it’s still dangerous.

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Editor's Corner

Guardianship: For Far Too Many, It’s a Nightmare

Elderly man falls, hits head, goes to hospital with severe concussion. His memory is fuzzy. By the time this daughter finds out, he’s at assisted living. She wants to bring him home. 

But, no. A woman explains she’s been appointed by a probate court as his guardian. He can’t go home with his daughter, she says. He can’t leave the facility. He can’t do anything without the guardian’s permission. He can’t make his own healthcare decisions. He can’t spend his own money. His daughter does her best to fight the system and free her dad, but meanwhile, he gets put on more and more drugs.

That’s the basic plot for “The Bad Guardian,” a new film now streaming on Lifetime that aims to encapsulate all that can go wrong with guardianship — a system that strips individuals of their money, their rights, their freedom to make any decisions affecting any corner of their life. 

Here on Mad in The Family and Mad in America, none of this is surprising. We’ve read first-person accounts by family members recounting such nightmare scenarios — including Marian Kornicki’s story from 2022 and Poppy Helgren’s from December of last year. Most recently, Duane Farrant described losing his mother to conservatorship and all the horrors that followed. And former MITF editor Miranda Spencer has written extensively about Britney Spears and the #FreeBritney movement that rallied for her release. 

Read more…

Editor’s Corner archives…

Family Newsletter

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Support Groups

MIA offers moderated, online peer-support groups for parents of both minor and adult children. The U.S./Canada group meets each Tuesday on a drop-in basis. The U.S./Europe group meets on the second Thursday of each month.  Learn more and sign up here.

For info on other online and in-person support groups, including those for parents and families, click here. To suggest more for the list, please email [email protected].

Q&A: What Is Executive Function, and How Can Parents and Teachers Help Kids Focus? In her latest piece, author, teacher, and advocate Ann Bracken describes EF and lays out multiple approaches designed to aid teachers, parents, and teens themselves.

Do you have a question of your own? Submit it for an online reply. For past Q&As on a range of topics, check out the archives.

Psychiatric Drug Info

Did you know:

  • That longer-term studies of children given a diagnostic label of ADHD have found worse outcomes for medicated youth?
  • In a large NIMH study, researchers concluded that few youth “benefit long-term” from antipsychotics (neuroleptic drugs)?
  • That use of marijuana, stimulants, and antidepressants increase the risk that a youth will receive a diagnostic label of bipolar disorder?

Research on psychiatric drug use in children and adolescents

Research on non-drug treatments

Resources Information on withdrawal from psychiatric drugs. Directory of therapists/providers who support drug withdrawal.

Parenting Today Series