Mad in America is a webzine devoted to rethinking psychiatry’s current “disease model” for diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders. This Family Resources section is designed to provide information and resources for parents and other family members who wish to explore alternatives to conventional, drug-based psychiatric care for their relatives, especially children of all ages.

What's New

What We Lose When We Push Our Kids to ā€˜Achieveā€™

In Adam Gopnikā€™s recent opinion piece for The New York Times, he argues that children ā€” contrary to the expectations of a culture fixated on achievement ā€” need the time and space to pursue...

Featured Articles

Giving Parents a Platform: Elianna, Mother of Brandon

An interview with Elianna, who lives in Colorado with her son, Brandon, 34. His many diagnoses and misdiagnoses include autism and schizophrenia.
A collage depicting cut-up photographs of David Carmichael and his son Ian, Lindsay Clancy and her children, and a bottle of pills spilling out

SSRIs, Lindsay Clancy, and Me

Sharing the similarities between Lindsay Clancy's homicidal episode and my own will hopefully help prevent rare SSRI-induced suicides and homicides, including mass shootings.

When Good Intentions Go Awry: The Hidden Risks of School Mental Health Programs

Researchers point to overlooked dangers as school mental health programs exacerbate adolescent distress.

Blogs & Personal Stories

Close up of two hands circling a group of wooden figurines on a table

The Medicalization of the American Mind

One cause of fragility? Pathologizing our children with psychiatric diagnoses and focusing on a medical solution to life's problems.

Listen to the Victims: Senate Holds Hearing on Guardianship

I have seen the exploitation wreaked by court-appointed guardians. It is up to us to use our voices for those who cannot speak out.
Close up photo of hands dripping water on a plant outside

To Promote Mental Health, We Must Teach It

When we are quick to pathologize suffering, yet do not provide the fundamentals for healthy living, it is inhumanity of the highest order.

Around the Web: Family


"Mad in the Family" Podcast


Archives: Popular Posts from the Past

Editor's Corner

Finding Our Way

Natalie Petrillo sees it firsthand: the power of music in helping children. As a graduate student in speech pathology, she works alongside music therapists with kids whoā€™ve been diagnosed with autism.

ā€œSo Iā€™m exposed to music therapy all the timeā€”and itā€™s amazing,ā€ she says. ā€œThereā€™s this one student I have, he doesnā€™t speak. But he can beat-box. And he can beat-box very well.ā€ Through beat-boxing, in fact, heā€™s learned certain speech sounds.Ā 

It was Saturday. Petrillo was sitting in the House of Yes, a seriously hip Brooklyn venue hosting an all-day dance party for Sound Mind Live, an annual fest showcasing the intersection of music and mental health. Created by musician Chris Bullardā€”who recently spoke with me and my colleague Karin Jervert for a Mad in America podcastā€”the event featured panel discussions and immersive, meditative ā€œSound Sessionsā€ to complement the ongoing music.Ā 


Editorā€™s Corner archivesā€¦

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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. Ā 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].

What Is Informed Consent, and What Should I Know to Help My Child? Author, teacher, and advocate Ann Bracken addresses the information that parents need to know when doctors recommend antidepressants for their children.

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” fromĀ 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