Saturday, May 28, 2022


Summaries of research findings that tell of a scientific need to “rethink psychiatry.”

Illustration depicting wellbeing

Does Psychiatry’s Buzzword “Flourishing” Reflect the Real World?

The construct of “flourishing” may offer promising insights for mental health policy, but what is left out of its conceptualization?
Protestors holding signs

Mainstream Psychology Slow to View Police Brutality as Systemic Racism

Researchers respond to the individualistic view of racism in police brutality through the lens of critical race theory.

Depression Stigma May Be Decreasing; Psychosis Stigma Increasing

Researchers found that in the US, stigma around depression may be decreasing, while stigma around psychosis and substance use disorder may be increasing.
Stock photo of a hand of a lab technician holding blood tube test

A Blood Test for Suicide? Not When the Cases Overlap with Healthy Controls

Researchers claim to have found biomarkers that differentiate those who died by suicide from those who died from other causes. Does their data support such a finding?

Study Highlights Uptake of Voice Hearing Groups in Brazil

Brazilian researchers present the qualitative results of peer-led voice hearing groups that are integrated into standard psychiatric care.

Can Psychoanalysis Fight Capitalism?

A recent paper argues that psychoanalysis can aid left-wing political struggles as “preparatory work for revolution.”
Woman Having Counselling Session

How Unaddressed Cultural Differences Affect the Therapeutic Relationship

Unacknowledged cultural differences lead to patient ambivalence and mistrust in the therapeutic relationship.
Pregnant woman holding pills and glass of water in hand

Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Linked to Poor Neonatal Outcomes

A new study finds risks of pre-term birth, low birth weight, and postnatal adaptation syndrome were increased by SSRI use during pregnancy.

How Concepts Like Trauma and Resilience Reinforce Neoliberalism in the Global South

How talk of “resilience” and “trauma” forces neoliberal narratives onto Global South communities.

Conflict of Interest Policies in Europe May Hide Pharma Influence

Researchers find that European payment reporting policies may be hiding conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry.

Social Media Influencers Now Marketing Drugs to Niche Audiences for Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical companies have started to use social media for direct-to-consumer marketing.

Debunking the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart

The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart informs our current nature vs. nurture debate on intelligence, but the results are now in question.

Psychologists Issue Guidelines for Addressing Economic Marginalization

The American Psychological Association issues new guidelines for therapy with low-income people who face economic marginalization.
A businessman runs to overcome difficult obstacles

Pandemic Precarity Exposes Need for New Psychology of Work

A recent study on precarity during the pandemic highlights the need for a new psychology of work for our current historical moment.

Research Explores the Experience of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

A new study reveals many benzodiazepine users are misinformed about the risks of withdrawal and experience devastating consequences.

Sense of Meaningfulness in Life Protects Against Mental Distress

A new study explores meaningfulness as a protective factor and crisis of meaning as worsening mental distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Distinguish Antidepressant Withdrawal from Relapse

Mark Horowitz and David Taylor provide advice on how to tell the difference between antidepressant withdrawal and depression relapse.

Leaders in Psychosis Treatment Outline Future Directions for Youth Mental Health Services

Prominent researchers and leaders in early psychosis provide suggestions for the future of youth mental health services.
a line of people waits that an arrogant banker finishes eating the planet

Capitalism and the Biomedical Model of Mental Health

Psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff argues that we should abandon the medical model and focus instead on how the mental health system relates to capitalism.

A Network Approach to Mental Disorders Could Supplant the DSM

The network approach to mental disorders prioritizes treating interconnected symptoms rather than singular diagnoses.

Did Psychiatry Ever Endorse the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression?

With the chemical imbalance theory falling out of fashion, researchers examine the claim that psychiatry never truly endorsed it.
Image of a young girl looking at a handful of antidepressants.

Antidepressants Do Not Improve Quality of Life

A new study found that taking antidepressants did not improve quality of life.

How Global Mental Health Guidelines Produce False Universality

Behind the scenes, Global Mental Health experts disagree on the universality and cross-cultural applicability of current approaches.

Can Humanistic Psychology Shift How We Measure Mental Health?

A new article examines progress related to increased inclusion of principles from Humanistic Psychology in mental health outcome measures.

Council of Europe Releases Report to Promote Voluntary Mental Health Treatment

The report identifies direct and indirect methods to reduce, prevent, and eliminate coercive practices in mental health treatment.
Bored young man, staring out the train window on a rainy, grey and dull day

Patient Reports Reveal SSRI Antidepressants Often Lead to Emotional Blunting

According to patient reports, SSRI antidepressants most frequently lead to the subjective experience of emotional blunting.

Psychology “Incompatible with Hypothesis-Driven Theoretical Science”

Researchers point out how the field of psychology often manipulates studies to support theories rather than revising theories in light of new results.

Results of the Inpatient Alternative Soteria Model in Israel

The Soteria model could provide a humane alternative to traditional psychiatric inpatient settings.

How the Mind-Brain Problem Influences our View of Therapy and Psychiatry

Researchers describe neurodualism: the tendency to assume the brain affects the mind more than the mind affects the brain.

Psychiatric Drugs Increase Dementia Risk Threefold After COVID in 65+ Population

Hospitalized COVID patients over 65 were three times as likely to receive a dementia diagnosis if they took psychiatric drugs.

Human Rights Should be Central to Global Mental Health Approaches

Professionals from the United Nations and World Health Organization review the movement for rights-based approaches to global mental health.

Many Service Users Interested in Decreasing Antipsychotic Use with Professional Help

New research examines service user attitudes on discontinuing and reducing antipsychotic drugs.

How Concept Creep Can Lead to Global Psychiatrization

When concepts from psychiatry creep into our everyday language it transforms how we think about ourselves.

Psychiatrists Deliver the Lowest-Quality Healthcare of Any Medical Specialty

In response, the authors suggest that a solution is to stop measuring psychiatrists’ performance.

Suicidality is Inherently Cultural and Political

Contextualizing suicidality in cultural and social contexts is imperative to support individuals experiencing chronic suicidality.

Researchers Expose Big Pharma Funding of UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Groups

Big Pharma makes use of direct funding as well as patient groups to exert influence over governments.

Digital Pills Provide New Possibilities for Coercion but also Resistance

Critical psychologists outline the increased risk of coercion with digital pills while also exploring possibilities for new forms of activism.
Girl On Bed Taking Pill With Glass Of Water In Bedroom

Meta-analysis Finds Antidepressants Ineffective for Children and Adolescents

A new study seeking to clarify the efficacy of antidepressants for children and adolescents found “a very small effect size."

Dominance Orientation Predicts Anti-Environmental Beliefs as well as Racism, Sexism

Those who prefer systems where people dominate their ecosystem are more likely to support sexism, racism.
Crime scene tape in the foreground with a blurred police car in the background at a crime scene.

Police Killings and the Pseudoscience of “Excited Delirium”

Physicians for Human Rights released a report on excited delirium, a “scientifically meaningless” cause of death often cited in fatal police encounters.

Antipsychotics Often Prescribed Without Informed Consent

New research reveals that patients are often not given fully informed consent before being prescribed antipsychotics.

How Evidence Based Medicine Became an Illusion

Writing in BMJ, researchers argue that evidence-based medicine has become so corrupted that it has essentially become a contradiction in terms.

Nature: Brain Imaging Studies Are Most Likely False

Small MRI studies inflate effect sizes, leaving the brain imaging research literature cluttered with false positives.

How Social Norms Shape Our Perceptions

A philosopher lays out a theory of social norms and perception that can serve as a foundation for an ecological approach to psychology.

UK Finds Success with Peer Supported Open Dialogue Program

Implementation of a Peer Supported Open Dialogue program in the UK’s NHS finds improved wellbeing and quality of life for service users.

Democratizing Psychiatric Knowledge Production Through Lived Experience Leadership

A new column by Nev Jones on lived experience inclusion and leadership marks a step towards rebalancing disparities in psychiatric research.

Study Investigates Burdens Placed on Survivor Researchers

Survivor researchers in mental health studies can be reduced to their personal narratives and burdened by unfair expectations.

Antipsychotics Worsen Cognitive Functioning in First-Episode Psychosis

Withholding antipsychotics may be beneficial for memory, the researchers write.

A “Mass Possession” Event in Nicaragua Exposes Inadequacy of Western Mental Health Approaches

An anthropological account of a "mass demonic possession" in indigenous Nicaraguan culture exposes the limits of global mental health.

Racism Evident in Patient Health Records

Research finds that negative descriptors are more frequently used in health records when providers are referring to Black patients.