Tuesday, August 4, 2020


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

Disproven Chemical Imbalance Theory Leads To Worse Depression Outcomes

A new study finds that biological explanations for depression, including the disproven “chemical imbalance” theory, lead to poor expectations of improvement and more depressive symptoms after treatment.

Conclusions From Brain Scan Studies are “Problematic if Not Unsubstantiated”

Experts on MRI brain scan technology chastise psychiatry and neuroscience journals for allowing unsubstantiated statements about MRI findings.

What Does a Common-Factors Approach Reveal About Psychedelic Therapy?

The unique challenges of studying psychedelic-assisted research may be better understood by examining the social conditions of learning that account for effectiveness across psychological treatments.

Short Term Psychodynamic Therapy Effective for Bipolar and Depression

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) was found to be effective for treating major depression, bipolar disorder, and so-called treatment-resistant affective disorders.

Strategies for Tapering and Discontinuing Antidepressants

A new review of strategies to support both patients and practitioners through the process of discontinuing antidepressants.

How to Know What We Don’t Know: An Interview with Psychologist and Novelist Jussi...

MIA's Gavin Crowell-Williamson interviews the neuropsychologist and novelist Jussi Valtonen about how novels can lead us to see the limits of our understanding.

Genetic Testing May Explain Less Than 1% of Mental Health Issues

Despite a lack of evidence for genetic causes of mental health issues, researchers told people that pathological genes caused their distress.

How Climate Change and Eco-Degradation Impact Our Genes and Mental Health

Medical anthropologist explores how the human genome responds to environmental changes and how climate change impacts mental health.

Pharma Influences Patient Groups in Sweden But Shows Less Interest in Mental Health Orgs

Research on pharma funding in Sweden shows comparatively less funding for mental health groups than in the US.

Professional Training Aims to Reduce Overprescription to Foster Children

A critical educational training targets mental health professional's beliefs about the overprescription of psychiatric drugs in foster care.

Understanding Psychology Through the Science of Complex Systems

Researchers use complex systems theory to trace how psychopathology emerges from different social and psychological interactions.

Mental Health Apps Rarely Evidence-Based

Mental health apps are rarely evidence-based, according to a new study published in JNCN in Advance.

Latest UN Report Calls for Global Paradigm Shift in Mental Health Care

UN representative Dainius Pūras argues that it is time to shift to a human rights-based approach to mental health.

Service-User Knowledge Helps Researchers Develop Psychiatric Drug Tapering Approaches

New strategies for tapering psychiatric drugs achieved by acknowledging withdrawal symptoms and valuing service-users’ first-hand knowledge.

The CRPD and the Need for New Model of Madness and Mental Distress

The full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires a model created by those with first-hand knowledge of madness and distress.

Yoga Effective for Depressive Symptoms Across Diagnoses

A recent meta-analysis finds strong evidence that yoga reduces depressive symptoms in people diagnosed with a wide range of ‘mental disorders.’

Issues of Power Central to Understanding Psychological Distress

A new article explores the place of power in the experience of psychological distress according to the Power Threat Meaning Framework.

Mental Health and Emotion in the Digital Age: An Interview with Ian Tucker

MIA's Tim Beck interviews psychologist Ian Tucker about the relationships between digital technologies, emotion, and mental health.

For People “At Risk for Psychosis,” Antipsychotics Associated with Worse Outcomes

Researchers studied whether antipsychotics could prevent transition to full psychosis and found that the drugs worsened outcomes.

Diagnosing the Ethical Dilemmas of Humanitarian Psychiatry in Post-War Kosovo

Medical anthropologist explores the tendency to “make patients” through diagnosis when attempting to do humanitarian psychiatry.

Psychiatrists Demand an Independent Commission to Tackle Racism in Psychiatry

Over 150 psychiatrists have signed a letter urging the Royal Collge of Psychiatrists to address institutional racism and colonialism.

New Directions for Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research and Practice

An overview of UK mental health service user involvement underscores new possibilities for the 21st century.

Misleading Beliefs about Antidepressants Prevalent in Psychiatry

Researchers argue that academic psychiatry maintains at least two false beliefs about antidepressants that have far-reaching implications for the treatment of depression.

Psychiatrists Divided on Understandings of Psychosis

Researchers find that UK psychiatrists are at odds with one another and support divergent understandings of psychosis.

Youth Depression Screening Will Lead to Over-Diagnosis, Experts Warn

Adolescent and pediatric psychiatry organizations continue to promote youth depression screening despite numerous concerns.

A Rights-Based Approach to Mental Health Crisis Response

A new article describes nine critical elements to a human rights-based approach to mental health crisis response.

Randomized Controlled Trial Confirms That Antipsychotics Damage the Brain

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry connects antipsychotics with damage to the brain in multiple areas.

Patient Advocacy Groups Betray Consumers for Pharma Money

Researchers detail how patient advocacy groups have moved away from protecting consumers and toward safeguarding Big Pharma.

Bridging Critical and Conceptual Psychiatry: An Interview with Awais Aftab

MIA’s Justin Karter interviews psychiatrist Awais Aftab about how “conceptual competence” uses philosophy to transform psychiatry.

Psychiatric Care Fails to Address High Suicide Rates of Native Alaskans

Researchers suggest that psychiatric care can be improved through culturally informed practices and the promotion of human rights.

Bringing Indigenous Healing and Psychoactive Plants to Global Mental Health

Researchers note that indigenous practices and psychoactive plants are finding growing acceptance in the Global North for self-care and mental health.

The Same Brain Scan Results Lead to Wildly Different Conclusions

When 70 different teams of researchers analyzed the same fMRI dataset, they found very different—even contradictory—results.

Medical Ethicist on the Problems with Calling Healthcare Workers ‘Heroes’

Media narratives of healthcare workers as ‘heroes’ negatively impact healthcare professionals.

How Youth Loneliness in the Pandemic Impacts Mental Health

Researchers suggest loneliness and social isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic may have lasting effects on youth mental health.

Opposing Corruption in Psychiatric Science a Human Rights Imperative

Researchers Lisa Cosgrove and Allen Shaughnessy argue that “commercialized science” is incompatible with a human rights approach to mental health care.

How Do We Study Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare?

New trials of artificial intelligence in healthcare settings reveal the limits of both the technology and the existing research.

Reconceptualizing Psychosis with Insights from the Hearing Voices Movement

Disability activist calls for a non-pathologizing, interdisciplinary approach to psychosis based on their experiences as a Hearing Voices facilitator.

Youth Antidepressant Use Associated With Increased Suicide and Self-Harm

National data on rates of youth antidepressant prescription, suicide, and self-harm in Australia sparks public health debate about drug safety.

CBT for First-Episode Psychosis Effective Without Antipsychotics

A study providing cognitive-behavioral treatment to people experiencing first-episode psychosis found antipsychotics did not improve outcomes.

Non-Psychiatric Doctors’ Beliefs about Schizophrenia Adversely Impact Care

Differential beliefs about the biogenetic vs. psychosocial causes of schizophrenia influence doctors’ views about treatment and prognosis, study finds.

UK Based Site Helps Users Manage Effects of Psychiatric Drugs

A qualitative study on the social media site Elefriends illustrates how social networks create collective, affective knowledge about experiences with psychiatric medication.

Study Finds SSRIs Associated with Increased Risk for Violent Crime

Study finds an apparent connection between SSRIs, the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant, and increased risk of violent crime.

JAMA Psychiatry Retracts Antidepressant Study

Once an appropriate statistical method was used, the study findings were “no longer valid,” according to the editors of JAMA and JAMA Psychiatry.

How Depression Takes on Moral and Medical Connotations Online

While popular online blogs tend to explain depression as a biological illness, they also consider personal characteristics and agency integral to recovery.

For Patients “Good Therapy” is About More Than Symptom Reduction

Psychotherapy patients for depression describe "good therapy" as an ongoing process involving empowerment and improved relationships.

Unmet Interpersonal Needs Increase Suicidality in Young Adults

Consistent with the interpersonal theory of suicidality, researchers find that unmet personal needs increase the presence of suicidal thoughts.

Frantz Fanon’s Radical Approach to Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Anti-racist psychiatrist Frantz Fanon practiced a form of psychiatry based in decolonization, political awareness, and community.

Exercise for Youth Mental Health in the Lockdown: Interview with Psychologist Scott Greenspan

School Psychologist Scott Greenspan discusses how to promote exercise and mental wellbeing for adolescents stuck indoors during the pandemic.

Hearing Voices Groups Bring Positive Changes to Participants’ Lives

A new study describes the key elements of Hearing Voices Groups that promote positive changes in the lives of participants.

Esketamine for Depression: “Repeating Mistakes of the Past”

Researchers argue that trials of esketamine for depression do not demonstrate efficacy and downplay the potential harms.