An upcoming conference focuses on the perspective of artists and activists in answering what it means to have a just mental health care system: Who decides who is labelled as mad?
A new study, published in the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches, explores ways that metaphor operates in the lived-experiences of individuals who...
In this piece for Unthinkable, Dr. Jacob Z. Hess describes ten ways we can all help to reduce suicide, including promoting self-determination and choice in...
The psychiatric survivor movement, which then became the consumer movement and recovery movement and now the peer movement, was born in a time of civil rights and Black organizing in the US. It was Black people in the civil rights movement who inspired all of us to make social change real, and psychiatric patients and progressive professionals took up that inspiration. In a very real way, Black protest made psychiatric protest possible, which then led to the modern consumer/peer/recovery movement.
A new pro-recovery manualized intervention – called the REFOCUS intervention – has been developed and will now be evaluated in a multisite randomized control trials. The strengths-based intervention, which focuses on promoting relationships, is outlined in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
The idea of schizophrenogenic or refrigerators mothers was an embarrassing era for psychiatry, and so psychiatrists were only too happy to explore the brain and the genome to unlock the secrets of mental illness. Today, the rhetoric has shifted away from intrapsychical conflicts and traumatic ruptures, and instead aberrant neurochemistry or delinquent genes are held as the source of mental illness. Regardless, the message is clear: mental illness is beyond our control and requires psychiatric intervention. The moral authority the mental health industry claims over our mental life rests on this claim.
If you are reading this, you are probably involved in the mental health system. You might consider yourself a patient. You might consider yourself a professional or perhaps a caregiver. Maybe you consider yourself a survivor of the system. If you are reading this, you are probably interested in change. The interest of change, and the exploration of its possibilities, unites the readers of this site.
If we believe that emotional problems are primarily disorders of the brain, then perhaps taking a “fill-in-the-blank” medical history is sufficient. However, if we believe that emotional crises and dis-ease are problems that exist between people, in our sticky or not-so-sticky web of relationships, then whether families, survivors and those in crisis can heal together is a much more relevant, if still complicated, question. Perhaps the most honest answer to this question is: “It depends..."
A reader asked why more psychiatrists don’t speak up louder against psychiatric drugs. I’d like to think there’s someone in charge who could sound the alarm. It’s nice to imagine that working doctors have the power and freedom to speak up in a forceful and visible manner. If such a doctor exists, it’s not a psychiatrist who works in the trenches. A working doctor today is not in a position to be Paul Revere.
Yesterday, Dr. Daniel Fisher emailed and asked my thoughts with regard to “recovery”. Even before I walked away from prescription-pad-only psychiatric work, others asked me about this. Other treatment providers, designated patients and family members asked what I thought they could expect to happen next and what they should do to make things better. I told them that chemical interventions are not the only, or even the essential, tool for recovery.
We poison ever growing numbers of children with chemicals known to cause aggression and suicidality. We routinely drug children with these so they’ll sit still and be quiet in classrooms. Now, we drug babies for crying and 3 year olds for acting frightened while locked away from their families in day care centers. Those unsuccessful in school environments are incarcerated. It 's a well-worn path.
Hope heals. Thousand of years of experience and, more recently, numerous hope studies, prove this to be true. Yet hope is still a 4-letter word in many mental health settings. How can we build a bridge to hope from hope-stealing physical and emotional pain, hopeless diagnoses and prognoses, and hope-numbing side effects?
How and why the right to fresh air is continuously blocked by money, politics and ignorance. Plus, personal reflections on how nature heals.
Is “recovery” a useful concept or is it overused, co-opted or simply not an accurate way to describe the process of learning to work with and through madness and life’s challenges. Mother Bear Community Action Network explores these arguments and makes a case for recovery.
How does a straightforward, common-sense idea - guaranteeing the elemental pleasures of fresh air and access to nature to those in inpatient and residential psychiatric/mental health facilities – repeatedly fail on a policy level?
12Page 1 of 2