Tag: Robert Whitaker

Changing Narratives: Reflecting on Mad in America’s Mission and Work

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For our 200th podcast interview, we are joined by members of MIA staff to reflect on Mad in America's mission and work over the last decade.

A Conversation with Nev Jones

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A dialogue between Nev Jones and Sandy Steingard about Mad in America, critics of psychiatry, medication for psychosis, Open Dialogue, and the need for racial and class justice.

VICE, MIA and The Movement Against Psychiatry

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The Vice article was presented as an exploration of the “movement against psychiatry,” and yet you can see, once it is deconstructed, how it told a story that surely pleased the promoters of the conventional narrative, and put the “critics” on the defensive at almost every turn.

Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence

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After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.

Confessions of a Trespasser

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In a recently published commentary in Psychiatric Times, Ronald Pies and Joseph Pierre made this assertion: Only clinicians, with an expertise in assessing the research literature, should be weighing in on the topic of the efficacy of psychiatric drugs. They wrote their commentary shortly after I had published on madinamerica “The Case Against Antipsychotics,” and it was clear they had me in their crosshairs.

Study Finds Improved Functioning for ‘Schizophrenia’ Without Antipsychotics

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Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs is currently considered the standard treatment for patients diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia.’ A new study challenges this practice, however. The...

The Case Against Antipsychotics

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This review of the scientific literature, stretching across six decades, makes the case that antipsychotics, over the long-term, do more harm than good. The drugs lower recovery rates and worsen functional outcomes over longer periods of time.

Undisclosed Financial Conflicts Endemic in Clinical Practice Guidelines

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While there has been a recent push to account for financial conflicts of interest in medical research, less attention has been paid to organizations...

“My Response to Responses to My Critique of ‘Skepticism’”

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Following up on the responses to his talk criticizing “skeptics,” science journalist John Horgan defends the work of Robert Whitaker and Anatomy of an...

“Science Journalist Takes a Skeptical Look at Capital-S Skepticism”

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Scientific American journalist John Horgan criticizes self-identified “Skeptics” for focusing on easy targets and ignoring the failings of modern science and medicine. Among his...

Report from the Parliament: Can Psychiatry At Least Be Curious?

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In the past six years, I have had the opportunity to speak at several conferences or meetings that I felt had particular potential to stir some political activity that would challenge current psychiatric practices, and one of those events was the meeting convened in the U.K.’s Parliament on May 11th, which had this title for the day: Rising Prescriptions, Rising Mental Health Disability: Is There a Link?

“Politicians and Experts Meet at Parliament to Explore Record Antidepressant Prescribing...

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence is meeting today, May 11th, to discuss evidence of the link between the rise in disability...

Mental Health Documentary “Healing Voices” Premiers Across 130 Communities in 8...

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The producers of “Healing Voices” ­‐ a new social action documentary about mental health ­‐ are releasing the film via community screening partners in...

“Why Are So Many Children on Antipsychotic Drugs?”

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“Do they make people less aggressive? Yes, sometimes they do. Will they sedate people? Absolutely. Will they make kids easier to manage? They will,” Robert Whitaker tells Liz Spikol for Philadelphia Magazine. “But I know of no study that shows that medicating these kids long-term will help them grow up and thrive. The developing brain is a very delicate thing. The narrative is that these side effects are mild, and that’s just not true, and that the benefits are well-established, and so often they’re not.”

Timberrr! Psychiatry’s Evidence Base For Antipsychotics Comes Crashing to the Ground

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When I wrote Anatomy of an Epidemic, one of my foremost hopes was that it would prompt mainstream researchers to revisit the scientific literature. Was there evidence that any class of psychiatric medications—antipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and so forth—provided a long-term benefit? Now epidemiologists at Columbia University and City College of New York have reported that they have done such an investigation about antipsychotics, and their bottom-line finding can be summed up in this way: Psychiatry’s “evidence base” for long-term use of these drugs does not exist.

Researchers Test Harms and Benefits of Long Term Antipsychotic Use

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Researchers from the City College of New York and Columbia University published a study this month testing the hypothesis that people diagnosed with schizophrenia treated long-term with antipsychotic drugs have worse outcomes than patients with no exposure to these drugs. They concluded that there is not a sufficient evidence base for the standard practice of long-term use of antipsychotic medications.

“Healing Voices” Documentary Announces Grass Roots Non-Theatrical Release

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The producers of “Healing Voices” – a new social action documentary about mental health – have announced an innovative plan to release the film via community screening partners in a coordinated one-night global event. Written and Directed by PJ Moynihan of Digital Eyes Film, “Healing Voices” explores the experience commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the stories of real-life individuals, and asks the question: What are we talking about when we talk about ‘mental illness’? The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over nearly five years, and features interviews with notable international experts including: Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Celia Brown, Will Hall, Dr. Marius Romme, and others, on the history of psychiatry and the rise of the ‘medical model’ of mental illness.

Mental Health Professionals Critique the Biomedical Model of Psychological Problems

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While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.

Transforming Mad Science and Re-Imagining Mental Health Care Videos Released

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This morning, TransformingMadScience.com released thirteen 20-30 minute video presentations from the 2014 International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) conference at UCLA. The videos include presentations by Bonnie Burstow, Laura Delano, Allen Frances , David Healy, Peter Gøtzsche, Pascal-Henri Keller, John Read, Tomi Gomory, Shannon Hughes, Jeffrey Lacasse, David Cohen, François Gonon, Jonathan Leo, Peter Whitehouse, Robert Whitaker, and Keith Hoeller.

The Inherent Unreliability of the ADHD Label

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I imagine that everybody on this side of the issue knows by now that the eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Chief Psychiatrist at Columbia, and past President of the APA, called Robert Whitaker "a menace to society." The grounds for Dr. Lieberman's vituperation were that Robert had dared to challenge some of psychiatry's most sacred tenets! But in all the furor, it was largely ignored that in the same interview Dr. Lieberman had said something else that warrants additional discussion.

 The “Institutional Corruption” of Psychiatry: A Conversation With Authors...

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Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove discuss their new book Psychiatry Under the Influence in an interview with psychologist and social critic Bruce Levine for Truthout. In the book, Whitaker and Cosgrove apply the institutional corruption framework, developed by Larry Lessig, to psychiatry and determine that “just as elected officials develop dependency on special interests and become beholden to these funders instead of the citizenry,” psychiatry has “had its social mission subverted by drug companies as well as by the psychiatry guild's self-preservation and expansionism needs.”

We Are All Adam Lanza’s Mother (& other things we’re...

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I do not understand how we can continue to avoid the conversation about psychiatric medications and their role in the violence that is affecting far too many of our children, whether Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, Kip Kinkel, or Jeff Weise (all of whom were either taking or withdrawing from psychotropic medications) or the scores of children and adults they have killed and harmed. It is not clear what role medications played in the Newtown tragedy, though news reports are now suggesting there is one.

What Are We Recovering From? Making a Case for Recovery

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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.

What I Learned From Producing Wellness Solutions 1.0

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The Hope Concept Wellness Center + HOPE Project just held our first national conference in the City of Freedom (Philadelphia) much to everybody’s and to our amazement. Here is some of what I learned from producing Wellness Solutions 1.0 Uncensored Innovation.

Shanghai’d in Recovery

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I am honored to share the story of one family that has learned about the power of language, hope and letting go with love so that every family member can grab on to a life worth living.