Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Blogs

Essays by a diverse group of writers, in the United States and abroad, engaged in rethinking psychiatry. (The directory of personal stories can be found here, and initiatives here).

blocks spell out PTSD

How Many Times Must the “PTSD” Label’s Harm Be Exposed?

A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article and a recent American Psychiatric Association (APA) press release reveal the power the APA has wielded through its various DSM editions in pathologizing the effects of trauma.

How Little We Really Know About Psychiatric Drugs

Joanna Moncrieff reflects on what has and has not changed in the field of psychiatric drug treatment in the years between the first and newly published second edition of the Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs.
An ad for Tofranil (imipramine)

The First Studies of Antidepressant Withdrawal

The history of antidepressant withdrawal dates to the first articles on imipramine in the late 1950s. It is useful to compare discussion of both generations of psychiatric drugs and focus on shared efforts to deny and minimize their withdrawal syndromes.
psilocybin mushrooms

How Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Changed My Life

I don’t drink or smoke. I’ve never taken any drugs till four years ago. Yet today, my life revolves around psychedelic medicines—heavily stigmatized substances still illegal in this country and most others across the world. How did this happen?
A mother takes her young son to an imposing psychiatric hospital

You’ve Got to Be Crazy to Go to a Psychiatrist

To those who say that major scientific/medical advances since 1975 have made going to a biological psychiatrist a rational choice, I say: What advances? 45 years have passed: Is any psychiatric “diagnosis” now verified by lab test, x-ray, or physical exam finding?
lego ballerina and pyramid of hydrocodone

Addiction Treatment: How Many Meds Does It Take to Get Sober?

I started to wonder, “How many medications does it take to get sober?” In fact, the biggest correlation I’ve noticed with relapse and overdose is the amount of psychiatric medications being prescribed.
stone in zen sand garden

How Mindful Awareness Can Reduce Suffering

Suffering can be altered when people learn how to respond differently to their pain. This is the principle behind mindfulness-based stress reduction, which was designed to incorporate Buddhist practices into chronic pain treatment.
blurry photo of flowers

Suicidal Thoughts, Psychiatric Diagnosis, and What Really Helps: Part Two

This piece is the second of a two-part essay about suicide, diagnosis, what doesn't help, and what does help. This part is about barriers to seeking help and about the ways we actually can be of help to people who are considering suicide.
Photo of a flower

Suicidal Thoughts, Psychiatric Diagnosis, and What Really Helps: Part One

This piece is the first of a two-part essay about suicide, diagnosis, what doesn't help, and what does help. This part is about suicide, diagnosis, and some of what fails to help.
Nev Jones and Sandy Steingard

A Conversation with Nev Jones

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

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.

Why Is the APA Proposing Sweeping Changes to Training Requirements?

The American Psychological Association has proposed sweeping changes to training, focusing on the behavioral health model, which reduces the complexity of the human experience to observable behaviors.
Malcharist cover art

Malcharist: Fact or Fiction? Big Pharma, Psychiatry’s Key Opinion Leaders and their Ghostwriters

Malcharist, by Paul John Scott, is a fictional account of one of psychiatry’s most influential key opinion leaders (KOLs), his ghostwriter, and a journalist on the trail of a big scandal in the world of Big Pharma.

The Mirror Repeats: The Art of Phoebe Sparrow Wagner

It is uncomfortably difficult to look at Phoebe Sparrow Wagner’s art. That much is intentional. She shakes up the viewer’s sense of wellbeing and security so that they can better identify with the plight of the mental patient.
Pop art man saying "stop!"

Stop Saying This, Part Four: Does Time Heal All Wounds?

In part four of this series, Megan Wildhood takes on the tropes of "That's not about you," "The outer world is a reflection of your inner world," "I didn't mean to," and "Time heals all wounds."
child with protective mask standing in front of blackboard and the word "spin"

CAUTION: Spin Ahead! There is No Evidence That Psychostimulants Reduce the Risk for Infection...

Debunking a recent study on ADHD and COVID-19: It suffers from a series of manipulations and spins that are inappropriate in scientific research that aspires to objectivity and that aims to reveal truths.
community hearing voices

Hearing Voices: Let the Community Lead

A collective knowledge of lived experience is a straightforward answer for improving millions of lives, but it has become clear that it will take an organized community of voice-hearers and their allies to take back credibility and authorship on the narrative of our own lives.
the words "continuing education"

A Positive Change for Mad in America Continuing Education

We are going to organize webinar events, starting this fall, that will be easier to register for (sign-up on Zoom), free (donations will be accepted), and often feature two or more speakers (or a panel), with more time devoted to an interaction with the audience.
DJ Jaffe, colonizer

An Obituary for My Colonizer: Reflections on the Legacy of DJ Jaffe

When I heard this morning that DJ Jaffe was dead my face went through its own mutation; a moment of surprise and wonderment followed by swift elation, and then, very quickly and now for so many hours afterward, an enraged, frustrated, quick-breathed grimace.
two sad women embracing

Can We Allow Suffering?

After 9/11, no psychiatrist, nurse, or social worker asked me what it felt like to watch as nearly 3000 souls left this planet in flames; what it felt like to be so afraid. There was a strange silence around it, as if this horrible event was unrelated to my mental state.

UN Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras: Biomedical Approach “Still Has an Important Role to Play”

In Pūras' new UN report, his use of biomedical language seems at odds with his message to move beyond the medicalization of distress.
woman blurry reflection

Dear “Psychology Today”: Believe Incest Survivors

Incest survivors are the neglected heroes of the #MeToo movement. Yet when it comes to entrenched narratives that silence incest survivors, mainstream media continues to propagate these harmful myths unchecked.
nurses in an old movie

Deep Sleep “Therapy” in Australia in the 1960s & ’70s: Could Something Like This...

Psychiatry has a history of continuing to perform harmful, even deadly procedures. But does it still happen? Medication-induced akathisia filled two and a half pages of the DSM-IV. Why was it written out of the DSM 5?
Woman transforming the polluted city into green and clean city environment

Inequities in Mental Health Services: It’s Time for a Reckoning and Rectification

Clinical education must include more training in macro skills that help build the supports, policies, and community infrastructures under-served clients need.
man looking upset with pills in front of him

SSRI Withdrawal’s Elephant in the Room: Tardive Akathisia

Slower tapering of antidepressant dose is generally more comfortable. However, success or failure after stopping completely mostly relates to whether tardive akathisia occurs.

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