The Answers Are in Our Weak Spots

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Throughout my entire career as a therapist, I have battled with imposter syndrome. The idea that I am not good at what I do, that I...

The Hidden Epidemic of Sexual Dysfunction Experts Are Blaming on SSRI Antidepressants

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From The Daily Mail: “Patients on antidepressants are not being warned of the risk that the pills could permanently ruin their sex lives, experts say. The Mail...

Self-Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder | Psychology Today

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Bipolar Disorder (BD) is one of...

Grief, Intense Feelings, and Pathologization: Can We Conceive a Different Approach?

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I remember when my grandma died how I was aching for days or weeks, even months. I remember when my beloved dog died how I frantically...

Health Risks to Babies When Antidepressants Used During Pregnancy

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A new study in Psychological Medicine finds that babies born to mothers taking antidepressants were more than six times as likely to have neonatal withdrawal syndrome—including...

Our Addiction to Control Is Enslaving Us

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From Uplift: “As a sustainability philosopher and social engineer, I spend much of my time contemplating the root of our unsustainable culture and civilisation. I believe...

“Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Fine”

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My story took time to uncover but eventually it became clear that my symptoms and the turn my life had taken were not so unusual, and...

Mental Health & Our Schools

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EDITOR’S CORNER Back in May, I wrote about the many ways that schools aren’t safe for kids’ physical and mental health. Since then, new threats are on...

Wisdom of the elders

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/*! elementor - v3.7.7 - 20-09-2022 */ .elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-stacked .elementor-drop-cap{background-color:#818a91;color:#fff}.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-framed .elementor-drop-cap{color:#818a91;border:3px solid;background-color:transparent}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap{margin-top:8px}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap-letter{width:1em;height:1em}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap{float:left;text-align:center;line-height:1;font-size:50px}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap-letter{display:inline-block} Book.  Treating the Brain: An Odysseyby Barry Blackwell, MDInternational Network for the History...

20 Concrete Steps to Achieving System Change

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Last year I watched how Kevin Fitts achieved a major victory for peers in Oregon.  He did something that went beyond well-founded criticism of the mental...

An Illness, or Risky Experimentation?

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When deciding how to organize treatment for “psychosis” we face a crucial question.  Should we defer to mainstream views and assume that “psychotic” experiences must be...

‘Speaking Grief’ Documentary Asks: What if We Got Better at Grief?

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From WPSU Creative Services: “Speaking Grief explores the transformative experience of losing a family member in a grief-avoidant society. It validates grief as a normal, healthy...

In Andrew’s Honor: Attorney Elizabeth Rich’s Fight Against Unjust Commitments

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Anyone detained and then formally committed under Wisconsin’s civil mental health laws can initially be held and forcibly drugged for six long months. Yet, for years,...

Antidepressants Work Better Than Sugar Pills Only 15 Percent of the Time

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From Newsweek: “Five years ago Mark Horowitz seemed an unlikely skeptic of psycho-pharmaceuticals. He had been taking the popular antidepressant Lexapro virtually every day for 15...

Why We Urgently Need New Approaches to Mental Health

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Mental distress can be an unknown territory. Consider, for example, being a 16-year-old boy and feeling like your whole world is crumbling, but not understanding why. You are...

Doctors Stopped Believing in the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Theory. But They Didn’t Tell Us

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From National Post: “Psychiatry has known for quite some time that the ‘serotonin theory’ of depression, the notion that too little of the brain chemical can...

Thomas Szasz Versus the Mental Health Movement

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It has been 10 years since psychiatrist Thomas Szasz died on September 8, 2012 at the age of 92. During his lifetime he published 35 books,...

Dr. Caroline Leaf Podcast With Robert Whitaker: The Great Psychiatry Fraud

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From Dr. Caroline Leaf: “In this podcast I speak with best-selling author, journalist and mental health advocate Robert Whitaker about the myth of the chemical imbalance,...

Dissociative Identity Disorder in Marvel’s Moon Knight

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As a huge nerd and enthusiast...

Dramatic Decline in California’s Use of Antipsychotic Drugs on Its Foster Children

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From The Imprint: Youth and Family News: “They use the words ‘zombie,’ ‘a blob’ and ‘drunk’ when describing what it felt like to be a kid...

The Psychiatrist’s Dilemma: In Defense of Placebo Psychiatry

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In a recent post, Robert Whitaker asked us to consider the psychiatrist’s dilemma: “Patients were told they suffered from a chemical imbalance in the brain, the public...

Is Service-User Research Possible in Mental Health? An Interview with Diana Rose

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Dr. Diana Rose wears many hats—academic, researcher, service user, and activist. She is a leading figure in user-led research and currently an Honorary Distinguished Professor at...

An Update on Guardianship Action

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On August 26, pop star Britney Spears dropped a new single, “Hold Me Closer,” with Elton John, her first musical recording since being released from her...

Some Schools Bringing Back Corporal Punishment; Parents Opt In as Students Protest

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From TODAY: “After one Missouri school district brought back corporal punishment, some parents are opting in on the new policy as a number of students protest. Dakota...

Child Frustration Breeds Race Hatred; Columbia Scientist Finds Punishment of Baby Is Seed of...

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From Project NoSpank/The New York Times, December 22, 1940: “Spanking the baby may be the psychological seed of war. Out of this and similar punishments are formed...

The Culture Is the Poison: Why Psychedelics Are Dangerous Medicine in a Neoliberal Society

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In the last decade, an entirely new kind of human has taken over the psychedelic scene. They could be not be more different from those I...

As a Cop, I Know Police Contempt for Drug Users Is Still Widespread—And It...

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From Filter: “‘Don’t bother replacing the injections. Let nature take her course!’ —Comment from a law enforcement-only forum, referencing naloxone provision; June 2018 It’s sometimes tempting, despite the current...

In Afghanistan, a Quiet Epidemic of Mass Psychogenic Illness

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From Undark: “Before Anita was admitted to the hospital, she had gotten into a fight with her brother. After the fight, she fell unconscious. ‘It was...

Our Gut Feelings Are Not Luxuries | Gabor Maté, MD

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From Sustainable Human: “Alienation is a separation. Being a stranger to something. You’re an alien to something. There are four alienations in this culture. One is we...

Relational Disconnection as ‘Mental Illness’ | Darcia Narvaez, PhD

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From Kindred Media: “We have a problem. We are raising too many to be unempathic and oriented to their own ego enhancement, dominating others, treating...

I Had No Idea That Gabapentin Could Do This…

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I have struggled with mental health issues for the majority of my life. As a child, I remember being afraid of various things, and anxiety became...

Call for Teen Art in All Media!

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Attention all family, friends, and other supporters of youths ages 13-19! Mad in America’s Family Resources and Arts sections are co-sponsoring an online multimedia art exhibition...

3 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Shame

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While often used interchangeably, guilt and...

Behavior Therapy Helped My Patients Through Antidepressant Withdrawal

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More attention is being paid to the adverse reactions associated with withdrawal from antidepressant drugs. Patients experience nausea, insomnia, anxiety, sadness, and flu-like symptoms with the...

Brainwashing in the Medical Training | Two Letters to Alice Miller

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From alice-miller.com: “I am writing this e-mail to Alice Miller, having just finished reading the book For Your Own Good. I was moved deeply and found...

Driving Ourselves Mad: Car Culture as Collective Madness

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From Mental Hellth: “I have always felt, on a deeply instinctual level, that cars represent a form of collective insanity, a terrifying and dangerous rush away...

Beyond Drugs: The Universal Experience of Addiction | Gabor Maté, MD

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From drgabormate.com: “With the carnage imposed by the current epidemic of opioids and associated overdoses across North America—many dozens of people dying every day—public alarm around...

The Phobic Avoidance of Attending to Real World Mental Health Outcomes

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When I look at mental health research, I notice a startling avoidance of real-world outcome measures. It seems almost phobic. Yet this type of outcome should...

Scots With Learning Disabilities and Autism Locked in Hospitals for Decades

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From the BBC: “Scots with learning disabilities and autism have been locked in secure hospitals and psychiatric wards for decades, a BBC investigation has found. They...

How China Weaponizes Psychiatry Against Dissent

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From The Washington Post: “A decade ago, China passed laws dealing with mental illness, seeking to bury the arbitrary practices of the past, when psychiatric treatment...

‘The Medical Model Has Presided Over Four Decades of Flat-Lining Outcomes’

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From The British Psychological Society: “Author, anthropologist and psychotherapist Dr. James Davies tells Fauzia Khan about his journey into the field of mental health and his...

“Holy Shit!” Psychiatry’s Cognitive Dissonance on Display

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After we published our report “Psychiatry, Fraud and the Case for a Class-Action Lawsuit” on August 13, psychiatrist Awais Aftab—who has staked out a public persona...

‘I Was a Rebel Without a Cause Before My Breakdown… I Saw Psychology as...

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From The British Psychological Society: “Rufus May had a breakdown at 18 years of age. He was diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia,’ which resulted in three hospital admissions....

‘We Are Engaged in Something Much More Complex Than a Debate About the Evidence’

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From The British Psychological Society: “Assistant Psychologist Fauzia Khan talks to Clinical Psychologist Dr. Lucy Johnstone about her journey as a psychologist. Lucy discusses her interest...

MAOIs – anti-hypertensive effect, history

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IntroductionThis brief commentary summarises the published research concerning MAOIs, platelet MAO inhibition, and blood pressure changes viz. hypotension.  These papers do not have adequate data to...

New Narrative Game Raises Awareness of ACEs & Their Impact on Youth Mental Health

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From iThrive Games: “‘Afraid.’ ‘Disturbed.’ ‘Sad.’ ‘Aware.’ These are some of the emotions that Malik, Dana, and Luisa—three of the SEED designers behind Children of the Flame—want people...

MAOI and TCA combinations: which first?

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AbstractMany of the myths concerning MAOI drugs can be traced back to the earliest writings from the late 1950s and early 1960s, before anything much was...

Condensing “Anatomy of an Epidemic” into a High-Level Summary Document

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Editor’s Note: The high-level summary document, “Why the Current Mental Health Care Model Must Evolve,” is available here. In September, 2020, I shared something on social media...

I Was a Cult Member in the Cult of Psychiatry

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From Mental Hellth: “I had tried prescription drugs on and off when I was a teenager and in college. My family doctor very casually gave me...

Trauma Survivors Speak Out Against Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

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In 2021, I created the Facebook group “Stop Dialectical Behavioral Therapy” for mental health service users to have a space to discuss what happened to them...

Is the Serotonin Theory of Depression Dead?

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Recently, Moncrieff and colleagues published...

Behind Rolling Stone’s Hatchet Job on a Psychiatrist Critical of Neoliberal Capitalism

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From CounterPunch: “For quite some time now, the standard hatchet used by psychiatry apologists in their attacks on any critic of psychiatry is to include the extraneous...

John Read and Jeffrey Masson – Biological Psychiatry and the Mass Murder of “Schizophrenics”

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On the Mad in America podcast this week, we hear from the co-authors of a paper published in the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry which documents...

The Anxiety Industry: At the Limits of Anxious Consumerism

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From Public Seminar: “Anxiety — that chronic, widespread uncertainty proliferating out of the insecurities that exemplify modern life — has become the lodestone of 21st century consumer...

Watch Dr. Amato’s Viral Breakdown Of The Treatment Billings MT

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As a drug used for years in the medical field to help with pain relief and anesthesia, Ketamine has become an “innovative” treatment in the mental...

Inside A Forensic Psychiatry Unit: Where I’ve Come From and Where I’m Going

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Editor’s Note: This is the final essay in a series written by Sean Gunderson, who was detained by the criminal justice system for 17 years after...

Decades of Alzheimer’s Research Allegedly Based on Fabricated Data

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From Futurism: “It’s a devastating gut-punch to Alzheimer’s research worldwide, nevermind to those suffering or near to those suffering from the disease. The then-groundbreaking study in...

How the Internet Helped Save My Mental Health

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Like no other time in history can we get what we want so quickly. For example, you can just say a few words to Alexa to...

An Interview with Kaori Wada

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In March 2022, a new grief-related disorder was officially adopted into mainstream mental health diagnosis nomenclature. Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) is a recent addition to the...

A Middle Finger to Oppression and DBT by Rebecca Donaldson

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She (my psychologist) didn’t like me, and I don’t know whyI guess it’s not okay to wish to die I was told by society I should speak...

GSK Discontinues Production of Liquid Paroxetine (Seroxat)

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Liquid forms of antidepressant drugs are often used for tapering by those wishing to gradually reduce their dosage. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has recently announced that it will...

Depression May Not Stem From a “Chemical Imbalance” After All – Suggesting the Problem...

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From Salon: “So if a chemical imbalance may not be the cause of depression, what is? For decades, numerous researchers and public intellectuals have noted the...

Books Under Review: Summer 2022

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Blood Orange Night: My Journey to the Edge of Madness by Melissa Bond (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) Melissa Bond’s memoir of benzodiazepine addiction, withdrawal, and recovery is...

Response to Criticism of Our Serotonin Paper

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We recently published a paper finding that the serotonin hypothesis of depression (the idea that depression is caused by low serotonin or reduced serotonin activity) is...

[NEW] Important Announcement & Update

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The CYPs* assisting PsychoTropical have been working hard in the last six months to achieve certain key objectives, the main of these being the publication of...

What the Wrestling World Knows—and You Should, Too

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By Jared Broussard, LPC I have...

What Is ‘Schizophrenia’? Common Myths and Misconceptions

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From The Mirror: “Society has evolved in many ways, but certain things continue to remain taboo. ‘Schizophrenia’ is one ‘mental health condition’ that’s been stigmatised and...

How to Take the News That Depression Has Not Been Shown to Be Caused...

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From Joanna Moncrieff: “So if depression is not caused by low serotonin, what is it caused by? I have been asked this question by TV and...

We’re Historians of Disability. What We Just Found on eBay Horrified Us.

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From Slate: “Sometime in the late 1950s, a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome was admitted to an asylum in New York state. One of the first...

A Decisive Blow to the Serotonin Hypothesis of Depression

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From Psychology Today: “Almost as soon as it was floated in 1965 by Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Schildkraut, the serotonin hypothesis of depression—reduced and simplified by pharma...

A Diagnosis and Its Damages: Orna Ophir’s “Schizophrenia: An Unfinished History”

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I got an advanced reviewer copy of Schizophrenia: An Unfinished History by Orna Ophir (Polity, 2022) because I wanted to see if the conversation around “mental...

The 9-8-8 Helpline Exists in an America Full of Broken Systems — Of Course...

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From Refinery29: “Perhaps the most concerning issue with 9-8-8 was that, in some cases, police will be called to respond to 9-8-8 calls — for example,...

What Does Yoga Do For Your Mind? Billings MT

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When most people think of yoga, the physical postures are the first to come to mind. They see the students bending, folding, twisting, and balancing and...

My Veterans Benefits Were Denied Because My Military Job “Did Not Exist” And The...

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“Section 23a of your Form DD-214 lists your military occupational specialty as ‘EXP,’ the letter from the VA said. “That occupation does not exist. Therefore, we...

Mass Shootings and the News Media: Catching Up to the Science of PACEs

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From ACEs Too High: “How do we, as a country, learn about mass shootings and gun violence? The news media. How do we learn about the...

The Corruption of Character in Medicine

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From the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry: “At the age of twenty-six, I decided to make a clean break with the past. I finished medical school, moved...

The Parts Within Us: An Interview with Richard Schwartz, Creator of Internal Family Systems

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Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., is the creator of Internal Family Systems, a therapeutic model that rejects the notion of a “mono-mind” in favor of a more inclusive,...

July is Both Disability Pride Month and Mad Pride Month: Happy Bastille Day!

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The Mental Health Subcommittee for a major cross-disability organization has recommended supporting both Disability Pride Month and Mad Pride Month in July. As a psychiatric survivor...

The Biology of Loss: Recognizing Impaired Attachments & Fostering Resilience

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From British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority: “Presenting at the March 2016 Perinatal Services BC Healthy Mothers & Healthy Babies conference, renowned speaker and author Dr....

Opinion: Changes to the Mental Health Act Must Prioritize Human Rights

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From The Journal: “We are all potential users of mental health services. The question is how would we like to be treated if we found ourselves...

War in Utopia by Anonymous

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the sanest of men are herethey are not carrying weaponseven if they fight againstticking dynamiteno gunshells against people who walk on eggshellsthey have pens instead, and...

Laura Van Tosh: The Life of a Psychiatric Survivor Activist

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Laura Van Tosh has been a leader in psychiatric survivor circles for 40 years, working at local, state and national levels. She spoke to Mad in...

How Society Gaslights Survivors of Narcissistic, Sociopathic & Psychopathic Abuse

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From Self-Care Haven by Shahida Arabi: “As an author who writes for abuse survivors, I’ve communicated with thousands of people who have been affected by malignant...

What’s Wrong With Students? No—What’s Wrong With Colleges?

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From Inside Higher Ed: “The past few years have seen a well-documented rise in reported adolescent and college student distress, and college counseling centers are overwhelmed with the...

A Talk with Journalist Kristina Marusic

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On our last podcast, Mad in the Family covered the effect of climate change and extreme weather events on children’s and mothers’ mental health. This one...

“Mental Health Units” in Prison Are Solitary Confinement by Another Name, Activists Say

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From Truthout: “Christian Hill has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and major depressive disorder. In the New York State prison system, this classifies him as...

World Tapering Day: November 5, 2022

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From World Tapering Day: “This is an invitation to researchers, scientists, patients’ advocates, healthcare professionals and experience experts from all over the world to join the...

Inside A Forensic Psychiatry Unit: Rolled Ankles, RATs, and Invisible Abuse—The Final Obstacles Toward...

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Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series written by Sean Gunderson, who was detained by the criminal justice system for 17 years after receiving...

Pathologized Since Eve: Jessica Taylor on Women, Trauma, and “Sexy but Psycho”

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Our guest today is Jessica Taylor, author of Sexy But Psycho: How the Patriarchy Uses Women’s Trauma Against Them, which was published in March by Little,...

An Alternative to Psychiatric Hospitals: Report From Israeli Soteria Houses

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From Psychology Today/John Read, PhD: “The scientific journal I edit, Psychosis, is proud to have just published a rather remarkable article, entitled ‘The Soteria Model: implementing an alternative to...

Facebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information from Hospital Websites

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From The Markup: “A tracking tool installed on many hospitals’ websites has been collecting patients’ sensitive health information—including details about their medical conditions, prescriptions, and doctor’s...

Less Than a Quarter of Those with Depression Respond to Treatment in Real Life

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In a new study conducted in a real-life setting, only 24.2% of patients with depression responded to treatment, including treatment with multiple drugs, hospitalization, and add-on...

Experts Urge Caution as AAP Calls for Mental Health Screenings for Newborns to 21-Year-Olds

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From Children’s Health Defense: “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this month added recommendations for preventive pediatric healthcare to its 2022 Periodicity Schedule, also known as Bright...

Expanded Mental Health Services Won’t Stop Mass Shootings

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In the 23 years since the Columbine High School massacre, the school shooting in an affluent, formerly unknown suburb of Denver, Colorado (my hometown) that put...

Former Cerebral Employees Say Company’s Practices Put Patients at Risk

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From CBS News: “Dr. David Mou believes that Cerebral ‘saves lives.’ The startup ‘treats’ people for ‘conditions’ such as depression and ADHD, and is the largest online...

Peer Values Versus Violence: A View from Lived Experience

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Until recently, I lived in Portland, Oregon, working as Senior Director for a community mental health organization where I saw the employees giving everything to help...

Psychiatric Drugs Do Not Improve Disease or Reduce Mortality

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According to psychiatrist Nassir Ghaemi, most psychiatric drugs are only effective at treating symptoms in the short term—like taking aspirin for pain—and don’t improve the long-term...

Cargo Cult Psychiatry – Mad In America

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“Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”—Arthur C. Clarke (science fiction author) The noted physicist Richard Feynman gave the commencement address at CalTech in 1974 with a...

What Is Hatred? | Alice Miller

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From Alice Miller: Child Abuse and Mistreatment: “We tend to associate the word ‘hatred’ with the notion of a dangerous curse we need to free ourselves...

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