Doctors are unaware of how bad withdrawal syndromes can be. Doctors who understand psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes are few and far between, even among psychiatrists. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
by Leah Harris
As I walked alone up the stairs to the Rayburn House Office Building this morning to attend the hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on H.R. 3717 – the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act – I thought about how I wasn’t truly alone. In spirit with me were all the people who had experienced scary, coercive, and dehumanizing interventions in the name of help. In spirit with me were all the well-intentioned family members who didn’t want to force treatment on their loved ones, but didn’t have access to or know about alternative voluntary, recovery-oriented community resources. In spirit with me was every mental health provider who went into the field hoping to really make a difference in their communities, but became cynical and discouraged in the face of so many broken systems and broken spirits. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
On Monday, the Senate is likely to vote on an urgent Medicare bill (HR 4302) that includes an unrelated program to fund forced psychiatric treatment (Title 224, Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program). A Medicare rule kicks in Tuesday, April 1, that cuts payments to doctors. The House passed HR 4302 on a voice vote with no debate last Thursday. The Senate could do the same Monday and the President could sign it before midnight.
Call both Senators from your State IMMEDIATELY. (They will vote on this bill Monday.) … [click on title for the rest of the post]
The bill rushed through the House of Representatives by voice vote yesterday to patch Medicare regulations includes a highly controversial provision that has nothing to do with Medicare, and that would subject people in crisis to forced treatment. Studies have shown that such force causes trauma and drives people away from treatment, mental health advocates warned. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Earlier this week, nine members of the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective met with six deputies from the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, one of them a dispatcher, a telecommunicator.
Dressed in plainclothes, the deputies came into the coffeeshop shaking hands, with a flurry of Southern manners and introductions, hands being shaken, small talk exchanged.
Couches had been moved and chairs set out, with a fan of handouts spread onto one of the seats, full of writings on radical mental health, trauma informed care, mutual aid, and listening spaces. Six deputies from Buncombe County, North Carolina recently received Icarus Project postcards. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Despite the many ways in which the so-called psychoses can become manifest, they are ultimately human events arising out of human contexts. As such, they can be understood in an intersubjective manner, removing the stigmatizing boundary between madness and sanity. Utilizing the post-Cartesian psychoanalytic approach of phenomenological contextualism, as well as almost 50 years of clinical experience, George Atwood presents detailed case studies depicting individuals in crisis and the successes and failures that occurred in their treatment. Topics range from depression to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder to dreams, dissociative states to suicidality. Throughout is an emphasis on the underlying essence of humanity demonstrated in even the most extreme cases of psychological and emotional disturbance, and both the surprising highs and tragic lows of the search for the inner truth of a life – that of the analyst as well as the patient. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
by Leah Harris
I tried to kill myself when I was 14. It wasn’t the first time. My psychiatrist had just upped my Prozac, a whole lot of unresolved early childhood trauma had flared up at puberty, and the baseline sadness and confusion I felt mushroomed into an overwhelming desire to die. The thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone: Everything I could think of circled back only to suicide. I wrote out a suicide note and made an attempt. I won’t go into the horrors of waking up alive in an emergency room where the staff was clearly annoyed they had to deal with me and my “attention seeking” behavior. … [click on title to read the rest]
The Icarus Project, a community based organization focused on radical mental health support, is developing a free toolkit, Mad Maps, to help empower those currently unable to secure appropriate services in our existing mental health system. It is a resource for those wanting to create not only their own paths to well-being, but also to help chart pathways for those who seek to transform the world in which we live. … [click on title to read the rest]
As a poster child for psychiatric drug treatment, Solomon has been showered with honors. He received the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s Humanitarian Award in 2008 and is a lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He is on the boards of many mental health organizations.
As of March 2013, Solomon was still taking 5 psychiatric drugs a day.
But a closer at Andrew Solomon’s history suggests that his is a not a triumph of psychiatric drug treatment, but a tragedy. He has been taking a basket of psychiatric drugs every day for 20 years not for depression, but for misdiagnosed iatrogenic symptoms caused by the drugs themselves. … [click on title to read the rest]
by Kristine Kaoverii Weber
And I’ve been around the love-drenched yoga counterculture for a long time. So I feel okay about making this gross generalization: love is a murky and sometimes abused concept in our yoga world. And there’s a tendency to equate spirituality with cheeriness, long lingering hugs, positivity and (my personal fave) non-judgment. … [click on title to read the rest]