Thursday news and blogs — some must reads today

Some interesting must reads today!

  • Early help or aggressive marketing? Recovery from “schizophrenia” and other “psychotic disorders” — My county, Lane County, Oregon, is one of a number of places around the country just starting to participate in a new “early intervention” program sponsored by NIMH, called RAISE, that says it aims to help people soon after they begin experiencing their first psychotic episode. While there are some good reasons to offer help to young people as soon as they start having problems that might be labeled psychosis, I have serious doubts about the program here being offered. — For one thing, the very name of the program (RAISE stands for “Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenic Episode”) suggests the program will be reckless in applying labels and stigma. Even the DSM cautions against calling a psychotic episode “schizophrenia” unless the mental health condition has lasted at least 6 months, but people will be recruited into the RAISE program as soon as possible after their problems with psychosis begin, a much shorter time period. Nevertheless, just due to the name of the program, they will feel defined as having had a “schizophrenic” episode.

  • Feelings vs. Reactions Bipolar in Order — Taking responsibility for ones actions and behavior (where freedom from disorder lies) One of the first steps toward getting Bipolar In Order is to learn the difference between what we feel or experience and how we react. In our first workshop and in our support group meetings we have an exercise that helps. I want to share it with you here and see how it works without as much guidance or background. —-One of the main stumbling blocks to getting Bipolar In Order is the belief that we have no choice in how we react. When presented with the fact that we do, I always hear “what about the times when it is too intense?” or “what about when I go to bed happy and wake up depressed?” “Surely we have no control then?” While it is currently true for most people, with training and practice we can learn to have the choice in an ever increasing range. Eventually we can get to the point that nothing is too intense.

  • The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg: A Pharmaceutical Morality TaleBefore you take that pill — I actually read this book on twitter…Doug Bremner wrote it there first. It’s a good, easy, absorbing read. It reads like a thriller. Described by one reader as “Erin Brockovich meets ‘The Constant Gardener,’” the work tells the story of Professor Doug Bremner, a researcher and psychiatrist who blew the whistle on the dangers of Accutane, a prescription medication for the treatment of acne that produces toxic side effects causing depression and resulting in numerous suicides. As a result, he got chewed up and spit out by Roche Pharmaceuticals of Nutley, NJ, the company that earned a billion dollars a year from marketing this drug. Bremner describes his struggles with the drug company and the toll they took on his career, marriage and family. The book reads like a thriller because Bremner’s narrative involves greed, power, lust, lies, tragedy, danger and death. (author took this off his blog, you can see the synopsis it at his publishers here)

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