dealing with problems of daily living

ADHD:  The Hoax Unravels

May 10, 2016

At the risk of stating the obvious, ADHD is not an illness.  Rather, it is an unreliable and disempowering label for a loose collection of arbitrarily chosen and vaguely defined behaviors.  ADHD has been avidly promoted as an illness by pharma-psychiatry for the purpose of selling stimulant drugs.  In which endeavor, they have been phenomenally successful, […]

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Depression:  A Different Perspective

April 14, 2015

I have recently come across an interesting paper:  How to Understand and then Escape from Depression.  It’s written by Saul Youssef, a professor of physics at Boston University. The central theme of the paper is that persistent or chronic depression is caused by “…an unconscious withdrawal of participation in a person’s own internal decision making […]

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Antidepressants:  Drugs, Not Medication

April 13, 2015

On April 7, John Read, PhD, a psychologist at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, published a short article on Mad in America.  The title is:  Largest Survey of Antidepressants Finds High Rates of Adverse Emotional and Interpersonal Effects.  The article presents the results of a survey conducted in New Zealand and published online in […]

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Peter Kinderman in Scientific American.  An Important Milestone!

November 20, 2014

On November 17, Scientific American published on its MIND blog website Why We Need to Abandon the Disease-Model of Mental Health Care, by Peter Kinderman, PhD. Here are some quotes: “The idea that our more distressing emotions such as grief and anger can best be understood as symptoms of physical illnesses is pervasive and seductive. […]

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Evolution Or Revolution?

August 1, 2014

On July 22, Just Another Word site ran an article called Evolution not revolution: My thoughts on the DCP’s call for a paradigm shift.  The website is owned and operated by MTAS Psychology, an agency providing psychological therapy and expert witness services in Manchester, UK.  The article is unsigned. The primary focus of the […]

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Blame the Clients?

June 17, 2014

On June 6, I wrote a post titled Psychiatry DID Promote the Chemical Imbalance Theory.  The article was published on Mad in America, and generated a number of comments on that site, five of which were from TherapyFirst, who in his first comment identified himself as Joel Hassman, MD, a practicing psychiatrist.  Dr. Hassman did […]

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Drugging Toddlers for Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity

May 22, 2014

On May 16, the New York Times ran an article titled Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries, by Alan Schwarz.  Here is the opening sentence: “More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented […]

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 Another Critique of the Schizophrenia Diagnosis

May 2, 2014

In January 2014, the journal Research on Social Work Practice ran a special issue called A Critical Appraisal of the DSM-5: Social Work Perspectives.  There are fifteen articles on this general theme, and together they present a wide range of arguments against the DSM system. Social workers represent the numerically biggest group of mental health […]

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‘ADHD’ and Dangerous Driving

April 22, 2014

In 2006, Laurence Jerome, a Canadian psychiatrist, and two colleagues wrote a paper titled What We Know About ADHD and Driving Risk: A Literature Review, Meta-Analysis and Critique.  It was published in the Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in August, 2006. The primary result of the meta-analysis was: “Current data […]

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Psychiatry Fights Back – With More PR

April 10, 2014

About six months ago, I wrote a post called Health Care Reform and Psychiatry.  In that article, I gave a brief account of the APA’s Council on Communications, and I expressed the belief that the council seemed more concerned with PR (in the most tawdry sense of the term) than with any serious examination or […]

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The Perfect Psychiatrist

April 1, 2014

On March 19, a new article was posted on Aeon Magazine.  It’s titled A Mad World,  and was written by Joseph Pierre, MD, who works in Log Angeles as a psychiatric practitioner and professor.  Dr. Pierre has authored more than fifty papers, and has received several awards.  He has lectured nationally and internationally, and would, […]

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Benzodiazepines: Disempowering and Dangerous

March 27, 2014

I recently read an article by Fredric Neuman, MD, Director of the Anxiety and Phobia Center at White Plains Hospital, NY.  The article is titled The Use of the Minor Tranquilizers: Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium, and was published in June 2012 by Psychology Today.  Thanks to Medicalskeptic for the link. Dr. Neuman opens by […]

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Involuntary Mental Health Commitments

March 20, 2014

The recent publicity surrounding the Justina Pelletier case has focused attention, not only on the spurious and arbitrary nature of psychiatric diagnoses, but also on the legitimacy and appropriateness of mental health commitments.  It is being widely asserted that these archaic statutes are fundamentally incompatible with current civil rights standards, and the question “should mental […]

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Drugging Our Children: A Book Review

February 17, 2014

  The 2012 book Drugging Our Children: How Profiteers Are Pushing Antipsychotics on Our Youngest, and What We Can Do to Stop It, is edited by Sharna Olfman PhD, and Brent Dean Robbins, PhD.  It is a collection of ten articles, plus an Introduction and an Afterword by Sharna Olfman.  Here are the chapter titles, […]

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Life Is Bipolar

February 2, 2014

  I am a 30 year man who finally realized a few months ago (after finding this website) that he is not mentally ill but just an adult who often acts like a child. I dabbled with some “official” drugs (meaning prescribed) in the last few years when I was first diagnosed  with depression (was put on anti […]

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ADHD: Are We Helping Or Harming?

January 26, 2014

In November 2013, the British Medical Journal published Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: are we helping or harming? by Rae Thomas, PhD, Psychologist, Australia; Geoffrey K. Mitchell, MB BS, FRACGP, PhD, Professor of General Practice, Australia; and Laura Batstra, PhD, Psychologist, Netherlands.  The article is part of a series on the dangers of overdiagnosis. Here are some quotes: […]

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Recovery Model: A Reader’s Story

January 14, 2014

    Very interested to read some of your very clearly reasoned, explained and referenced posts. I am familiarising myself with the status of the Recovery Model of mental health for my new job and have repeatedly come across critiques of modern psychiatry and the DSM diagnosis. I am encouraged by this line of questioning because I have 7 […]

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Is Psychology Going the Way of Psychiatry?

January 14, 2014

On January 7, Maria Bradshaw, co-founder of CASPER, published an interesting article on Mad in America.  It’s called Prescribing Rights for Psychologists, and it suggests that psychology as a profession may be falling into some of the same errors that enmire psychiatry. Maria makes some very compelling points, and focuses particularly on the fact that […]

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Understanding Human Behavior

January 13, 2014

A couple of months ago I wrote an article concerning ECT which generated some controversy.  One of the issues that came up was the relationship between biological explanations of human activity and more global explanations, which, for want of a better term, I’ll call person-centered explanations. Any human activity can be viewed from different levels […]

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Schizoid Personality Disorder

December 16, 2013

There’s a new entry on the Tell Your Story section of my website. The author, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells how during his teenage years, his social skills were poor, and he met the criteria for schizoid personality disorder, the essential features of which are social isolation and emotional detachment. Here are two quotes: […]

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Mental Illness: A Man-made Monster

December 9, 2013

  I found the above image online yesterday, at the site The Things We Say. Mental illness is also man-made.  It is the invention of psychiatry – their spurious medicalization of all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving.  Its purpose is to legitimize the prescription of dangerous psychotropic drugs to as many people as […]

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The Disease-Centered Model Vs. The Drug-Centered Model

December 5, 2013

Joanna Moncrieff is an eminent British psychiatrist, a founding member of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and the author of several papers and books, including The Myth of the Chemical Cure and Bitterest Pills.  I have discussed both of these books on this website, and I recommend them highly.  Dr. Moncrieff speaks out clearly and fearlessly […]

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Protecting the Children

November 3, 2013

  I’ve recently read an article called Safeguarding a Generation of Children from Over-diagnosis and Prescription of Psychotropic Drugs.  It’s written by Dave Traxson, who works as an Educational Psychologist in the UK, and is posted on the  DxSummit website, an online platform for rethinking mental health, a forum in which the concepts underlying pharma-psychiatry […]

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The Allen Frances – Lucy Johnstone Debate

November 1, 2013

On October 28, Allen Frances, MD, Chairperson of the DSM-IV task force, published an article on Psychology Today.  It is titled Does It Make Sense To Scrap Psychiatric Diagnosis? and is essentially a response to the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology’s (DCP) call to abandon the medical model in situations where it is […]

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A Psychiatric Case Study. A Sad Story

October 24, 2013

One of the criticisms that I routinely make of psychiatry is that its primary agenda during initial evaluations is the assignment of a “diagnosis,” and that ongoing “treatment” consists of 15-minute “med checks,” during which drug regimens are changed and adjusted.  The essence of my criticism is that this kind of approach inevitably oversimplifies human […]

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Another Critique of Psychiatry’s Medical Model

October 16, 2013

I have recently read De-Medicalizing Misery [palgrave macmillan, 2011].  It’s a comprehensive collection of articles, edited by Mark Rapley, Joanna Moncrieff, and Jacqui Dillon.  The table of contents provides a sense of the book’s scope. Table of Contents Carving Nature at its Joints?  DSM and the Medicalization of Everyday Life, Mark Rapley, Joanna Moncrieff, and Jacqui […]

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The Concept of Mental Illness: Spurious or Valid?

October 1, 2013

On January 17, 2013, Peter Kinderman, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool, wrote an article titled Grief and Anxiety are not mental illnesses. On February 4, 2013, Steven Novella, MD, wrote a critique of Dr. Kinderman’s article. On February 20, I wrote a critique of Dr. Novella’s article. And finally, on […]

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Psychiatry and Suicide Prevention: A 30-year Failed Experiment

September 27, 2013

There’s an interesting article on Mad in America dated September 17, 2013.  It’s titled Psychiatry & Suicide Prevention: A 30-year Failed Experiment, and was written by Maria Bradshaw. Maria Bradshaw is the founder of CASPER, an organization that rejects the medical model of suicide prevention in favor of a sociological model.  Ms. Bradshaw founded CASPER […]

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Overall Efficacy of Mental Health Treatment

September 21, 2013

There’s an interesting article by J. Sareen et al on Cambridge Journals Online, September 2013.  It’s call Common mental disorder diagnosis and need for treatment are not the same: findings from a population-based survey.  Five of the six authors are working at universities in Canada, the sixth at a university in California.  [Thanks to Mad […]

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Dr. Lieberman’s Latest

September 19, 2013

On September 12, Jeffry Lieberman, MD, President of the APA, posted an article on Psychiatric News titled IPS to Feature Patrick Kennedy, Celebrate Community Psychiatry. The article is a preview of an APA conference scheduled for October 10-13 in Philadelphia: “Transforming Psychiatric Practice, Reforming Health Care Delivery.” Dr. Lieberman tells us that he is very […]

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The Burden of Mental ‘Illness’

September 10, 2013

Thanks to Graham Davey and Richard Pemberton on Twitter for the link to an interesting article in the August 29, 2013 issue of the Lancet.  It’s titled Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, and was written by Harvey A. Whiteford, et […]

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Time for a Paradigm Change: Crucial Points

September 9, 2013

There’s a new post on Peter Kinderman’s blog.  It’s called Time for a paradigm change, and it’s dated September 2.  The article is based on a speech that Dr. Kinderman gave to North Wales Clinical Psychology Programme, Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting on the same date. Here are some quotes: “But mental well-being is fundamentally a psychological […]

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The Living-With-Parents Blues

August 29, 2013

Despite the general rise in economic indicators over the past year or two, there are still many young adults who, for economic reasons, have had to move back in with their parents.  A proportion of these people become depressed. Depression is the normal human reaction to loss, disappointment, or a general sense of unfulfillment.  Viewed […]

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Madness Contested: An Outstanding Book

August 28, 2013

The book Madness Contested has recently been published by PCCS Books.  It’s a collection of articles, edited by Steven Coles, Sarah Keenan, and Bob Diamond. The book is a remarkable piece of work.  It covers just about every contentious concept in the present “mental illness” debate, and brings to bear an abundance of new insights and […]

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Medical Model vs. Psychosocial/Behavioral Model

August 1, 2013

BACKGROUND Obviously there are many points of contention between mainstream biological psychiatrists on the one hand, and those of us who condemn this system as spurious and destructive.  Much of what I’ve written on this website over the past four years has been an elucidation of these differences. Today I would like to focus on […]

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Agitation and Neuroleptics

July 20, 2013

Sandra Steingard, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist who from time to time posts articles on Robert Whitaker’s Mad in America website. Dr. Steingard apparently prescribes psychotropic drugs in her practice, but she is by no means a pill-for-every-problem practitioner, and her articles are always interesting and thought-provoking. Dr. Steingard posted A Paradox Revealed – Again […]

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Psychiatry Is Intrinsically Flawed and Rotten

July 15, 2013

On Twitter yesterday, Robert Stamatakis commented: “I have to ask, I don’t understand.  Do you work in the UK?  Your descriptions of psychiatry are nothing I recognize.  These descriptions of psychiatry are nothing like the practice I see on a daily basis.” I am certainly a very outspoken critic of psychiatry, and in that regard […]

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Personal Goals and Depression

July 14, 2013

I’ve recently read a noteworthy article on PLOS One.  It’s by Joanne M. Dickson and Nicholas J. Moberly, and it’s called Reduced Specificity of Personal Goals and Explanations for Goal Attainment in Major Depression.  It’s a very interesting and detailed paper. The authors, who work at the University of Liverpool and the University of Exeter […]

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PTSD: The Spurious Medicalization of Painful Memories

July 4, 2013

BACKGROUND I’ve recently read Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, by Ethan Watters (Free Press, 2010). It’s a great book, the theme of which is that western countries, especially America, are exporting the medicalization of human problems to less developed regions of the world.  The new “illnesses” are being avidly promoted as […]

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An Alternative to DSM

June 13, 2013

Last month (May 31), National Public Radio (NPR) ran an interview on Science Friday with Thomas Insel, MD, Director of NIMH, Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the APA, and Gary Greenberg, PhD, practicing psychotherapist. I didn’t hear the interview, but I have read the transcript.  Doctors Insel and Lieberman were spinning the barrage of criticism […]

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