Mad in America

Robert Spitzer’s Legacy

January 6, 2016

Robert Spitzer, MD, the architect of DSM-III (1980), died of heart disease on Christmas Day, 2015, at age 83. Most major media outlets published obituaries in which Dr. Spitzer was praised on the grounds that he had brought scientific rigor to psychiatry by naming and defining the various psychiatric illnesses. Here are a few illustrative […]

Read the rest →

The Spurious Chemical Imbalance Theory is Still Alive and Well

April 27, 2015

On April 5, 2015, Scott Alexander, MD, a trainee psychiatrist, posted an article titled Chemical Imbalance on his website Slate Star Codex.  (The writer tells us that Scott Alexander is a blog handle and not his real name, but for convenience, I will refer to him as Dr. Alexander.) Dr. Alexander begins by noting that […]

Read the rest →

Polarization or Compromise

March 11, 2015

On February 2, Robert Whitaker published an article on Mad in America.  The title is Disability and Mood Disorders in the Age of Prozac.  The article echoes and updates one of the themes of his 2010 book “Anatomy of an Epidemic”:  that the steady increase in the numbers of people receiving disability benefits for depression […]

Read the rest →

Antipsychiatry Stigma

January 7, 2015

The current issue of Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica is devoted to the topic of psychiatry’s poor image, and what steps might be taken to improve it. Central to the discussion is a study Images of psychiatry and psychiatrists, by H. Stuart et al, – and seven commentaries on this study by various authors.  The Stuart et al […]

Read the rest →

A Client’s Perspective on “Mental Illness”

June 22, 2014

A very important and compelling article was posted on Mad in America on June 18.  It’s by Andrew L. Yoder, and is called An Open Letter to Persons Self-Identifying as Mentally Ill.  Here are some quotes: “My physician was not so cautious.  He was a very pleasant man that always seemed to take his time […]

Read the rest →

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 […]

Read the rest →

‘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 […]

Read the rest →

Robert Whitaker: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

March 24, 2014

On March 5, Bruce Levine, PhD, published an interesting article on Mad in America  titled Psychiatry Now Admits It’s Been Wrong in Big Ways – But Can It Change? Bruce had interviewed Robert Whitaker, and most of the article is the transcript of this interview. Bruce begins by noting that Robert, in his book Mad […]

Read the rest →

Benzodiazepines – Adverse Effects

November 28, 2013

On November 25, Mad in America posted a link to an article in the Journal of Neurological Sciences.  The article is by Harnod et al, and is titled An Association between Benzodiazepine Use and Occurrence of Benign Brain Tumors.  The authors studied the records of  62,186 individuals in Taiwan  who had been prescribed a benzodiazepine […]

Read the rest →

More SSRI Side Effects: Upper GI Bleeding

September 29, 2013

Earlier this month, the American Journal of Psychiatry published an article by Yen-Po Wang, M.D., et al, titled Short-Term Use of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Risk of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding.  [Thanks to Mad in America for the link] The research was conducted in Taiwan.  The authors studied the records of 5,377 psychiatric inpatients with gastrointestinal […]

Read the rest →

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 […]

Read the rest →

SSRI’s Impair Learning.

September 24, 2013

There’s an interesting article on Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.  It’s called Learning from Negative Feedback in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder is Attenuated by SSRI Antidepressants. The researchers evaluated learning ability in three groups: medication-naïve individuals who met the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder individuals who met the criteria for MDD and were receiving the […]

Read the rest →

“Mental Illness” Under Fire

May 3, 2013

There’s a very interesting article by Paris Williams on Mad in America, The “Mental Illness” Paradigm: An “Illness” That is out of Control.  You can see it here. The author gives us a compelling critique of the “mental illness” model, and also presents us with an alternative paradigm. The alternative is: “… to see those […]

Read the rest →

Do We Need More Mental Health Services?

May 2, 2013

In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, there were a great many calls for “more mental health services” or “better access to mental health services.” Many of us on this side of the fence groaned, because we knew that any official or private response to this call would be on the lines of more […]

Read the rest →