Resources re Understanding Psych Meds

Ethical Issues Related to Treatment Induced Harm (Part II)

By Ron Unger on September 8, 2012

The Triumph of Bad Science is a blog post by Robert Whitaker that explains the history of the false claim that black box warnings about antidepressants are increasing rates of suicide. For access to lots of articles that document reasons to doubt the long term usefulness of all the types of psychiatric drugs, broken down by drug category, go to the Anatomy of an Epidemic website and look at the sidebar on the lower left.

David Healy explains how to methodically evaluate whether drugs may be causing particular problems. For problems associated with going onto a medication, seePharmacosis: trigger algorithm, and for problems associated with withdrawal from a medication, see Pharmacosis: terminator algorithm.

Insight into how pharma manipulates research evidence: a case studyby Jon Jureidini, Professor of Psychiatry at University of Adelaide Reports on the Paxil study in adolescents. For an update on controversy about this case, see Ghost-Written Article at Heart of Pharma Fraud Case

Bahrick, A., & Harris, M. (2009). Sexual Side Effects of Antidepressant Medications: An Informed Consent Accountability Gap. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 39(2), 135-143. You might also be interested in this collection of information on Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction or this article on the effects of SSRIs on love and romance.

British Journal of Psychiatry editorial, Antipsychotics: is it time to introduce patient choice? The article summarizes how the effectiveness of these drugs has been much less than we had heard, while the risks are much higher.

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for longterm treatment with psychiatric medication, by Peter R. Breggin. International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 23 (2011) 193–200 This article reviews how the drugs themselves may impair a person’s ability to rate whether or not the drugs are helping more than hurting.

See page 40 of Sandra Bloom’s HUMAN SERVICE SYSTEMS AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRESS for more on “risky risk avoidance.”

For a review of reasons to believe the evidence of influence of genes on mental and emotional problems has been vastly overstated, see Richard Bentall’s book Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Mental Illness Really Any Good?” or “The Missing Heritability’’ of Psychiatric Disorders: Elusive Genes or Non-Existent Genes?” by Jay Joseph.

Some current trends in therapy are moving away from both a focus on diagnosis and even on the “symptoms” that underlie the diagnosis: for an introduction to one of them, see this video introduction to the Method of Levels, which has also been called a “transdiagnostic” form of CBT. The focus is simply on helping the person work out conflicting purposes.

Lots of articles are available online for those interested in the Open Dialogue approach.

Eleanor Longden tells her story on the DVD Knowing you, knowing you. Eleanor has also been lead author for an article that challenges us to rethink our understanding of voice hearing: see Dissociation, trauma, and the role of lived experience: toward a new conceptualization of voice hearing.

Marit, B., & Kristjana, K. (2004). Recovery-oriented professionals: Helping relationships in mental health services. Journal of Mental Health, 13(5), 493-505. Discusses the possible value of professionals stretching their professional role in assisting recovery.

The Cryptonite Of Behavioral Health: Making Mistakes This is a blog post by Scott Miller that looks at how wanting too much to come across as “expert” makes us afraid to notice our mistakes, and how that fear of noticing can make us fail to learn.

Psychiatrist Pat Bracken speaks on the current “crisis of legitimacy in psychiatry,” and the growth of the international “service user” movement at the Forum for Existential Psychology and Therapy. The root cause of the crisis is not attributable to psychopharmacology or “a few mistakes in the DSM” that more research would get right, he argues; the root cause lies deep in the dominant paradigm; a “modernist” agenda to frame all human problems in scientific and technological terms.

Articles by Pamela Birrell PhD:

  • Birrell, P.J. & Freyd, J.J. (2006). Betrayal trauma: Relational models of harm and healing. Journal of Trauma Practice , 5(1), 49-63.
  • Birrell, P. J. (2006) Ethics of Possibility: Relationship, Risk and Presence. Ethics and Behavior, 16(2), 95-115.
  • Birrell, P.J. (2006) Schizophrenia Under Siege: The Unmaking of a Disease. [book review] Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 7(2), 91-95.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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