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London, UK
Friday, 28, February, 2020

Fundamentally re-thinking UK mental health practice
and promoting positive change

BLOGS

Essays from a diverse selection of writers, which aim to change the professional and public discourse about emotional distress and unusual experiences.

Antidepressants Are Great, until You Have an Adverse Drug Reaction

I ended up admitted to a psychiatric hospital without being involved in that decision. At a time of stress and vulnerability I expected genuine support. Instead I had the police on my doorstep and I was locked into a building for three weeks. Forced hospitalisation was a serious trauma and I continue to suffer post-traumatic stress over a decade later.

Calling Someone ‘anti-psychiatry’ is not an Argument – and for Many it Feels Abusive

Since nothing good ever comes of pouring petrol upon a blaze, it is the duty of any mental health professional to avoid attacking, silencing or misrepresenting those they purport to serve, especially when such people have passed through our service. But the anti-psychiatry tag is increasingly being used indiscriminately to do those very things.

Why Must People Pathologize Eating Problems?

Why is it that so many people, even some astute critics of the traditional mental health system who are happy to challenge the pathologizing of emotional distress generally, cling uncritically to the term and concept of “eating disorders”?

Moving Mental Health Work Away From Diagnosis: Sarah Kamens and Peter Kinderman on New Open Letter

MIA's Justin Karter interviews two leaders of the Task Force on Diagnostic Alternatives, a group of mental health professionals who have issued an open letter demanding a new look at psychiatric diagnosis.

John Read – UK Esketamine Approval – Not so Fast

An interview with Professor John Read who joins us to discuss the UK licensing of esketamine nasal spray (Spravato) for so-called ‘Treatment Resistant Depression’. John led a group of 12 academics and professionals who wrote to the UK regulator expressing concerns.

Gaslighting: Should we Label the Victims as Psychotic or Abused?

It took me a long time to realise that I was being gaslighted. In fact, I had no word to describe the experience until years after I had finally escaped, when I came across the term by chance. What is worse, whenever I talk about my past relationship now with friends in my new life, I am horrified to discover how common manipulative relationships are.

Are Our Regulatory Bodies Prioritising Drug Company Interests Over Public Safety?

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is refusing to respond to the concerns of psychiatrists, parliamentarians, patients and other experts about the impending licensing of the street drug ketamine as a treatment for depression.

It’s Time to Change the Way We Make Sense of Human Misery

What follows is a doctor-patient interaction that I hope will become more commonplace across psychiatric outpatient clinics.

Exploring Identity Through Art

In this ‘identity’ project, we ran a series of workshops exploring different aspects of identity through sculpture, collage, and graphic novel. At the end of each workshop, we gave each group participant the option of sharing their piece with the group and describing both the meaning of the piece and their experience of the creative process.

Psychological Support for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

We discuss the release of guidance which has been specifically written to support UK psychological therapists and their clients in having discussions about taking and withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. The guidance is a collaboration between psychologists, peer support specialists and psychiatrists and aims to provide important context and evidence-based support to psychological therapists.

MATT BALL - AD4E CORNWALL

Mental health nurse practitioner and psychotherapist Matt Ball writes about the ‘A Disorder 4 Everyone’ event held recently in Cornwall.

GP WITHDRAWAL SURVEY - PLEASE SHARE

John Read, professor of clinical psychology at the University of East London, talks about why he is launching a GP survey on antidepressant withdrawal.

Read more here. Share the survey here.

A Mad World - Is Modern Life Bad for Your Mental Health?

A video discussion recorded at the Institute of Art and Ideas’ annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.

Speakers are author of Madness Explained, Richard Bentall, clinical psychologist Lucy Johnstone, and consultant for Public Health Wales and Swansea Professor of Medicine Ann John.

View the discussion here.

Drop the Disorder! Challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis

Published on September 3rd, this book takes the themes, energy and passions of the AD4E events – bringing together many of the event speakers with others who have stories to tell and messages to share in the struggle to challenge diagnosis. An essential book for those wanting to look beyond the labels. Order from PCCS books here.

OTHER RESOURCES

A list of groups and resources that you may find helpful. If you are aware of other resources that we should consider adding, please let us know by email: [email protected]. Thanks.

Mad in America – Mad in America’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad).

The Power Threat Meaning Framework – Towards the identification of patterns in emotional distress, unusual experiences and troubled or troubling behaviour, as an alternative to functional psychiatric diagnosis.

Drop the Disorder (Facebook) –  a group for anyone who is interested in challenging traditional approaches to emotional distress.

A Disorder 4 Everyone – Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis – creating change. Provides events, blogs and other resources.

A free-to-use guide to the healing of psychological trauma is available. It comprises information, approaches to healing and resources together with links to selected clinicians, organisations, projects and support groups. Download the pdf here: Healing Psychological Trauma

Hearing Voices Network – If you hear voices, HVN can help – we are committed to helping people who hear voices. We offer information, support and understanding to people who hear voices and those who support them.

International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (UK) – ISPS UK is the United Kingdom network of the International organisation ISPS – International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis. ISPS works to promote greater knowledge of the different psychological approaches to psychosis and psychotic experiences – psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, arts-based, family and holistic approaches – and their better integration with each other and with pharmaceutical approaches.

The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry – CEP exists to communicate evidence of the potentially harmful effects of psychiatric drugs to the people and institutions in the UK that can make a difference.

The Inner Compass Initiative and Withdrawal Project – provides information, resources, tools, and connecting platforms to facilitate more informed choices regarding all things “mental health”.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Drug Dependence will address the growing problem of prescribed drug dependence by demanding appropriate services for those affected, proper training for medical professionals, reduced prescribing through adherence to new and existing guidelines, better data regarding the prevalence of PDD and more research into long-term harms associated with PDD.

More resources are listed here.

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