treatment issues

Being Mad about Psychiatry and Psychiatric Medication

→ April 18, 2016 - 20 Comments

Being Mad about Psychiatry and Psychiatric Medication

I used to be a person who was very mad about psychiatry and psychiatric medication (psych meds). I had that vehement anger we often hear from antipsychiatrists although I was not antipsychatiry, per se. My biggest fantasy, at the time, was to take the horrible medications I was prescribed and shove them down the throat of the prescribing doctor. If only they had to take the medications, they would be more empathetic, more compassionate, more human. But I learned that being mad about psychiatric medication and psychiatry is a losing game and it really got me nowhere.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

→ April 11, 2016 - 21 Comments

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an option for depression treatment and may be an alternative, for some, to electroconvulsive therapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (when used as a treatment for depression known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS) is actually similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in that it’s also a neuromodulation technique. It does differ, though, as rTMS is much less invasive and has a very favorable side effect profile, particularly when compared to ECT. There are reasons that people aren’t flocking to rTMS as a depression treatment, though.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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In Response to the Peer Supporters Who Want Government Funding

→ April 10, 2016 - 36 Comments

In Response to the Peer Supporters Who Want Government Funding

As some of you may know, I write pieces that sometimes get a lot of hate mail in response to them. This is normal for a writer with an opinion. It happens here, it happens with newspaper pieces, it happens in response to books, it happens absolutely anywhere a writer stands out and says something others consider controversial. (Sometimes, people even threaten to sue me.)

I totally get that and pay it no mind, as a general rule. In fact, I mostly don’t talk to critics as I have very limited time and feel they are not worth it. I write for the people who respond positively to my work, not those who don’t. If you want to know my thoughts, I suggest you reread the article, as that’s where they are.

Peer-Support-Based Initiatives Funding Clarifications

However, I am making an exception today. People have so misrepresented my views and so spewed such ridiculous notions that I feel compelled to at least clarify a few things.

Here is my additional clarification on We Shouldn’t Fund Peer Support-Based Initiatives for Mental Illness.

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We Shouldn’t Fund Peer Support-Based Initiatives for Mental Illness

→ April 4, 2016 - 96 Comments

We Shouldn’t Fund Peer Support-Based Initiatives for Mental Illness

There is this growing movement of people who think that peer support is critical in the treatment of people with mental illness – but I would contend that, in spite of this movement, peer support does not treat mental illness. And, in fact, by funding these peer support-based initiatives and peer-delivered services we take away dollars that should actually be spent on the evidence-based treatment of serious mental illness.

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Baby of Truehope Believers Dies, Likely Due to Lack of Medical Care

→ March 8, 2016 - 23 Comments

Baby of Truehope Believers Dies, Likely Due to Lack of Medical Care

A baby of Truehope believers died of meningitis likely because they chose to use alternative remedies instead of actual medicine to treat their son. No one can say, of course, whether the baby would have lived with proper care, but what we can say is that without it, he died.

The parents of the baby are David and Collet Stephan – David being the son of Tony Stephan, one of the founders of Truehope.

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Prayer Doesn’t Cure Mental Illness – Stop Telling Me to Pray

→ January 28, 2016 - 57 Comments

Prayer Doesn’t Cure Mental Illness – Stop Telling Me to Pray

I am not a religious person nor a prayer person and I believe that prayer does not cure mental illness and those that tell you to “pray more” because “it works” are invalidating the experience that is having a mental illness. Generally, I’m not in the business of telling people what doesn’t work because everyone is different, but this is one area that drives me nutty. Prayer doesn’t cure mental illness.

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Why Therapy Can’t Treat Uncontrolled, Serious Mental Illnesses

→ September 24, 2015 - 23 Comments

Why Therapy Can’t Treat Uncontrolled, Serious Mental Illnesses

I have been through lots of therapy and lots of therapists in my life and my contention is that therapy can’t be used to actually treat uncontrolled, serious mental illnesses. Now, don’t get me wrong, therapy can be supportive to a person with an uncontrolled, serious mental illness and therapy can be useful to a person with an uncontrolled, serious mental illness (such as in the case where the therapist tracks your bipolar symptoms and report changes to your doctor) but therapy cannot be used to actually treat a serious and uncontrolled mental illness.

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Why Do People Refuse to Try Psychiatric Medication?

→ July 21, 2015 - 125 Comments

Why Do People Refuse to Try Psychiatric Medication?

I take psychiatric medications daily and what I want to know is, why do people refuse to try psychiatric medication for serious mental illnesses? Why do people think they don’t need it? Why do people think they should ignore their highly-trained doctor’s advice? Why do people feel that taking psychiatric medication makes them less of a person? Why is it okay to take heart medication but not psychiatric medication? Why do people think that psychiatric medication doesn’t work? Why do people think that I know of some secret alternative? Why do people refuse to even try psychiatric medication?

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Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

→ May 19, 2015 - 30 Comments

Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

The pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are actually quite numerous but in this post I will try to, unbiasedly, lay out the basic pros and cons for anyone considering ECT as a treatment. I am likely uniquely qualified to do this as I am very educated about ECT (Yes, I still have that book in the works. Did I mention I’m really busy?) and I’ve also had ECT. This does not mean it’s right for everyone, however. Do consider the pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy carefully before you make your own mind up with the help of a doctor.

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Fear of Bipolar Medication Treatment Changes

→ March 23, 2015 - 52 Comments

Fear of Bipolar Medication Treatment Changes

I have a fear of bipolar medication treatment changes. I do. You’d think after 100 changes to my bipolar medication treatment plan I would be used to it, and while I supposed I’m used to it, it doesn’t destroy the fear. I’m so scared that a bipolar medication treatment change will make me worse. I also fear the hope that a bipolar medication treatment change offers.

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General Practitioners (GPs) Should Not Be Treating Bipolar

→ February 25, 2015 - 42 Comments

General Practitioners (GPs) Should Not Be Treating Bipolar

General practitioners (GPs) should not be treating bipolar disorder. It’s as simple as that and I have no idea why GPs don’t get this. If it’s obvious to me, a little ol’ mental health writer then it should be more than obvious to a medical professional that GPs are simply not equipped to treat bipolar.

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Psychiatric Medication and Stress Resilience

→ October 1, 2014 - 10 Comments

Psychiatric Medication and Stress Resilience

Yes, Psychiatric Medications Do Help

We all know (or all should know) that psychiatric medications can’t fix a broken life. Psychiatric medications are designed to treat the symptoms of a specific disorder, such as bipolar disorder. That means that psych meds can treat things like depression. This is a huge win for anyone suffering from depression and is miracle enough, trust me. And although some symptoms of the disorder, like bipolar or depression, may remain, (ideally they won’t, but most of us don’t live in an ideal situation) there are still many positive things that psych meds can do for you and one thing that psychiatric medications can do for your is increase your resilience to things like life stressors.

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