Where is our honest discussion of psychiatric medications?

We did a post earlier asking for an honest discussion of psychiatric medication effectiveness, and now that mental health is back on the public forum due to yet another school shooting, it’s time to ask again. How about asking how many medications cause violence instead of reducing it?

Many medication users talk about psychiatric medication effectiveness they see. We don’t say their experience isn’t valid. It often comes back to the question, “How you would explain the root cause of your experiences? Some kind of physical deficit?” These theories about what the “root causes” are tend to lead people into

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An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time

An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time in Kansas City,

We met at the Kauffman Foundation after the Global Women’s Entrepreneur’s summit. I’m building a business to help people learn accurate information about the psychiatric system, namely that mental health treatments are not evidence based, and psychiatric labeling often does more harm than good. I thought you knew some of this research based on our conversation.

I thought you understood that psychiatric survivors have a different approach than disease marketers.

Peggy Swarbick and Laura Ostrow are psychiatric survivors, here at the Carter Center social inclusion

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The Difference Between Stigma Reduction and True Social Inclusion

I went to a social messaging conference and learned once the difference between behavior change and policy change. Most stigma reduction programs are run as policy change program when they need to targeted instead toward kids that are really in need:

“Cool” kids have different needs than preppy kids:

Al Cunningham sticks his head into the penguin tank we toured at the Atlanta aquarium after learning about stigma reduction at the Health Care Messaging Conference

One of the most well thought out and researched programs presented at the 2011 Health Care Messaging and Media conference came from Jeff Jordan.

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Don’t Have a Job? – Build Your Own!

Press release, Wednesday, November 28, 2012:

Don’t have a job? Make your own job.

Thanks so much for RSVPing yes or maybe to our Connect Power site build day this Thursday. Or thinking about it which is why you clicked this post. What if you knew Mark Zuckerburg before Facebook? What if you were a founding member? Well, I’m cocky enough to think this might be true for me.

I am running this open house style from 9am to 9pm, so feel free to come by any time during that day. My address is in Kansas City, KS. It’s right

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JRA – The myth of Biological Mental Illness

One of my bicycle mechanic friends told me that every single person who brings their bicycle into the bike shop talks about JRA. I was “Just Ridin’ Along…. and my brakes suddenly stopped working.” OR I was “Just Ridin’ Along, and my tire just went flat….” Out of the blue. The mechanics hear it so often that they just use the acronym JRA. Never mind, for instance, the brakes needed maintenance, or the tire had 1500 miles on it and was so thin that flats started being very predictable.

So the disease model, or biological mental illness, says the illness

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11 Mental Health Research Ideas

Recently, my favorite blogger, 1boringoldman.com did a post about four of NIMH”s mental health research grants that add up to $10 million. $250,000 each…. for what? It turns out they are basically me too studies or finding out answers that are irrelevant or already solved, or solutions harmful to us.

So here are some free mental health research ideas for these people to see whether or not they actually want to help us. These are ideas of programs that could help folks with mental health labels to move towards control of their own lives. All of these programs could generate

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FAQ about the Distress Model

These are questions that came up from one of our most thorough critics. We thought we’d reproduce them as a blog for anyone who has questions about our approach.

1. Our system is broken and people are dying: and veterans are dying: I know this too. This is why I feel like we need a whole new system, not just fixing the old system. But getting a very clear handle on what is broken and what works is useful. Also, I don’t think I’m leaving people in the lurch by building an alternative, because I’m not tearing down or working

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PressRelease – National Launch next Week for Poetry for Personal Power!

Presidentially recognized program to start national expansion in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau

Eight colleges and universities in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau are hosting Poetry for Personal Power, Missouri’s homegrown mental health prevention program which is being presented to former first lady Rosalyn Carter next month.

St. Louis, MO, October 19, 2012 Missouri’s homegrown Poetry for Personal Program is beginning a national expansion in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. SEMO Association of Black Collegians will kick off with an open mic to talk about overcoming adversity on Monday Oct 22 at 8 pm at the University Center

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Drug-Induced Lupus

I knew psych meds had a wide range of problems, but I didn’t know about drug-induced lupus until I heard this story from my friend and board member Margaret Hensley. This is how she discovered and worked through her drug-induced lupus:

Last fall she developed severe pain in her peripheral joints, was fatigued and had loss of appetite. She was so sick that when she drove up into the Colorado mountains one time with her husband to look at Aspens, she could barely walk or press the button to release her seat belt. She was using a wheelchair by the

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10 Easy Ways to Reduce Mental Health Care Costs AND Improve Outcomes

Right now many Missouri and Kansas mental health centers repeatedly face huge budget cuts. In fact, this is true nationwide. We simply can’t afford as a society to keep spending as much money on useless mental health care costs. Right now the mental health system faces a choice that is also being faced in the energy, agriculture, freshwater supply, transportation, and education. In all of these areas there are market failures causing a re-allocation of resources away from science-based, effective, low-cost solutions. We are subsidizing unsustainability by pouring money into these systems in directions that make problems worse, not better.

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Is Permanent Supportive Housing the Gold Plated Solution to Homelessness?

This is an article that talks about how the Occupy Movement could show that living in tents in tent cities could be a viable way to handle homelessness. Right now our best solution for homelessness is permanent supportive housing, where people are placed into long term living situations with peer support to help them resolve issues that may cause them to lose their housing. Permanent supportive housing is cheaper than the default situation or the current status quo, where homeless people get support in jails, homeless shelters, and emergency rooms. It’s cheaper and much more effective than the current situation,

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Have an adventure every day!

This weekend we competed in The Trashboat Regatta. I like to have an adventure every day…. and this was mine. I hauled the boat down to the river and when I got there people asked if I knew a 1000 mile swimmer was going in. I put a note on his Facebook page and asked him to visit the conference I was at on the river over the weekend.

Me with Dave Cornthwaite and Ben Stiff from his crew. Alicia Staley is on the right. We all want to adventure every day in patient advocacy

It was kinda deja

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Why So Many Children Take Antipsychotics

Kids playing on the Tricycle Challenge gear for Bike for the Brain. When children take antipsychotics, what is happening?

A recent article by Dr. Mercola points out the scope of the problem when children take antispychotics:

In recent years, there has been a massive increase so children take antipsychotics and other psych meds. Aggressive, and often illegal, marketing by drug companies is believed to be a major contributing factor when children take antipsychotics. In recent years, every major manufacturer of atypical antipsychotics has been fined for illegally marketing their drugs for unapproved uses. Prescriptions to make children take antipsychotics

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Do’s and Dont’s for links inside blog posts

One of my friends had a hard time putting links into a blog of his, so these are some suggestions for people learning more about blogging or new to computers. I’ve also noticed that some academic writers want to put their references at the end like a paper publication does, yet putting links inside blog posts is a much better way to do this online.

Suggestions for high quality links inside blog posts.

1. First the mechanics. This is how you do it with a WordPress blog, but most other platforms have a similar process. Pick five or six words

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How to get full medication information from your health care providers

Many times people don’t know the complete details of their medications. Some people just know of their meds as pink pills or white pills or square pills. One of our more popular blogs was questioning why some people are so ignorant about the meds they take. This is a follow up blog about how to get full medication information.

1. Ask questions.

If you have trouble reading the slips provided by the doctor, to get full medication information, you can keep talking to the doctor or pharmacist. Once I had to tell a doctor that my appointment time was important

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