Beyond Meds website

Online support for psychiatric drug withdrawal: This blog is, in part, a documentation of my journey off psychiatric medications as well as an introduction to alternative forms of care for mental health disorders regardless of whether one is on medications, off medications, or coming off medications. This blog also deals in general with socio/political and spiritual issues as they pertain to mental health and human rights issues surrounding psychiatry. For additional collections of such themed posts look at the tabs on the top of the page. It makes navigating the rest of the archives much easier. This blog also serves as a source of critical information about psychopharmaceuticals. This blog may be appropriate for anyone with any psychiatric diagnosis. All diagnosis can potentially respond to natural treatments. It’s possible for anyone to consider life without medication. This blog is a contemplation about healing ourselves through means other than medication whether you’re on medications or not. And I might add whether you choose to stay on them or not. Along with documentation of my experience this blog covers the journeys to drug freedom of many other people as well as information and resources about alternatives to standard psychiatric care. It also covers the news about drugs that allow for consideration of other options. Often drugs are most useful in crisis, but not for long-term care. Once one is aware of options one has a real choice. I didn’t have such information to make a choice when I entered the mental health system. It’s my hope that I can help people see that there are choices and alternatives. This site is in no way intended to be someone’s sole source of information for withdrawing from psych meds or for taking care of oneself with alternative means. I speak only from my own experience and am not offering advice that should be taken without professional help. That being said there is lots of Continue Reading…

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Benzodiazepine Addiction, Withdrawal & Recovery

This web site is dedicated to sufferers of iatrogenic benzodiazepine tranquilliser addiction everywhere. Launched on July 6, 2000 with a dozen pages this site now has more than 1200 pages of articles and information, expert medical documents, news stories and personal accounts. Read More here: Continue Reading…

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Coming Off Psychiatric Medication Website

This website aims to give you up to date information about psychiatric medication, how it functions and the withdrawal process. It is put together by people who have been prescribed medication and withdrawn from it, and clinicians who have been involved in supporting this process. If we have a period of distress or confusion and receive medical help we are generally given a diagnosis and prescribed psychiatric drugs. Research suggests doctors tend to know more about putting people on medication than the actual withdrawal process. It is important therefore to disseminate information about the ‘coming off’ process. Read more here: Continue Reading…

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2011-2012 Training Program in Dialogic Practice w/ Jaakko Seikkula, Mary Olson, and Faculty

The Mill River Institute for Dialogic Practice Haydenville, MA 01039 • 413.585.1198 TRAINING PROGRAM IN DIALOGIC PRACTICE INTERNATIONAL FACULTY 2011-2012 MARY OLSON, PH.D. JAAKKO SEIKKULA, PH.D. MARKKU SUTELA, M.A. The first of its kind in the US, this yearlong program provides an in-depth introduction to the principles and practices of dialogic therapy, including Finnish Open Dialogue. There will be lectures, videotapes, experiential exercises, and reflecting consultations. LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION: 100 HOURS (4 Modules) October 27 – 30, 2011 January 19 – 22, 2012 March 29 – April 1, 2012 June 11 – 15, 2012 $4000. $1000 due upon acceptance, balance due on October 1. To apply and register, please send your CV/resume: Mary Olson at Continue Reading…

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One Step Beyond: Alternatives beyond Psychiatry Edited by Peter Stastny and Peter Lehmann — Book Review by Helen Spandler

Excerpt from the review: Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry functions as a powerful indictment of the failings of the mental health system and a rallying cry for more humane and authentic support services. It is driven by anger at a psychiatric system that is seen to invalidate people’s experiences and actually prevent recovery. But, rather than dwelling on negativity, it uses this anger to inspire and develop new forms of support infused with hope. We read of the experiences of Dorothea Buck-Zerchin (a 90 year old woman with seventy years experience of coercion in the mental health system), Kate Millet’s passionate re-instatement of the ‘myth of mental illness’, survivors’ personal accounts of how they survived, about examples of concrete working alternatives (e.g. Soteria House, the Windhorse Project, Hotel Magnus Stenbock, and the Berlin Runaway House) and various practical support tools. From around the world, it offers examples of innovative and creative ways of supporting people through mental health crises, but outside the conventional mental health system. (read Continue Reading…

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Voices of the Heart

Voices of the Heart Mission To promote and defend the rights and interests of people who have been labeled “mentally ill”. To support the rights of service recipients to exercise freedom and control over their own lives. To provide peer support to service recipients in speaking out about their own needs. To address issues in the mental health system that affects the lives of service recipients. To engage in other activities related to networking with other groups or organizations that will support and advocate initiatives, agenda, coalitions and information exchange (visit Voices of the Heart Continue Reading…

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Critical psychiatry network

The ‘Bradford Group’ of psychiatrists first met in Bradford in January 1999. The group provides a network to develop a critique of the contemporary psychiatric system. CPN is a network primarily for psychiatrists, psychiatric trainees and medical students with an interest in psychiatry. Continue Reading…

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“Families and First Break: An Evolving Role” – Ron Bassman, Karyn Baker & Connie Packard

For printer friendly document complete with footnotes (not included in this post) click here. ABSTRACT The changing role of the family and how the family unit may help or harm a disturbed and/or disturbing member is examined. The authors use their personal experiences as mental health professionals, user/survivors and family members to inform their critique. A brief history of family involvement – how the family has been perceived and worked with by mental health professionals – is followed by a description of present day practices. The paper concludes with speculation about alternatives in which quality of life for all of the family members may be more possible. INTRODUCTION The role of nuclear families in helping or hindering the recovery process is the canvas upon which we will examine what has been done, what is being done now, and what might be done to support and nurture the untapped potential of this primary resource. Just as the construct “mental illness” invokes considerable debate and has generated numerous hypotheses, the role of families in the aetiology of mental illness and the estimated influence families have in their relatives’ recovery continues to be a controversial issue. Activism and advocacy efforts by families and those who have been diagnosed and treated for major mental illness have adopted antagonistic positions in regard to the causation and the nature of the condition, decisions about treatment, risk/safety, rights and forced treatment. What is consistent and beyond question is how unprepared all members of the family are for the confusion, fear and emotional pain that awaits them when one of them elects to exit or falls off the acceptable beaten path he or she is expected to follow. This paper is a collaborative effort that is informed by the lived expertise of three individuals who draw from their personal experience as psychiatric survivors, family members and from their work as mental Continue Reading…

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“Reframing First Breaks and Early Crisis: A Capabilities-Informed Approach” — Kim Hopper

Kim Hopper Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts October 2009 A note on the project: This paper will attempt to lay out a usable version of the capabilities approach and explore how its conceptual toolkit might aid us in thinking about “first breaks” and early crises. As will quickly be evident, this is very provisional work. Applied work in capabilities that deals with physical and mental states of distinction, limitation and exclusion – difference, “impairment,” and “disability” – is still in its formative stages and has yet to get its linguistic house in order. So, a forewarning: In making the argument, this paper will necessarily raid and pillage a number of literatures for concepts, distinctions and applications that will then be put to provisional use, found wanting or misleading, and revised accordingly or thrown out. Initial or trial adoption of terms should not be mistaken for final endorsement – and, indeed, one of this paper’s major points will be the need to interrogate the conceptual frameworks we routinely take for granted in discussing public mental health, to question our well-worn equipment of everyday thinking To date, some preliminary efforts have been made to use the capabilities approach to rethink recovery and social integration as “outcomes,” to support self-determination, and to make a case for peer participation in research.1 Fueled by pilot funding from the Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts, additional work is under way to examine decision-making, citizenship, parenting, community participation, complex poverty, and user views of freedom. This joint project with INTAR on “first breaks” opens fresh ground the charge is twofold: re-think and re-ground, framework and fieldwork – theory to direct the inquiry, practice that will need to be interpreted as evidence. Prologue: Transcript excerpt, BBC “Yesteryear” 2030 BBC Interviewer: “So, let me see if I have this right. Continue Reading…

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