Tag Archives: mad pride

Radio Night, again

Tonight,
Late Friday night, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Pacific Time)-
March 25th, 2011.
(Or, if you are a stickler for correct facts”,
it’s early Saturday morning on 3/26.)

Topic: ? what you bring to the table

On KBOO 90.7 FM or streamed on the web: http://kboo.fm/

Call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio (or show up at the studio).
We need your voice! There are people listening (all over the world, by
internet).

You can do this! Be a radio star, or just call in and talk.

We need you. It’ll be fun.

-Rick
BTW- please note the tab above, This Here, for some good stuff.

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Filed under Mad Radio

Book review and Superb Owl Sunday

Followed by the usual weekend nonsense;  Superb Owl and other topics.

God is playing with us. It’s a mistake to be too serious.

Moth Moon by Matt Jasper- available on Amazon here

click thumbnails below for bigger pictures of the front and back.


Matt sent me one of these over a year ago and asked me to read it. I lost track of it. Then he sent another one this week- I am really impressed. I should have read it before.

I don’t read a lot of poetry but I will recommend this to everyone I know. It helps that most of the people I know have some sort of mental illness.

This book speaks to me. Or it whispers. Or is using sign language. Or it is raving. Hell, I don’t know anything anymore.

Don’t get this book unless you want to see what’s behind the curtain. Then, dance as though no one who can have you committed is watching.

Excerpt (hope this is okay, Matt):

Now, on a different note-

Superb Owl

 

treeoflife

Less0n for today (click for image full size or if it doesn’t appear)-

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Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, poetry, silly

Tonight! Moon Radio!

Mad Liberation by Moonlight- Mental Health consumer-talk-radio,
Friday night, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Pacific Time)-July 30th, 2010 (July 31st if you want to be technical).
Topic: Mental Health and Peer Support
Also! Today is the anniversary of David Romprey’s ascent into the great peer support council in the sky.
On KBOO 90.7 FM or streamed on the web: http://kboo.fm/
Call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio (or show up at the studio).
We need your voice! There are people listening (all over the world, by internet).
You can do this! Be a radio star, or just call in and talk.
Archived shows are available at
Be well,
Rick
Remember: Call 503-231-8187
between 1 and 2 am (Pacific Time) Friday night
set your alarm

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Filed under CS/X movement, Mad Radio, wellness and systems change

Mad Poetry from the Asylum

Introductionwish

Poems are by JN- a patient in the 50 building on Ward F. Printed with his permission but anonymous because he didn’t want to mess with all the written approval red tape- which has to be approved by the hospital and somethings just don’t find there way through the process.

JN is a big man- over 6’6″ I think. He wears suspenders and has very broad shoulders. My first impression on meeting him was “Paul Bunyan”. He never hurts anyone- no record of him assaulting staff or patients that I could find.

(JN has published a book of poetry. He has no copy but knows some libraries where it is available. He wrote it in the 1990’s.)

Still, staff are afraid of him. Especially small, female staff. He has a temper and when he’s angry he raises his voice. Usually, it’s over some small issue of arbitrary rule compliance.

Example: the soda machine in the hall outside the ward was out of product in the morning at 10 a.m. when it is on the ward schedule that they can go in the hallway with staff to get a soda from the machine. The machine was filled by noon. At 2 :00 p.m. JN asked to be able to go out to the hallway (6 feet from the ward door) with staff to buy a soda. He was told “No. The time for buying soda is 10 a.m.” JN said, “But the soda machine was empty. We didn’t get our soda at 10 a.m. Why can’t we get something now?” Staff: “That’s the rule. You know the rule. No soda. Wait until tomorrow.” JN raises his voice, red n the face, pointing his finger at the staff person,  one more minor indignity piled on top of so many others, “I am so sick of your rules! I’m sick of being treated like a child!” Staff: “That was a verbal threat. I’m putting it in your chart that you threatened me.”

Being charted as making a verbal threat means that he will have no privileges- sometimes it can mean “ward restriction”- meaning that even some of the small spaces available to sit with others or by yourself, are off limits. Sometimes it means they won’t let you go with other patients to the “yard” for fresh air. There are levels of privilege given within the confines of what is already an extremely restricted space. Level zero is the worst.

JN has not been above level zero in the year or so he has been locked up this time around. He does not expect to ever be above level zero. He has at least 8 more years in the hospital as assigned by the PSRB (the Psychiatric Security Review Board- an agency of the state courts).

Sometime I’ll post JN’s description of how he ended up in the hospital- it will blow you away. It started with a psychotic break, being told what to do by voices. No one was harmed.

BTW- not all of JN’s poetry is as heartbreaking as this- some is inspiring. You know how great it is when you are dreaming and find out you can fly? Sometimes reading his poems I feel like crying and flying at the same time.

I will be posting more of JN’s work over time. Maybe we’ll get permission to show his name- he’d like that. The guy that does the hospital newsletter (which never has patient-produced content since I’ve worked there) says he will print one of JN’s poems in next month’s edition. I’ll be waiting.

love_heart1Girlfriend

written 2/21/09 6:25 p.m.


We watched a butterfly be born into the world

Held hands at a scary film

Thought silly jokes were funny

Smiled with our eyes

I love you was spoken a lot

Mingled with other couples

Broke up once or twice

People talked about our relationship

She wrote when I was gone in jail

This is where we failed

My time was longer than her love

Have a picture of her I can’t tear up

It looks like she is shaking her finger at me in the picture

Wish I wouldn’t have made my mistake

Stakes were too high for me

Alone again with 40 men

Contemplation

written 2/21/09, 5:30 p.m.

The sentences flowed with suicide contempt

Depression is in the suggestion note

He was a perfectionist in writing what was said

It started with “To Whom it may concern”

It was the sadness in-between that will catch your heart

It wasn’t his dear concern that frightened me

It was the truth of his light that shined through

He was the only one feeling

Feeling like life wasn’t much living worth

More of his emotional turmoil churning the past

At last he was drained and insane

Mentally whipped- to no return to serenity

This is was his suggestion

Void was full of that dark stuff

Nothing to carry him to the next moment

At this second he was dead

lotus

All blessings to you, JN, with your deep compassion for the pain of others, your courage in the face of utter dark, with your warrior spirit-heart that lets loose the birds of language you call poems.

I love that you have new poetry for me every time I see you in your prison even though you hadn’t written in years before we met.

My thanks, my prayers for your trust and faith.

kerouac-quote

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Filed under JN-Building 50, personal story, poetry, Ward F

News from MindFreedom and other discussions

It’s been a while since I posted information from MFI or other mental health consumer discussion, so, here, from old to newer; have a full bowl-

picasso_donquixote

NY Times says minor reform is not enough, but stops short of calling
for what is needed: Laws that criminalize extreme psychiatric
corruption. Please forward. See BOTTOM for actions, including
nonviolent protest, you can take.

lunar2009

~~~~~~~~~~
New York Times Editorial – 4 January 2009

No Mugs, but What About Those Fees

New pharmaceutical industry guidelines should stop most drug
companies from distributing a wide range of trinkets and office
supplies designed to keep their brand names before doctors as a
subliminal inducement to prescribe high-priced drugs.

The new code, which kicked in on New Year’s Day, bars the free
distribution of everything from pens to coffee mugs and staplers by
some 40 drug companies that have agreed to the restrictions. That may
seem like small potatoes, but in the aggregate the promotional
products probably cost about $1 billion a year, as Natasha Singer
reported in The Times. The updated rules are the industry’s latest
attempt to restore public confidence that doctors are prescribing
medicines in the patient’s interest. The code still has too many
loopholes.

Although it prohibits company sales representatives from providing
restaurant meals to health care professionals, it allows the sales
teams to continue providing modest meals in professional offices
while pitching their products. It allows companies to continue paying
for so-called continuing medical education for physicians while
correctly leaving the selection of content, speakers and study
materials to conference organizers. There appear to be no loopholes
in bans against providing free tickets to the theater, sporting
events or resort junkets.

None of the steps yet contemplated by industry or professional groups
would completely sever the medical profession and many individual
doctors from their far more disturbing financial ties to the drug
industry.

Over the years, prominent physicians have received hefty fees for
conducting research, consulting or giving “educational” speeches
touting the virtues of drugs to their colleagues. The new industry
code would limit consultants’ fees to “fair market value,” but
critics believe that still leaves far too much room to pay individual
doctors handsomely.

Two investigations now under way at prominent universities show how
much more needs to be done to aerate undisclosed conflicts of interest.

A prominent psychiatrist at Emory University is accused of taking
large payments from a drug maker – and misleading his university
about the amounts – while heading a government study of the company’s
antidepressant drugs. Three psychiatrists at Harvard whose work
fueled an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs to
treat children are accused of failing to report large payments from
the drug makers, most of which they had not disclosed to their
institutions.

Congress needs to pass legislation that would force all drug and
medical-device companies to report a wide range of payments to
doctors through a national registry so that all conflicts are known.
This is a reform that the industry itself now seems willing to
accept. Better yet, the medical profession needs to wean itself
almost entirely from its pervasive dependence on industry money.

~~~~~~~~~~
** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

Please forward

~~~~~~~~~~
You may e-mail letter to editor of *LESS* THAN 150 WORDS to The NY
Times here: letters@nytimes.com. Include your contact info. Letters
referring to a recent NY Times editorial have a better chance of
being run.

~~~~~~~~~~
Link to editorial:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/opinion/05mon1.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/nytimes-psychiatry

~~~~~~~~~~
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Thought financial industry corruption was bad? Psychiatric industry
corruption kills kids.

Put psychiatric abusers behind bars. MindFreedom calls for new laws
and enforcement of current laws mandating prison time for extreme
psychiatric human rights violations.

Join nonviolent protests of psychiatric drug money corruption in
front of American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall
at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, or WHEREVER you are, 17 to 18 May
2009
. Info about this and other events:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/events_sf

~~~~~~~~~~
Read more about USA Congressional investigation of psychiatric
profession here, including past NY Times articles and editorials:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psych-drug-corp/congress

~~~~~~~~~~
To thank USA Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for leading the
congressional investigation use this web form:

http://grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm

mp_yb

MindFreedom News – January 2009
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

Another forced electroshock for Ray. ZAP BACK!

Join global nonviolent resistance ONLINE!

This Saturday, 10 January 2009, 2 pm ET, 11 am PT click into:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/davidwoaks

Live Free MindFreedom Mad Pride Web Radio – Special ZAP BACK SHOW.

Ray will be woken up early in his “Victory House” group home near
Minneapolis again this morning, Wednesday, 7 January 2009.

Ray Sandford is scheduled for another forced electroshock.

Under a court order and over his expressed wishes, he’ll be escorted
the few miles to Mercy Hospital, put under anesthesia, and given
another “electroconvulsive therapy” or ECT through his brain.

Ray says, “It is scary as hell every time I go.”

Today, involuntary electroshock continues for Ray and many others all
over the world.

houraidl4

New York Times Article:

Lilly Said to Be Near $1.4 Billion U.S. Settlement

By GARDINER HARRIS and ALEX BERENSON
Published: January 14, 2009

Eli Lilly, the drug company, is expected to agree as soon as Thursday to pay $1.4 billion to settle criminal and civil charges that it illegally marketed its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for unauthorized use in patients particularly vulnerable to its risky side effects.

Today’s Business: Gardiner Harris on the Eli Lilly Settlement
Related
Plea Agreement (U.S. v. Eli Lilly and Co.) (Findlaw.com>

Details of the agreement were provided by people involved in the negotiations.

Among the charges, Lilly has been accused of a scheme stretching for years to persuade doctors to prescribe Zyprexa to two categories of patients — children and the elderly — for whom the drug was not federally approved and in whom its use was especially risky.

In one marketing effort, the company urged geriatricians to use Zyprexa to sedate unruly nursing home patients so as to reduce “nursing time and effort,” according to court documents. Like other antipsychotic drugs, Zyprexa increases the risks of sudden death, heart failure and life-threatening infections like pneumonia in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.

The company also pressed doctors to treat disruptive children with Zyprexa, court documents show, even though the medicine’s tendency to cause severe weight gain and metabolic disorders is particularly pronounced in children. Over the last decade, Zyprexa’s use in children has soared.

The case is being prosecuted by the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Patricia Hartman, a spokeswoman for the office, declined to comment.

Angela Sekson, a Lilly spokeswoman, said she could not comment on the status of the Zyprexa negotiations. Last fall, the company, anticipating a settlement, had set aside $1.4 billion for that purpose.

The amount of the settlement is a record sum for so-called corporate whistle-blower cases, which are federal lawsuits prompted by tips from company employees or former employees. In this case, the whistle-blowers have not been publicly identified.

Lilly executives have for years insisted that the company’s Zyprexa marketing efforts were legal and appropriate. When asked whether she could repeat those assurances, Ms. Sekson said, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment further right now.”

It could not be confirmed on Wednesday whether the company would acknowledge wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Without a settlement, Lilly risks being barred from participating in the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs — a huge part of its business — even though such bans are almost unheard of for big drug makers because their products are considered so essential.

In the United States, most of Zyprexa’s sales are paid for by government programs because so many of those taking Zyprexa are indigent or disabled. Zyprexa had sales of $4.8 billion in 2007, making it the biggest seller by far for Lilly, whose revenue that year was $18.6 billion. Depending on dosage, the drug can cost as much as $25 for a daily pill.

The settlement may have little impact on how doctors actually use Zyprexa, because physicians are free to prescribe drugs as they see fit. But drug makers are barred from promoting drugs for uses not specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Zyprexa has F.D.A. approval only for the treatment of schizophrenia and the mania and agitation associated with bipolar disorder.

Zyprexa has generated more than $39 billion in sales since its approval in 1996, making it one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world.

And despite mounting concern about Zyprexa’s risks and the negative publicity surrounding the legal case, sales were $3.5 billion for the first nine months of 2008, 2 percent higher than in the first nine months of 2007. Prescriptions for the drug actually declined, but Lilly raised prices on the drug enough to increase its revenues.

Zyprexa was initially received as a significant advance over an earlier generation of antipsychotic drugs. But a series of landmark studies in recent years have cast doubt on that long-held view and suggested that Zyprexa is no better than older drugs that sell for far less.

A government study published in September, for instance, found that Zyprexa was no more effective in children than an older medicine but caused more serious side effects. The children receiving Zyprexa gained so much weight during the study that a safety monitoring panel ordered that they be taken off the drug.

In December 2006 articles in The New York Times detailed hundreds of internal Lilly documents and e-mail messages among top company managers that showed how the company sought for years to play down Zyprexa’s tendency to cause weight gain and metabolic disorders, including diabetes, while promoting unapproved uses.

One 2000 e-mail message, for instance, described how a group of diabetes doctors that Lilly had retained to consider potential links between Zyprexa and diabetes had warned the company that “unless we come clean on this, it could get much more serious than we might anticipate.”

After those articles were published, Lilly threatened to seek criminal contempt charges against Dr. David Egilman, a Massachusetts physician and associate clinical professor at Brown University, who made the documents available to The Times. In September 2007, Dr. Egilman agreed to pay Lilly $100,000 in return for the company’s agreement to drop the threat of criminal sanctions.

On Wednesday, Dr. Egilman said he felt vindicated by the imminent settlement. “I’m glad Lilly is acknowledging their wrongdoing,” he said. “Patients and doctors now know more about the side effects of the drugs they take.”

The government’s case will remain sealed until at least Thursday, when a judge is expected to approve the settlement. People involved in the negotiations say that prosecutors pressed for a resolution in the waning days of the Bush administration to avoid having to get another set of approvals from new bosses at the Justice Department in Washington.

While the settlement is intended to resolve all pending government claims, it is unclear whether all states, which are parties to the case through the federal-state Medicaid program, have agreed to the terms.

Some of the claims and evidence in the government’s case are similar to those made in a pending California state whistle-blower lawsuit in which Jaydeen Vicente, a former Lilly sales representative, described years of what she said were illegal Zyprexa marketing efforts.

Ms. Vicente and other Lilly sales representatives distributed a Lilly study contending that elderly patients who were prescribed the drug “required fewer skilled nursing staff hours than patients prescribed other competing medications” and reduced “caregiver distress,” the lawsuit states. Zyprexa often induces sleep in patients.

“In truth, this was Lilly’s thinly veiled marketing of Zyprexa as an effective chemical restraint for demanding, vulnerable and needy patients,” the lawsuit states.

In October, Lilly agreed to pay $62 million to 32 states and the District of Columbia to settle consumer protection claims related to Zyprexa. It has also paid the state of Alaska $15 million to settle a separate suit and agreed to pay $1.2 billion to 31,000 Zyprexa plaintiffs. Some private Zyprexa claims remain unresolved.

mad-in-americajun03b

MindFreedom News – 14 January 2009
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

Another forced electroshock for Ray Sandford today.

Decision: Protest the mental health system, or not?

by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

As I e-mail out this message, Ray Sandford is being escorted again
this Wednesday morning, 14 January 2009, from his group home near
Minneapolis, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for another involuntary,
maintenance, outpatient electroshock under court order.

There is a decision each and every one of us needs to make.

It is the same decision Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks
and thousands of others in the civil rights movement had to make.

To protest, or not?

One of my resolutions for 2009 is to nonviolently protest.

Ray — summoning that unstoppable human spirit that always impresses
me in so many psychiatric survivors — asks us to protest.

Survivors of electroshock human rights violations on the MindFreedom
“Zapback” e-mail list, where the Ray Campaign is being coordinated,
also say it’s time to protest the mental health system.

There are many ways, times, places and reasons to protest.

But it begins with a decision.

Ray’s forced electroshock today is not a fluke.

Ray’s forced shock is not because the mental health system lacks
money, though good programs need more resources.

Ray’s forced shock is not because of a few “bad apples” in the mental
health system
.

Ray is surrounded by an array of taxpayer-funded agencies and
professionals who are charged with protecting and helping Ray.

Ray has had court hearings represented by a court-appointed attorney.
He has a conservator, general guardian and a guardian ad litem.
Minnesota legal advocacy, ombudsman and mental health consumer groups
are well aware of Ray’s shock. Minnesota’s Governor Pawlenty has
received hundreds of complaints. MindFreedom filed a torture
complaint with the United Nations.

The headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
[ELCA], whose six Synods in Minnesota own Ray’s guardian agency
LSSMN, say they have been inundated with hundreds of complaints.
Their official response: They’re not in charge of Ray’s shock, though
we never said they were. We asked ELCA to stand up publicly against
forced electroshock, they refuse.

Ray’s forced shock is a sign and symptom of how extremely oppressive
today’s mental health system remains, and how so much of our society
is complicit with this oppression.

Ray’s forced shock is an excruciatingly painful lesson and wake up
call to us all about an oppression so deep, it is seldom named: sanism.

Ray’s courage has educated so many people. Because Ray called the
MindFreedom office this Fall, many people now know forced
electroshock exists, and that psychiatrists sometimes give ongoing
“maintenance” electroshock. Many now know electroshock is often given
on an outpatient basis.

Many people now know that even Americans living in their own homes,
which are supposed to be our “castles,” out in the community, without
being convicted of any crime, can be court ordered to receive such an
invasive, potentially-irreversible procedure.

Now we know.

Don’t let this knowledge become normal. As MLK said, show your
“creative maladjustment.”

When I was an activist in the peace movement, there was a saying. “To
know, and not to act, is not yet truly to know.”

Reading about this on the Internet is not enough.

Each of us needs to decide and prepare:

Protest or not to protest?

When it’s time for a forced shock, Ray is told because preparation
must begin.

The day before, all food is removed from his fridge because to get
ready for anesthesia he cannot eat for a number of hours.

Then early in the morning staff wake him up and he is brought to the
hospital. Ray is put under anesthesia, and electricity is run through
his head inducing a convulsion. He wakes up with more memory and
cognitive problems.

Ray has had more than three dozen and he says, “It is scary as hell
every time I go.”

Ray’s forced shock is not because of a lack of public attention.

Hundreds have spoken out against this ongoing forced shock. Last
month, Ray’s plight was aired on National Public Radio. Ray’s own
elderly mother, a retired psychiatric nurse, has recently pleaded
with Ray’s psychiatrist to stop (since Ray is under guardianship, she
has no official say).

Most recently, Ray was sent to a neurologist for a check-up, but that
did not stop his shock.

The only change this past month is that instead of weekly
electroshock, Ray is now on a complicated pattern of every other
week, followed by every third week, back to every other week. Instead
of receiving his maintenance electroshock last Wednesday as Ray at
first expected, his shock is today.

Why are we surprised?

Based on the hard-won lessons of so many other groups that have
organized for their basic human rights, how can we expect real change
without protest?

In my 33 years in this field, I have seen many colleagues begin to
work in organizations and agencies that are funded by the mental
health system, and many of them are doing tremendously helpful and
crucial work. This work must continue, it’s a sign of hope.

Today it is common to hear mental health system leaders claim this
system’s values have changed to:

* Mental health consumer self-determination.

* Client empowerment.

* Advocacy and human rights.

* Recovery.

* Consumer-driven trauma-informed peer-delivered services.

And again, there are signs of hope.

But we ask:

Why is Ray Sandford getting involuntary maintenance electroshock this
morning?

Why is there a mental health “Abu Ghraib” operating before our very
eyes?

Why does forced electroshock and forced psychiatric drugging continue
in other states in the USA?

Why is forced electroshock growing internationally?

In my study of history, minor reform of psychiatry is not a solution,
minor reform is one of the problems.

Minor reform fuels more of the same.

When you hear a simple call for “more money” for the mental health
system
— without addressing the required fundamental change, watch out!

Remember Ray.

Truly, we need a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system.

Historically, nonviolent revolution requires nonviolent protest.

So there is one question now:

Protest, or not?

Protest begins with a decision. I hope you make that personal
commitment.

If you agree it is time for protest, please forward this to a
colleague and add in your own words, “I agree, it’s time.”

Remember Ray.

– David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

For links to latest news, Ray Campaign blog, and frequently asked
questions about the “No More Shock For Ray Campaign” go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

MindFreedom International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

lunacy-titleCrazy is not even the word for it:

Old news from an unknown source:

“A new generation of drugs is needed,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “It is clear from this data that antidepressants are not the answer.”

Dr. Insel admits that another major treatment outcome evaluation study sponsored by NIMH, “Effectiveness of Adjunctive Antidepressant Treatment for Bipolar Depression,” the largest study yet, confirms that the widespread practice of prescribing antidepressants lacks clinical justification. The drugs were of no value for the treatment of depression thereby challenging US psychiatrists’ aggressive use of combined psychotropic drugs. U.S. psychiatrists’ “strongly held beliefs about the efficacy of antidepressants in treating bipolar depression” is not supported by evidence. The practice can be traced to the influence the drug industry has on U.S psychiatry.

The randomized, placebo controlled study was conducted at 22 major research centers participating in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD). It focused on patients diagnosed with bipolar I and II who were treated with any mood stabilizer approved by the FDA with and without an antidepressant. Of 366 patients enrolled in the study, 179 were randomized to mood stabilizer and the antidepressant, Paxil, and 187 were randomized to mood stabilizer and placebo. The study was published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, March 28, 2007, and is available free: [Link] Eighteen of the 20 investigators have extensive financial ties to drug manufacturers.

Patients who were randomized to placebo rather than the antidepressant fared better in all outcome measures-except the switch to mania which was reported a fraction of a percent higher among placebo patients-20 (10.7%) compared to 18 (10.1%) of patients on mood stabilizer and Paxil. However, the validity of this outlying finding is uncertain. In his accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert Belmaker point out: “Patients who had become manic in response to antidepressants in the past would not have enrolled in the trial, casting doubt on whether the drugs are safe for all bipolar patients.” [Link]

Another confounding element–which is almost always a problem in psychiatric research–is prior exposure to the drugs: Dr. Belmaker notes: “Almost 90% of the patients in the study by Sachs et al. were using a mood stabilizer at randomization. Thus, the study does not address the possibility that antidepressants can cause mania in patients with bipolar depression in the absence of a mood stabilizer.”

And the STEP-BD authors report that some patients were also taking an antidepressant at the time of randomization which was tapered by 50% the first week and withdrawn by second week. Clearly the effects of prior exposure to these drugs and the effect of tapering (i.e. withdrawal symptoms) may bias the results. Nevertheless, the findings are clearly against use of antidepressants in this population.

Table 3 provides the primary and secondary outcome results of the 26 week study. The primary outcome was “durable recovery” defined as 8 weeks of euthemia (non-depressed). The result: 42 of 179 patients (23.5%) achieved “durable recovery” on mood stabilizer + adjunctive antidepressant compared to 51 of 187 patients (27.3%) on mood stabilizer and placebo.

Results of secondary outcomes: “transient remission” defined as 1 to 7 weeks of non-depression: 32 patients (17.9%) achieved “transient remission” on mood stabilizer + adjunctive antidepressant compared to 40 (21.4%) on mood stabilizer and placebo. Discontinuation because of adverse effects: 22 (12.3%) on stabilizer and antidepressant compared to 17 (9.1%) on stabilizer and placebo.

Finally, an unclear secondary outcome criteria “treatment effectiveness” defined as “50% Improvement from baseline SUM-D score* without meeting DSM-IV criteria for hypomania or mania.” No indication of a duration criteria is given. The finding: 58 (32%) of patients on mood stabilizer and antidepressant compared to 71 (38%) patients on stabilizer and placebo.

The authors acknowledge: “we did not study a “pure” placebo group (one in which no active psychotropic medication was administered) and hence cannot establish the effectiveness of treatment with a mood stabilizer alone.”

Dr. Insell got it half right: “It is clear from this data that antidepressants are not the answer.” However, why does it follow that “A new generation of drugs is needed” ???

What disorder of the imagination do mainstream psychiatrists in the U.S. suffer from that they cannot fathom a world beyond the “next generation” of drugs-all the more so, in light of the evidence that the second generation antidepressants and antipsychotics have proven not only no better than the first generation, but arguably worse ?

ca_suicidal
MindFreedom International – 6 February 2009
Mind Your Freedom in Mental Health
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

Four (4) very brief MindFreedom news items for a nonviolent
revolution
in mental health:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1) Academy Award and Forced Electroshock

Ray Sandford of Minnesota has now had as many or more forced
electroshocks as the fictional character portrayed in the Academy
Award-nominated film _Revolutionary Road_:

Thirty-seven (37).

Ray Sandford, though, is a real human being.

Involuntary outpatient electroshock re-started for Ray Sandford, and
is slated to continue indefinitely.

Unless everyone acts.

Last week MindFreedom reported that Ray Sandford postponed one of his
series of forced maintenance outpatient electroshocks because of a
health problem.

Ray phoned the MindFreedom office with the sad news that his doctor
approved him for another involuntary electroshock, and Ray received
it yesterday morning, 5 February 2009.

It looks like thousands upon thousands of united people are needed to
unite to stop involuntary electroshock for Ray, and many others. Let
that include you!

For more info on the Ray Campaign to Stop Forced Outpatient
Electroshock, see this gateway:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2) “Have a Heart – End Forced Electroshock” Show!

Next Guest on MindFreedom Mad Pride Free Live Web Radio:

Mary Maddock of Ireland — Electroshock survivor, author, and
community organizer.

On Valentine’s, Saturday, 14 February 2009, tune in for live free
Internet radio with MindFreedom, and guests that include Mary
Maddock, co-author of the book _Soul Survivor_. Mary is a MindFreedom
International board member who survived forced electroshock.

You can call in live using either your computer or telephone. We’ll
have the latest news about the Ray Sandford campaign.

Time: 11 am Pacific USA, 2 pm Eastern USA, 7 pm [1900] London UTC/GMT

More info on how to tune in every “Second Saturday” in 2009:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/radio

Get Mary’s book at MindFreedom’s Mad Market at http://www.madmarket.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3) Australia Electroshocking Toddlers

Australia is now electroshocking toddlers, including 55 children aged
four and younger, and two kids under the age of four, according to
news reports.

Read essays and news items here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

In that folder you will find:

a) Essay by dissident psychologist Bruce Levine on Australia
electroshocking young children:

http://tinyurl.com/kid-shock
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/
electroshocking-toddlers

b) Essay by dissident psychiatrist Peter Breggin on same:

http://tinyurl.com/breggin-australia
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/
breggin-australia-electroshock

c) Australian news story on electroshocking kids, with statistics:

http://tinyurl.com/child-shock
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/child-
shock-therapy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4) World Health Organization leader praises MindFreedom International
and Executive Director David W. Oaks

In its legal handbook, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for
zero use of involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the
subject:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

WHO is the official health organization of the United Nations.

Benedetto Saraceno, MD, Director, Department of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse at WHO said some very positive words about the work
of MindFreedom International, and MFI director David W. Oaks, here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/about-us/david-w-oaks

psychiatry346185227_std

From the Independent:

Voluntary psychiatric patient fights for

freedom

By Tim Healy
Wednesday January 21 2009

A WOMAN yesterday asked the High Court to order her release from a psychiatric hospital, claiming her detention is not in accordance with the law.

The 69-year-old woman, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was admitted to the hospital on December 9 after being arrested by gardai.

She challenged this and yesterday a High Court judge ruled she had been lawfully detained at the hospital.

But the woman had taken separate proceedings, which opened yesterday, seeking her release when the hospital decided she should remain after she had agreed to be a voluntary patient.

The woman became a voluntary patient after an order committing her involuntarily was revoked on December 19 by order of a Mental Health Tribunal.

Last Thursday, the hospital refused to discharge her because it was not satisfied this would be in her best interests. The hospital invoked a provision of the Mental Health Act giving it power to detain voluntary patients.

Last Friday, the woman brought a second set of proceedings claiming the hospital has no power to do so because the MHT had already found she was not suffering from a mental “disorder” as required under law before a person can be committed involuntarily.

The case continues.

– Tim Healy

lunacy-kitten_with_a_gun

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Events News Release from MindFreedom

Some of the events are already past because I was late getting this up but much of it is still useful.

MindFreedom International News – 17 July 2008
http://www.mindfreedom.org/events_listing – please forward

A Few 2008 Events About Changing the Mental Health System

The calendar of events below, in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and UK
may be of interest to those who passionately care about human rights
and alternatives in the mental health system.

[Disclaimers: Most but not all events are organized by MindFreedom or
sponsor groups. Listing is not necessarily endorsement. The
organizers are solely responsible for their content. Date listed is
start date. This listing is not meant to be comprehensive. If your
event is not yet listed you may submit e-mail to news@mindfreedom.org ]

For more info and links for below events go to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/events_listing

~~~~~~~~~~~~

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA:

Mad Pride Week in the City of Toronto – The Mayor of Toronto even
officially declared a Mad Pride Day! This wonderful series of events
is already underway, but there is still time to attend. A bed push
parade and party is scheduled for July 19, and a Mad Pride brunch on
the morning of July 20.

Watch for organizers from new affiliate, MindFreedom Ontario!

14 – 20 July 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOUTHWARK, UNITED KINGDOM:

BonkersFest – Poses the question ‘De-normalisation: The next civil
rights movement?’ This free event will take place on the actual area
where the infamous Bedlam was located. Past BonkersFests have drawn
three thousand participants.

BonkersFest is a showcase of mad creativity providing a day of
inspiring performance, art and music for the whole community.

19 July 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, USA:

Mad Pride Asheville – “Part of a 9-nation disorganization of similar
festivals, featuring week-long festivals in London and Toronto and
others in Portland OR, Montreal, and various other cities in the US,
Canada, Belgium, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa and Ghana.”

19 July 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, USA:

A vigil co-sponsored by MindFreedom International to remember Esmin
Green, who died so publicly while waiting in King County Hospital
Psychiatric Emergency Room:

25 July 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

URGENT! HELIOS MATCHING GRANT ENDS

July 31, 2008 is the deadline for MindFreedom to receive a matching
grant by raising a grand total of $500.00 from first-time donors. If
we reach this goal, the Helios Resource Network will double the total
amount donated by granting MindFreedom $500.00 in matching funds.

If you would like to help us reach this goal, and support human
rights and alternatives in mental health, please become a MindFreedom
member today by donating any amount — small or large — to MFI
through the Helios Resource Network.

For information on how to make your tax-deductible donation count
toward the Helios grant, please go directly to this Helios Web page
today:

http://www.heliosnetwork.org/grantinfo.htm#MFI

Or read more about this important opportunity here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/double

But act now! The deadline is 31 July 2008!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND:

Education Day on Human Rights & Alternatives in Mental Health –
“PRAWI of New Zealand is a sponsor group in MindFreedom
International. Director Anna de Jonge announces PRAWI is holding an
all-day educational event using DVD’s from the conferences of the
International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.”

17 August 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM:

Asylum! Conference and Festival – From the organizers: “The
conference will bring together organisations, activists, campaigners
and academics working for radical challenge and change in mental
health. It will showcase critical work on psychiatry and psychology
(‘Big Psy’) and the pharmaceutical industry (‘Big Pharma’), and
alternatives to diagnostic medical labels like ‘schizophrenia’ and
‘paranoia’.” This event is being held on the Elizabeth Gaskell
Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

10-12 September 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA:

NARPA 2008 Conference – This year the NARPA conference will be held
at the University of Texas at Austin, and will feature speakers
Michael Perlin, Catherine Penney, and Susan Stefan, and others.

1-4 October 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

TAMPA, FLORIDA, USA:

International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry’s
2008 conference – The ICSPP is a sponsor group of MindFreedom. This
is an excellent conference, especially to network dissident mental
health professionals critical of the current psychiatric system.

10-12 October 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

BUFFALO, NEW YORK, USA:

Alternatives 2008 – Since the 1980’s, the US federal government helps
fund a large conference of several hundred mental health consumers
and psychiatric survivors, many of whom are leading consumer-driven
projects such as support groups and drop-in centers.

29 October – 2 November 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ACTION: Please forward this events calendar!

For more info and links for above events go to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/events_listing

~~~~~~~~~~~~

For hard-to-find books and gear go to MFI’s Mad Market here:

http://www.madmarket.org

New DVD: “Little Brother, Big Pharma”!

http://www.mindfreedom.org/little-brother

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wherever you live, volunteer today for human rights and alternatives
in mental health!

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
MFI office phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743 fax:
(541) 345-3737

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If you aren’t Mad you aren’t paying attention

News from MindFreedom and the Bend Weekly News

A State of Oregon study says that Oregonians in the mental health
system die earlier than the general public.

Bend Weekly News in Bend, Oregon, USA covered this news in the below
story, which includes a link so you can download the State of Oregon
study, “Measuring Premature Mortality among Oregonians,” published 10
June 2008.

~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bendweekly.com/Statewide-News/15699.html

Report: One-third of mentally ill Oregonians die before 50

Jun 13, 2008 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Oregonians with serious mental illness are dying years earlier than
their neighbors in the general population, and a grassroots health
movement is under way to reverse this trend.

The Oregon Department of Human Services Addictions and Mental Health
Division (AMH) has teamed with consumers of mental health services
and their families, health care professionals and others to implement
a statewide wellness initiative aimed at improving mental and
physical health and longevity.

Death comes before age 50 for one third of those treated for mental
health problems, according to results of a seven-year AMH mortality
study. A staggering 89 percent of people treated for both mental
illness and substance abuse die before age 50. The average lifespan
of someone who is dually diagnosed is 45.1 years, which equates to an
average 34.5 years of potential life lost.

The recent study, titled “Measuring Premature Mortality among
Oregonians,” compared the death records of persons who received
public substance abuse and/or mental health treatment with the
general population.

The early death toll among this segment of Oregonians falls in line
with similar results from national and state studies. More
importantly, it brings into focus what many individuals with mental
illness
already knew; by taking charge of their health, habits and
lifestyle they can add years – and quality – to their lives, said Bob
Nikkel, DHS assistant director for addictions and mental health.

“National research and this study make it clear that persons being
treated for substance abuse and mental health problems have many
risks that may bring on early death,” said Nikkel. “Our most critical
imperative is to help individuals with mental illness live better and
longer lives.

“Mental health and substance abuse is an important quality of life
issue for Oregonians,” he continued. “Dying prematurely not only
destroys human potential, but it has an economic impact as well.”

The AMH study showed substance abuse and mental health clients have
higher risks of death associated with suicide, homicide and
unintended injuries. In addition, they are economically disadvantaged
and vulnerable to many diseases that cause death. For example,
antipsychotic medications used to treat someone with mental illness
are known to elevate the chance of dying from cardiac arrest; others
may lead to diabetes.

The mortality study is available on the DHS Web site at:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/addiction/publications/
msur_pre_mort_6_2008.pdf

Nikkel said a DHS/AMH wellness committee is working to improve the
health and longevity of people with mental illness by drawing on
scientific research, literature and successful practices by user
groups. Here are some of the committee’s guiding principles:

*** We must treat and support the whole person;

*** Care coordination and wellness screening are essential;

*** Access to a range of health care options and basic health care
must be afforded to all Oregonians;

*** Early intervention and prevention across the lifespan saves
lives, makes a difference in years of productive life lost, and
improves quality of life;

*** Medication management and empowerment equips individuals with the
tools and strength to ask questions and work with treatment providers
to find healthier and effective ways to support recovery and
wellness; and

*** Disparities in health care coverage and access to service must be
overcome, along with finding culturally appropriate treatment programs.

Committee members are seeking funding for grassroots-level programs
that encourage education and lifestyle changes and for peer-to-peer
support services.

For more information visit the DHS wellness Web site at:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/index.shtml

On a different note-

Talking with my guests at KBOO radio last night we got into a discussion of stories we all had from psychiatric hospitals, some funny, some not and different experiences we had with mental health providers. I think Ann had the idea that we need to have a “secret shopper” project; people could go to various agencies and then provide reviews of the services, respect and treatment they receive. We could then publicize the information to produce a guide that would be useful to folks. A related idea was that we should collect current information regarding services and treatment at hospital psych wards. On the air we got into a discussion about the relative merits of Portland area acute care facilities. Conclusions? We agreed that, at least before their remodel, Adventist was the worst place to stay but had the best food. Our choice for best local facility (as if anyone ever has a choice) was Providence NE. We also agreed that the showers at St Vincent’s leak and flood the rooms.

We had a great time on the program and gave away tickets to the National Air Guitar Championships being held at Dante’s in downtown Portland. The winner was chosen from among callers on the basis of how many diagnoses they had been given. A good time was had by all.

New Music- added last night on the Music Page

Check it out.

Pictures friom my son’s blog- Better Bees than Bears

He’s drawing pictures on the sidewalks of San Francisco.

Ready to breathe

The first tadpole crawled out of the water last night at about 11 pm. Won’t be long before they all head off into the world. Sniff.

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