Classic Blog: ‘Neutralising Suffering: How the Medicalisation of Distress Obliterates Meaning and Creates Profit’ by Joanna Moncrieff

jmoncrieffThere is so much great content on Mad in America. Here’s a piece from British psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, one I wholeheartedly endorse. In fact, this blog is essential reading. The original article has all the references.

‘People have used psychoactive substances to dull and deaden pain, misery and suffering since time immemorial, but only recently, in the last few decades, have people been persuaded that what they are doing in this situation is rightly thought of as taking a remedy for an underlying disease.

The spread of the use of prescription drugs has gone hand in hand with the increasing medicalization of everyday life, and a corresponding loss of the previous relationship that people had with psychoactive substances.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Mary Barton was originally to be named after Mary’s father John Barton, a working class factory hand addicted to opium. The novel depicts the unimaginable poverty and exploitation of industrial Manchester that made opium-induced oblivion an appealing escape.

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‘MIA Continuing Education: Help Us Get The Word Out’ by Robert Whitaker

Unknown-1Mad in America (MIA) is one of my very favourite websites and I check it out for new content every day. Robert Whitaker, who developed the website, is one of favourite writers – his books Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America and Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill.

What Bob and his colleagues have done at MIA is amazing! They have really challenged the psychiatry and mental health fields to have a serious rethink about they way things are done. They have challenged the very worrying trend of assuming that all emotional distress is biological and needs ‘drugging’. They have challenged the power of drug companies and biological psychiatry. They are trying to put humanity back into human conditions.

I spent 25 years as a neuroscientist before changing career, because I felt that the field did not have the solutions for helping people recover from addiction and mental health conditions. I was also disillusioned by the misinformation that was circulated in the field and to the general public – and the outright fraud that I came across. Fifteen years of working in the ‘real’ world, I feel that I made the right decision.

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‘Psychiatric Epidemic (Part 2): The Scope of the Epidemic’ by Robert Whitaker

Robert Whitaker, author of “Anatomy of an Epidemic” speaks at PsykoVision’s conference on the Psychiatric Epidemic in Copenhagen.

In Part 2, Whitaker digs down deep into the research pertaining to psychiatric medication and demonstrates quite clearly that the studies paint a very different picture that the prevalent common wisdom of the day.

What is the reason for this discrepancy? Misinformation? Disinformation?

‘Philip Seymour Hoffman, Drugs and the Therapeutic State’ by Jack Carney

Brilliant article from Mad in America. Nails on the head.jcarney

‘Greetings. It seems that somebody’s passing is the only thing that will stir me sufficiently to write about what’s going on in this benighted country.

I had anticipated writing this a week or two ago but I got sidetracked. It’s certainly not too late, since Hoffman’s death by heroin overdose is still being discussed in the media and by folks I run into. Yes, I know, he only died 5 weeks ago – February 2, to be precise – but our attention spans tend to be not too long.

Hoffman’s death was dramatic – found dead with a needle stuck in his arm with bags of heroin strewn nearby, a famous actor at the top of his craft with artistic heights still to climb. His death has been portrayed as a benchmark event and has drawn attention to the opioid abuse and addiction that has seemed to sweep the country.

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‘Neutralising Suffering: How the Medicalisation of Distress Obliterates Meaning and Creates Profit’ by Joanna Moncrieff

jmoncrieffThere is so much great content on Mad in America. Here’s a new piece from British psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, one I wholeheartedly endorse. In fact, this blog is essential reading. The original article has all the references.

‘People have used psychoactive substances to dull and deaden pain, misery and suffering since time immemorial, but only recently, in the last few decades, have people been persuaded that what they are doing in this situation is rightly thought of as taking a remedy for an underlying disease.

The spread of the use of prescription drugs has gone hand in hand with the increasing medicalization of everyday life, and a corresponding loss of the previous relationship that people had with psychoactive substances.

Read More ➔