Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Tag: Psychiatrie

Contest to Reduce Implicit Racial Bias Shows Empathy and Perspective-Taking Don’t Work

NCAA college basketball isn’t the only hot competition involving a team from the University of Virginia.  UVa Psychology Professor Brian Nosek is one of three founders of Project Implicit, a collaborative nonprofit dedicated to the study of implicit social cognition — how unconscious thoughts and feelings can influence attitudes and behavior.

Prof Nosek is also heavily involved in the Open Science and Replication movements. Along with graduate student Calvin Lai, he led a multinational group of 22 other researchers in a competition to see who could devise the best intervention to reduce racial bias scores on a widely administered implicit test, the race IAT (Lai et al, 2014).

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a mainstay of social psychology research that assesses implicit (unconscious) attitudes towards outgroups (based on race, sexual orientation, body size, age, etc.), stereotypes (e.g., men are in science, women are in arts/humanities), opposing ideologies (e.g, Democrat vs. Republican), and a staggering array of other binary preferences (Classical-Hip hop IAT, Astrology-Science, Britney Spears-50 cent, Boxers-Briefs, Harry Potter-Lord of the Rings and on and on).

Or does it… ? There have been some vocal critics of the IAT over the years who have questioned what the test actually measures. I’ll return to this point later, but for now let’s look at the impressive aspects of the new paper.


Antidepressants Make Things Worse in the Long Term

So, since at least 1994 – twenty years ago – researchers and commentators have been adducing evidence and arguments that antidepressants, even though they may have been initially successful in altering feelings of depression, when taken for extended periods may actually lead to persistent, treatment-resistant depression. Discontinuation of the drug sometimes produces a slow and gradual lightening of the mood, but in some cases this does not occur, and the chronic depression can become more or less permanent.

Amazingly, or perhaps I should say predictably, organized psychiatry has not launched a major investigation into this matter, and I can find no indication that any such investigation is in the works.


Are Neuroleptics “Anti-Psychotic”? Harrow’s 20-Year Outcomes

Martin Harrow along with his colleagues T.H. Jobe and R. N. Faull has published another paper on the long-term outcome of people who experienced a psychotic episode.  Funded by a grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, this paper adds to our knowledge of an extremely important and valuable study.

In this blog, I am going to first review some material that may be familiar to many of you. I will then talk about this latest paper.

In the late 1980′s Harrow began the Chicago Follow-up Study. A group of 139 individuals were assessed during a hospitalization for psychosis.  They were then assessed at 2, 4.5, 7.5, 10, 15 and 20 years.   The sample included 70 individuals who met the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 69 individuals diagnosed with mood disorders.  The sample was comprised of consecutively admitted patients to two Chicago hospitals who were considered in the early phase of their disorder; for 41% this was a first admission and for 25% it was the second admission.


Uses and Abuses of “Recovery” – A Review

The World Psychiatric Journal has published an interesting article, Uses and Abuses of Recovery: Implementing Recovery-Oriented Practices in Mental Health Systems, that outlines “7 Abuses of the Concept of ‘Recovery.’”  This effort to identify problems in the use of the term “recovery” is important,  and it is good to see the many issues they raise being discussed in a major journal.  I encourage people to read the article, as I won’t be able to touch on many of its points here.  Instead, what I want to do is to add some to their list of abuses of “recovery” and to critique  some of their reasoning about what alternatives should be supported.


The ADHD Diagnosis is a War of Semantics, Waged on Children

Since I am new on Mad in America, I will tell you; my mission is to debunk the ADHD diagnosis. My goal is to add common sense to a world where drugging kids for acting like kids is all the rage. When discussing ADHD with concerned adults I share how little is required to earn a diagnosis of ADHD. Learning just how non-scientific the diagnosis actually is, for many, is a shocking discovery.

Having an honest look at the 18 childish behaviors that pro-ADHD experts call “symptoms” can help even the most ardent believers realize there is something fishy going on. Understanding the details of how ADHD is diagnosed clarifies how every child with a healthy heartbeat and an appropriate level of immaturity can be “diagnosed” ADHD. So, without further ado, let us dive into the stagnant waters of Dubious Diagnosis Bay, home to Club ADHD: The Last Resort.