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Involuntary Treatment

MH@H book review: No One Cares About Crazy People

Book Review: No One Cares About Crazy People

No One Cares About Crazy People is Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author Ron Powers’ exploration of his two sons’ journeys with schizophrenia, combined with a sweeping social history of mental health care and attitudes towards those with mental illness. He skillfully interweaves these separate threads, drawing the reader along from the early …

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Tales from the Psych Ward

So, where to begin? Things began trending sharply downhill around Christmas. Hospital was something I considered but really didn’t want to do, given the negative experiences I’ve had before. Things picked up a bit in February, but then crashed back down. I had a meltdown that exploded in the direction of an unfortunate friend, at …

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The Downside of Psychiatric Deinstitutionalization

Now is a far better time to be mentally ill than it was a few hundred years ago. Institutions like the infamous Bedlam were not happy places, and you might just find yourself chained to the wall for years on end. In the 1800s, you may have ended up in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in …

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The Problem with Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment

Mental illness is fairly unique in that laws allow for treatment to be imposed involuntarily. I’m not against involuntary psychiatric treatment entirely, and it can play an important role, but there are some things that can and should be done better. When involuntary treatment is necessary Working as a nurse in community mental health, there …

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MH@H book review: The Collected Schizophrenias

Book Review: The Collected Schizophrenias

In The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays, Esmé Weijun Wang shares how schizoaffective disorder and, in particular, other people’s reactions to it have affected her life. The author was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder while attending Stanford University. It took nine years to get a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis, as doctors seemed reluctant to diagnose a primary psychotic …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Autonomy in Mental Health Care

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is autonomy. While autonomy falls more under the umbrella of philosophy than psychology, it also has significant implications for mental health care. The philosopher Immanuel Kant identified several key elements of autonomy, including both the right and the capacity …

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Is the Anti-Psychiatry Movement Helping Mentally Ill People?

From abuses in asylums to horrific “experiments” in Nazi Germany, the anti-psychiatry movement arose in response to perceived abuses within the mainstream psychiatric establishment. Yet has the movement actually brought about any sort of positive change for those people living with mental illness? Or has it generated more of an academic debate that’s had a …

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God Knows Where I Am: A Story of Death By Mental Illness

The disturbing documentary God Knows Where I Am tells the story of Linda Bishop, and her death after being released from a state psychiatric hospital. The film includes readings from Linda’s journal, and commentary from people who knew her, including her sister and her daughter. Their words powerfully captured the pain and frustration of a …

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