book cover: Nobody's Normal by Roy Richard Grinker
Book Reviews

Book Review: Nobody’s Normal

Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness is written by Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropology professor at The George Washington University. Autism and cross-cultural psychiatry are listed as areas of expertise on his faculty page. He's the father of an autistic daughter, who he refers to a number of times throughout the… Continue reading Book Review: Nobody’s Normal

the problem(s) with involuntary psychiatric treatment
Mental Illness Treatment

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… Continue reading The Problem with Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment

Mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is
Mental Health, Wellbeing & Recovery

Is Mental Illness Recovery a Choice?

HealthyPlace "Mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is." While this image floating around on Pinterest originated with Healthy Place, I couldn't figure out the original source of the quote (if, in fact, it is a quote from another source), but seems to have been around for a while. Anyway, I don't really agree,… Continue reading Is Mental Illness Recovery a Choice?

Mental Health

Early Insane Asylums – Bedlam and Beyond

Public domain This post is a follow-up of sorts to a guest post I did recently on Renard's World.  While that post focused on the dark side of psychiatry in the 1900s, in this post we'll look even further back in history at some of the frightening goings-on in early asylums to "treat" people with… Continue reading Early Insane Asylums – Bedlam and Beyond

96% of people think suicide is preventable
Suicide

Will Suicide Ever Be 100% Preventable?

Have you seen some of the claims out there that suicide is 100% preventable?  There are a variety of organizations that promote a zero suicide goal.  One example is the Zero Suicide Alliance, which is based in the UK and offers free suicide prevention training.  There's a Suicide Is Preventable website, which belongs to Know The Signs,… Continue reading Will Suicide Ever Be 100% Preventable?

God Knows Where I Am film
Mental Health, Society & Social Justice

God Knows Where I Am: 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… Continue reading God Knows Where I Am: Death By Mental Illness

elements of trauma-informed care
Trauma and PTSD

How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

So, what is it to be trauma-informed?  Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, with an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they've disclosed it or not.  Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety.  The individual client's safety, choice, and… Continue reading How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

Ketamine for depression: how it works, side effects, and how it's used
Depression, Mental Illness Treatment

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

I love Canada, but sometimes we're a little behind.  Drug approval by Health Canada is slower than in the US, and fewer clinical trials are done here.  I'd be really interested in trying out ketamine, but it doesn't have Health Canada approval for use in depression, there are no clinical trials in my neck of… Continue reading Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

evidence-based treatment
Depression

What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

geralt on Pixabay The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial studied 2876 people with major depressive disorder to evaluate their response to depression treatment in a real-world setting.  Unlike the randomized controlled trials that are often used to evaluate a drug's efficacy, there were few exclusion criteria, the patient and their physician knew… Continue reading What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

complicated relationships with psych meds
Mental Illness Treatment

Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications

I can't think of any other type of health condition that has such polarized relationships with medications as mental illness.  In some ways, to medicate or not to medicate has become a moral issue, with various involved parties taking a stance based on principle.  Often this stance is very broad, making sweeping generalizations. Public misconceptions… Continue reading Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications