11 episodes

The science and politics of mental health

www.mentaldisorder.ca

Mental Disorder Jonah Davids

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The science and politics of mental health

www.mentaldisorder.ca

    Jules Evans & Kristin Nash - Communicating Psychedelic Risk

    Jules Evans & Kristin Nash - Communicating Psychedelic Risk

    Jules Evans is the Director of the Challenging Psychedelic Experiences Project and the lead author and editor of the Substack newsletter Ecstatic Integration. Kristin Nash is the executive director of the William G. Nash Foundation which focuses on harm reduction and psychedelic safety, and is involved with an important initiative to improve public communication on psychedelics as part of the new California psychedelic bill. The two join me on the podcast for an exploratory conversation on how to communicate the risks of psychedelic drugs. We talk about the variety and likelihood of adverse psychedelic experiences, the recent case of a pilot who tried to crash a plane while on mushrooms, whether it’s possible to truly consent to the psychospiritual changes brought on by some drugs, and the dangers of messaging psychedelics as a mental health treatment. We conclude by painting a picture of what we would want public health messaging around these drugs to be to reduce negative experiences and ensure those most at risk avoid them.
    You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
    Links:
    * Jules Evans, How to Communicate the Risk of Psychedelics
    * Jane Hu, 5 Questions for Kristin Nash
    * Canadian Psychedelic Survey
    * Jules Evans, Extended Difficulties Following the Use of Psychedelic Drugs
    * Huberman Lab, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris: The Science of Psychedelics for Mental Health
    * Tate et al., Trends in Hallucinogen-associated Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations in California from 2016–2021
    * Andrew Cutler, Eve Theory of Consciousness 3.0
    * Clinicaltrials.gov
    * Theo Von Describes the Difference Between DMT & Ayahuasca


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.mentaldisorder.ca

    • 1 hr 33 min
    William Fleming - Workplace Mental Health Isn't Working

    William Fleming - Workplace Mental Health Isn't Working

    William Fleming holds a PhD in sociology from The University of Cambridge, and is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Oxford University’s Wellbeing Research Center. He joins me on the podcast to talk about the lack of evidence for workplace mental health and wellbeing initiatives. William starts by giving a history of workplace wellbeing initiatives tracing back to the British Quakers who provided food, housing, and recreational facilities for their employees beginning in the 18th century. We then get into the popular “business case” for investing in employee wellbeing initiatives before turning to William’s research which finds that these have no effect. We conclude by discussing what changes to organizational practices can actually improve employee mental health, and tradeoffs between individual and collective wellbeing.
    You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
    Links:
    * William Fleming, Employee well-being outcomes from individual-level mental health interventions: Cross-sectional evidence from the United Kingdom.
    * Ellen Barry, Workplace Wellness Programs Have Little Benefit, Study Finds.
    * Jonah Davids, Corporate Mental Health Programs Don't Work.
    * Jesse Singal, The Quick Fix.
    * Kelly et al., Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We can Do about It.
    * David Graeber, B******t Jobs: A Theory.
    * Soffia et al., Alienation is not 'b******t': An empirical critique of Graeber's theory of BS jobs.
    * Simon Walo, ‘B******t’ After All? Why People Consider Their Jobs Socially Useless.
    * William’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Email


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.mentaldisorder.ca

    • 58 min
    Caleb Ontiveros - Stoic Psychology

    Caleb Ontiveros - Stoic Psychology

    Caleb Ontiveros is the founder of Stoa, an app that combines the ancient philosophy of stoicism with mindfulness and meditation. He writes The Stoa Letter, co-hosts the podcast Stoa Conversations, and is the editor of The Classical Futurist. Caleb and I talk about the philosophy of Stoicism and what Stoics have to say about psychology, mental health, and human flourishing. We discuss Stoic conceptions of virtue, emotion, and self-control; similarities between Stoicism, System 1 and System 2 thinking, and cognitive behavioral therapy; and why Stoic thinkers and practices appeal so much to men. We conclude by speculating about whether today’s “meaning crisis” has always been with us, and whether material progress undermines opportunities to be virtuous.
    You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
    Links:
    * Stoa Conversations, How to Think Fast, Slow, and Stoic.
    * Brittany Polat, How Do Stoics Care?
    * Johnny Thomson, Naive Stoicism: Why Pop Philosophy is Bad for your Mental Health.
    * Mamat & Anderson, Improving Mental Health by Training the Suppression of Unwanted Thoughts.
    * Mental Disorder Podcast, Kevin McCaffree - Suicide Research has Failed.
    * Philipp Reiff, Freud: The Mind of the Moralist.
    * Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Psychotherapy.
    * Bruce Alexander, The Globalization of Addiction.
    * The Stoa App.
    * Caleb’s Substack, Twitter.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.mentaldisorder.ca

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Awais Aftab - Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry

    Awais Aftab - Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry

    Awais Aftab is a psychiatrist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and writes the substack Psychiatry at the Margins. I invited him on the podcast to talk about how criticisms of psychiatry – such as critical, philosophical, and anti-psychiatry – affect mainstream theory and practice. We also discuss his recent exchange with Mad in America founder Robert Whitaker on progress in psychiatry, whether psychiatrists are responsible for rising rates of mental illness, and why many in the mental health field are now eyeing the public health approach to treatment. We conclude by talking about the difficulty of interpreting and acting upon psychiatric studies, with Awais arguing critics’ standards of evidence are so high they dismiss useful treatments like antidepressants out of hand.
    You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
    Links:
    * Awais Aftab, Epistemic Justice and Psychiatric Clinical Practice.
    * Anti-psychiatry reading list.
    * Awais Aftab, Antipsychiatry as an Analogue of Populism.
    * Freedland and Zorumski, Success Rates in Psychiatry.
    * Peter Simons, JAMA Psychiatry: No Evidence that Psychiatric Treatments Produce “Successful Outcomes.
    * Awais Aftab, Lost and Found in Translation: From JAMA Psychiatry to Mad in America.
    * Robert Whitaker, Answering Awais Aftab: When it Comes to Misleading the Public, Who is the Culprit?
    * Awais Aftab, What Whitaker wants us to know about Mad in America.
    * Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic.
    * Awais Aftab, The Case for Antidepressants in 2022.
    * Awais’ Substack, writings in Psychiatric Times, professional website, Google Scholar, Twitter.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.mentaldisorder.ca

    • 1 hr 1 min
    John Hirschauer - Defending the Last Institutions

    John Hirschauer - Defending the Last Institutions

    John Hirschauer is an assistant editor for City Journal and a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow at The Fund for American Studies. I invited him on the podcast to talk about the history, ethics, and politics of deinstitutionalization, which he has reported on extensively. In the first half of the conversation, John provides a detailed history of institutionalization in America, and how state schools for the developmentally disabled became so popular they ended up overcrowded and inhumane to live in. In the second half, we turn to the contemporary scene, where despite widespread improvements to these institutions in recent decades, disability rights activists have been campaigning to shut them down on the grounds that it’s better for the disabled to live a ‘real life’ in the community than to experience a simulacrum of life in an institution. We also talk about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, activist psychiatrists, and why naive theories of mental illness prevention doomed the community-based care approach from the start.
    You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
    Links:
    * John Hirschauer, The Last Institutions.
    * John Hirschauer, A Failed 'Solution' to 'America's Mental Health Crisis’.
    * Robert Shavelle, David Strauss and Steven Day, Deinstitutionalization in California: Mortality of Persons with Developmental Disabilities after Transfer into Community Care, 1997-1999.
    * John’s Twitter


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.mentaldisorder.ca

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Kevin McCaffree - Suicide Research has Failed

    Kevin McCaffree - Suicide Research has Failed

    Kevin McCaffree is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Texas, author of multiple books, editor of the journals Theoretical Sociology and Evolutionary Analysis in the Social Sciences, and a chief researcher at the Skeptic Research Center. I invited him to talk about his new paper “Pulling Back the Curtain on Suicide Research,” which shows that decades of suicide research have failed to reduce suicide. Kevin and I discuss who commits suicide and under what conditions, whether it’s socially contagious, and why the suicide prevention interventions we’ve developed have failed so miserably. We also talk about why we need better-trained mental health clinicians, how secularization and digital technologies have created a crisis of meaning, whether differences in theory of mind along the autism-schizophrenia spectrum explain different styles of religious and political thinking, and Kevin’s new theory of individualism that explains rising narcissism and mental health issues.
    You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
    Links:
    * Kevin McCaffree, Pulling Back the Curtain on Suicide Research.
    * David Philipps, The Influence of Suggestion on Suicide: Substantive and Theoretical Implications of the Werther Effect.
    * Lubin et al., Decrease in Suicide Rates After a Change of Policy Reducing Access to Firearms in Adolescents: A Naturalistic Epidemiological Study.
    * Tyler Black, Associations Between Income-Based Nutrition Programs and Suicidality.
    * Tyler Black, Children’s Risk of Suicide Increases on School Days.
    * Kevin McCaffree, The Secular Landscape.
    * Landon Schnabel, Opium of the Masses? Inequality, Religion, and Political Ideology in America.
    * John Gray, Seven Types of Atheism.
    * Jean Twenge, Generations.
    * Kevin McCaffree, Review of Generations.
    * Kevin’s Google Scholar.
    * Skeptic Research Center, @SkepResCenter.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.mentaldisorder.ca

    • 1 hr 6 min

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