Welcome to the Mad in America podcast, a new weekly discussion that searches for the truth about psychiatric prescription drugs and mental health care worldwide.
This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change.
On the podcast we have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking psychiatric care around the world.
For more information visit madinamerica.com
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Diana Rose - Is Service-User Research Possible in Mental Health?
Dr. Diana Rose wears many hats—academic, researcher, service user, and activist. She is a leading figure in user-led research and currently an Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Dr. Rose was previously Professor of User Led Research and Director of the Service User Research Enterprise (SURE) at King’s College. She was also lead in Patient and Public Involvement in several large research programmes at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience.
Apart from an impressive set of publications, Dr. Rose’s new book Mad Knowledges and User-Led Research is about to hit the markets. In today’s interview, she brings together her vast breadth of experience and depth of knowledge to talk about the challenges service users and survivors of psychiatry face when they take space as knowers and researchers in the Psy-disciplines.
If you find this podcast valuable, rating it and leaving a review on iTunes or Spotify or sharing it on social media helps us to get the word out about these important conversations. Thank you.
Jon Jureidini – Evidence-Based Medicine in a Post-Truth World
This week on the Mad in America podcast, we are joined by Dr. Jon Jureidini.
Jon is a child psychiatrist who also trained in philosophy, critical appraisal and psychotherapy. He has a continuing appointment as a professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. He heads Adelaide University’s Critical and Ethical Mental Health research group, which conducts research, teaching and advocacy to promote safer, more effective and more ethical research and practice in mental health; and the Paediatric Mental Health Training Unit, providing training and support to medical students, GPs, allied health professionals, teachers and counsellors in non-pathologising approaches to primary care mental health.
He has an international reputation for his work on the evidence base for psychiatry and is a strong advocate for addressing the social determinants of mental health.
Jon, together with co-author Leemon B. McHenry, wrote the book The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine published in 2020. The book was followed by an opinion piece which appeared in the British Medical Journal in March 2022.
In this interview, we discuss the issues with evidence-based medicine and what led to the debasement of a system originally conceived to challenge extravagant claims and poor science.
Liam MacGabhann, Martha Griffin, Harry Gijbels and Elaine Browne - The Launch of Mad in Ireland
This week on the Mad in America podcast, we are really pleased to be announcing the launch of a new global affiliated site: Mad in Ireland.
Mad in Ireland launches on August the 22nd and joins our other global sites which include Mad in the UK, Mad in Canada, Mad in Finland and Mad in Brasil amongst others.
Joining me to discuss the launch and the important role that Mad in Ireland will play are Liam MacGabhann, Martha Griffin, Elaine Browne and Harry Gijbels who are part of the team that has been working hard to get the new site up and running.
You can visit Mad in Ireland from August 22nd here: https://madinireland.com
Please help them get up and running by visitng the site and sharing it on social media. Thank you.
Beverley Thomson – Antidepressed: Antidepressant Harm and Dependence
Our guest today is Beverley Thomson. Beverley is a writer, researcher and speaker with a focus on psychiatric medication including antidepressants, benzodiazepines and ADHD drugs. She is interested in their history, how the drugs work, adverse effects, dependence, withdrawal and development of patient support services.
For the past 10 years, she has worked with organizations such as the British Medical Association, the Scottish Government and recently the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPPG) for prescribed drug dependence. She is currently part of a Scottish Government Short Life Working Group addressing the issue of prescribed drug harm and dependence in Scotland.
We talk about Beverley’s latest book, entitled Antidepressed: A Breakthrough Examination of Epidemic Antidepressant Harm and Dependence published by Hatherleigh Press in 2022. Featuring compelling accounts from people whose lives have been irrevocably harmed by prescribed antidepressants, Beverley’s work provides proof that there is no such thing as a magic pill and that pretending otherwise risks the lives and well-being of those who need help the most.
If you find this podcast valuable, rating it 5 stars and leaving a review on iTunes or Spotify or sharing it on social media helps us to get the word out about these important conversations. Thank you.
John Read and Jeffrey Masson - Biological Psychiatry and the Mass Murder of “Schizophrenics”
On the Mad in America podcast this week, we hear from the co-authors of a paper published in the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry which documents the mass murder of a quarter of a million people, mostly diagnosed as “schizophrenic” in Europe during the Second World War.
Later, we hear from Dr. Jeffrey Masson, who is an author and a scholar of Sanskrit and psychoanalysis. But first, we talk with professor of psychology John Read. Regular visitors to Mad in America will know of John’s work. For those that don’t know, John worked for nearly 20 years as a clinical psychologist and manager of mental health services in the UK and the USA, before joining the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1994, where he worked until 2013. He has served as director of the clinical psychology professional graduate programmes at both Auckland and, more recently, the University of Liverpool. He currently works in the School of Psychology at the University of East London.
John has many research interests, including critical appraisals of the use of psychiatric drugs and electroconvulsive therapy.
Jeffrey Masson has had a fascinating career in which he studied Sanskrit and psychoanalysis and became director of the Sigmund Freud archives. A prolific author, he has written more than 30 books and has become an advocate for animal rights. He is currently an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
We discuss how John and Jeffrey came to write a paper which examines a grim period in psychiatric history.
Kaori Wada - How Grief Became a Disorder and What This Means About Us
In March 2022, a new grief-related disorder was officially adopted into mainstream mental health diagnosis nomenclature. Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) is a recent addition to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual fifth edition text revision (DSM-5-TR). A PGD diagnosis is to be used when a person is grieving too long and too intensely.
In this interview, Kaori Wada, Psychologist, grief researcher, and Associate Professor and Director of Training at the University of Calgary, builds upon her recent paper on the Medicalization of Grief in conversation with MIA Science News Writer and Psychologist Zenobia Morrill. Wada articulates a history of institutional tensions and financial conflicts behind the creation of this new PGD diagnosis. She also discusses the ways PGD could shape how we collectively understand and respond to those grieving.
Wada’s work demonstrates that the creation of PGD was not based on scientific findings but appears to be entangled in long-standing arguments between camps of mental health professionals with different stakes in whether the diagnosis became legitimized. Further, PGD, as with other diagnoses, represents elements of mainstream psychological theory that tend to render deviations from Western cultural norms as “unhealthy.” Is diagnosis needed to provide support and care? If so, those most likely to experience marginalization, violence, and unjust loss are also most likely to be classified as having PGD, a mental illness.
At a time when the world is fraught with tragic loss—owing to causes ranging from political failures, state violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic—grieving has been transformed into a mental health disorder. But the complicated question of what a mental disorder is continues to be glossed over. The opportunity for psychiatric professionals to embrace humility seems to have reverted to the familiar “diagnose-and-treat” response. Will pharmacological intervention become the dominant “treat” response to a diagnosis of PGD?
A new grief disorder is a clear departure, however, from the way grief used to be described in the field as an example of something that is clearly not a mental health disorder, Wada shared. She exclaims: “To me, the medicalization of grief is controversial because it may fundamentally shake up the concept of a mental disorder, [how it has] been defined and understood.”
Wada and Morrill explore what this new PGD diagnosis may mean, reflecting on the ways the “diagnose-and-treat” logic seems to of experiences formerly considered part of the territory of being human. The need to pathologize experiences in order to address them represents a paradox. A new ethical and moral quandary befalls professionals tasked with determining when grief is an illness and when expressions of grief are inappropriate.
Will the public embrace this new disorder? Will the medicalization of grief be resisted? Will a pandemic of PGD diagnoses follow a global pandemic? Wada speaks to the personal and professional influences that shaped these curiosities and her approach to researching how grief is being construed in the mental health field.
Brilliant, thank you, I understand so much more now thanks to these podcasts
If you are going to take or are taking psychiatric drugs list to this podcast to find out what really happens to your brain and body in the long term.
This podcast is essential listening for anyone taking or thinking about taking SSRIs or any other psychiatric drug. James has done an excellent job of raising awareness of the serious issues involved in the over-prescription and dangers of this class of drug. It is also a much needed source of information and support for anyone struggling with side effects or withdrawal symptoms. James, the work you have put into this is very much appreciated - thank you!