116 episodes

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
To contact us email podcasts@madinamerica.com

Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health Mad in America

    • Mental Health
    • 4.7, 70 Ratings

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
To contact us email podcasts@madinamerica.com

    John Read and Irving Kirsch – Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Does the Evidence From Clinical Trials Justify its Continued Use?

    John Read and Irving Kirsch – Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Does the Evidence From Clinical Trials Justify its Continued Use?

    This week on MIA Radio we turn our attention to electroconvulsive therapy (known as electroshock in the US). It’s fair to say that ECT remains a controversial subject with proponents and detractors regularly disagreeing on its safety and efficacy. The number of psychiatrists willing to administer ECT, particularly in the UK, is in decline but we are still using it to administer electric shocks to the brains of an estimated 2,000 people each year.
    In this interview, we discuss a recent paper from the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. The title is ‘Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression: A Review of the Quality of ECT versus Sham ECT Trials and Meta-Analyses’ and it is written by John Read, Irving Kirsch and Laura McGrath. On MIA we have previously written about the study and its findings.
    We hear from two of the authors, Professor of Psychology John Read from the University of East London and Professor of Psychology Irving Kirsch from Harvard Medical School.
    We discuss: That the work aimed to review the quality of meta-analyses and any relevant clinical studies of ECT. How there have only ever been 11 studies that have compared ECT with sham ECT (SECT). Sham ECT is when the anaesthetic is administered but not followed by shocks to the brain. That in addition to reviewing the quality of the studies, the paper went on to consider the effect of placebo in the administration of ECT. That when reviewing the quality of studies, a 24-point scale was used and that the scorers were blinded to each other’s ratings. The 24-point scale included 5 basic Cochrane Collaboration criteria and an additional 19 quality indicators, some of which were specific to ECT procedures. The average quality score across all the studies was 12.3 out of a 24 maximum. One of the most important findings was that none of the studies reviewed were double-blind. The reason for this is that the patients can’t be blinded to the procedure because the adverse after-effects are very obvious. In reviewing the studies it was sometimes the case that only the treating psychiatrist was rating the effectiveness of the procedure, not the patient. The 5 meta-analyses themselves only contained between 1 and 7 of the eleven available studies. The recommendation from the paper is that the use of ECT should be suspended pending a properly controlled, rigorous clinical trial. That the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has decided to review their ECT recommendations in their depression guidelines, considering the review. That the Royal College of Psychiatrists has indicated that they will update their ECT position statement in light of the review. It has come to light recently that NHS Trusts in the UK are sometimes using out of date or incorrect information in their ECT guidance leaflets, an example of this is referring to ECT correcting a ‘chemical imbalance in the brain’. How the expectations of the treating doctor can influence the condition of the person undergoing the treatment. That the placebo effect can be large and long-lasting and that the more invasive the procedure, the larger the effect. That one of the characteristics of depression is the feeling of hopelessness and that when you are given a new treatment, it can instil a sense of hope which counters the hopelessness. That the call to prohibit ECT is because the negative effects of ECT are so strong, the fact that the evidence supporting it is so weak (especially in the long-term and beyond the improvement due to placebo) and that there are other means of addressing the difficulties that the person is dealing with. That placebos are, in essence, a type of psychological therapy. Links and further reading: Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression: A Review of the Quality of ECT versus Sham ECT Trials and Meta-Analyses
    Richard P. Bentall: ECT is a c

    • 38 min
    Scott Greenspan - Exercise for Youth Mental Health in the Lockdown

    Scott Greenspan - Exercise for Youth Mental Health in the Lockdown

    Scott Greenspan recently received his doctorate in School Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a mental health counselor, he works to create opportunities for schools to be "hubs of wellness interventions." Scott's research draws from his own experiences working with youth in a variety of capacities, as well as his understanding of the vital role exercise plays in wellness.
    His research has focused on the integration of physical activity within school-based mental health programs as well as gender-affirming school-based interventions for sexual minority and gender diverse youth. Scott is currently completing his pre-doctoral clinical internship at Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston and holds an appointment as a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School.
    In this interview, Scott discusses how a social justice approach informs his work and why it matters for schools to focus on gender diverse youth in sport. He addresses the influence that the COVID-19 pandemic may be having on adolescents and what parents and teachers can do to help. Scott offers practical solutions for integrating physical exercise into virtual learning. You can find out more about Scott on Linkedin and Twitter.

    • 25 min
    Dainius Pūras - Bringing Human Rights to Mental Health Care

    Dainius Pūras - Bringing Human Rights to Mental Health Care

    Dainius Pūras is a medical doctor and human rights advocate. He is currently serving the final year of his term as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. He is also a professor at Vilnius University, Lithuania, and the director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, an NGO based in Vilnius.
    Pūras has been a human rights activist for 30 years involved in national, regional, and global activities that promote human rights-based policies and services, with a focus on mental health, child health, disabilities, and the prevention of violence and coercion. He was a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child from 2007 to 2011.
    From the time he was appointed to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2014, Pūras has pushed for a paradigm shift in mental health care. During his mandate, he has written several reports that emphasize the importance of the social determinants of health and criticize the dominance of the biomedical model and the medicalization of depression. While his work has occasionally been met with derision from some mainstream psychiatric institutions, he continues to bring attention to coercive practices and human rights violations and to call for greater investment in rights-based approaches to mental health care and suicide prevention.
    In this interview, Pūras discusses his own journey as a psychiatrist, his decision to get involved in human rights work, his goals for his UN reports, and the future of rights-based mental health care.

    • 40 min
    Sunil Bhatia - When Psychology Speaks for You, Without You

    Sunil Bhatia - When Psychology Speaks for You, Without You

    Sunil Bhatia is a professor and chair of the Department of Human Development at Connecticut College. He is the author of two books and over 50 articles and book chapters. He has received numerous awards for his work in the field of decolonizing psychology, cultural psychology, and qualitative methods and for studies of migrant and racial identities. Most recently, his second book, Decolonizing psychology: Globalization, social justice, and Indian youth identities,received the 2018 William James book award from the American Psychological Association APA).
    The movement to decolonize psychology is led by interdisciplinary scholars demanding a move away from the biomedical model of mental health and its colonial roots, especially in the Global South. Bhatia has been writing about these issues for over two decades and has often encountered resistance for speaking against mainstream voices. He is now one of the foremost experts in the field of decolonial studies. His work asks vital questions: Who decides what psychology should study? How do economic and social systems influence psychology? Is it possible to address economic inequality and social issues in psychotherapy? Does psychology speak of people, about people, or does it try to speak for them?
     

    • 54 min
    Nicole Beurkens – What If This Pandemic Is the Best Thing to Happen to Children with Challenges?

    Nicole Beurkens – What If This Pandemic Is the Best Thing to Happen to Children with Challenges?

    This week on MIA Radio, we interview Nicole Beurkens, PhD, about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and “quarantine life” on children with different types of behavioral, emotional, and neurodevelopmental challenges. Families may be understandably worried that the stress of lockdown may aggravate their child’s struggles. Yet, we hear some parents say the situation has changed their child for the better. Why might that be?
    A unique combination of psychologist, nutritionist, and special educator, Dr. Nicole Beurkens has over 20 years of experience supporting children, young adults, and families.  She is an expert in evaluating and treating a wide range of learning, mood, and behavior challenges. Dr. Beurkens holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, master’s degrees in special education and nutrition, and is a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist.  She is the founder and director of Horizons Developmental Resource Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she leads a multidisciplinary team dedicated to exceptional evaluation and integrative treatment services, research on innovative treatment protocols, and professional training on best practices.
    Dr. Beurkens is a highly sought-after international consultant and speaker, award-winning therapist, published researcher, and best-selling author.  Her work has been highlighted in numerous publications, and she is an expert media source.  When she isn’t working, Dr. Beurkens enjoys spending time with her husband and four children.
    (audio to be added)
    We discuss: Her background as a holistic therapist helping children with severe behavioral and emotional problems, which combines training and experience in special education, psychology, and nutrition. She integrates these skills to uncover and address the physical, social, and/or environmental “root causes” underlying her patients’ symptoms, which often include dietary, sleep, immune, and other previously undiagnosed issues. How “sheltering in place” slows down and simplifies life, which can benefit kids with neurodevelopmental, mental health and other challenges by reducing the usual heavy demands of school, therapies, and activities; allowing them to take the time they need to accomplish things; and letting them get more sleep. That schools tend to focus on academic achievement at the expense of developing other important skills such as planning, time management, and interpersonal relations. Being home offers parents an opportunity to focus on nurturing these life skills through planned and spontaneous family activities. How parents can leverage the plusses of staying at home and minimize the minuses. Lowering stress levels and activity overload is key: Parents should not only limit their expectations of their kids, but of themselves. That said, this is an opportunity for adult-child collaboration on household chores and decision-making, especially with older kids. The importance of maintaining balance between learning activities, personal development, play, creative pursuits, and exercise or movement, tailored to your child’s and family’s needs. These need not be structured to be valuable; some kids learn best through self-directed activity. Boredom and doing nothing can also be valuable; parents should not feel compelled to entertain or teach their children all day long. Specific strategies to support children with different types of challenges during this quieter period. For example, those typically given an ADHD diagnosis, whatever the underlying cause, struggle with planning, organizing, and follow-through. Now we can help them practice these skills and become more independent by developing their own goals and schedules for the things they want and need to do. The opportunities the pandemic offers children with anxiety to face their fears and “build resilience.” These include developing coping

    • 26 min
    MIA Town Hall 1 - Are We Living in the Most Dialogical Time Ever?

    MIA Town Hall 1 - Are We Living in the Most Dialogical Time Ever?

    This week on MIA Radio we share the audio from our first Town Hall panel discussion. Mad in America, Open Excellence and the HOPEnDialogue project have collaborated to create an ongoing series of Town Hall discussions exploring the challenges, learnings and opportunities for personal and societal growth found through dialogical responses to crisis in the age of COVID-19.
    The title of this first discussion is: Are We Living in the Most Dialogical Time Ever? And the hosts are Kermit Cole and Louisa Putnam.
    COVID-19 has forced us all into new ways of being, new ways of relating to each other, and new ways of responding to each other in a time of crisis. These new ways reveal more clearly than ever how essential dialogue is to the human experience. 
    What are dialogical practitioners doing — and learning — in this time of crisis? What do these learnings suggest or make possible that might have previously seemed unattainable? What insights do people who have lived with a sense of crisis, often cut off from “mainstream” dialogues, have to offer a world in crisis?
    Hosts
    Kermit Cole and Louisa Putnam are inspired by Open Dialogue to respond as a team to individuals, couples and families in crisis. They have hosted many symposia in Santa Fe, New Mexico to explore the intersections between Open Dialogue, Hearing Voices, and other Dialogical approaches, and recently completed their studies under Jaakko Seikkula to be Open Dialogue trainers.
    Panellists
    Jaakko Seikkula teaches Dialogical practice to the many people around the world who have been inspired by the Open Dialogue, the response to mental health crises in Tornio, Finland that Jaakko’s team created.
    Richard Armitage is a dialogical practitioner and trainer in Denmark at a large centre for supported living and rehabilitation.
    Iseult Twamley is a Clinical Psychologist and Open Dialogue Trainer/Supervisor. Since 2012 she has been Clinical Lead of the Cork  Open Dialogue Implementation, Ireland. 
    Rai Waddingham is an Open Dialogue Practitioner, international trainer, and has created, established and managed innovative Hearing Voices Network projects in youth, prison, forensic, inpatient and community settings.
    Andrea Zwicknagl is a peer support worker in Switzerland and a board member of HOPEnDialogue.

    • 1 hr 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
70 Ratings

70 Ratings

One yogi ,

The future of integrated well-being

Chances are if you or a loved-one have encountered mental challenges, you or the loved-ones have been on anti-depressents, mood modulators or anti-psychotics. And these pharmaceuticals may have appeared to work...for a while. You may even have been temporarily grateful. But many people get on these medicines and stagnate or feel worse with new symptoms developing and become stuck. Stuck with a label; Stuck in bad social systems; Stuck on medicines that stop helping and stuck in a system that is propped up by so-called experts who would like the system to continue regardless of the true data and people’s experiences on these drugs.

I am a part of the Prozac Generation and we are speaking up. No more. Count me as one amongst your army speaking up for change. Silent No More.

pauliallen ,

Fantastic Resource - Pill Takers beware

These are massively informative podcasts featuring the stories of everyday people who have struggled to wean themselves off anti-depressants. This podcast promotes awareness to those who are contemplating taking anti-depressants of the following:

1) It is very difficult to come off anti-depressants and attempting to do so without proper support is a danger to one's own life and perhaps to others.

2) People who are on anti-depressants are often stuck between a rock and hardplate suffering from the adverse effects of being on drugs and then even worse effects when coming off them. The latter is far worse than the original condition that precipitated a visit to a GP or psychiatrist in the first place.

3) Doctors, whether psychiatrists or GPs, generally do not attribute the effects of the drugs on
the drugs themselves but rather on the patient's 'original condition'. For this reason as well as because of a lack of training, most GPs and psychiatrists simply do not know how to advise patients wanting to quit drugs.

4) Doctors do not inform patients of adverse effects when prescribing psychiatric drugs to a particular patient who has never been on drugs. The stories are almost all the same in this regard. Doctors do not explain the adverse effects and often minimise the possibility of them occuring or their impact once they do occur.

5) The general message from the podcasts is to have a structured tapering schedule with an appropriately skilled person (sometimes the skilled person is not a doctor). Often such skilled persons are not around.

6) The podcast shatters the myth that these drugs adversely effect a miniscule proportion of patients. Most patients, many doctors and people in general don't connect the dots of adverse effects, withdrawal and unusual behaviour.

James Moore communicates clearly and effectively. I wholeheartedly recommend this podcast to professionals and laymen alike.

Survivors of psychiatry (like myself) would also enjoy listening to these podcasts. We're not alone.

Andcox ,

Important and encouraging

This is a great podcast for anyone taking, thinking of taking, or withdrawing from antidepressants. Please consider having Kelly Brogan,MD as a guest on your program. She is one of the few physicians speaking out about the effects of these drugs and the alternatives to medication for anxiety and depression. Her book "A Mind of Your Own" has been critical in my withdrawal process and I know she could help many listeners as well.

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