Monthly Archives: January 2012

Not Diseases, But Categories of Suffering

Gary Greenburgby Gary Greenberg, in The New York Times

You’ve got to feel sorry for the American Psychiatric Association, at least for a moment. Its members proposed a change to the definition of autism in the fifth edition of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, one that would eliminate the separate category of Asperger syndrome in 2013. And the next thing they knew, a prominent psychiatrist was quoted in a front-page article in this paper saying the result would be fewer diagnoses, which would mean fewer troubled children eligible for services like special education and disability payments.

Then, just a few days later, another front-pager featured a pair of equally prominent experts explaining their smackdown of the A.P.A.’s proposal to eliminate the “bereavement exclusion” — the two months granted the grieving before their mourning can be classified as “major” depression. This time, the problem was that the move would raise the numbers of people with the diagnosis, increasing health care costs and the use of already pervasive mind-altering drugs, as well as pathologizing a normal life experience.

Fewer patients, more patients: the A.P.A. just can’t win. Someone is always mad at it for its diagnostic manual.

Read full article

Gary Greenburg is a practicing psychotherapist, and author of Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease.

Second Annual Symposium

Friday & Saturday, May 11 – 12, 2012

CEU’s available for LCSW’s & LPC’s each day.

Join us at our second annual symposium as we continue to foster collaboration and build community in the mental health arena.  Our theme this year is Renaming and Reclaiming Our Mental Health Story: Highlighting Our Personal Journeys, Experience & Legal Rights

This is an inclusive forum for mental health professionals, organizations, and those seeking to learn more about holistic and integrative treatment options for mental health issues. We will be highlighting personal stories, practitioner experiences, and clarifying individual’s legal rights..

James Gottstein of

Keynote Speaker, James Gottstein, Esq.

Founder of PsychRights Law Project for Psychiatric Rights whose mission is to mount a strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock across the United States. Winner of four important Alaska Supreme Court cases involving psychiatric rights.

Click here for details
Symposium program and resource guide (pdf)

Press Release (pdf)

7 Reasons America’s Mental Health Industry is a Threat to Our Sanity

Bruce Levineby Bruce E. Levine in AlterNet

Drug industry corruption, scientifically unreliable diagnoses and pseudoscientific research have compromised the values of the psychiatric profession.

The majority of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals “go along to get along” and maintain a status quo that includes drug company corruption, pseudoscientific research and a “standard of care” that is routinely damaging and occasionally kills young children. If that sounds hyperbolic, then you probably have not heard of Rebecca Riley, and how the highest levels of psychiatry described her treatment as “appropriate and within responsible professional standards.”   Read more

A Three Pronged Approach to Mental Health System Change

Jim Gottstein or PsychRights.orgby Jim Gottstein in Mad in America

Three elements that reinforce each other in ways that can lead to meaningful system change. These are: (1) Changing Public Attitudes, (2) Creation of Other Choices (Alternatives),  and (3) Strategic Litigation (Honoring Rights).

Changing Public Attitudes <—> Creation of Alternatives

For example, debunking the myths among the general public that

  1. psychiatric drugs are the best treatment,
  2. locking people up and drugging and electroshocking them against their will is an effective strategy,  and
  3. people do not recover after a diagnosis of serious mental health illness

can greatly increase the public’s willingness to invest in non-coercive, non-drug, recovery oriented choices or alternatives.  Read more