Why is ECT, electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock, so widely used today? How is the ECT industry manipulating research and public perceptions the way tobacco companies did about cigarettes? What are the real dangers of this lobotomy-era treatment? ECT survivor Linda Andre discusses her groundbreaking new Rutgers University Press book, Doctors of Deception: What They Don't Want You To Know About Shock Treatment. www.doctorsofdeception.com; www.ect.org.
How can people recover from serious drinking problems? Are 12-step and Alcoholics Anonymous programs right for everyone? Anne Fletcher, author of Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems, discusses how people successfully overcome alcohol abuse and regain control of their lives. www.annemfletcher.com/ http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Commit...
Has society's embrace of psychiatric medications led to recovery -- or chronic disability? What would honest medical policy and treatment standards be if they were free of pharmaceutical company corruption? Pulitzer Prize finalist Robert Whitaker, author of Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, discusses medications as a failed paradigm of care, and imagines what a sane alternative would look like. www.madinamerica.com.
Do pharmaceutical companies control the social definition of normal? Can advertising and public relations campaigns turn acceptable personality differences into unacceptable disorders? British-American literary critic and historian Christopher Lane discusses his book Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, including the way politics and profits drive the bible of mental health treatment, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. www.christopherlane.org/ http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/si...
Grace Guyol, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and author of Healing Depression and Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs: Inspiring Stories of Restoring Mental Health Through Natural Therapies, discusses nutrition, supplements, and holistic health care for helping people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses. GGuyol (at) aol.com
Psychology professor Randy Frost, author of Buried In Treasures, discusses his work on hoarding, people who collect so much stuff excessively that it disrupts their lives or creates a health or fire hazard, including how to help people without risking adding to the problem through intrusive or drastic intervention. email@example.com.
Editor Sabrina Chapadjiev discusses the new Seven Stories Press anthology Live Through This: On Creativity and Self Destruction, a rich collection of women artists sharing intimate accounts of cutting, alcoholism, suicide, abuse, madness and other self harm and how it relates to their creativity. Authors include bell hooks, Bonfire Madigan Shive, Patricia Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Inga Muscio, Kate Bornstein, and Nicole Blackman. http://sabrinachap.com/LTT
UK video activist and writer Mel Gunasena on her mystical experiences and forced psychiatric hospitalization. Mel is the director of Evolving Minds, a documentary film about spiritual experiences and what gets labeled "psychosis" by the mental health system. She also discusses the art therapy project in Sri Lanka she helped found to assist traumatized tsunami-affected children. See a trailer for the film at www.undercurrents.org/minds and check out the Sri Lanka project at www.art-2-art.org/.
Clinical psychologist Jay Joseph details medical science's 30-year failed quest to find any link between genetics and diagnoses of mental disorders, and debunks widely held beliefs in the psychiatric profession, including the idea of 'genetic predispositions' for mental illness. Jay is the author of The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity, and the Fruitless Search for Genes and The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology Under the Microscope. http://www.jayjoseph.net/
Harvard University faculty Paula Caplan, author of They Say You're Crazy: How The World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal and editor of Bias In Psychiatric Diagnosis. Paula was on one of the writing committees for the DSM and offers an insightful perspective on the politics behind psychiatric pseudo-science. She discusses mental disorder labeling, including bipolar and post-trauma stress disorder, from a feminist perspective. www.psychdiagnosis.net http://paulajcaplan.net