Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Nov 6, 2012

Hearing Voices in Accra and Chennai: How Culture Makes A Difference to Psychiatric Experience

via Neuroanthropology blog at PLOS Blogs 

Tanya Luhrmann, hearing voices in Accra and Chenai by Greg Downey here

via The Wilson Quarterly Beyond the Brain by Tanya Marie Luhrmann 

Update 1-16-2013 via Ruminations on Madness
Return of the Social: Rewriting the recent history of schizophrenia 
"I’ve long felt a certain ambivalence regarding Tanya Luhrmann’s work on psychosis (see, e.g., a much earlier post here).  Part of my frustration stems from Luhrmann’s disconnect, so far as I can tell, from the complexities of the user/survivor movement, and part from disappointment that  the tremendous potential latent in her topics of choice—potential, above all, to inject psychiatric discourse with the theoretical nuance I otherwise associate with contemporary medical anthropology—is so rarely realized.  Luhrmann’s latest commentary—an informal piece on the recent history of schizophrenia treatment, presumably targeting educated non-specialists—unfortunately only intensifies my frustration (and more than a touch of righteous anger) with her work.  Instead of careful attention to cracks and discontinuities, to politics and the machinations of neoliberalism,  Luhrmann sets out to tell what amounts to a surprisingly classic (and even more surprisingly uninformed) metanarrative of the ‘necessary progress’ of knowledge and freedom—knowledge advanced by scholars, and freedom, of course, for schizophrenia patients.  (Progress, admittedly, that is (always?) also a return to as Luhrmann puts it, “an older, wiser understanding of the mind and body.”) Here are a few of my complaints:


"Luhrmann’s noticeably Hegelian rendering of the history of the modern psychiatric treatment of schizophrenia goes approximately like this: for much of the early 20th century, American psychiatrists attributed the development of schizophrenia to poor mothering, and turned to primarily psychosocial therapies informed by psychoanalysis.  The 1980s, in contrast, marked the introduction of an “antithetical” discourse—biomedical psychiatry, peaking with the “decade of the brain” in the 90s—followed more recently by the synthetic ‘return of the social’.  In a particularly memorable line—one that would stun both my activist and mental health services researcher colleagues—Luhrmann announces, “It is now clear that the simple biomedical approach to serious psychiatric illnesses has failed… At least, the bold dream that these maladies would be understood as brain disorders with clearly identifiable genetic causes and clear, targeted pharmacological interventions…has faded into the mist.”  That the decade of the brain oversold itself and that biopsychiatry has—as for the last half century at a minimum—been strongly contested by activists, as well social and community psychologists and psychiatrists, is undeniable.  That biopsychiatry has “faded in to the mist”…? Let me attempt to unpack a few of the complexities Luhrmann ignores." read here

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