Monthly Archives: May 2013

Open Dialogue adopted in Vermont, USA

Leading the project is Dr. Sandra Steingard, the Howard Center’s medical director of mental health and substance abuse services. For much of her 30-year career, Steingard largely accepted the mainstream thinking of the American psychiatric community — that antipsychotic medications are a critical tool in treating people who are delusional or hearing voices.

Last summer, Steingard traveled to Finland for preliminary training in Open Dialogue. Patient outcomes in that country are almost exactly opposite of those in the United States: After five years, about 80 percent of patients are fully recovered from their first-episode psychoses and are back at work. In Finland, where antipsychotic drugs aren’t prescribed as much as in the U.S., only one in five patients require any maintenance meds — or those taken continuously — at all.“They’re not really seeing schizophrenia in Finland. They’re seeing the same number of people coming in with acute psychosis,” Steingard says, “but people are getting better.”

This month in voices: March 2013

Another fine collation of the current research by Simon McCarthy- Jones

This month in voices

This month, despite a paper on the Hearing Voices Movement’s approach, and a couple of papers on CBT-related aspects of voice-hearing, the majority of the papers are neurological in focus. Given this, I’ve put a sprinkling of other talks/articles at the end of this post, to give things a more rounded bouquet. Sláinte!


Manchester, England. Bucci and colleagues examine what predicts whether people obey the harmful commands given by some voices.Manchester library

Accessible summary: Around three in four people who hear voices will have some voices that tell or command them to do things. This study examined what factors predicted whether people did the harmful things (either to themselves or others) that voices told them to do. In people interviewed, 25/32 heard voices commanding them to hurt themselves (31% obeyed these voices), and 10/32 heard voices commanding them to  hurt others (11% obeyed these voices). It was found that the…

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Paradigms lost: NIMH, McGorry & DSM-5’s failure – Left Flank

Here is one psychiatrists view on the current debates in psychiatry

“The real problem afflicting all these attempts to find a way out of the current impasse is that they have failed to accurately diagnose the sources of the crisis. Because psychiatry, like the rest of medicine, is deeply imbued with scientific positivism (that real science is free of social values) and methodological individualism (that social processes are merely the aggregate outcome of individual behaviours), it cannot fully grasp that all health and illness — mental and physical — is both socially embedded and socially constructed. Therefore it cannot critically reflect on its own social nature, its own ideologies and practices that are inextricably bound up with wider social conflicts in their historical contexts.”

Paradigms lost: NIMH, McGorry & DSM-5’s failure – Left Flank.

Video interview with John Nash of Beautiful Mind fame (with commentary)

“John Nash only took drugs for a brief period during crisis and then lived the great majority of his life without psychotropic medication”

Everything Matters

nashUpdated Dec. 2015

The film A Beautiful Mind was about John Nash. There is some commentary about this film on Beyond Meds written by Bruce Levine. It’s worth reading.

The story told in the movie was changed from the real events to create a politically correct view of mental illness being that one must take psychiatric drugs for the rest of one’s life. John Nash, instead, only took drugs for a brief period during crisis and then lived the great majority of his life without psychotropic medication.

I’ve posted these videos and the commentary before and since it seems to me the blog is forever getting new readers I’m posting it again. This is an important topic since John Nash is now perhaps the most famous person who was ever labeled schizophrenic and the public was lied to about his condition in the blockbuster movie.

John Nash in the below…

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Yale Psychiatry Professor write: “Mental Illness Fallacies Counterproductive”

Professor Larry Davidson is critical of an attempt in Connecticut to introduce compulsory treatment in this Opinion piece in the Connecticut Courant, where he says:

“Proponents of Connecticut establishing a law that would allow the involuntary treatment of people with mental illness in the community have recently used two misleading ideas to support their case.

They acknowledge that voluntary treatment is preferable, but point out it doesn’t work for everyone. Among the reasons they give for the failure of voluntary treatment is that some people with mental illness have a condition that makes them unaware they are ill, or they don’t like the side effects of medication. Both assertions are highly questionable and neither does justice to the seriousness of the issue.

It is misleading, for example, to refer to people with mental illnesses as either “treated” or “untreated.” The medications we currently have for these conditions do not come close to resembling the effective use of insulin for diabetes, for example. Only seven out of 10 people with a serious mental illness will derive any benefit from medications, and these benefits will typically be modest.”

Oliver Sacks new book – Hearing Things: When Auditory Hallucinations Take Over the Mind

“The persistence of hallucinations causes great suffering for some. In his new book, “Hallucinations,” neuroscientist Oliver Sacks explores the many kinds of unreal experiences people have.”

Hearing Things: When Auditory Hallucinations Take Over the Mind – Mind & Body – Utne Reader.

The “Being Sane in Insane Places” report referred to in this articale is available at

I wonder if anything has really changed since 1973….