Some interesting psychiatry related links

*The person i address in this post is a friend of mine working on a mental health docu*

An excellent, and oft referenced book(s) review by Marcia Angell. It sums up the major debates in psychiatry very comprehensively. (it’s in two parts)

This is a good song parody about big pharma 🙂

The critical psychiatry network. Based in Britain, comprised of mental health professionals. members include pat bracken and joanna moncrieff. Has a great collection of articles

possibly the most informative talk i’ve watched. Given by allen francis, a chair of the board that produced dsm iv. He covers a lot in this talk. cannot recommend watching it enough

Joanna moncrieff talking about the chemical imbalance theory. very interesting, particularly if you are interested in the socio-political history to madness. Given that you are interested mainly in Big Pharmas role in propagating the ‘myth’ of the chemical imbalance – by advertising, allying themselves to the psychiatric profession , funding studies and service user groups etc- this video, and allen francis video are well worth watching

The social control theme is explored more by Thomas Szasz. Szasz is one of the leaders of the 60’s anti psychiatry movement. I’m not sure is what to make as Szasz. I think his views are extreme. But I don’t think he is a polemist in the way the likes of m moore are. He is more of an absolutist when it come’s to certain principles, like autonomy and personal responsibility. He’s seems more honest than manipulative.

pat bracken has a very good talk on something called postpsychiatry. He goes into the philosophical underpinnings of psychiatry as a discipline. extremely interesting and well articulated but probably not as relevant for your purposes.

thomas insel, head of NIMH, gave a ted talk on the possible biological root of mental disorders. there are certain parties on each side of the biomedical debate who acknowledge that our knowledge of the biological aspect of mental illness is so limited it is not particularly useful (in terms of diagnosis and specifying treatment). One side (e.g pat bracken) conclude that we should abandon the biomedical model anyway, the other side (insel) argue that the biomedical model will ultimately yield the most benefit and we should stick with it (and what’s more we are on the threshold of making a break thru in terms of biological understanding). this is a hard debate to understand the nuances of.

TVO panel show. i like canadians. this show is interesting, if a little of a mixed bag. You will see clips from it in the video i gave you

Welsh David healy on how big pharma influences our perceptions of our mental turbulences. good viewing, though I do sometimes get the impression healy extrapolates a bit much

allen francis and healys talks were featured as part of the TVO Big ideas podcast series. This series is incredible. If you ever decide to look through the talks i can recommend my favourite. there are hundreds

madness radio is a great radio series. what the speakers have to say is very varied, from deeply personal experiences, to experiences as an activist to academic and often a fantastic mix of everything in between. Actually, come to think of it, it may be worth your while to contact them and ask them if you could contribute.

I know that there are countless more articles and talks i’ve enjoyed but i can’t remember them right now. I don’t want to put too many here either or you won’t have time to check them out. you can convert the videos to mp3 here
Apparently we sit for far longer than is good for us. Much nicer to listen to these things as mp3s as we walk around the fields i think 🙂

You will hopefully get a better idea of what my take on the main issues in psychiatry is after watching the video i will drop into you. Personally I think the crux of the problem lays in our strong tendency towards reductionism. The same is true of education. We seem to have a real problem with ambivalence.


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