Mental Illness & Voting Rights

A unique political issue has emerged that involves voting rights and people who have been found not guilty of crimes by reason of insanity. Lawmakers in Rhode Island are pushing to take away voting rights for these people, which has sparked some very interesting debate that drawns in politics and psychology. I think this is a pretty complex issue, and one of the largest concerns for me is whether this sets a precedent that people with severe mental illness who are not even...
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John Travolta Says No to Psychiatric Meds

One of our member's blogs, Fighting the Darkness, has a post that comments on John Travolta's recent declaration against psychiatric medications. I'm not sure why the media gives attention to what any particular Hollywood star thinks on these matters.

Wouldn't it be more appropriate and, well, newsworthy, to report on what researchers and scientists think on this matter? You know, with like, actual data and scientific research? Oh, but then it wouldn't be "news," now would it?

Sorry, I just can't take this...
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Meaningful Work

If you're a person in recovery from an illness like bipolar you've probably heard the phrase "meaningful work" and know it's considered to be a cornerstone of wellness. Like many of you (I read your blogs too) I've had a really hard time keeping...
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Cho wasn’t on meds

Police released some details of the toxicology report from the Virginia Tech killer's body, and found no trace of any prescription, or illicit, medication. Nor were there any found in his home. Almost immediately after the shootings there were antipsychiatry activists claiming that antidepressants drove him to it, but that inflammatory rhetoric has now been disproven.

"Tod Burke, professor of criminal justice at Radford University, said the toxicology report isn't surprising, and anyone who thought the presence of drugs in Cho's blood system might...
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Army Hiring More Mental Health Workers

The push to improve military mental health continues. Part of the new package of changes includes a massive proposal to hire psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. I'm glad to see that the military is going beyond policy changes and is actually going to allow for more services. Not only does this bode well for mental health professionals looking for work in the military system, but it also makes a larger cultural statement that mental health is important and that these types of professionals...
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Children and Psychiatric Medication

An editorial in the Boston Globe discusses the growing backlash against putting children on psychiatric medication. The main point is that despite the risks, medication for children with psychological problems can be an effective treatment. What I hope is happening on a larger scale is that people are grappling with the philosophical question of what constitutes "mental illness" and how we treat it.

Medication for children who are suffering problems because of turbulant family environments or poor coping skills can alleviate symptoms, but...
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Higher IQ and Firstborns — The Real Story

As many news organizations reported this past week, a study on 241,000 Norwegian 18- and 19-year-olds found a small difference in IQ, which the researchers attributed to family dynamics, not biological or genetic differences.

And that's the key take-away from the research. Not, as most media organizations are headlining that "First Born Have Higher IQs." Because, while factually true, the headline is completely misleading. A 3 point difference is not clinically significant, certainly not significant enough to have life-altering effects or differences one...
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