Saturday, February 21, 2009

Time for another hunger strike

NIMH are still getting away with saying that depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain without quoting any evidence. So they're agreeing with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as I pointed out in my article from a few years ago.

There are massive research interests in psychiatry. If depression is not a disorder of the brain, it would potentially undermine what is called research and development, but despite saying that there have been improved treatments over the last 5 years the APA did not make any effort to explain what these improvements have been in response to a hunger strike in 2003. Would NIMH respond to a hunger stike?

(With thanks to Deborah and Vince)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was one of the six strikers who challenged the APA, the Surgeon General of the U.S., and the National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) in the fall of 2003. We holed up in a church building (picture below, I'm the old guy in the foreground) in Pasadena, CA for 21 days without solid food. About 40 others took up the challenge throughout the world and did independent strikes.

The other participants in Pasadena were: Krista Erickson (Chicago, IL), David Gonzalez (New York, NY), David Oaks (Eugene, OR), Romi Sayama (CA), Mickey Weinberg (Pasadena, CA).

We were backed by a review panel headed by former chief of the National Institute of Mental Health's Center for the Study of Schizophrenia. The panelists included Fred Baughman, MD (CA), Peter Breggin, MD (NY), Mary Boyle, PhD (United Kingdom), David Cohen, PhD (FL), Ty Colbert (CA), Pat Deegan, PhD (MA), Thomas Greening, PhD (CA), Albert Galves, PhD (NM), David Jacobs, PhD (CA), Jay Joseph,PhD (CA), Jonathan Leo, PhD (CA), Bruce Levine, PhD (OH), Loren Mosher, MD (CA), Stuart Shipko, MD (CA).

>From my point of view, the strike was a success. I believe that we showed the world how easily Big Lies could be challenged. For a time we focused the worlds attention on the massive ideological problems of the biological hypotheticals upon which much of mental health treatment is based. We certainly got a lot of attention, including a major article in the Washington Post and a cover story on the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. There were OpEds from around the country, talk show interviews, and calls from news services from around the world.

Would I do it again?

You can bet on it.