Resources and Reading

First things first: I hate that the impetus is on those already suffering to do even more work, but if you are thinking of hurting yourself, please reach out if you can.  Please call (a warm line is a hotline run by peers who are less likely to call the police and more likely to share their own experiences) or call or text.  Please read this. And/or this. And/or this.  If you can’t call or it’s not an emergency, write or email. You are worth it.

~*~ Keep checking back for revisions and updates (last update June 19, 2018) ~*~

  • This really validating piece by a neurodiverse psychologist (something I’m becoming, too!)
  • Evidence-based psychological treatments.
  • This course led by lawyer, activist and psychiatric survivor Tina Minkowitz has some excellent resources on the rights of people with disabilities, forced treatment/intervention as torture and more.
  • Turn a thought into a star and watch it disappear (more relaxing and not as invalidating as it sounds)
  • If you’re in Western Massachusetts, check out the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community – a lovely alternative to the traditional mental health system.
  • TrumpWatch from Entropy (and especially their resources page)
  • Self-care tips/resources specifically compiled for a Trump Administration
  • Why calling the police/directing struggling people to a hospital is a bad idea.
  • A somewhat simplistic but possibly helpful guide for getting through a rough patch.
  • A gentle but very compelling case for emotional hygiene.  And a longer, deeper version (same speaker).
  • Compassion for your various voices.
  • A place to report abuse in psychotherapeutic settings.
  • The Mental Illness Happy Hour blog and podcast, which has some great stuff.
  • Peer respites aren’t in every state (yet), but they are in several.
  • Resources if you can’t afford therapy. I do not vouch for all of these as I’m not personally familiar with all of them; please investigate for yourself!
  • A Tumblr of worthwhile thoughts regarding mental illness.
  • A searchable database of treatments
  • An academic challenge to the prevailing model of the terms, causes and implications of psychiatric illness: Environmental Failure – Oppression is the only cause of psychopathology.
  • A survey of studies that challenge the prevailing ideology that links homelessness and mental illness without accounting for the debilitating affects on mental and physical health that poverty provokes.
  • The other MIA – Mad in America.  A blog dedicated to rethinking psychiatry. They’ve got a good video about medications.
  • And this is a long, fairly old but still totally relevant article in The Atlantic about how drugs get from the twinkle in a corporation’s eye into your precious, fearfully and wonderfully made system. Another discussion on meds and their relationship to science.
  • One doctor’s caution against psychiatric drugs.  “Stopping them can be almost as dangerous as starting them.”  He started a center, too.  And the FDA doesn’t seem interested in protecting the public like it is its states its purpose for existing.
  • An interesting study on the implicit racism in the prescribing of certain kinds of pharmaceuticals.
  • Proof that there can be alternatives to medication.  Not intended to be taken as medical advice.
  • A support network and activist group for those will mental health lived realities.  And here it is in Spanish.  Intentionally alternative; culturally radical.
  • Rethinking diagnosis and treatment protocols: when, for example, depression isn’t depression, and extreme states, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  “‘Where at one time the self was understood through the frameworks of religion, society, economics, politics or psychology” he observes, contemporary culture reflects the belief that “selfhood is mediated by brain chemistry and genetic heritage” (Stepnisky, 2007; p. 188)…In Stepnisky’s view, the disavowal of the social, historical, and interpersonal aspects of selfhood and suffering hamper the quest for the sort of deeper understanding that “allows life to move forward” (2007, p. 204)… Getting depressed people better and back to work then substitutes for a proper examination of the problems generated by poverty, changes in the nature of employment, and social and family breakdown…The imperative to seek an explanation for underperformance or failure becomes ever more pressing as society becomes more and more competitive.”
  • Mixed feelings about this: it’s a training program designed to strengthen community support and involvement in the issues of mental health. Changing the conversation, fighting the stigma and endeavoring to really see and meet people where they are are all good things. There is a risk here, though, of further entrenching toxic misunderstandings and stereotypes as well as guiding people into “treatment” that has an ambiguous record of actually being helpful. Additionally, “First Aid” can be a trivializing term; not all mental-‘illness’ sufferers also struggle with substance abuse. Some people I know – who have lived experienced of mental health realities – have gone through the training and feel it is a step in the right direction. Be discerning!
  • This support training and education organization for emotional crisis assistance seems to me to be a bit more well-rounded and helpful.
  • Another resource for those seeking therapy, support group and information on mental health realities (again, be discerning): Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • An interesting blog about (what’s formerly called) Asperger’s
  • An alternative to psychiatry
  • If you yourself would like to write about disability, this is a pretty good resource, with a few exceptions I personally take to it: I’m concerned that this publication thinks it’s okay to still be using terms like “high-functioning” when they are, in fact, just as derogatory as “loony” and “psycho.” I also find it strange that it encourages people to ask professionals how they’d like to be referred to but not how people dealing with what is commonly referred to as “mental illness” how they’d like to be described. And “intellectually disabled” strikes me as outdated and rather offensive, especially when “cognitive disabilities” is available (and I’ve seen the latter term used much more often in scholarly resources). Additionally, I think it was a mistake for the DSM 4 to “revise” Multiple Personality Disorder to Dissociative Identity disorder; there’s a growing body of work that suggests they are actually two separate lived experiences. Finally, maybe I’m missing it, but I’m wondering if they state somewhere how many people who have experiences with the conditions mentioned in this resource as they were compiling it – or, better yet, how many of the people involved in this project experience these conditions themselves.
  •  This is a lot of stuff: breathe.

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