Spinning Our Plates

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David Burlet in his plate-spinning act. Plate spinners were among my favorite act on the old Ed Sullivan show. They defy the laws of nature, much as people do who battle mental illness.

Some people have such difficulty expressing their periodic chasms of vengeful depression, they take to the Internet looking for narratives they might adopt for their own. Now and then, reading through these portrayals of sub-flat-line despair, they shout, “That’s fantastic!”

This does not suggest any enthusiasm – not even for recovery. Part of depression is being willing to take on anything – even the misery of others – in an effort to fill the void with something other than deep, dull pain. Continue reading

Fox in the Henhouse of Mental Health Care

Peter Gøtzsche is a sort of anti-vaxxer in the field of mental health care.

The Danish physician is head of an organization called the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet, a Copenhagen, Denmark, hospital (which does not, by the way, list mental health care on its website as among the services it offers). The center has made recent assertions that challenge solid presumptions of traditional medical care.

  • They claim mammograms subject women to significant, long-lasting emotional trauma, but produce barely any statistically significant medical benefit, such as reducing breast cancer mortality.
  • They (and Gøtzsche himself) also claim the medications used to treat mental illness actually produce symptoms of mental illness.

Continue reading