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Introducing this website - An overview (My contact details are here)

Myths & misinformation

In this website I look at some of the commonly believed myths and misinformation
about mental and emotional ill-health that can at first sound credible.

Treatment risks

I also take a look at some of the well-documented risks associated with widely
used mental health drugs - including antidepressants and drugs for children too -
particularly with long-term use.

Although I have serious concerns about the inappropriate and excessive use of
mental health medications, this is not an anti psychiatric-medication website; rather,
this website supports the freedom to choose (to take or not to take these drugs)
and the right to be fairly informed of the limits and the risks.

Alternatives

I also consider non-clinical (and non-coercive) responses to mental and emotional
distress. I do not mean way-out alternatives, but rather other ways of coping with
personal crises and the pressures of modern-day living.

Addressing your questions and concerns

So far, we have taken a closer look at a host of different issues, such as:

  • What are the risks of Ritalin and similar medications for children and young
    people with so-called ADHD? Here
  • What is "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD)? Here, and here
  • Some of the limits and risks of psychiatric drugs, here and here
  • Thinking of coming off psychiatric drugs? Some helpful thoughts on this here.
  • What are the risks from using antidepressants? Here
  • Antidepressants for children: Are they safe? Here
  • Tips on getting a good night's sleep. Here
  • Raising an emotionally healthy youngster: Some thoughts here
  • Your rights under UK mental health law. Here
  • Are mental health diagnoses a helpful and valid way of thinking about mental
    and emotional distress? Here
  • What is depression [here and here]? What helps? Here
  • Is depression really caused by chemical imbalances in the brain? Here
  • Understanding our personal and emotional suffering within the context of our
    lives and not as inherited or biological illnesses. Here

An evolving website - There's more to come

This is an evolving website. You are welcome to make suggestions and share your
views via my Facebook page or via my news and views blog. I would happily have
made this site more interactive but I don't have the technical know how!

In the near future I plan on covering topics such as:

  • What is meant by psychosis?
  • More about non-drug alternatives in response to emotional and mental distress
    and suffering.
  • Discovering greater balance and harmony.
 
Mick Bramham
 
Mick Bramham
I am a psychotherapist
based in the UK. More....
 
Link to my discussion blog
CAUTIONARY NOTE
This website is not to be
taken as a substitute for
individual therapeutic or
medical advice.
NO CONFLICTS OF
INTEREST

This website is set up by
me (and funded by me).

My original work is
copyright
© but can
of course be quoted
and linked to this site.
Thanks for respecting this.

Please understand that
any quotes from people
or book 'recommendations'
are not necessarily to be
seen as an endorsement
of that person or of their
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Mick Bramham twitter  
 
 
 

This site supports a thoughtful, personalised and non-clinical
understanding of emotional and mental distress - understood
within the culture and context of our everyday lives.

     

Some key concerns

There’s a lot of misinformation circulating when it comes to mental health problems
and treatments. In many ways our lives have been reduced to a series of problems
to be solved, symptoms to be removed, and/or techniques to be mastered.

The pressures and struggles of everyday living are increasingly being made out to
be medical problems; and as a society, we have placed our hopes in risky mental
health drugs without fully counting the cost. People I meet are ready for a more
thoughtful understanding that is more in tune with their lives and relationships.

   

Drug companies have been
very successful in convincing
the general public, doctors, and
regulators that their treatments
are safer and more effective
than is actually the case.

Sadly, commercial interests are
having a much greater influence
on mental health research,
treatments, and practice, than is
often recognised.

 

Sadly, commercial interests are having a much greater influence on mental health
research, treatments, and practice, than is often recognised.

Why does all this matter? To make informed choices about our mental health
care we do of course need to be adequately informed – only then can we weigh up
the risks of any possible treatments against any hoped for benefits.

I meet people taking mental health drugs who have little idea of the risks. Although
many of the known risks are published in academic journals, patients are often not
told of the risks when prescribed these drugs. Surely people should be clearly told
that commonly used antidepressants, for example, may increase the risk of stroke,
breast and ovarian cancer, birth defects (with pregnant mums to be), miscarriages,
diabetes, and even lead to worsening depression (including suicide). [more
here
and here on the risks of antidepressants]

Furthermore, powerful mental health drugs are increasingly being prescribed for
young people and even toddlers. These drugs can permanantly damage their
brains and adversely affect their health and behaviour. How many parents realise
that Ritalin (widely prescribed for very active and distracted children) is essentially
synthetic cocaine? [more here]

Understanding our lives in context

The jury is out regarding the impact of genes and brain chemistry on emotional
or mental distress and disturbance. What is beyond dispute is that the cutural,
social, ethnic (including discrimination), familial, interpersonal and economic
circumstances (social inequality included) of our lives have an enormous impact
on our mental and physical well-being. More specifically, injustice - including various
forms of abuse - may have been experienced.

In reality, our lives are largely shaped (and miss-shaped) by our experiences of life
[more here]. Drugs (prescribed or illicit) can't mend the hurts of childhood violence
and abuse, or the circumstances that surround the anxiety, stress and distress of
modern-day living. But if we have (incorrectly) been told that our emotional and
psychological concerns are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain [more
here
], we are less likely to seek out and discover other ways of finding balance
and greater harmony in our lives.

You can CONTACT ME here

     
         
  Martin Luther King
     

In reality, our lives are largely shaped (and miss-shaped) by our experiences of life. Drugs
(prescribed or illicit) can't mend the hurts of childhood violence and abuse, or the circumstances
that surround the anxiety, stress and distress of modern-day living. But if we have (incorrectly)
been told that our emotional and psychological concerns are primarily caused by chemical
imbalances in the brain (or, to use a popular phrase "faulty brain-wiring"), we are less likely to
seek out and discover other ways of finding balance and greater harmony in our lives.

   
Line website designed & created by Mick Bramham © 2013
 
Mick Bramham, Wessex Therapy - Counselling and psychotherapy in Weymouth and Dorchester area, Dorset and South West England