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Jacqui Dillon

Jacqui on BBC Horizon’s ‘Why Did I Go Mad?’

HorizonFor hundreds of years, psychiatry has treated voices and hallucinations as an enemy – regarding them as ‘insanity’ or ‘madness’ and seeing them as something to be quashed and even frightened of. But today, new scientific and psychological insights into how the brain works are leading to a radical rethink on what such experiences are – and how they should be treated.

Horizon follows three people living with voices, hallucinations and paranoia, to explore what causes this kind of phenomena. Providing a rare first-hand insight into these experiences, they reveal just what it is like to live with them day to day. They examine the impact of social, biological and environmental influences on conditions traditionally associated with insanity, such as schizophrenia and psychosis, and within the film they look at how new ways of understanding the brain are leading to a dramatic change in treatments and approaches, and examine whether targeting the root causes of psychosis can lead to recovery. Above all, they try to uncover why it happened to them – and whether it could happen to you.

Jacqui Dillon

See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mgxf

How much evidence is required for a paradigm shift?

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

‘Commentary on “Does social defeat mediate the association
between childhood trauma and psychosis?”:

How much evidence is required for a paradigm shift?’

 

Out Now: New Edition of Bestselling Book – Models of Madness

Models of Madness

Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis

Second Edition

Edited by John Read, University of Liverpool, UK

and Jacqui Dillon, National Chair, Hearing Voices Network, UK

 “Truly, a revolution is occuring in our understanding of severe mental illness…This volume will serve as an inspiration, not only to established clinicians and researchers, but to the young people who will develop better services for people with psychosis in the future.” 

– Prof Richard Bentall, From the Foreword.

 

The publication is very timely given the international debate about this month’s publication of DSM-5, the latest and most controversial version of psychiatry’s diagnostic ‘bible’. Our book documents all the evidence showing that these diagnoses are unscientific and a major cause of the stigma faced by people who receive these labels. It also presents the research demonstrating the urgent need for a fundamental paradigm shift towards evidence-based, effective and humane mental health services.”

– Prof John Read, Lead Editor

Are hallucinations and delusions really symptoms of an illness called ‘schizophrenia’? Are mental health problems really caused by chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions? Are psychiatric drugs as effective and safe as the drug companies claim? Is madness preventable?

This second edition of Models of Madness challenges the simplistic, pessimistic and often damaging theories and treatments of the ‘medical model’ of madness. Psychiatric diagnoses and medications are based on the false premise that human misery and distress are casued by chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions, and ignore the social causes of psychosis and what psychiatrists call ‘schizophrenia’. This edition updates the now extensive body of research showing that hallucinations and delusions etc. are best understood as reactions to adverse life events and that psychological and social approaches to helping are more effective and far safer than psychiatric drugs and electroshock treatment. A new final chapter discusses why such a damaging ideology has come to dominate mental health and, most importantly, how to change that.  

 Models of Madness is divided into three sections:

  1. Section One provides a history of madness, including examples of violence against the ‘mentally ill’, before critiquing the theories and treatments of contemporary biological psychiatry and documenting the corrupting influence of drug companies
  2. Section Two summarises the research showing that hallucinations, delusions etc. are primarily caused by adverse life events (eg. parental loss, bullying, abuse and neglect in childhood, poverty, etc.) and can be understood using psychological models ranging from cognitive to psychodynamic
  3. Section Three presents the evidence for a range of effective psychological and social approaches to treatment, from cognitive and family therapy to primary prevention.

This book brings together thirty-seven contributors from ten countries and a wide range of scientific disciplines. It provides an evidence-based, optimistic antidote to the pessimism of biological psychiatry.

Models of Madness will be essential reading for all involved in mental health, including service users, family members, service managers, policy makers, nurses, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychoanalysts, social workers, occupational therapists, and art therapists.

Download flyer to receive 20% discount from Routledge!

Models of Madness Flyer

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415579537/

 

 

Mental Health Campaigners Welcome New Book About Schizophrenia

Published in The Guardian, 5th July 2011.

Mental health campaigners welcome book about schizophrenia.

The letters, journals and scribbled observations of David, diagnosed with schizophrenia, have been collated for a new book.

By Mary O’Hara

Schizophrenia is perhaps the most widely misunderstood and misrepresented of all serious mental illnesses in popular culture and media. So, when first-person accounts offering insights into the experience of someone who has lived with schizophrenia come along, they tend to be welcomed by mental health campaigners as an antidote to misinformation. Such has been the case with David’s Box, a new book documenting the journals and letters of a young man diagnosed with the illness in 1964 who took his own life seven years later.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/05/schizophrenia-journals-davids-box

Mental Health Campaigners Welcome New Book About Schizophrenia

The letters, journals and scribbled observations of David, diagnosed with schizophrenia, have been collated for a new book.

A positive piece published in the Guardian, 5th July 2011 by Mary O’Hara about this important new book – David’s Box: The journal and letters of a young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, 1960-1971, for which I have written a foreward.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/05/schizophrenia-journals-davids-box

The Hearing Voices Network – “The Freedom to Hear Voices”: The Hearing Voices Movement

Psychology, Mental Health and Distress is a groundbreaking new text from John Cromby, David Harper and Paula Reavey. Whereas other texts are structured by diagnostic categories and are biologically reductive, this book places biology as well as the experience of distress itself in its social, cultural and historical context.

 Key Features:

  • Offers a wealth of case stories to portray the reality of living with distress and stimulate class discussion 
  • Fully informed by current experimental, qualitative and theoretical psychological research including research into hearing voices
  • Includes a chapter authored by those with first-hand experience of mental health services, ensuring your students understand the nuances of this emotionally charged and often controversial topic

Features additional contributions by renowned figures including Professor Richard Bentall, Professor John Read, psychiatrist and researcher Joanna Moncreiff and campaigner and Chair of the Hearing Voices Network, Jacqui Dillon among others.

See link for further information: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=280329

Download flyer: CrombyHarper&Reaveyflyer

 

Foreword to David’s Box: The journal and letters of a young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, 1960-1971.

A positive piece published in the Guardian, 5th July 2011 by Mary O’Hara about this important new book – David’s Box: The journal and letters of a young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, 1960-1971, for which I have written a foreward.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/05/schizophrenia-journals-davids-box

Recovery From ‘Psychosis’

In making sense of what has been deemed as ‘psychosis’ it is essential that we see so called symptoms as profoundly meaningful attempts to survive overwhelming and distressing life experiences.  There is inherent meaning in madness which is inextricably bound up in unresolved, traumatic experiences. These meanings may be communicated in a number of highly symbolic, metaphorical and literal ways and need to be untangled, teased out and examined within the context of the person’s life history. Each voice is an echo of the person’s experience so an attitude of curiosity, understanding and compassion towards all voices is the best stance as it will encourage and support internal communication and ultimately, self acceptance.

This work demands seeing the world and human experience in new ways including an understanding that reality is shaped by experience. This, combined with a willingness to view life through the lens of the person’s subjective experience enables the co-creation of a shared meaning to emerge, deepening mutual understanding and leading to increasing acceptance of self and other.  To support and nurture healing from ‘psychosis’, faith in the possibility of recovery is vital.