Bruce Levine Blog

What the US Government Knows About Suicide and Depression That We Are Not Being Told—Which Just Might Repoliticize Us

February 15th, 2015

For nearly two decades, Big Pharma commercials have falsely told Americans that mental illness is associated with a chemical brain imbalance, but the truth is that depression and suicidality are associated with poverty, unemployment, and mass incarceration. And the truth is that American society has now become so especially oppressive for young people that an […]

3 Troubling Reasons Psychiatry Retains Power Despite Lost Scientific Credibility

January 6th, 2015

“What’s a guy gotta do around here to lose a little credibility?” asked ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger in a 2012 piece about top Wall Street executives who created the financial meltdown but who remain top Wall Street executives, continue to sit on corporate and nonprofit boards, serve as regulators, and whose opinions are sought out […]

Why Assassinated Psychologist—Ignored by U.S. Psychologists—is Being Honored

November 16th, 2014

On November 16, 1989 in El Salvador, liberation psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baró, together with five colleagues, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter, were forced into a courtyard on the campus of Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas, where they were then murdered by the Salvadoran government’s elite Atlacatl Battalion, a “counter-insurgency unit” created at the U.S. Army’s […]

Unique Upcoming Film Festival Organized by Mad in America

September 23rd, 2014

Mad in America’s International Film Festival will encourage us to think anew about the nature of what is commonly called “mental illness” and its treatments. The festival will run from October 9-12, 2014, in Arlington, Massachusetts (Boston vicinity). I have had a chance to preview some of the festival films, including Nick and Zack Young’s […]

Truths and Falsehoods about Ralph Nader’s New Book

August 12th, 2014

Have progressives made a mistake lumping all conservatives together and fueling their political energies into hating them? Or are there what Ralph Nader calls “anti-corporatist conservatives,” who loathe undeclared, endless wars as much as progressives? And should progressives seek alliances with these anti-corporatist conservatives to oppose unnecessary wars, corporate welfare, NSA violations of our privacy, […]

Illegal-Psychiatric Drug Hypocrisy and Why Michael Pollan is Smarter than Me

July 20th, 2014

Before Michael Pollan gained well-deserved respect and influence authoring five bestselling books about food, he got my attention in the late 1990s writing articles about American illegal-legal psychotropic drug hypocrisy. For those of us who appreciate what Pollan later accomplished for the local food and real food movements, it’s probably been a good idea that […]

Psychiatry’s Manufacture of Consent: The Chemical Imbalance Theory and the Antidepressant Explosion

May 14th, 2014

Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s book title Manufacturing Consent derives from presidential advisor and journalist Walter Lippmann’s phrase “the manufacture of consent”—a necessity for Lippmann, who believed that the general public is incompetent in discerning what’s truly best for them, and so their opinion must be molded by a benevolent elite who does know what’s […]

Too Corrupt, Too Insane, and Too Ridiculous to Be Reformed? Even Establishment Psychiatrists Now Distancing Themselves from Their Own Profession

April 16th, 2014

What does it tell us about the state of psychiatry when some of the biggest names in the psychiatric establishment are distancing themselves from psychiatry’s diagnostic system and its treatments? In 2013, National Institute Mental Health (NIMH) director Thomas Insel, citing the lack of scientific validity of psychiatry’s official diagnostic manual, the DSM, stated that […]

Psychiatry Admits Its Been Wrong in Big Ways, But Can It Change? A Chat with Robert Whitaker

March 5th, 2014

Since interviewing Robert Whitaker for AlterNet in 2010, after the publication of Anatomy of an Epidemic, the psychiatry establishment has pivoted from first ignoring him, to then debating him and attempting to discredit him, to currently agreeing with many of his conclusions. I was curious about his take on the recent U-turns by major figures in the psychiatry establishment with respect to (1) antipsychotic drug treatment, (2) the validity of the “chemical imbalance” theory of mental illness, and (3) the validity of the DSM, psychiatry’s diagnostic bible. And I was curious about Whitaker’s sense of psychiatry’s future direction.

Leadership Training or Bullshit Training at Harvard? The Price of Pseudo-Certainty in Business, Government, and Medicine

January 22nd, 2014

The Harvard Business School (HBS) information session on how to be a good class participant instructs, “Speak with conviction. Even if you believe something only fifty-five percent, say it as if you believe it a hundred percent,” reports Susan Cain in her best-selling book Quiet (2013). At HBS, Cain noticed, “If a student talks often and […]