Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Prof. Carmine Pariante

The first in what will hopefully prove to be a brand new series of live YouTube debates with audience Q&A.

The topic up for debate today… Is antidepressant medication ever useful? featuring two of the UK’s most eminent psychiatrists, Dr. Joanna Moncrieff and Prof. Carmine Pariante.

Joanna Moncrieff (@joannamoncrieff) is a Reader in Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London, and a practising psychiatrist with an interest in the history, philosophy and politics of psychiatry, and particularly in the use, misuse and misrepresentation of psychiatric drugs.

Check out my previous conversation with Joanna here: #062 – Psychiatry’s Very Own Delusion

Carmine Pariante (@ParianteSPILab) is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at Kings College London, where he also leads the Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology (SPI) Lab, investigating the relationship between stress, mental health and the immune system.

Check out my previous conversation with Carmine here: #030 – Why Stress Destroys Us

To read the live comments and feedback we received from the audience during the debate, you’ll need to head over to the video on YouTube.

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Related Links

Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology (SPI) Lab – Carmine’s Facebook Page

JoannaMoncrieff.com – Books, papers and blogs by Joanna Moncrieff

Book Recommendations

     

Image courtesy: sayo ts

Dr. Anna Salter

Dr. Anna Salter is a Clinical Psychologist and consultant to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

As well as evaluating sex offenders for civil commitment proceedings and other purposes, she lectures and consults on sex offenders and victims throughout the United States and abroad, and has conducted training workshops in all 50 US states and 10 different countries.

She is the author of a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the mystery novel “Prison Blues” which was nominated for a 2003 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best original paperback, and the non-fiction book which forms the basis of today’s conversation “Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders… Who they are, how they operate and how we can protect ourselves and our children“.

In today’s episode we explore the psychology of sexual assault from the perspective of both the victims and the perpetrators.

What causes somebody become a sex offender? Are they born that way, or are they the products of culture? Do sex offenders share any characteristics that make them stand out from the crowd? How do perpetrators choose their victims? And is there any hope of redemption for these people?

From the victims perspective we discuss the women who tend to be most vulnerable to sexual assault, why many women who have been sexually assaulted are reluctant to come forward, the manipulation tactics employed by sex offenders to control their victims perception of the assault, and some of the counterintuitive victim behaviours which often lead to perpetrators walking free.

Related Links

AnnaSalter.com – Training, Consulting, and Publications on Sexual Abuse, Sex Offenders, and Victimization

Truth, Lies and Sex Offenders – Anna’s documentary on sexual predators, featuring interviews with some of the sadistic and non-sadistic sex offenders featured in her book “Predators”.

On Self-Respect – Joan Didion’s 1961 Essay from the Pages of Vogue

Book Recommendations

                    

Rape Crisis Support Lines

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) U.S
The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help survivors, and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice through victim services, public education, public policy, and consulting services.
Call 800.656.4673
https://www.rainn.org/

Rape Crisis England & Wales
A national charity and the umbrella body for a network of independent member Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales. Find out how to get help if you’ve experienced rape, child sexual abuse or any kind of sexual violence; details of local Rape Crisis services; information about sexual violence for survivors, people supporting survivors, students, journalists & others
Freephone 0808 802 9999
https://rapecrisis.org.uk/

Image courtesy: Luigi Tiriticco

William M. Epstein, Ph.D.

William Epstein is a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he teaches social welfare policy.

He is the author of nine books, covering the politics, economics, and sociology of American Social Welfare, including the two which form the basis of today’s discussion, “The Illusion of Psychotherapy“, and “Psychotherapy as Religion: The Civil Divine in America“.

In today’s episode we explore two of Dr. Epsteins most compelling claims:

Firstly, that not only is psychotherapy most likely ineffective, but that “there is not one credible study conforming to the basic rules of objective proof that testifies to the effectiveness of any psychotherapeutic treatment.”

And secondly, that the practice of psychotherapy is not a science at all but rather the civil religion of America, reflecting the principles of radical self-invention and self-reliance deeply embedded in the psyche of the nation.

This episode has 12 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

 

Related Links

Democrats.org – Official website of the Democratic Party

Book Recommendations

                                   

Image courtesy: Jenavieve

Dr. Brian King

Dr. Brian King (@drbrianking) is a psychologist, stand-up comedian and public speaker who travels the world as a performer and an instructor, giving seminars to thousand of people each year on the health benefits of humor.

He was the founder and producer of the highly reviewed Wharf Room Comedy show in San Francisco and produces the annual Bay Area comedy competition “Walk the Plank”.

Brian is the author of a number of books including “Frozen Coffee Melting“, “A Field Guide to the North American Bloody Mary“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “The Laughing Cure: Emotional and Physical Healing – A Comedian Reveals Why Laughter Really is the Best Medicine“.

In today’s episode we explore the evolutionary origins of humor, whether being funny is a natural ability or a skill that anyone can learn, the anatomy of joke-telling, the mental and physical benefits of laughter, and why humor can be the perfect antidote to some of life’s darkest moments.

 

This episode has 22 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

 

Related Links

Brian’s Website

Brian’s Facebook Page

Brian’s YouTube Channel

Science declares this is the funniest joke in the world – CNet

Book Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Petful via Flickr

Johann Hari

Johann Hari (@johannhari101) is a two-time New York Times best-selling author.

His book ‘Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’ has been translated into 15 languages and is currently being adapted into a major Hollywood film, and a non-fiction documentary series.

Johann is one of the most viewed TED speakers of all time, with his talk, ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong’ and the animation based on it having been viewed more than 20 million times.

He is the recipient of multiple awards for his writing including “Cultural Commentator of the Year” and “Environmental Commentator of the Year” at the Comment Awards, “Gay Journalist of the Year” at the Stonewall Awards, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for political writing, and twice named “National Newspaper Journalist of the Year” by Amnesty International.

His latest book, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion is “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions“.

In today’s episode we discuss Johann’s personal history with depression, why it’s sometimes difficult for us to make the connection between our depressed mood and the challenging aspects of our life that may be causing them, how modern junk values can affect our happiness and the small changes you can make in your environment to inoculate yourself from their influence.

We explore why the chemical imbalance theory of depression is too simplistic, why the effectiveness of chemical antidepressants is overstated, why it’s important to re-associate feelings of anxiety and depression with meaning and circumstance, and as a result, why we should expand our definition of anti-depressants to include things like gardening, social media sabbaticals, and even purchasing a cow.
 

Related Links

The Lost Connections – The website which accompanies the book

The Lost Connections Depression Quiz – How much do you know about depression?

Book Recommendations

          

Image courtesy: Soumyadeep Paul

In this AMA episode – available exclusively to my Patreon supporters – I cover the following topics as requested by my listeners:

  • I tell the story of my pathetic attempt to sell a screenplay in Hollywood.
  • How do I win back my wife of 9 years after being caught having an emotional affair?
  • Why is sleep so important to mental health and what is your sleep routine?
  • Any tips or techniques for getting started with meditation?
  • And I also have a crack at answering a bunch of “Truth or Dare” questions, including…
    • “If you had to hook up with one of your past guests who would it be?”
    • “If you could somehow become a woman what’s the first thing you would do?”
    • “What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?”

Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to all my podcast bonus content, AMA episodes and other exclusive content.

 

Image courtesy: Josh Tasman

Gregory B. Sadler PhD

Greg Sadler (@philosopher70) is a philosopher, academic entrepreneur and writer.

He is the president and co-founder of ReasonIO, a project aimed at taking difficult philosophical texts and thinkers and making them accessible to non-philosophers, as well as providing philosophical workshops, consulting and counselling services to organizations, students and members of the public.

His YouTube channel boasts almost 50,000 subscribers and more than 4.7 millions video views to-date, with more than 1300 videos on everything from existentialism to utilitarianism, and lectures on the teachings of philosophers as diverse as the ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle right the way up to modern thinkers such as Martin Heidegger and Albert Camus.

Greg is the editor of Stoicism Today, the official blog for the Modern Stoicism Organization, and the producer of the “Half Hour Hegel” video series.

In today’s episode we explore the various causes and manifestations of anger, the difference between chronic and acute anger, and the relationship between anger and vengeance.

We discuss why some people’s anger becomes directed inwards, towards the self, while other people’s anger is directed towards other people and the outside world, why anger can sometimes be a productive or even an enjoyable experience, and we close up by turning to stoic philosophy for some tips and advice on how to avoid hitting the roof when you’re absolutely fucking steaming.

 

Related Links

ReasonIO – Greg’s website

Greg’s YouTube Channel

Stoicism Today – The official blog for the Modern Stoicism Organization

Greg’s Patreon – Support his YouTube work and gain access to exclusive content

Book Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Fred

Tom O’Carroll

Tom O’Carroll is a self-confessed pedophile, pro-pedophile advocate, and writer.

He is a former chairman of the now disbanded Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), an advocacy group that existed from 1974 to 1984 to lobby openly for the legal acceptance of pedophilia.

Tom has faced multiple convictions for pedophile related behavior, including two custodial sentences, the first time in 1981 for conspiracy to corrupt public morals and again in 2006 for the distribution of child pornography.

He is the author of two books, the first being “Paedophilia: The Radical Case”, an autobiographical account of Tom’s early life and involvement with the Pedophile Information Exchange and his beliefs about the nature of adult-child sexual relationships, and his second book, published under the pen name Carl Toms, is “Michael Jackson: Dangerous Liaisons” which argues that the late entertainer’s relationships with young boys were pedophilic in nature.

In today’s episode we delve in to Tom’s early life, the experience of first realizing his sexual attraction to children, his failed attempts to lead a normal life, and his pro-pedophile advocacy efforts.

We debate the nature of consent, whether or not adult-child sexual relationships are always harmful, if childhood sexual trauma is caused by the sexual acts themselves or subsequent societal judgement, and the likelihood of pro-pedophile advocacy ever resulting in a society which accepts adult-child sexual relationships.

Related Links

Heretic TOC – Tom’s WordPress Blog

A Respected Opponent, Not an Enemy – Tom’s blog post about this interview (the comment section may be of interest)

Positive Memories – Cases of positive memories of erotic and platonic relationships and contacts of children with adults as seen from the perspective of the former minor.

Cases in the Research – Consenting Juveniles

Tom’s Recommended Studies

Angelides, S. (2004). Feminism, child sexual abuse, and the erasure of child sexuality. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 10(2), 141–177.

Graaf, H. de & Rademakers, J. (2011). The psychological measurement of childhood sexual development in Western societies: methodological challenges. Journal of Sex Research, 48(2), 118-129.

Kershnar, S. (2015). Pedophilia and Adult Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Kilpatrick, A.C. (1992). Long-Range Effects of Child and Adolescent Sexual Experiences: Mores, Myths, Menaces. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Konker C. (1992). Rethinking Child Sexual Abuse: An Anthropological Perspective. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 62(1), 147-53.

Leahy, T. (1996). Sex and the age of consent: The ethical issues. Social Analysis, 39 (April), 27-55.

Levine, J. (2002). Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Lilienfeld, S. O. (2002). When worlds collide: social science, politics, and the child sexual abuse meta-analysis. American Psychologist, 57(3), 176–188.

Martinson, F.M. (1994). The Sexual Life of Children. West Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

O’Carroll, T. (1980). Paedophilia: The Radical Case. London: Peter Owen.

Okami, P. (1991). Self-reports of ‘positive’ childhood and adolescent sexual contacts with older persons: An exploratory study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 20(5), 437-57.

Prescott, J.W. (1996). The origins of human love and violence. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology

Journal, 10(3), 143-188. The Origins of Peace and Violence: http://www.violence.de/prescott/pppj/article.html Accessed 18 Oct., 2017.

Primoratz, I. (1999). Ethics and sex. London: Routledge.

Rind, B. (2002). The problem with consensus morality, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31(6), 496-8.

Rind, B., Bauserman, R., & Tromovitch, P. (1998). A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse
using college samples. Psychological Bulletin, 124(1), 22–53.

Sandfort, T. (1984) Sex in pedophilic relationships: an empirical investigation among a non-representative group of boys. Journal of Sex Research, 20(2), 123-42.

Wilson, G.D. & Cox, D.N. (1983). The Child-Lovers: A Study of Paedophiles in Society. London: Peter Owen.

 

Book Recommendations

     

Support Lines for Adult Survivors

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) – UK
Call 0808 801 0331 free from all landlines and mobiles
Monday – Thursday 10:00-21:00 and Friday 10:00-18:00
NAPAC provides a national freephone support line for adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood.
Website: www.napac.org.uk

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help survivors, and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice through victim services, public education, public policy, and consulting services.
Find help and the resources you need. Call 800.656.4673
https://www.rainn.org/

Support Lines for Children

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline – U.S. and Canada
Dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who—through interpreters—provide assistance in over 170 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential. (1-800) 4-A-CHILD or (1-800) 422-4453
https://www.childhelp.org/hotline/

NSPCC – UK
The UK’s leading children’s charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.
Help for adults concerned about a child: 0808 800 5000
Help for children and young people: 0800 1111
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

Image courtesy: Ubi Desperare Nescio

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D.

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Roland is author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization.

In 1999 he initiated a pioneering research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the psychological and therapeutic effects of the hallucinogen psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced in psilocybin mushrooms, known colloquially as magic mushrooms.

His studies have included investigations into psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, and treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients with life threatening prognoses.

In today’s episode we explore the origin and history of psilocybin research, what it looks like to experiment with psychedelics in a clinical setting, the nature of the hallucinations experienced by participants, and the potential for psilocybin to produce long term, clinically significant reductions in depression and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism, with just one single dose.

 

Related Links

Roland Griffiths Laboratory at John Hopkins

The science of psilocybin and its use to relieve suffering – Roland’s TEDMED Talk

Book Recommendations

               

Images courtesy: Bernard Spragg. NZ 

 

In this AMA episode – available exclusively to my Patreon supporters – I answer the following questions emailed in by listeners:

  • You claimed in a past episode that you don’t have any friends. Is this really true, and if so, why?
  • If you could only give one piece of advice to someone suffering with depression, what would it be?
  • How can I learn to deal with being considered a failure by both my family and society?
  • How do I find my passion and turn it into a business?
  • What’s the most disgusting joke you’ve ever heard?
  • I also submit myself to “17 ‘Would You Rather’ Questions That Are Impossible To Answer”!

Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to all my podcast bonus content, AMA episodes and other exclusive content.

 

Image courtesy: Josh Tasman