Dr. Joanna Moncrieff will join the 2023 RSVP Conference to present a talk on “Challenging misperceptions about psychiatric drugs and appraising their role in recovery.”
As more and more drugs are prescribed to treat mental health conditions, it is imperative that health professionals take a close look at the efficacy of these prescriptions. Practitioners assume that these drugs target an underlying brain abnormality, such as a chemical imbalance or abnormality of neurogenesis. Dr. Moncrieff will present evidence for this idea during her talk and explore an alternative explanation that suggests that psychiatric drugs cause alterations in thinking, emotions, and behavior in anyone who takes them, regardless of whether or not they have a mental disorder diagnosis.
Dr. Moncrieff will also explore the mental and behavioral changes produced by different types of drugs and whether these have helpful or harmful effects in different situations. There are social and political drivers that have influenced our understanding of drug action. The more we understand the scientific evidence of disease-centered and drug-centered models of drug action, the better equipped we will be to evaluate the use of psychiatric drugs to treat individuals with mental health conditions.
Dr. Joanna Moncrieff studied medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, qualifying in 1989. She trained in psychiatry in London and the southeast during the 1990s. During her undergraduate years, she conducted research on parents’ fears about substance misuse, and during the course of her psychiatry training, she worked on a trial investigating the use of the drug naltrexone in people with alcohol problems. Dr. Moncrieff also investigated the prevalence of previous sexual abuse among people attending alcohol treatment services.
Dr. Moncrieff took up her current post in 2001. For 10 years, she was a consultant for a psychiatric rehabilitation inpatient unit, helping people with severe and long-lasting mental health problems. For the last three years, she has been based in various community mental health services in Northeast London. Dr. Moncrieff teaches and conducts research at University College London.
Dr. Moncrieff is one of the founding members and the co-chairperson of the Critical Psychiatry Network. The Critical Psychiatry Network consists of a group of psychiatrists from around the world who are skeptical of the idea that mental disorders are simply brain diseases and of the dominance of the pharmaceutical industry.
We look forward to Dr. Moncrieff’s research and presentation. Those interested in attending the MHRB of Ashland County’s annual RSVP Conference on March 29, 2023, can register here.
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