Richard Lewis – Short Bio

Addiction, Biological Psychiatry and the Disease Model: Richard D. Lewis, MEd, has worked with addictions for the past 19 years in New Bedford, MA. Richard discusses the relationship of addictions to severe psychological distress often labeled as a “disease” and/or a so-called “mental illness”.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


  1. Dear Mr. Lewis,
    I am writing you in a state desperation and great fear. I suffer from Bi-Polar 1 and am on lithium, seraquel and paxil. A few years ago my psychiatrist prescribed me clonazapam for sleep and anxiety. Within a few months I started shoplifting and taking things randomly and was prosecuted for 2 different felonies and am awaiting sentencing on a third felony and might be sent to prison. I always took it by the prescription amounts of 2mg a day. I have stopped taking the clonozapam back in October of 2016 and since have had no impulse to steal. I had no criminal record before this and am certain that the clonazapam was responsible for not only destroying my life with being in a fog but also contributing to atypical behavior.
    Im doing as much rewsearch as possible and have found a report from the FDA where 2 different subjects mentioned kleptomania as a side effect from clonazapam. Have you heard of this? Could you please direct me ?
    Please help

    Report comment

    • Nobody has answered you?

      I don’t know about the klepto stuff – but I do know that benzos and other neurotransmitter fiddlers will lower impulse control – or worse, drive compulsions up. I’ve heard of serious gambling addictions caused by SSRI’s and SNRI’s.

      Your cocktail is a dangerous one, and a difficult one to come off of. If you wish to reduce your drug load, please come to for information on how to reduce or eliminate drugs safely.

      Report comment