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.


  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

    • 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.