Fox News Interviews Psychiatrist Peter Breggin on Drugs & Violence


Tom Sullivan of Fox News asks psychiatrist Peter Breggin, author of Medication Madness, whether drugs rather than guns are at the heart of mass killings, and what to do about it.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Copied from FB:

    Sigh… I cant stand this guy. He had six minutes and all he managed to say was there is a correlation and he believes it’s drug related. No logic, no explanation, no references to science… Just “Oh yeah, many, maaany cases. I was an expert witness in the Eric Harris case. He was on luvox. Many, maaany cases like this.” … No explanation of the fact that psychiatric drugs are psychotropic drugs and are mind bending, or the fact that even the FDA admits that psychosis and mania are possible side effects, no mention of the animal studies which lead to aggressive behavior, no refutation of the claim that the underlying mental illness is the cause of the violence with the fact that even people taking the drugs for non-psychiatric purposes have experienced it, such as people taking it for migraines or fibromyalgia or as a quit smoking aid… I sure hope that Whitaker does much better if he ever gets that shot… The shot that breggin has had DOZENS of times and has FAILED every single time !!! He said absolutely nothing that would convince anybody to even do the slightest bit of research on the topic, let alone convince them that he is right.

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      • But for anybody to know about any of that, they would have to had read his books already in which case he is only preaching to the choir. But in this case, he was just simply stating his opinion without explanation. A waste of public exposure. Most people have already made up their minds on these issues and simply stating your opinion isn’t going to help change theirs.

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        • Television news and commentary programs are not always the best formats for intelligent discussions, due to time limits. The dialogue often is unfortunately reduced to emotional sound bytes, because guests are given only a few minutes to make their points.

          Breggin has put his neck (and reputation) on the line – more than once. He pointed out the *facts* about psychiatric drugs and NAMI on the Oprah Show, and had to fight to keep his medical license. He has taken on the establishment – NIMH, NAMI, the FDA, and the APA.

          IMO, he’s done *much more* than any other psychiatrist to challenge the conventional mental health system and to protect the rights and dignity of people in emotional crisis.

          That’s my call. And I’m stickin’ to it.


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          • Three minutes is far more than enough time to refer people to important studies and make important points. Perhaps he needs training on this. After all, the establishment psychiatrists get training in dealing with the media. It’s not about giving an hour long lecture, it’s about inserting succinct points that address possible doubt or confusion.

            For instance, instead of just saying that “there’s many, many cases like this.” you could say “There are many cases where people, even people with no history of violence, became seriously violent while taking these drugs, including people taking them off-label for non-psychiatric purposes.”

            Don’t you see how that explains so much more? I could say that in less than 10 seconds.

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  2. I’m just glad this is even being discussed in the mainstream media. Breggin can be annoying, but he does have excellent research backing up his claims. I hope this heralds other interviews with this topic in mind. Maybe they’ll interview Bob Whitaker!

    —- Steve

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  3. I was given a prescription for lansoprazole. Even though doctors *discourage* people from doing their own research, this is what I found:

    “If you have heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease or any acid-related condition, chances are very high that you’ve been offered a prescription for a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)

    PPIs like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world, and their use for treating acid-related symptoms is increasing rapidly.

    But these drugs are not only vastly overused … they’re very dangerous as well.

    To start, they actually CAUSE the very type of symptoms that they’re intended to prevent if you stop taking them. ”

    Sound familiar? They actually CAUSE the very type of symptom they’re intended to prevent – sort of like what psych drugs can do?

    The quote above is taken from this page
    “Proton-pump inhibitors may be associated with a greater risk of hip fractures[18]”

    Prescribing doc didn’t ask if I have any problem with my hips. I do, actually. Should he have asked?

    I think medical drug dangers go BEYOND psych drugs. I know from experience how bad psych drugs AND other “medical” drugs ARE. I developed hives last week from an antibiotic. It has happened before. Hives won’t make me go out and kill someone but hives can kill. Luckily, I bought Benadryl when I filled my prescription.

    Tell me how I’m developing HIVES in response to antibiotics? Underlying condition that’s being aggravated by the antibiotics? Same thing as saying an underlying condition is being aggravated by psych drugs, right?

    Or how about this: sometimes, the drugs ARE POISONS.

    What *IS* real medicine when so many of these drugs (psych or otherwise) have such serious adverse “side” effects?

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  4. Unfortunately it was Fox Business Network that nobody watches. You have to give Peter Breggin that he has been trying to work the issue from inside the psychiatry profession. We would all like that he were a bit more aggressive but he has accomplished great things such as stopping a massive return of ECT.

    Fox News however is not a friend here. If you’ve watched their main programming, their pundits have been promoting easing civil commitment as their “easy solution” to tragedies such as Sandy Hook’s. Probably because Big Pharma contributes greatly to their bottom line, they are unwilling to criticize the manufacturers of psychiatric drugs. They even have a shrink in residence, Keith Ablow, who scares the hell out of anybody who looks at his face :D.

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  5. It’s society’s fear based mind control that leaves these bizarre associations with violence that turn up when people are on psychiatric drugs; it isn’t really the drugs themselves, they just scramble the mind so that all the junk comes out.

    I don’t think you can deal with the damage anti-depressants do without pointing out that the associations that violence solves *anything* are put in place by a system which allows people to attach to it for any insecurity. Antidepressants are just something that brings this out, not causes it. And the completely non-sensical ways this emerges with anti-depressants shows how non-sensical society is about violence; and making it out to be some sort of magic control.

    And there’s absolutely no mention of teaching non violence.

    I wonder what Mr. Breggin would say would someone suggest he look towards safety a different way than owning (and thus promoting the production of) a gun or not.

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  6. personally I am very grateful to Dr Breggin and his books. Thanks to him and his advice I managed to get my son off antipsychotics that were driving him mad when nobody else would help and I have been spreading the word. Thanks to him a friend has managed at last to get his wife off olanzapine and another one her daughter off clozapine. In both cases their own doctors were totally useless.

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