Recovery by Taking Psychiatric Drugs versus Recovery by Coming Off of Psychiatric Drugs

Kermit Cole

German author and activist Peter Lehmann presents “Recovery by Taking Psychiatric Drugs versus Recovery by Coming Off of Psychiatric Drugs” at the 2012 International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Since the 1970s, Lehmann has represented positions of humanistic antipsychiatry within the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement and circles of humanistic professionals.

His book “Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers” (2004) was originally published in German in 1998, and was the first book on this issue world-wide. Beside family members and professionals, Lehmann addresses people who choose to withdraw from these drugs, including detailed accounts of how others came off these substances without once again ending up in the in the doctor’s office. His second book, “Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry” (co-edited in 2007 with psychiatrist Peter Stastny) highlights current possibilities of self-help for individuals experiencing madness, and strategies toward implementing humane treatment.

This is latest in a series of conference presentations which will be featured on

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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]

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  1. Very interesting, thought-provoking presentation, thanks to Peter Lehmann. Alarming to hear about being “impregnated with a neuroleptic”. I agree with the recovery definition as absence of taking neuroleptics. The charge of “acting recklessness” as a way of having an impact on the risks of psychiatric drug prescribing causing harm, without care or consequences of actions and a meaningful way of supporting recovery. Great stuff.

  2. I agree with Chrys and would add If funding was available for people to get help like at the Paracelsus Klinic in Switzerland,also for Traditional Naturapathy,Homeopathy,YuenMethod,open dialog.Hundreds of millions of people and more could live lives free of neuroleptics,shock treatments ,mental hospitals and psychiatrists and pharmacuetical companys.Also world wide organic farming ,banning companys like Monsanto would go a long way towards a healthy population. Check out Dr. Rath at the Rath Foundation for a more complete overview. Sincerely,Fred Abbe