Psychiatric Drugs: More Dangerous Than You Ever Imagined
(A New Video)


We are facing a tragedy of enormous proportions!  Psychiatric drugs of every kind are exposing people to long-term risks of a declining quality of life, apathy, chronic disability, and even shrinkage of the brain.  When they try to withdraw from the drugs, they are likely to find themselves afflicted with new symptoms of drug-induced harm that the medications were suppressing.   Then they may find it physically and emotionally painful, and even dangerously unsafe, to withdraw from these psychoactive medications.

Psychiatric Drugs are More Dangerous than You Ever Imagined is the newest video in my series of Simple Truths about PsychiatryIt provides a simple, direct and inescapable warning about this epidemic of harm induced by psychiatric drugs.  It underscores my conclusions from many decades of scientific research, most recently described and documented in Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Second Edition (2008) and Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients (2013).  To that accumulating data and analysis, I would add Bob Whitaker’s landmark scientific discussion of drug-induced disability in Anatomy of an Epidemic (2010).  The video sounds a necessary alarm about this growing tragedy, involving millions of people and their families, who never foresaw the disabling results of taking psychiatric drugs and giving them to their children.


  1. I know psychiatric drugs are dangerous, I asked my doctor about insomnia and he gave me a Zyprexa sample the pharma reps dropped off. When I read the scary medical stuff in tiny print my doctor said “don’t worry it’s safe”. I trusted him.

    Years later after suffering on and enduring the withdrawal from hell that poison Zyprexa or “Olanzapine” causes I learn about the Zyprexa scandal and the crimes committed by those soulless psychopaths at Eli Lilly to sell that stuff.

    How can people be so evil and peddle this poison with lies and fraud even to children with no remorse whatsoever ? I asked myself for a longtime until I read this: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work is a book by industrial psychologist Paul Babiak and psychopathy expert Robert D. Hare.

    Psychopaths are real and among us, a subspecies that doesn’t care running amok. It’s really kind of scary actually.

    Report comment

    • There’s such a thing as combined psychopathology.
      I have experienced 2 suicide attempts years of disability and several hospitalizations on the drug Modecate (and Full Recovery off it).

      In 1986 when I returned to the UK I wrote to my (University) Hospital in Ireland asking for Adverse Drug warning (concerning Modecate depot injection) to be sent over to the UK. The doctor did send a ‘account’ of me over but without the ADR warning. She also sent me a false letter of reassurance. I have genuine copies of all.

      This Irish University has conducted several published studies favourable to the drug Modecate.
      In 1986 one of its Professors was President of the British Association of Psychopharmacologists.

      Report comment

    • Copy cat
      I had much the same experiance – my Dr telling me “it’s safe”. I recently took myself off of several meds bcuz I had become totaly disfuntional. Last April I was on no less than 10 drugs that were psychoactive! I didn’t understand any of this until after my head cleard enough for me to be able to think. That’s when I started searching for what the heck happened to me. I was astonished at what I have found, literally dumbstruck astonished.
      It’s nothing short of a crime what the drug companies are doing. From hiding the truth to using doctors to push thier toxins ….

      Report comment

  2. Thank you Dr. Breggin, for your decades of work warning the world about the dangers of psychiatric treatment. If it weren’t for you and Dan Fisher and maybe a few others, the term “good psychiatrist” would be totally oxymoronic.

    Report comment

  3. Dr. Breggin, I watched the video and what you say had been my experience, having tapered off of what had become nine drugs, after 20 years of one ‘cocktail’ or another. I actually functioned well for about 15 of those years, although looking back, I can see how I was somewhat compromised from the drugs. I compensated with coping mechanisms, however and moved along in my life, believing all along that this was my best option.

    Later, however, for a variety of reasons, my system finally crashed from it all, and I had no choice, if I wanted to live any kind of reasonable and healthful life, I’d have to leave them behind. Over a two-year period, I came off the drugs and yes, it was a wild and painful ride, at times excruciating. But I immediately sought support from an extremely gifted 5th generation herbalist, and an acupuncturist and Gi Gong teacher, and Chinese Medicine is what allowed me to heal and restore.

    I do want to be clear that I do feel our bodies regenerate naturally, if we allow them to, so no damage is permanent. That’s my heartfelt belief, in any event. I’ve been healthy for years now, which considering how bad things had gotten, is a true miracle to me and to my family, as well as to my healers. I got blood tests and panels done as I was in this process, and after a few years doing my healing due diligence, they all went into balance. For years, my kidney and liver panels were off, blood sugar was high, as well as bp, sudden adrenal rushes, etc. No longer, at all. No flight of fight, either, which had become a chronic nuisance while I took medication. I have no health issues at all at present, nor require medication of any kind for anything at all. I’m very grateful for my health, not something I’d ever take for granted, after all of this.

    I also did some specific focused grounding meditation, in a program for a few years, to help heal my mind from the extreme thought distortions which this had caused. I did other things, too, determined to get myself back to balance and clarity, so that I could integrate all that I had learned during this dark and treacherous time—as you say, I believe, catastrophic. Thankfully, that’s all in the past. I’ve turned many corners since, and can hardly even relate to who I was back then.

    What I continually scratch my head about is 1) how is this legal? And 2) who is protecting whom? It almost makes me nervous to even ask these questions, because I think the reality is pretty ugly, but frankly, I’m so sick and tired of seeing these people prosper by increasing suffering in those that turn trustingly and vulnerably for support and healing when they are in pain! It’s such an open secret at this point, how can they play dumb, with any conscience? This is malpractice en masse. In my opinion, it’s truly ruining our world.

    Thank you so much for your brave work and voice of truth in these endeavors.
    Best regards, Alex.

    Report comment

    • “”I do want to be clear that I do feel our bodies regenerate naturally, if we allow them to, so no damage is permanent””

      Alex, in some cases that is true but not always. There are many people who have been on psych meds long term who tried very hard to recover as much function as possible but are still suffering big time.

      I know this wasn’t your intention but statements like this come across as unfairly blaming the patient for not trying hard enough to get well. Please think about what you are saying before you post something like this.


      Report comment

      • You misinterpret me, AA. My statement has nothing at all to do with blame. My perspective is that our beliefs dictate our reality. It is something worth considering, when nothing else has worked.

        I feel that when we share our stories and what we learned from our experiences, it is with the intention of inspiring hope, when some have given up, because the information out there is so misleading and extremely discouraging. The reason for sharing our experiences and truths is for the purpose of considering different points of view for the purpose of finding clarity and solutions to challenging issues like this. To me, that would the point of dialogue. I certainly don’t want be part of any community that feel that anyone is STUCK with suffering. That is not a reality to which I subscribe.

        Thanks for your response, I do appreciate what you say, here. But I don’t feel it’s fair for you to say I need to ‘watch what I say’ when I state a belief that I feel can be uplifting and encouraging to some.

        Report comment

        • I should add that when I say that my perspective is that our beliefs dictate our reality, the main point here is that we do have the power to shift our beliefs as we go along in life. To me, this is extremely empowering. It’s also a radical shift in the paradigm, and isn’t that what we’re after? Takes flexibility to bring in radical change, by considering different beliefs about the nature of our personal and global reality.

          Report comment

        • “You misinterpret me, AA. My statement has nothing at all to do with blame. My perspective is that our beliefs dictate our reality. It is something worth considering, when nothing else has worked””


          With all due respect, that is a form of blame because you are essentially saying that if someone hasn’t recovered, it is because of their beliefs.

          By the way, I am not arguing that having a positive attitude doesn’t help. But when you imply that this is the complete answer to all suffering, I have a problem with that.

          And I will leave you with this example. Many years ago, I had a relative who had a very positive attitude in dealing with cancer. She still died.

          Report comment

          • Cause-and-effect is neutral and universal. Blame is judgment and lack of self-responsibility. (Self-blame is self-judgment and can be torturous and toxic for us). There is a huge difference in how we embody these disparate beliefs, and the effects on our health, lives, and communities.

            This goes way beyond the notion of ‘having a positive attitude.’ It is more about expanding consciousness, awareness, and personal evolution. Highly personal and subjective, I realize. And while it is intended to move us into an uplifting direction, what I’m talking about is more integrative than simply ‘all positive.’

            There are courses taught in the nature of our personal reality as related to what we hold as our practiced beliefs, and lots about this on the internet, youtube, etc.

            Thank you for sharing your truth in response to mine. I feel clear on your perspective, respectfully. I appreciate the dialogue.

            Report comment

    • Alex,

      My experience working with a TCM practitioner to aide people withdrawing from psych drugs echos your resounding success– . Restoring balance– correcting patterns of disharmony with Chinese Herbs and acupuncture- produces a state of health that surpasses the person’s pre-psych drug baseline.
      Qi gong is close to acupuncture in meridian stimulation– unblocking stagnant Qi- by far the BEST these are the results I have witnessed for people who struggle with a myriad issues when deciding to withdraw from psych drugs.

      Your very forthright and meaningful statements about the power of consciousness also resonate with me– born out by experience and 26 years practicing Nichiren Buddhism– It is always best to share truths, imo– the only intention being to encourage others, I, too make it a point to incorporate mindfulness, meditation and the power of one’s beliefs–
      In practice, I remain close and available — continuing to coach and encourage — there is no evidence that those who seek my help are negatively impacted by hearing the truth–

      Report comment

      • That’s really great to hear, Sinead. This is what I envision to be ‘the alternative’ to what we have going now. To me, this is the new medicine–not a healing modality, but more so, an entirely new perspective, based on our awareness of energy. Not radical to ancient healing practitioners, but certainly radical for modern Western society.

        For me, it doesn’t matter where one is on his or her path–whether healthy and aligned or temporarily disabled, on meds or not, or whatever–expanding consciousness is what leads us to know the power of our creative minds. From wherever we are, we have only forward to go. When we awaken to our innate abilities to self-guide, self-heal, and create our paths consciously, we can resolve any issue with relative ease. To me, that was a game-changer, and it ultimately set me free.

        Here’s my program if you want to check it out. Feel free to be in touch if you want to compare notes.

        Best wishes for continued success with your wonderful work!

        Report comment

  4. I have severe social anxiety and social avoidance behavior. I was given Seroquel XR 100 mg ( a low dose) and it helped my mind but I gained a lot of weight on it and I couldn’t take the weight off no matter what I did (while I was on the drug). The psych nurse told me that a low dose of Seroquel likely won’t give me any problems with weight gain. Later I was transferred to another psychiatrist and he told me to get off the Seroquel XR b/c even a low dose will likely cause weight gain and increased risk for diabetes. I’m obese as it is, so that last thing I need to do is gain weight. It’s a shame that most of the psychiatric drugs cause weight gain. I’m sure many people take them without problems or major side effects, but that’s not the case for me.

    Report comment

    • Most people on psych drugs have side effects some life threatening. Newer anti-psychotics and “mood stabilizers” cause not only weight gain but also metabolic syndrome – you may want to check your blood sugar level while on them. The side effects are severely under-reported.

      Report comment

  5. I was poly drugged on psychiatric drugs for 16 years to the point I was no longer myself emotionally, physically, psychologically. Zyprexa and Seroquel did me in and I ended up in the ICU with Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis. Neuroleptics caused severe Mitochondrial Dysfunction that turned into CIDP. Have you had heard many clients getting CIDP from Seroquel?? It’s a nasty demyelination disease.. Even dealing with this progressive disease I am doing well psyche drug free and reclaiming my life. It was your book “Toxic Drugs” that helped me slowly taper. I thank you, Dr. Breggin.

    Report comment

  6. Dr. Breggin,

    You are my hero. Thank you for all that you have given us over the years. Glad that you are posting on MIA.

    I found your book, “Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain,,” back in 1986 when I was a young mental health professional…and a closeted peer. You brought me hope in my darkest hours in this ‘toxic’ field….and you laid the groundwork for sooo many of us to push back and fight for the truth. I have met you numerous times over the years. I hope you know how critically important your work has been for many of us and how many of us may not be here today, organizing and speaking out for truth in psychiatry if it was not for your courage and willingness to speak truth to power.

    Thank you

    Report comment

  7. I just shared this with a friend who was given ‘something for sleep’ after his wife died. He called, frightened when his legs started vibrating non-stop and he couldn’t sleep at all. When I explained what was happening, he stopped – cold turkey. He started drinking heavily to cope with the withdrawal effects. He’s now home from rehab, but not drug-free. His doctors insist he needs them.

    I shared with another friend, daughter of our elderly next door neighbour. The daughter showed me the script that her mother’s doctor had given ‘to ‘help her sleep’. It was Seroquel. “Please don’t give that to your mother.” She did. The ambulance came during the night – just one dose!’ Eventually the mother died of physician-assisted death by prescription pad.

    Report comment

  8. Dear Doctor Breggin
    I admire your conviction. You are right about anti psychotics programming people to become more psychotic.

    I was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance in the brain in 1980 at the Maudsley Hospital, London and injected with Fluphenazine Decoanate ( I had asked for psychotherapy). I was diagnosed as chronic in 1983, but I weaned myself off the injection in 1984 and have been well since, with the help of basic psychotherapy.

    In 30 years the Maudsley/Kings College have spent many millions on bio chemical research, and the state of psychiatry in the UK is a lot worse than it was 30 years ago. But a limited number of people have made a lot of money out of the process.

    Report comment

  9. Peter, I need your help!

    As a GP in Australia I have been warning about the use of these drugs for much the same reasons since the mid 1990s. My punishment was to be ‘diagnosed’ as being ‘hypomanic’ – evidenced by the ‘grandiosity’ of thinking that, as a GP, I had the right to criticize the fundamental tenets of psychiatry and the disease model of the DSM. Despite the DSM stating that hypomania does not warrant hospitalization and can be accompanied by increased efficiency and accomplishments in some people (a result of increased motivation and excitement) I was ‘treated’ with forced incarceration and drugging with haloperidol, first in 1995, and numerous times since then.

    When I continued criticizing psychiatry and the human rights abuses I observed and experienced as an involuntary patient, this was seen as a sign that I was still not well. My refusal to agree that I was ill was described as “lack of insight”. The hospital psychiatrists, who refused to discuss the scientific reasons behind my opposition to the use of SSRI, tricyclic, antipsychotic, benzodiazepine and stimulant drugs, wanted me to go on lithium or tegretol. When I refused, I was injected with depot injections of haloperidol and flupenthixol. These crippled me for some months.

    Being injected against my will with these drugs gave me first-hand experience of their toxicity. There effects on my movements was very traumatic. Every word had to be forced out. I was emotionally numbed and could feel no pleasure, while shuffling around with Parkinsonism. At the same time I felt an irresistible urge to pace (akathisia) which made me seem mad to the causal observer (and members of my family). My face showed little movement, which made me seem ‘flattened’. Members of my family who saw me in a heavily drugged state in the hospital thought that my new appearance was the result of the mental illness and not the drugs that were forced into me.

    Almost 20 years later I am still battling the psychiatrists in Australia, who are still injecting me against my will under the legal cover of an Involuntary Treatment Order authorised by the local public hospital. A week ago at a Mental Health Review Tribunal hearing at the hospital it was argued by the hospital that I had “Psychotic Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified” for which their plan is to inject me monthly with a new drug called paloperidone, indefinitely . Their previous diagnosis was “schizophrenia” but they have recently been backing away from that diagnosis (since I obviously don’t satisfy diagnostic criteria for the label and I have private psychiatric opinion that I do not have schizophrenia and I don’t show signs of having a ‘mood disorder’ either). They have been injecting me with this drug for the past 8 months and I have gained 10 kg in weight. I also have a strong family history of diabetes.

    Needless to say, these injections have not altered my beliefs about psychiatry and the medical profession in the least. Each injection costs the taxpayer about $400. Most of that goes to the drug company, but the pharmacist gets his cut too. If I refuse the injection (they come to my home to give it to me) I have been told that they will sign an “ATR” (Authority to Return form) and I will be brought back to the hospital by the police. They will use whatever level of force they deem necessary.

    At the last Mental Health Review Tribunal hearing they deferred their decision awaiting another supposedly ‘independent’ psychiatrist’s opinion as to whether or not I have a mental illness (since I appeared sane to the Board and my own private psychiatrist) but the hospital psychiatrist maintained that in his opinion (after meeting me once) was that I probably had schizophrenia based on the number of admissions I had and his scan reading of the files.

    I feel like I’m in Kafka’s Trial. The chance that the new “independent psychiatrist” will share your views on psychiatry and psychiatric drugs, Peter, would be close to zero in my estimate.

    Report comment

    • I wish there was some way I could help you but I’m in the US. Keep looking for a psychiatrist who will be in your corner. Does it have to be someone from Australia? I look forward to more of your posts. Best wishes to you. You are fearless!

      Report comment

    • Yep, the human rights abuses being perpetrated by psychiatrists here in Australia are horrendous. I hope you get your freedom and that you keep speaking out against the processes, the shrinks and the drugs.

      Most of the books exposing the harms of the drugs are not imported to Australia….one has to stumble across them somewhere on the internet and import them. No matter what information a patient shows to GPs and shrinks, they reject it outright no matter its authorship or source, and fully support the efficacy and safety of psych meds while blaming the patient for not co-operating and getting well.

      I actually felt like I was undergoing Kafka’s Metamorphosis while I was in the psych ward.

      Persist…and persist. My thoughts are with you.

      Report comment

  10. Thanks to Dr. Breggin for another great video.

    Folks, send this video to anyone you know who is under the spell of psychiatric drugs or has a child on psychiatric drugs.

    I am a psychiatric survivor and have posted my story here before. Be assured that there is always hope, no matter how dark things may seem- there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Things can and will get better. More and more of us are standing up and speaking out. Drug use is down and big Psych and big Pharma are quaking in their boots.

    Be well!

    Report comment

  11. I want Dr. Breggin to see this. I have posted parts of my story on MIA previously.

    I had no history of mental illness when I took a benzo for caregiver burnout and bereavement-related insomnia. I cold-turkeyed off the benzo when I realized I was addicted. Here’s the result:

    Last night I dreamed I was in the shock room again. I heard them call my name and say: “They’re waiting for you.”

    Only in my dreams do I remember what happened in that shock room. Only from my notes can I ‘remember’ what happened in that shock room. Twenty years of memory are totally missing. Memory of the last ten years is sporadic.

    I look down at the gnarl of blood vessels on the back of my left hand as I type. Sometimes it hurts. It’s as if the tissue is frightened. That’s where the intravenous went in 25 times. Twenty-five anesthetics and 25 rounds of bilateral electroconvulsive therapy were forced on me during the 10 weeks I was held in a psychiatric institution. I went there for help in getting off drugs.

    I carried a copy of Peter Breggin’s book ‘Your Drug May Be Your Problem’ but that was dismissed. I was considered ‘an excellent candidate for ECT’ and I was seized. I ‘remember’ the assembly line of gurneys. I shook from terror as I looked up at the cold, matter-of-fact faces around me. I wondered if there would be anything left of my brain when they were finished with me. I thought I was going to die. I ‘remember’ the stench of the rubber mask over my face, the IV going into my hand and then, as the anaesthetic hit, merciful oblivion. And later, the blood in my mouth and the violent headaches.

    I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know why I was there. When I was ‘released’ I could not find my way home. I could not find my way around the city I had lived in for 30 years. I didn’t know how to find nor open my mailbox. I didn’t go back for the ‘weekly maintenance ECT’ that I was told would be required for the rest of my life and I tapered myself off all the drugs I was told would be required for the rest of my life.

    Not one doctor had recognized benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. They decided I had agitated depression and decided to medicate me to insanity – which they did with 35 different drugs in 8 months. I had adverse reactions to each drug – the adverse reactions were seen as escalating mental illness. Why did I continue to take the drugs? I would have done anything to stop the horrendous agitation. Later, when I was given sleeping pills three times a day (for agitation) and once at night (for sleep), I was just in a stupor – which was then seen as another form of advanced depression.

    Ten years later the ECT-induced legs tremors persist. The ECT-induced irregular heart rate is still with me. The ECT-induced parkinsonism has diminished. The vision in my right eye is still clouded — as it was when I woke up after one ECT session. The dental restorations which were broken have been repaired. I still can’t breathe properly. I can’t remember things. At home I have covered one wall with cork board so I can pin up the notes that remind me of what I am supposed to be doing and when. I used to have a fine mind, a photographic memory, and I multitasked with ease. Most of my friends are gone. I was too much for them, and they weren’t enough for me.

    If I met any of my doctors on the street I would not recognize them. They stole my memory. I live in terror of those who once took an oath to do no harm. Every single day is an ordeal. I will continue to tell my story so others may learn.

    Thank you Dr. Breggin and may there be many more of your articles in Mad in America.

    Report comment

  12. Dr Breggin,

    I also wanted to thank you profusely for the outstanding work you have done to publicize the dangers of psych meds many years even when no one seemed to be listening.

    I was on a cocktail of psych meds for years until I finally realized they were destroying my life and slowly tapered off of them over 4 years. Unfortunately, I fear they have left permanent “gifts” such as a very fragile sleep cycle which has caused me great difficulties in adjusting to pap therapy which I need because of my sleep apnea. The problems resulting from chronic sleep deprivation are horrific.

    Of course, my chances of getting any doctor to blame psych meds are about as good as my winning the lottery. In fact, if I said anything about my past psych med history, I would be permanently labeled as one of those “MI” patients and would receive inferior care.

    Finally, regarding withdrawal, I agree that it is best for doctors to supervise everything. Unfortunately, finding a doctor who understands withdrawal issues from psych meds is slim and none.

    As a result, I highly urge you and Ginger to refer patients to for assistance in safely tapering off of the meds. On the site, is a list of psych med friendly doctors by the way. But if one isn’t near a forum member, there is excellent advice on tapering very slowly which you seem to agree is best for the person.
    The site is not connected to any company or organization and depends on the financial contributions of members.

    Report comment

  13. Like others commenting above, Dr. Peter Breggin is one of my greatest heroes and saviors thanks to his ground breaking, life saving books like Toxic Psychiatry, Your Drug May Be Your Problem, Reclaiming Our Children, his fact books on drugs and so many others that were crucial to my being literally able to save the very lives of loved ones.

    I will always be very grateful and indebted to Dr. Breggin for having the courage and conscience to speak out when psychiatry sold out to Big Pharma in the 1980’s when he warned that the most dangerous thing one could do was visit a psychiatrist because one would leave with a life destroying stigma and a prescription for toxic, life threatening drugs within minutes of such a visit.

    Of course, the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel struck back against Dr. Breggin with a vengeance in an attempt to destroy him, but he was too qualified, honest, brave and ethical to allow them to win. Having the truth on his side and a much better proposal for dealing with “problems of living” with empathy and common sense rather than stigma, lies and violence was crucial for Dr. Breggin’s not only surviving but thriving to this day. Though the KOL’s and others in the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel may not be so thrilled with him, Dr. Breggin has far more admiring, fiercely loyal, very grateful fans like me than he can ever imagine thanks to the many lives he has saved and continues to do so.

    I am absolutely thrilled to see Dr. Breggin posting at MIA and I greatly hope he will continue sharing with us here.

    THANK YOU Dr. Breggin from the bottom of my heart!

    Report comment

  14. I just want to add my voice to the many thanking Dr. Breggin for his work.

    I lost 20 years of my life to psychiatric meds, starting with a prescription for fluoxetine for PTSD after an assault. I was so disabled I couldn’t work or function socially and I lost my life savings and my home and my relationships and friends. I kept taking more and more meds as prescribed for my “underlying illness,” thinking that they were helping me and I would be even worse without them. I was almost constantly suicidal and after an attempt, with no health insurance (couldn’t work at that point), I had to file bankruptcy and was encouraged to file for disability by my friends.

    Thanks to the Internet I was able to figure out what was going on and I have been tapering for four years off my final “cocktail” of meds. While tapering I am more functional and happier (working full time, moved to a different part of the country, have a network of friends, enjoying my hobbies and enthusiasms and zest for the first time in over 20 years) than I ever was during those years on “therapeutic” doses. Dr. Breggin’s work has supported and sustained me and I am so grateful to him.

    I’d also like to echo AA’s endorsement of the website Surviving Antidepressants for tapering advice.

    Report comment

  15. Legal right to informed consent and bodily integrity:
    Vaccination Defending Your Right to Know and Freedom to Choose

    Thank you for this Dr. Breggin.
    Please see this inter-related video that discusses many of the same facts we are dealing with here. It is a brilliant template that we need to replicate and disseminate to the world.
    Best Wishes,

    Report comment

  16. Folks, I’m stepping in as moderator here with a reminder to keep your comments civil and on-topic. This Breggin vs Healy “debate” is something of a derail (and frankly reminds me of “my dad can beat up your dad”). It’s not a competition — they both have made important contributions and hopefully will continue to do so. I don’t believe that anyone blogs on this site in order to be hailed as a saint or picked apart by detractors. They are simply trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. Please, try to keep the bigger picture in mind.

    [Edit to update that the derail has now been removed.]

    Report comment

  17. Ralph Waldo Trine 1897 (In Tune With the Infinite):

    “A physician goes to see a patient. He gives no medicine this morning. Yet the very fact of his going makes the patient better. He has carried with him the spirit of health; he has carried brightness of tone and disposition; he has carried hope into the sick chamber; he has left it there. In fact the very hope and cheer he has carried with him has taken hold of and has had a subtle but powerful influence upon the mind of the patient; and this mental condition imparted by the physician has in turn its effects upon the patient’s body, and so through the instrumentality of this mental suggestion the healing goes on.”

    “The method that has as its work the application of drugs, medicines and external agencies is the artificial method. The only thing that any drug or any medication can do is to remove obstruction, that the life forces may have simply a better chance to do their work. The real healing process must be performed by the operation of the life forces within.”

    “For generations past the the most important influence, the life principle itself, has remained an unconsidered element in the medical profession, and the almost exclusive drift of its studies and remedial paraphernalia has been confined to the action of matter over mind. This has seriously interfered with the evolutionary tendencies of the doctors themselves, and consequently the psychic factor in professional life is still in a rudimentary or comparatively undeveloped state.”

    “Drugs don’t heal people; people heal people” Peter Breggin 2014

    Report comment

  18. A young man who stays in our home is from overseas, he is in the USA studying English, and has no idea what is going on here in the ‘prescription drug’ culture..
    So when he came to me and told me he had been put on drugs for ‘anxiety’, I asked him what he was anxious about. The short story is that he was slipping in his grades, and was worried that he would lose his scholarship. I asked him if the doctors had discussed with him the reasons for his anxiety; His reply did not surprise me, “No, they had not.” I explained to him the dangers of SSRIs, [psychotropic medications, he had been put on Celexa and something else which I don’t recall]. Ironically, in the 3 weeks that he was on the medications, he was oversleeping and missing even more school. It was as if the captain of a sinking ship, went to the ship’s physician and was put on meds. The ship would still sink, but the captain would no longer fret about it. I explained to this young man the dangers of the meds and let him know that while he was under the influence of mind altering drugs, that he would not be permitted to live in our house. Fortunately he agreed to stop immediately. I put him on a program instead of English lessons, tutoring him 3 times a week. Within 4 weeks he had risen to the top of his English class.
    What remains so shocking is how blithley the medical community wrote prescriptions for these powerful and addictive drugs, without a glance at addressing the actual problem. It remains to be asked of the community, if we permit ourselves, our children, friends, to resort to drugs as a first response to anxiety or depression or sorrow, how in God’s name are they supposed to learn to cope on their own? Does this not make addiction the obvious result?

    Report comment

    • I got talking to chap from the Caribbean a few years ago and he told me he worked (in the UK) as a Psychiatric nurse. When he went home on holiday his father asked him what he did for a living, so he described his job and the people he was looking after.

      His father was totally gobsmacked and bemused at the so called ‘mentally disabled’ people in the UK – he could not understand what was wrong with them.

      Report comment

  19. David Healy’s position on electroshock is staggering. He’s done much that is worthy of applause but I would like him to reconsider his opinion of this still very controversial procedure. Dr. Breggin has done such a great job highlighting this unnecessary, cruel and counterproductive practice. These days ECT is typically only used on people who are seriously drug damaged, often during withdrawal, which poses an even greater threat to health and further diminishes chances for recovery. His website carries excellent resources on this subject.

    Report comment

  20. Sadly “these days ECT is typically only used on people who are seriously drug damaged” is very, very far from the truth here in Melbourne, Australia. ECT is being used at an exponentially increasing rate as a first stop treatment for a whole lot of people. Mostly females, mostly old but also young children are now permitted to avail themselves of this “Proven Safe and Effective Treatment”, the “safest treatment in Psychiatry, possibly in all of Medicine” and the “best treatment for depression that there is”! All this garbage comes from the Royal New Zealand and Australian College of Psychiatrists, ALL of the government supported “peer run” organisations, e.g.Beyond Blue, Sane Australia and ALL of it is lies, with NO supporting science whatsoever. Our new Mental Health Act, (July 2014) reiterates this specious rubbish, and somehow the years of consensus and discussion to try and get SOME human rights and SOME truth into the thing were subverted by a “lobby group” of some kind, days before the ACT hit parliament. Restrictions on its use for children were removed, required, though never disclosed in fact, declaration of conflict of interest of prescribing psychiatrists etc were removed, the base consent is now for 12 treatments not 6 as before and penalties for illegal use of psychosurgery have gone, too. The Private hospital system here is a for profit system and its use of ECT has risen, last heard, by 70% over a seven year period 2002 – 2009. We’re talking here about bottom line. ECT pays the bills. The so-called therapy programs in these places are virtually non-existent, the last time I was there I, and almost everyone was taking Seroquel. Do Ramsay Health and Seroquel have a “thing” going on? Ramsay’s USA arm has a less than salubrious reputation. Every day, 6 or more young obese people, mostly girls in their 20s, lined up for diabetes monitoring. Few people went to the sparse poorly run “groups” because they were too dopey to participate in anything much until late in the day just before lining up for the next dose. Recently, in a private hospital, a man I knew of died because a doctor and the nursing staff were severely bullying him into having and then continuing ECT. He hanged himself between ECT 3-4. The psychiatric system is corrupt and peopled by psychopaths and cowards. The big guys have a stranglehold on access to private clinic admissions and those with these privileges had better do as they’re told. If a big boss ECT guru says do more ECT, or keep a patient quiet, the doc had better do it. In 2000 I was assaulted by 66 ECTs in 20 months for an overnight suicidal reaction to an SSRI. I have memory loss and documented cognitive damage. My outrage was suppressed by a threatening contract in 2003 at a different private clinic and I kept it down for 6 or so years as I was brought to my knees by anti-psychotics for the ECT induced PTSD I suffered. After that time, I decided that if anyone asked me what ECT did, I would tell them. Unfortunately for me the ECT zealot at this clinic didn’t like this and suddenly, in 2010 I got another 20 in 2010. I have almost no recollection of this but in 2012, I’d had enough. After I quit psychiatry got hold of my ECT file. What went on was extraordinary. Coercion, manipulation, lies, and very questionable legality. But in the Private Psych system the patient has even fewer de facto rights than those in the public system. There is NOWHERE to complain to, except to the medical board. GOOD LUCK. Bullying, coercion, threats, even physical assault are rife in these institutions but there are NO checks and balances. I tried very hard to stop this ECT, and after 12 I attempted to discharge myself. I was threatened with being “sectioned” and confined in a locked unit till I “cooled down”. My point here is that all of you people talk about your experiences but nothing is happening. THESE GUYS ARE GETTING WORSE. THEY BELIEVE WE CAN’T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING. BUT CAN WE? The only way to change the world is to EDUCATE the people! I want a press campaign to tell the true story. I want to face these guys in open debate, make them defend their position in the open, not behind tame journos. I want to complete an ECT information kit that can be handed out to everyone at risk of getting ECT e.g. elderly women AND EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. I want an investigation into the abuse of women in psychiatry. I want them to explain to everyone WHY they won’t let those who disagree with them get funding for research, then claim everyone else’s science is pseudo. I want Breggin’s and Robert Whitaker’s and Linda Andre’s (ECT) and Friedberg’s work OUT THERE, not just here! I know this is a bit of a rave but without passion and PLANS NOTHING WILL CHANGE. So let’s work out a PLAN here in Melbourne and set it all going-the web make us close.
    PS I agree about St David Healy and told him so. He was very defensive. I have a problem with hypocrisy.

    Report comment

  21. Oh, and ECT is not just on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays any more. To accommodate the wildly increasing `maintenance ECT’, the maintenance of an Organic Brain Syndrome, that is, for outpatients the clinic has to operate 5 days a week! 20 – 30 – 40 per week at 1 place.

    Report comment

  22. This literature review was published in 2010. Impact? Seemingly none.

    I just re-read the chapter about ECT in Dr. Breggin’s book about brain-disabling treatments in psychiatry. It lays out the evidence quite clearly. He has been advocating against this evil for 30 years. Result? Silence. In fact, new markets for “maintenance ECT” being cultivated.

    What will work ? ? People standing outside ECT clinics handing out literature to potential victims?? Mainstream media ads educating the public of the dangers? Dr. Healy, high profile shock doctor doing the ethical and moral thing and reversing his position on ECT and calling for a ban??

    Seriously, is there ANYONE who has an idea? Breggin says public outrage and multiple successful lawsuits… Again, doesn’t seem to be happening…

    Report comment