Towards a Ban on Psychiatrically Diagnosing and Drugging Children

Peter Breggin, MD
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Instead of hope and enthusiasm for their futures, too many children now grow up believing they are inherently defective, and controlled by bad genes and biochemical imbalances.  They are shackled by the idea that they have ADHD and then subdued by the drugs that inevitably go along with the diagnosis.  Unless something intervenes, many of them will go on to pass their days on Earth in a drug-impaired, demoralized state.

I have put up a new series of three videos on YouTube about the psychiatric diagnosing and drugging of children.  The first children’s video is # 7 in my Simple Truths series; it describes the harmful effects and method of action of stimulant drugs.  These drugs include methylphenidate and amphetamine products such as Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Metadate, Methylin, Quillivant, Daytrana, Vyvanse, Adderall and Dexedrine.

The second video about children is # 8 in the Simple Truths series. It describes the negative effects of diagnosing children with ADHD.

The third children’s video, # 9 of Simple Truths, describes the horrendous outcomes of merely starting a mildly “hyperactive” child on Ritalin, including follow up studies over several decades.  This video calls for concerned citizens to take a stand against giving psychiatric drugs to children. I believe it is time to set our sights on a day when children will be protected by a ban against giving them any psychoactive substances, including psychiatric drugs, which are more dangerous, damaging and demoralizing than alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes.

The video series has scientific support in my book Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, which cites and summarizes some of the most recent studies on how damaged “ADHD kids” become when reaching adulthood — including increased incarceration in jails and mental hospitals, increased suicide, increased drug addiction, increased dependence on multiple psychiatric drugs, obesity, shrinkage (atrophy) of the brain, shortened lifespan, and a general reduction in quality and length of life.

In addition, my new peer-reviewed article in the journal Children & Society presents a scientific and ethical overview of the harm done to children by stimulants and by antipsychotic drugs, such as Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdal, Invega, Zyprexa, Geodon, Latuda, Saphris, Fanapt, and Symbax.  It cites many scientific studies.  The antipsychotic drugs are often given to children when their behavior and mental state deteriorates as a result of being given stimulants.

The drugging of children in America and increasingly throughout the world is a tragedy.  Millions upon millions of children and youth will never know their full potential because they grew up with an intoxicated brain — their neurotransmitters forever deformed by being bathed in these drugs during their formative years.  Additional millions will become career consumers of psychiatric drugs with a vastly reduced quality of life and shortened lives.

It is time to say, “No more of this!” and to directly confront the need for stopping this inhumane, destructive approach to our children and youth.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. As someone who was given a diagnosis of “schizophrenia” at age six, so I could be experimented on with electric shock treatment, I am wholeheartedly in agreement with Peter’s call for protecting children against psychiatry’s eagerness to drug and otherwise hurt them. I want to thank Peter for his work over the years to protect people like me and millions of others from the abuses of the “mental health” system.

    I also want to say to everyone who is concerned about human rights in the psychiatric system that a focus on the abuse of childen would resonate strongly with the general public, who after all will eventually decide about the kind of system we should have to help people with their emotional and other problems in life. I have been disappointed with our movement as it failed to engage with the situations of Rebecca Riley and Justina Pelletier, two children who were horribly abused by psychiatry. Even the mainstream media followed the situations of these two kids, yet we stood by and did nothing. This was an chance to reach the public with the truth about psychiatry. Why didn’t we take this opportunity?

    • Some of us did. I’ve been involved in the campaign for freeing Justina as much as from Europe. I must however say that these cases are not even very broadly publicized. If I followed left-leaning media only I’d never heard about the case of Pelletiers in the first place. I think human rights abuses by psychiatry are mostly ignored by the media unless they fit into some other political agenda (in case of Justina it was against the democratic governor). It’s altogether a pretty sad state of things.

  2. Many thanks to you and Ginger for all that you do. I am just heartbroken and disgusted to live in a society that is drugging our children on these horrendous psychoactive drugs. I, too, pray for the day there is a ban against the unwitting drugging of children, and all people, on psychoactive substances. I am truly appalled that our mainstream medical community has bought into the lies of psychiatry. I am quite certain the DSM is a book describing the iatrogenic effects of the psychiatric drugs. Thank you again for speaking the truth. I am truly grateful.

  3. What happened to me is I was not truly ADHD as a child but went through heavy abuse. They put me on Ritalin despite the signs that I was being raised in an unstable family and may have not truly had any impairment in school. Perhaps the schools were bad, my teachers, and even my parents.

    I was on Ritalin for a year. Upon discontinuing the drug mid-way through fifth grade, I suddenly succumbed to anxiety and depression. I was afraid to be around kids, and my new awkward appearance made me even a target of bullying. I went one more year in school, and while being abused by family and school teachers that year (teachers physically assaulted me in school, pushing me around, telling me to get out of the school), .. I dropped out, I couldn’t go back anymore. I stayed at home where my parents isolated me around in a room alone, with no human contact, no school, no teachers. I attribute it all to Ritalin and the abusive corrupt system set up to care for kids. No one even called social services, and the schools didn’t intervene.. I made it to age 18 like this, not getting any formal education…. Where I’d suddenly be locked up in a mental institution, drugged up, assaulted by staff, sexually abused by staff, and used in military experiments.. Now I’m 29 and suffer chronic traumatic encephalopathy as my diagnosis. I contend that I never once had a true psychiatric illness, and they used these diagnosis to abuse me, and derail my life from start to finish. I want to see it stopped, so that it never happens to anyone else ever again.

    The drugs they used on me as an adult were Zyprexa, Abilify, Rispiridol, Geodon, Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin SR, Clozaril, Haldol, etc.. I didn’t even have any of the symptoms they usually use these drugs for such as voices, delusions, depression, flash backs, ADHD, etc. They did me in good, used these drugs like weapons on me, the state versus me as a person who they ruined. If they would have actually cared about me, they would have gotten me into school and offered me a place to live with some support and leisure activities, so I could work toward the goals of fixing my life and ultimately joining the work force and even having a family of my own but instead they didn’t..

    I run a website exposing the crime I went through now. http://www.oregonstatehospital.net/

    • Todd, I am so sorry about what happened to you, and I thank you so much for sharing your story. Folks really need to hear that these “symptoms of ADHD” are absolutely and commonly caused by children being abused and neglected at home and/or in school. The list of drugs you were on is appalling, and anyone thinking rationally about it would see that they were obviously barking up the wrong tree if they had to “try” all these drugs and nothing appeared to actually help. Yet they seem to feel they have to continue to try one drug after another after another until you either escape or die. They are unable to recognize when they are doing harm.

      I am glad you found your voice and hope you keep speaking up and education those who really haven’t got a clue that this is happening in this country.

      —- Steve

    • Whether intentional or not, your site could serve as a tool to discredit the real concerns and suffering that many people have regarding child drugging and psychiatric abuses. If I were you, I’d work to separate the conspiracy theory stuff (particularly that psychiatry is working for the CIA, that agents are illegally stalking you, etc) from the advocacy for change efforts

      An excerpt from the site that makes my point:
      “It documents my history and legal case. After getting into the custody of the State of Oregon, I was abused, set up, targeted with illegal surveillance at the Oregon State Hospital, where I faced union violence, murder attempts, and had the US military and US Department of Justice target me with directed energy & mind control (they helped the state cover up the scandals that went on during the US Department of Justice CRIPA investigation, which launched in 2006). A replacement hospital was built on my blood in 2010, after the cover up.”

      Even if by some chance any of that were true, I can guarantee you that nobody in the masses crowd are going to believe you. It’s too extreme and ultimately improbable.

      • I don’t know. After Snowden and CIA torture report I’ll believe anything (maybe short of energy and mid control but they have experimented with a lot of wacky stuff back in the day so who knows ;P). The reality makes people with paranoid delusions into kind of visionaries.

      • I’m ok. This site is all about exposing the more serious crimes not the puny advocacy work that never gets anyone anywhere. It takes exposing real stuff like CIA, military crime, and state conspiracy to actually get this place shut down. It takes this type of case to help similar victims nationwide.

        This is the legal case going through the courts. The case is built on the government actually doing this to me. Did you read my attorney’s brief? That’s the case. And professionals are going to be working on it furthermore (I have two attorney’s after all).

      • Also you are dead wrong. Why? What is improbable to you is reality to others. What everyone believes is improbable is usually because of their own ignorance. In the case of government programs you would think it improbable that every call you make and every packet sent over the internet was saved in an NSA profile on you, or that satellites with body and brain and home scanning abilities were deployed and in use, but all that is actually truth. You might believe the government hasn’t victimized hundreds of thousands in mind control programs and that all the major hospitals and universities and state officials don’t participate, but that is also untrue. Science shows us today that the mind is also fully exploitable and tappable for surveillance. You think its crazy, but its not, it’s just classified and not something the government is willing to share with you.

        You would similarly think, damn, radio frequencies cannot be beamed into a persons home, body, or brain, but that is not only permitted by physics and deployed in satellites but fully patented and backed by schools that teach how to make the technology and whistleblowers plus some actual program information has been disclosed dating back to the 1940s.. 😉

        Just perhaps it is more probable than you think. And it would be far more serious than any low level abuse I went through, actually it helps prove how violent and destructive the state was capable of being and why they would target and try to hurt me on purpose and how they could go about doing so. It is extreme, they are extreme.

      • Dr. Peter Breggin has spoken on the issues I faced.

        http://www.oregonstatehospital.net/video.php?id=qP5RwYQadzw

        Psychiatry, and state function are much more complex besides the usual drivel of drugs, psychotherapy, care for people, and all that. People continue to be abused, subjected to mind control, experiments, and high tech forms of torture .. it has went on for 70 years or more now.

        This clip has Peter discussing DARPA and high tech lobotomizing brain implants being developed.

        He talks about wards of citizens being controlled remotely, and Harvard’s involvement ..

  4. I do feel bad for those who are mis-diagnosed, mis-medicated, mis-treated, and so forth. Diagnosis is difficult and too many clinicians diagnose in 15 minutes without a second thought. I was lucky enough to have a caring, gentle pediatrician who worked with my family for over a year before pronouncing my ADD. One of the helpful things they did though was not use the label on me. I didn’t hear the term ADD until I was much older and better able to understand. I was on Ritalin for 8 years, until I was in high school. It seemed to have made all the difference in the world. I’m pretty sure I would not be the successful, healthy adult I am today without it.
    That said, it’s not popular to push back against folks who are “thinking of the children.” Labels are both good and bad and doing away with them in one fell swoop is not the answer. Medication should be the very last line of defense instead of the first and they should be used carefully. Antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics should not be given to children, period. Attempts to investigate and solve any social or family problems should be one of the first lines of attack for children who are experiencing any kind of difficulty. The real problem is with our capitalistic healthcare society. If we had a system that was truly focused on helping and healing we would see fewer stories like those above.
    Again, I feel terrible for anyone who has experienced trauma through a diagnosis or medication. I could myself among the lucky. I also think that for every 1 horror story we hear, there are 10 or a 100 people like me.
    (You can read about my story here: http://www.raisedonritalin.com)

    • “I also think that for every 1 horror story we hear, there are 10 or a 100 people like me.”

      I would argue that it’s at least three horror stories for every one success story. A major factor here is that the routine in psychiatry is to blame any emerging problems or deterioration that is likely caused by the drug on an “underlying illness” instead, which parents — often afraid of being blamed — are too quick to get on board with in most cases. When I was trapped in that system, I routinely saw kids getting more and more screwed up over time, just like me, but unlike me they and/or their parents hadn’t identified the drugs as the cause. I’m sure many of them went on blaming their drug induced problems on an “underlying illness”, and much to my amazement, I’ve even come across a few over the years who blamed their drug induced movement disorders of an “underlying illness”, although after reading this article below awhile back I’m not sure they actually believed it: http://www.dailynews.com/health/20140823/children-in-californias-foster-care-system-are-prescribed-risky-medications

      “And Rochelle Trochtenberg, now 31 and living in Eureka, still struggles to bring a glass to her lips because her hands are so shaky from the years she spent on a shifting mix of lithium, Depakote, Zyprexa, Haldol and Prozac, among others. When people ask, she tries to cover it up with remarks about a possible hereditary condition.

      The truth is too painful to explain, she said. “I don’t want to tell people I have a tremor because I was drugged for my whole adolescence.””

      • Well, Dr Sami Timimi runs a child an adolescent clinic in the UK that uses no drugs and no diagnosis, unless the people using the clinic want that. Usually, when his staff talk over the risks and benefits of drugs and diagnosis most of the service users decide against them. Most of the service users are out of the clinic within two years and never to return to either child or adult services.

        I’d say this is rather better than the service you recieved tylerpage.

        This is the sort of service I would like to see everywhere. One where people try to understand the child, thier situation and how the people around them impact on their behaviour and it is free as it part of the UK National Health Service.

      • First, I want to say, Tyler, that I appreciate your acknowledgment and recognition of the damage that other people have experienced, even when your own personal experience has been different. I find it rare that folks are able to maintain that kind of “grey area” perspective when talking about these issues.

        That being said, I agree with Jeffrey – I work with foster kids and they are promiscuously drugged for behavioral manifestations and emotional reactions that are completely understandable given their circumstances. These drugs are almost always credited for any good things that happen, and are almost never blamed for anything bad that happens, regardless of sometimes obvious causal and temporal connections between drug prescription changes and behavioral deterioration. I don’t want to invalidate that those positive stories exist and are real, but I don’t think you end up hearing most of the negative stories, because they tend to be buried by those who have an interest in maintaining the myth of effective chemical treatment for all.

        To take “ADHD” as an example – you, Tyler, describe a positive experience over time, but the research shows that on the average, “ADHD” kids who take medication do no better than those who don’t. That suggests that for every positive story like yours, there is at least one person whose life was made as much worse as yours was made better. You sound like a compassionate person and I know you would not wish that on anyone, but I want you and others to realize that it’s not a rare phenomenon. I’ve worked with multiple kids who started out with an ADHD diagnosis, got aggressive on stimulants, were put on antipsychotics, showed signs of depression as a result, were put on antidepressants, had manic episodes as a result, and were put on mood stabilizers. These kids will be on 4-5 psychiatric drugs and still be behaving horribly, breaking windows or beating people up or even threatening to kill themselves. It is incredibly rare that the doctors ever look at this situation and say, “Gee, what we’re doing doesn’t seem to be working very well – maybe we should start over!” No, they continue to add more drugs or change dosages or change to different drugs despite the fact that the kid just gets worse and worse or at best continues to be a huge problem. And sometimes, when my advocates are able to prevail on them to try reducing or eliminating medication, we find that the child is no worse or even much better WITHOUT the drugs in his/her system.

        It is a very ineffective and insensitive system. You are smart enough and independent enough to judge for yourself whether something is working or not. Most kids don’t have that ability or that luxury. Many are drugged at the behest of parents, foster parents, teachers, counselors, doctors, whose main interest is controlling the child and deflecting blame and discomfort from the adults. The 100/1 ratio you postulate is very much counter to both science and my personal and professional experience.

        Thanks for writing, though. I wish all medication proponents were as rational and reasonable as you are.

        — Steve

        • Steve,

          Did you look at Tyler’s web site that he claims is his story?

          It looks more to me like a Big Pharma infomercial bringing back to mind recent debates on several recent blogs on ADHD at MIA. This is misleading information to give people the very wrong impression that there is evidence that those labeled with ADHD have real brain disorders/diseases due to various proven brain impairments, faulty wiring or differences that are helped by dangerous amphetamines, which are totally unproven. The history of these dangerous drugs serve as a warning that they should never have been introduced to children in the first place given that women who used them for weight loss and became addicted and ill caused them to be taken off the market for that purpose. The fact they were reintroduced for children for so called ADHD for behavior control and now so called “binge eating disorder” voted into the DSM 5 with no evidence shows that the U.S. and other countries who sold out our children and humanity at large to Big Pharma have lost their moral compass. That is the view of Dr. Fred Baughman, Neurologist, and author of the book and web site, ADHD Fraud, and countless articles exposing that this stigmatizing and drugging of children and others are the worst medical crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. Many other experts like Dr. Breggin share this view.

          In fact, as you know, Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute for Mental Health, has been forced to admit recently on his blog that there is not a shred of scientific, biological, genetic, medical or any other evidence for most of the DSM labels like ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, depression and many other very lucrative voted in “disorders.” The DSM does include a few real brain diseases like Alzheimer’s psychiatry stole from neurology for the DSM though the whole distinction between psychiatry and neurology when they broke into 2 entities is that psychiatry would handle life problems that did not involve brain diseases while neurology would handle real brain diseases like dementia as explained by Dr. Baughman on the web. Thus, Dr. Insel lamented the total lack of validity for all the DSM labels voted in by consensus with no biological or other evidence like ADHD, bipolar, depression and 300+ others with no genetic, biological, brain wiring, chemical imbalances or other science behind them in the first place. DSM committees led by Dr. Robert Spitzer, editor of DSM III onward to the present DSM 5 admitted there was no science behind the DSM while making the dubious claim such evidence would be found in the future. After many decades, no such biological evidence has been found, but the real life problems, crises, losses, abuse, trauma and other emotional distress caused by toxic social and environmental stressors are not only unacknowledged by DSM stigmas, but rather, covered up by them to blame the victims for growing global inequality, poverty, injustice, oppression, sexism, racism, pollution, climate change, junk food, toxic chemicals and many other isms corporate cronyism would prefer to stigmatize as “mental illness” to profit from the suffering they inflict on humanity as well, which can rightly be called psychopathic and narcissistic.

          The good news is that Dr. Breggin exposed these damaging myths in his life saving books like Toxic Psychiatry, Your Drug May Be Your Problem, 2nd ed., Talking Back to Ritalin, Reclaiming Our Children and countless others from the 1990’s when psychiatry sold out to Big Pharma and the DSM was expanded exponentially to push the latest lethal drugs on patent to make billions globally while destroying countless lives. I highly recommend all of Dr. Breggin’s enlightening books for which I will always be very grateful. Dr. Breggin heroically fought this menace alone in the early 1990’s to the present at great cost and it has only been recently that others in the profession have been forced to admit the emperor is wearing no clothes with the biopsychiatry brain mythology used to manipulate a brain washed public. I am very happy Dr. Breggin lived to see the day when he would not only be totally validated and vindicated, but also, a cherished hero of the survivor movement. He is also greatly respected by many real professionals in the “mental health” system.

          Dr. Breggin does a great job debunking the voted in by consensus ADHD stigma to push the dangerous kiddie cocaine on millions of children for huge profits here, in his many books on the topic, his web sites and educational conferences. He also documents all the horrible side effects of these toxic drugs doled out for so called ADHD and how they harm children in untold ways including the over focus on certain things while their ability to socialize is all but destroyed. And as you say, the literally deadly “side effects,” which are the only effects for the most part, are well documented with many children literally dying from these drugs. There are whole web sites about these ADHD drug induced deaths too.

          Many studies even covered by Consumer Reports have acknowledged that despite a short term seeming improvement on the ability to focus and appear better to those adults who stigmatized them, children given the ADHD label to justify “treating” them with kiddie cocaine show no improvement overall after about 2 to 3 years. And as you say, due to the toxic effects of drugs used for “ADHD,” these children’s very negative side effects are then stigmatized with the latest fad diagnosis bipolar to justify an even more lethal cocktail or heavy duty, dangerous drugs including neuroleptics and so called mood stabilizers as you say.

          It is no accident that Dr. Joseph Biederman first almost single handedly worked for drug companies to create the ADHD child epidemic only to go on to invent the even greater drug company sponsored bipolar child epidemic after they were exposed to the gateway ADHD and SSRI drugs. Bob Whitaker exposes this travesty in his books, articles and talks with other experts.

          As for the claims of these toxic drugs supposedly being so helpful, Dr. Breggin uses the term, “spellbinding” for those on toxic psychiatric drugs who think they are doing great and claim to be much improved when in reality, they are doing much worse, alienating people, losing their moral compass, becoming apathetic and even acting out in bizarre ways that can destroy their lives as documented by Dr. Breggin in his books including Medication Madness.

          Finally, Steve, I would appreciate it if you would check out Tyler’s web site he promoted in his comment and share your typical well informed views on what you think of its veracity and other factors based on your excellent credentials. I would welcome your thoughts on this.

          Thank you.

          Donna

          • Donna,

            You stated, “the whole distinction between psychiatry and neurology when they broke into 2 entities is that psychiatry would handle life problems that did not involve brain diseases while neurology would handle real brain diseases like dementia…”

            But I switched from a lunatic psychiatrist who thought the solution to a .5mg Risperdal induced psychosis, in a formerly non mentally ill woman, was to double the amount of that med. To a neurologist, but he also espoused belief in the DSM disorders and put me on tons and tons of antipsychotics.

            The problem is the entire medical community has sold out to big Pharma and the DSM psychiatric stigmatization system. There are no distinctions between a mainstream medical community that espouses belief in the DSM disorders and the psychiatric industry. They’re all frauds now.

          • And if, ” “the whole distinction between psychiatry and neurology when they broke into 2 entities is that psychiatry would handle life problems that did not involve brain diseases while neurology would handle real brain diseases like dementia…” then why is almost the entire medical community still claiming drugs cure life problems that are not real brain diseases?

          • Hi Someone Else,

            Thank you for your validation of my reality. It’s late, but I did find an excellent article by Dr. Fred Baughman, Neurologist, that does point out the different functions of psychiatry and neurology, but then, he goes on to show the total corruption and fraud behind the ADHD epidemic he exposes and shows he has fought tooth and nail as you can see the article below on this great web site. He provides the whole history of ADHD and when he mentions CHADD one should bare in mind that CHADD is a well known Big Pharma front group.

            http://www.ritalindeath.com/adhd.htm

            Dr. Baughman does lament elsewhere that despite the previous distinction between neurology and psychiatry with the former dealing with real organic brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and psychiatry dealing with problems in living that were not organic or brain diseases, neurology has now sold out to the lucrative DSM/Big Pharma cartel toxic stigmatizing and drugging of citizens and most tragically, our children. Main stream general practitioners have also sold out to this dangerous agenda with psychiatry advocating for so called “collaborative care” with them whereby nobody will want to dare go for a physical because they risk being subjected to bogus DSM stigmas and toxic drugs that will destroy their lives in every way.

            Anyway, if you google Dr. Fred Baughman, you will find tons of articles, information, letters he sent to many people in power to protest this fraud and his book, ADHD Fraud and his web site of the same name.

            I agree with your comments too as I am sure Dr. Baughman would also. I really admire his huge efforts to expose this dangerous fraud as has Dr. Breggin, but who can compete with Big Pharma billions enforced by our great government since they all rely on Big Pharma money to get elected and stay in power not to mention getting rich in office.

            I had to answer you here because there were no reply buttons under your comments. I highly recommend Dr. Baughman’s enlightening information on the web and elsewhere.

            Thanks for your comments.

          • Donna, I don’t think you’re doing justice to tyler’s page. I scrolled down a few comics and he seems to have a bit more nuanced view.

      • Wileywitch,

        That’s not alway true. When a therapist who is being paid in cash, actually has as a motive, the cover up of child abuse for a religion. She will absolutely still label you, even if you’re paying outside your insurance company, for a second opinion.

  5. Thank you Dr. Breggin. People need to know that these drugs have lifelong effects on children’s brains.

    SSRIs antidepressants are now suspected to be contributing to the rise in asexuality among the population. Rodent studies have shown that SSRI antidepressant exposure in the womb or in youth caused rodents to show no sexual behavior in their adulthood. Many children are being exposed to these drugs before puberty and are never developing a sex drive when they get older.

    Adults can also suffer from the permanent sexual effects of antidepressants too. I suffer myself. The condition is called Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction and it can occur after a just a single dose of an antidepressant. Its hard for SSRI users to even realize or care that their libidos have been erased. For many post SSRI users, sex never crosses the mind because there is no more sexual pleasure in the brain anymore. I believe Prozac even briefly lists the possibility of permanent sexual side effects on page 13 or 14 of its info sheet.

    The permanent sexual effects of these drugs are not often publicly discussed because it can be embarrassing, but I believe if more people knew of the permanent brain changes and effects these drugs can do even after just single doses would keep more people away from ever wanting to start them.

    Thank you Dr. Breggin and please continue to warn people of the dangers of psychiatric drugs.

    • “The permanent sexual effects of these drugs are not often publicly discussed because it can be embarrassing, but I believe if more people knew of the permanent brain changes and effects these drugs can do even after just single doses would keep more people away from ever wanting to start them.”

      And the elephant in the room is that there’s no reason to think that EVERY negative affect of those drugs wouldn’t or couldn’t be permanent. Why would only changes to the brain that affect sexuality be permanent?

      Adding to the seriousness of that is the fact that no or almost no research has ever been done to address the harmful brain changes caused by these drugs in the first place. So the fact that such harms are being found, despite there being barely any effort at all, gives good reason to assume that there are many harms to eventually be found. Indeed, the “permanent sexual side effects” may one day be listed along side hundreds of other permanent “side effects” that people taking those drugs were afflicted with.

      Even if you’ve read it before, I think everyone should read this article again: https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/01/rethinking-brain-research-in-psychiatry/ — I read it at least once a month.

      • I sure as hell have permanent problems associated with Zyprexa use namely RLS which comes and goes and which I have to manage through supplements (and I used half of the lowest dose only once in a blue moon as a tranquilizer because I had many horrible side effects and a 2+ week long withdrawal after a single dose).Fortunately that’s a really minor problem and I dodged the bullet (or rather a whole round) by being a lacking insight difficult patient who refused to take drugs. These drugs aren’t safe for anyone and it’s often hard to see that they are making you worse while you’re on them (I was actually told that by my friend that the drugs make me unstable).

        I still get angry when I re-call the psychiatrists at ER telling me right from the first moment that she’s going to give me an anti-depressant and “it’s not going to change my personality”. As if they knew anything about it. These drugs sure as hell change people’s personalities – they numb their emotions and turn them into not caring robots or straight out jerks. If seem this play out with other people and I know the zombificating effect they had on me. Psychiatry is crime against humanity.

  6. Psychiatric drugs are not sugared aspirins. Drugs and children don’t mix, and the use of such drugs on children needs to be banned. Childhood is not a disease, and speed is not the cure for it. A regimen of pills, in the end, does not improve performance. Those negative outcomes you point to tell us a lot about these drugs. Here you have, if not a gateway into the mental health system, a gateway into despair. Thank you, Dr. Breggin, for your post and your videos. There is definitely a great need for the work that you do, and it’s good to see you posting here at Mad In America.

    • To make it more ridiculous (when psychiatry compares psych drugs to aspirin in “as safe as”) – aspirin should not be prescribed to kids because of risks of very rare but potentially lethal Reye syndrome. Yet the very frequent harmful and potentially lethal effects of psych drugs are a OK. Strange world…

  7. Of course I agree completely and find it tragic that children are subject to this. I’ve approached this topic with clinicians and also with parents, and unfortunately, the problem seems to be that parents validate the medication, because, to their mind, it has ‘calmed the child down,’ and helped them focus, that they’re doing better in school, etc. I don’t pursue it because I’m not trying to invade someone’s free will of choice, especially when it’s their kids, not mine, and they’re the ones dealing with this, not me. Although I certainly say that there are alternatives to this. Mostly, they’re not interested, because it would be so foreign to them to go against Drs. orders–which I think is a problem, that’s cultural programming and gullibility.

    But my feeling is always that this is more than likely a short term effect, and there are far-reaching repercussions, that nothing has really been solved, just made worse in an insidious way.

    Although I feel like saying this off the cuff to a parent who has been through a lot with their kid would be simply instilling fear, when they at least feel some peace of mind at that moment. I know it’s temporary, but I don’t feel it’s my place to predict anyone’s future like this, I think that would be presumptuous of me, and not terribly responsible. Although I do include this kind of information when I teach or do presentations, in general, and allow discussion around it. It really does elicit so much anxiety, when the parents feel they have it all figured out, thanks to diagnosis and meds.

    Overall, I’m thinking that parents would be the best target of education, since they are the ones making the decisions. The issue here, then, becomes that then, parents have to grow in their awareness and address some of their own issues, and accommodate the child in ways which they are often reluctant to do. So I see a double-bind here.

    Perhaps parenting would be the issue to address, that would hit home more. Clinicians are detached and impersonal, not part of the family dynamic.

    I feel that this is what is in question: what are we teaching children to believe about themselves? That they are limited, inappropriate, and out of control when they are trying to create and communicate? They do have their own individual spirits, which need nurturing, not medicating, that’s ludicrous.

    That’s what concerns me the most, as far as how they will feel as adults, with these invalidating and negative internalized messages festering inside them, self-stigmatizing.

    Addressing parenting in an assertive yet sensitive way would lead to a lot of shifting in questionable family dynamics, which would lead to a lot of healing–for individuals, families, and communities at large. No needs for meds or diagnosis or anything of the kind. And it would be generational, because healing begets healing.

    But when we label and medicate kids, that’s a terrible prognosis for society, disaster just waiting to happen. I think we’re seeing the evidence around us daily at this point. This is really kind of an emergency kind of situation, good grief. I agree, it has to stop. Let’s nurture our kids, not condemn them, or make them scapegoats for our lack of tolerance.

    Thanks for this focus of change, so sorely needed.

    • The problem is that many of the medicated kids have no parents to speak of. They may be foster kids who have no one to truly give a sh*t or be in abusive homes or be neglected if not physically then emotionally.
      Of course there are parents who think they do the best for their children (and these can be and should be educated) but there’s the whole layer of pathology that couldn’t care less.
      As for those who may be willing to listen – maybe instead of telling them what the problems are you should hand them a copy of the Canadian study of ADHD outcomes and ask them to read it carefully before discussing any further? Some people do better when they are allowed to find and verify the information on tehir own rather than being told something by someone they don’t believe has an authority to say it.

      • I’ve found when you discuss the long run effects of the drugs with both parents who are medicating their children, and teachers. Those who actually care about children (which I think are still most) do see the importance of understanding the long run effects.

        Neither the parents nor teachers want to be blamed, of course, but if you approach the conversation from a logical and educational perspective. Rather one of placing blame, they do tend to be interested and receptive to learning more.

  8. I’d love to see a ban like that. A ban in psychiatric practice in general would be just as good. If someone has a physical issue there are real doctors (neurologists, virologists, dieticians) around. For everything else there are psychologists, friends, social programs and so on (there should be more of those but sadly psychiatry has stolen the show).

  9. Making informed consent mandatory *by law* when it comes to so-called treatment by a psychiatrist would protect children the most.

    Why?
    Because children cannot legally give such consent!

    Duane

    P.S. Friends don’t let friends join NAMI. (formerly, the National Alliance ON the Mentally Ill; now, the National Alliance FOR Mentally Illness)

  10. Sorry but I have to disagree with this. My daughter is 9 yrs old and has been taking psychiatric drugs since she was 5. She has early onset schizophrenia and autism. She didn’t get the official diagnosis until last year. If she wasn’t on medications which I don’t take lightly on medicating my child, she would be so much worse off. She has dealt with delusions , hallucinations, voices telling her to hurt people and herself. Has had to hospitalized twice once for suicidal and once for homicidal. She was this way even before medications. Without these medications she is a danger to herself and others and medication helps keep some of it in check. A day in my house is mainly helping my daughter just to deal day to day. It is to the point that we have been told and prescribed medicinal cannabis oil just to keep the aggression at bay without changing her medication or what the medication won’t do. We have tried therapy after therapy, medications after medication. So unless you really live a life like this one can’t say how horrible it is for kids to be on psychiatric drugs and antipsycotics

    • What these drugs are doing is tranquilizing your daughter. It’s an equivalent of tying her down to a pole, except that you’re doing it inside her mind. They may make her be more manageable for you but it’s never going to solve a problem and putting a child on these meds, which are dangerous for adults, is likely to end up in a disaster. I have no idea how you come to diagnose a child of 5 with autism and schizophrenia (are you saying she heard voices when she was 5?) but the meds are apparently not doing anything except for controlling her by means of sedation and at this point you have no way to distinguish what is her and what is a side effect or withdrawal from the drugs. Antipsychotics do not treat psychosis, they merely suppress emotion and cognitive abilities and make recovery long-term less likely. For a child this age to be on these drugs for half of her life I can’t but feel like weeping.

    • sycodragon, Speaking as a psych-survivor whose onset of the S word etc. started when I was 16 years old . Total relief and freedom not reached until into my 50’s . No matter what anyone else tells you I would have the most up to date first do no harm testing for metal poisoning or other kind of poisoning possible . http://www.quicksilverscientific.com does state of the art testing for various types of mercury poisoning. You’ll have to do research (if you so choose) to find who can best safely test for other metals or chemicals, or biological agents etc.I would also contact an energy healer www. YuenMethod.com for example. Maybe others who blog or comment here have some answers. I hope your daughter and family can find truly healing answers. Fred

    • sycodragon,

      My prayers go out to your daughter and family.

      The comment I made earlier in the thread (typo – Mental *Illness*) was a passionate plea – that we begin to address these issues in a more holistic fashion, especially when it comes to children. It was my way of saying we can do better. We can, and we must.

      But it was not an indictment of people who have yet to find answers, who continue to search. Most of us do the best we can with the information we have at hand… until such time we find more information.

      The majority of regular commenters on MIA have been deeply injured by psychiatric drugs and/or have family members who have undergone trauma from their use. So the comments are often bold, passionate. Many of us have lost our patience.

      But I hope we never lose sight of the opportunity to reach out to others, such as yourself, your daughter – to offer hope and support. I put together a website – it’s easy to navigate, with a few links in several categories to answer the questions I hear the most, out there in the real world (not simply the cyber world).

      The two questions I hear on a regular basis, from people I come across every day, are: “If the drugs don’t work, what does?” “Ok, so where would I start?”

      Here’s a link that might help:

      https://discoverandrecover.wordpress.com/parenting/

      Also, the Nutrition, Peer Support, Recovery Success, Research, Warning (to include information on safe drug withdrawal) pages might help also.

      My best to your daughter and your family.

      Duane, MS
      Retired Counselor

    • sycodragon,

      It is likely the drugs have exacerbated your daughter’s problems, I’m sorry to have to tell you this. I fully understand betrayal by the medical community is very difficult to mentally come to grips with. They promised to first and foremost do no harm.

      But personally, as a grown adult, a child’s dose of .5 mg of Risperdal caused me to go into a terrifying psychosis. Which implies the antipsychotic doses, as currently prescribed, are not safe for children either.

      And here’s medical evidence from drugs.com that points out that the antipsychotics can, in fact, cause the schizophrenia symptoms:

      “… neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

      My best to you and your daughter. I will pray for both of you, and your entire family, since I know you do not have an easy journey ahead of you. But please know that your daughter can get well.

  11. Thank you Peter Breggin – I agree, we have to strongly react towards a system which diagnose children and young people and prescring drugs without having a clue about long term effects. Just back home from a weekend with a lot of family homes and staff at our office. We were fotune to host Olga Runciman and Katrine Borre, film director from Denmark and also Anne-Lise from Norway who works with families and Children. Our organisation is one of very few ( maybe the only one) in Sweden which takes a stand against psychiatric diagnosis and prescriptions of drugs. Sometimes it is nearly overwhelming to realize how very dominant the biological/ pharmaeutical perspective is. Still we have no choise but to try to show alternatives in practice and by research. And maybe even more important to create networks and communities where we find strenght and create space to keep the hope alive. My deepest respect to you Peter for never ever giving up!!!

  12. As you say Peter Breggin MD “The drugging of children in America and increasingly throughout the world , is a tragedy. Millions upon Millions of children and youth will never know their full potential because they grew up with an intoxicated brain—their neurotransmitters forever deformed by being bathed in these drugs during their formative years. Additional millions will become career consumers of psychiatric drugs with vastly reduced quality of life and shortened lives.
    It is time to say ” No more of this!” and to directly confront the need for stopping this inhumane, destructive approach to our children and youth.
    To your article and to these statements I sat AMEN !
    I sure hope we the people can do something on how to actualize “No More Of This”on the ground in the world. Here goes —there are bulletin boards inside or next to many grocery stores . There are telephone poles most everywhere. There are blank walls and there is us we the people and we can take the freedom we need to save the children and youth everywhere. Post the names locally of local psychiatrists, doctors, pharma execs and employees, teachers, whoever dare drug our children with neuroleptics ,amphetamines etc. Warn your neighbors, your neighborhood, your town , your city, your fellow citizens where ever you are of those locally who put our children in danger . Tell them to watch Dr. Breggin’s videos. Send them to MIA.” No more of this !” we need to use the internet combined with action on the ground.

  13. B,

    I just went through Tyler’s “story” again and to be honest, I think the format is very off putting and frustrating. It would take a great deal of time that I don’t have at the moment to plow through every comic presenting supposed brain malfunctions purported to be the cause of “ADHD” by the so called experts with most complicit with Big Pharma and others probably duped by main stream brainwashing. So, that was a major turnoff for me.

    I did examine the pages more completely and it still is difficult for me to understand what Tyler is really trying to do there in that he provides citations for both main stream and critical views including Robert Whitaker and Dr. Peter Breggin.

    However, Tyler does say in his post at MIA that he believes in his supposed carefully done “ADHD” diagnosis and he had a great life taking “ADHD” drugs for at least eight years. Thus, he proclaims himself a great success story with his treatment for “ADHD.” Thus, I would say he falls on the side of the main stream view of “ADHD.” He says his parents didn’t use that label with him at first.

    Anyway, if you read my posts, you will see that I prefer to trust the real experts like Dr. Fred Baughman, Neurologist, and real brain expert exposing the history behind the voted in by consensus “ADHD” label to push the lethal amphetamine drugs on our children and a literally brainwashed in toxic chemicals public and psychiatrists in bed with Big Pharma to make billions at the cost of countless destroyed lives. Dr. Breggin, a renowned expert, has similar views on “ADHD” and other DSM junk science expressed in this post, his many books, articles, web sites and educational conferences.

    I will give Tyler credit for presenting the views of critics of ADHD, but his overall stance seems to be that ADHD is a real brain disorder best treated with kiddie cocaine for those like him with supposed “ADHD.” As others like Steve McCrea have indicated here, I don’t deny that these children and others have certain life, medical, diet, sleep or other problems that could result in various symptoms fraudulently labeled as ADHD to push dangerous but very profitable drugs. There are other ways to help these children with excellent books and other media on the topic.

    Thus, I appreciate your pointing out that I may not have given Tyler enough credit for presenting opposing views, but when all is said and done, he is a firm advocate for the “ADHD” label and drugging of those labeled with so called “ADHD” drugs. Moreover, I think it is hard to get past all those very wordy comics expounding on various brain disorders and differences behind the “ADHD” stigma that don’t have a shred of real science or other evidence behind them.

    Otherwise, I guess I would have to ask you, “What is your point?”

    • I’m not saying I agree with everything he has to say in his comic. I’d only like to avoid crossing people off as pharma pawns just because they may have some of these views and your post sounded to me as if you were accusing tyler of being a face of NAMI-like propaganda. Maybe I have misunderstood your comment. I simply don’t want us to push people like tyler away by dismissing them from the get go, especially after only cursory view of their work.

    • I didn’t read all Tyler’s comics either, but would like to recommend the book “Misdiagnosis and Duel Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults,” which points out that most the ADHD symptoms are the same as those of gifted children.

      And I know misdiagnosing all the intelligent children who are bored in our current “middle class” public school systems is inappropriate, and not beneficial to society as a whole.

  14. I recommend that any parent or other person dealing with children should read the following post from parents grieving over the death of their young son due to a heart attack from Ritalin for so called “ADHD” drugs. This story is eerily all too familiar:

    http://www.ritalindeath.com/

    I highly recommend the entire web site with updates from other sources for a wakeup call about the dangers of not only “ADHD,” but all of biopsychiatry’s voted in by consensus with no evidence labels and fables to push the latest lethal drugs on patent.

    Dr. Breggin is one of the first heroes to warn parents and others about such frequent tragedies perpetrated by the new biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel in the 1990’s when the bogus brain disease or chemical imbalance fictions were promoted with no evidence to improve psychiatry’s image and income as supposed real doctors doling out “medications” while helping Big Pharma make billions at the cost of many lives with the more recent victims our precious children. Dr. Breggin provides a real wakeup call in all of his books, but Reclaiming Our Children is one of the best in terms of urging adults to stop blaming their own and society’s problems on our vulnerable children who are the weakest and most powerless members of society forced to put their trust in us.

  15. A very large percentage of young people checking into substance abuse treatment centers were put on these ADHD drugs as kids. The addiction to getting high and the habit of using drugs started with Ritalin and amphetamines.

    Someone should do an official study of this.

  16. I hear what this document is saying but it is not offering a viable alternative. I wish I didn’t have to medicate my nine year old bipolar child. That is what he has been diagnosed with recently. He tells me he doesn’t want to live anymore. He tells me he hates his life. He wants to go to heaven. He doesn’t want a future or friends. When he isn’t depressed, he is violent. He kicks me, punches me, pushes me, etc. And as I am a small woman, he can do a lot of damage. I am afraid of him. He has recently become violent with his teachers at school. I provide a consistent and loving environment for him. I try everything I can with him. I take him to therapy and consult with the therapist on what I should be doing. I read books and I research online. I try to find things that he can look forward to. I try to pull him out of his depression. I try everything I can. Even with medication, things are difficult. But without medication, things are unbearable. Most of you cannot imagine being in my shoes every day.

    What needs to be done is long term clinical peer reviewed study on this. Opinions on the matter are appreciated but I need to see research. And once the research is all in, I need to see viable alternatives for my child.