Terry Lynch: The Doctor Who Stands for Truth


“You look like you are going to be shot,” I said to my wife Mary as she walked across the forecourt of the petrol station having made some purchase in the adjoining shop.  Her serious facial expression was compounded by a down-turning mouth and both her arms were as stiff as ramrods at her side.

The occasion was sometime in the early 90’s and this was an everyday condition for Mary along with several other characteristics which included signs of Parkinson’s Disease, a bloated weight increase, a noticeable thinning of her hair, an inability to use an ATM, safely drive a car or follow the plot of a movie.  Also, she experienced stomach cramps, kidney problems and at night emitted a whiteish discharge from her mouth.  She could never wake until nearly lunchtime every single day and yet, worst of all and on an entirely random basis, she would experience the most awful and frightening hallucinations at around 2 am which would leave her drained and shocked.

At this stage, Mary and I and our two daughters had been living with this situation for about ten years.  In 1983 she had been given a diagnosis of ‘manic depression’ or ‘Bi-polar’ and had been put on a cocktail of drugs which included the so-called mood stabilizer Lithium, the neuroleptic, Thorazine, and the so-called anti-depressant Surmontil.  All of the features described above had come about gradually, and somehow, we as a family had come to live with them, more in fact, come to accept them as part of this ‘Bipolar’ condition.  Mary would pay regular visits to her psychiatrist, her prescription would be renewed, and any mention of her state was downplayed and more than counterbalanced by the ‘optimistic’ claim that she was not back in a psychiatric ‘hospital‘, that she was, in fact, working as a music teacher that indeed she was and that all in all, things were really not too bad at all.  And for all those years that was the way life was and the random hallucinations continued.

Until that is 1993.  Following a brief ‘hospital’ stay her psychiatrist took her off the Surmontil drug cold turkey.  It was a turning point because since that year, though it didn’t become evident to us for some time, Mary never again experienced any of those awful night-time hallucinations.  Was the penny finally beginning to drop – was there a connection with the Surmontil?

Up to that point, despite all the visible signs in front of us, we had never seriously questioned the whole drug regime she had been told she would be on indefinitely.  I particularly feel responsible.  Mary was in a drug induced fog all the time, but I undoubtedly should have been more clear-headed.

In the late 90’s and beginning to see the good effects of no longer taking Surmontil, Mary herself came across Dr. Peter Breggin’s eye-opening book ‘Toxic Psychiatry.’  I began to read it too and our real education commenced from that time.  We cut our connection with ‘Aware’ the family support group that completely embraced psychiatry’s medical model in advocating total drug compliance.

And then in a Sunday newspaper in 2001, Mary read an article entitled ‘The Doctor, who won’t do Drugs.’  It was written to mark the publication of a new book ‘Beyond Prozac’ by Limerick-based Dr. Terry Lynch.  Terry had been trained and for ten years had practiced as a GP.  Increasingly he had become unhappy with his training and the conventional medical response of drug therapy he was expected to administer to his patients.  He had retrained as a psychotherapist completing an MA in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy at the University of  Limerick in 2002.

The article by Annemarie Hourihan stated “Terry Lynch thinks that human misery has been oversold or perhaps sold from the wrong stall.  He thinks that natural unhappiness has been rechristened depression, fed with pills no one understood and policed by a medical profession in general and a psychiatric profession in particular that lives on wishful thinking.  Terry Lynch is a doctor.”  Acknowledging a short-term role for drugs, Terry was quoted, saying, “I am seriously questioning whether the drugs used against depression work by re-balancing a supposed chemical imbalance.”

In our co-authored book, ‘Soul Survivor – A Personal Encounter with Psychiatry’, Mary describes her first meeting with Terry.  “I was so inspired and encouraged by the article and the book that I wanted to thank him personally.  I managed to locate his phone number and spoke to him for the first time.  I subsequently met him a number of times and the enthusiasm and sincerity of the man were like a good tonic.  From the word go, he believed in me as a survivor just as much as I believed in him as a professional and above all as a good thinker, someone who didn’t take things at face value and had the courage of his convictions.  He listened to me, encouraged me and his great understanding of the psychiatric system greatly helped me.  Equally important, he helped and emboldened Jim along the road he too had started to travel and together we will be forever grateful to him.”  This was not a client/professional relationship but rather a growing bond of friendship.

Terry Lynch has been propounding his same views in the intervening years since 2001.  ‘Beyond Prozac’ was shortlisted for the MIND Book of the Year in 2002 and became a best-seller in Ireland.  In 2012, he published his second book ‘Selfhood’, a practical self-help guide designed to help people to recover their sense of self, be happier and more fulfilled.

Now in September 2015 comes his third – ‘Depression Delusion: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance’ – in which he challenges psychiatry’s widely proclaimed theory.  He states that there is no scientific evidence  or medical test to support this theory that he prefers to refer to as a ‘myth’ akin to a religious belief backed up by vested interest in the pharmaceutical industry.  For years, the psychiatric profession and many GPs have sold the theory to the extent of having it now widely accepted by the general public.  This he states, is serious misinformation, a falsehood as untrue as the flat earth myth of past centuries.  The comprehensively researched work complete with detailed references has in the words of Dr. Joanna Moncrieff of the University of London “given one of the most pervasive and harmful myths of modern times a thorough debunking”.

At a MindFreedom Ireland hosted event in Cork on September 8th – An Evening with Dr. Terry Lynch – he said we have to reappraise what depression is.  The chemical imbalance theory has distorted our view.  It is not about the brain; it is more about woundedness, trauma and the defense mechanisms we create in response.  The fundamental question should be ‘What’s happened to you?’ not ‘What’s wrong with you?’  Psychiatry has sidelined human experience, reinterpreted it in its medical language and made it their terrain.  The chemical imbalance theory has provided a legitimacy and validity for the prescription and that doctors know what they are doing.  Psychiatrists, he said, have become lost in their profession.

In stating such views in Ireland, Terry Lynch has put himself out on a limb receiving little or no support from any of his medical colleagues.  He is not deterred.  “I don’t like injustice.  I don’t like prejudice.  I don’t like deception.  I don’t like misinformation.  I like honesty.  I like truth.  I like equality” he states.

In conclusion, I was flabbergasted to read on MIA the recent comments of Ronald Pies in the Psychiatric Times that “to my knowledge, no professional psychiatric organization has ever publicly promoted a chemical imbalance theory of mental illness in general”.

‘Depression Delusion’ would make an ideal present for him.




“Depression Delusion” can be ordered in bookshops worldwide, from Amazon or directly at [email protected]

‘Soul Survivor’ is available at www.mindfreedomireland.com

An Evening with Dr. Terry Lynch can be viewed under that heading on YouTube.


My wife Mary has been drug-free since 2000.





Jim Maddock,

Co-founder MindFreedom Ireland.

24th September 2015.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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Jim Maddock
Jim Maddock is a retired teacher, co-founder of MindFreedom Ireland and co-author, with his wife Mary, of Soul Survivor - A Personal Encounter with Psychiatry.  He is also a former board member of ‘Sli Eile’ (Another Way), a social housing project for people with previous experience of psychiatric institutions.
Mary Maddock
Imagine No Psychiatry: Human rights activist and writer campaigns to expose the truth about coercive psychiatry and its tortuous treatments such as electroshock and psychotropic drugs. In its place she advocates for a loving, peaceful society. Go to MindFreedom Ireland for more.


  1. I had the honor of visiting Jim and Mary in Ireland a few years ago, where I also spoke at a large forum MindFreedom Ireland had organized. Bob Whitaker and Terry Lynch were among the other speakers.

    Jim and Mary and Terry (and Bob too, though he is American), I think you are a great credit to our movement, and because of your integrity and hard work, you have done an incredible job of raising the consciousness of people in Ireland about our issues. I wish we had your help here in America.

    Of course, Ireland is a much smaller country, less than five million people, while the US has over three hundred million.

    But I think the general approach, if we really want to change things, has to be the same. We have to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices, to speak truth to power, to show the public through our own honest example why they should take a hard look at the reality of psychiatry.

    So I still try to follow my own advice as best I can. And as discouraged as I have become, I still thank all of you for your inspiring example.

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  2. Thanks so much Ted! It was meeting people like you through MindFreedom Internatiomal which inspired me so much to speak out and I continue to do it today more than 15 years later because we will find our basic human right to be human if we do not give up! The seed is sown and the plant will flourish! It is only a matter of time! Psychiatry Out Humanity In

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  3. I would like to commend Mary and Jim on this fabulous article. Being a fellow Irish citizen, I’d like to say how kind this lovely couple are to everyone, particularly Irish psychiatric survivors. Despite their own many years of suffering, they always have a kind word for everyone and provide enormous support over here.
    I also agree; Dr Terry Lynch is one very brave doctor, as the chemical imbalance theory is still very much alive and kicking in Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish College of Psychiatry don’t take kindly to contradiction, as another other Irish doctor can attest to – Dr David Healy. So, despite Ireland being a tiny country, we have some very brave people who are willing to stand up for justice, for the rights of the little people. I have so much respect for them all, including Mary and Jim.
    Go raibh mile maith agaibh, mo chairde.
    Leonie x

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    • Thanks so much for all your encouragement and support Leonie! Thanks for all the important, consistent, selfless work you continue to do both in Ireland and internationally to help people to be informed about the truth about prescription drugs! I hope you will get more of a platform to continue your campaign because the more we unite the more the public will know the truth!

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  4. Dear Jim and Mary,

    Thanks for the fantastic article – its great to hear about successful Recovery.

    Like Dr Terry Lynch I cannot see ‘distress’ as a medical condition; and I believe the psychiatric treatments cause the longterm psychiatric disability.

    Peter C Gøtzsche:

    “The fact that psychotropic drugs in the long run create the diseases they have a short-term effect on has been brought up again and again over the last 30– 40 years, but every time, no matter how strong the new evidence, leading psychiatrists have brushed it under the carpet”

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    • Thank you Fiachra! Everyday I am alive I am so thankful that I managed to escape psychiatric oppression, find myself and learn to live as I was created to BE! One of the reasons I continue to share my story every creative way I can is because I so wish it for everyone too!

      It will always remain very difficult while the truth is hidden or distorted and people labeled by non scientific ‘diagnoses’ continue to be deprived of their basic human right to be human! Hopefully we are getting nearer and nearer the day we will no longer be deprived of our humanity!
      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” C.S.Lewis and the one which is the most difficult to expose!
      Our cause is really a cause to create an awakening to the injustice of the tyranny of good
      “The salvation of the world lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” Martin L.King

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  5. Terry Lynch and all who are doing the tireless work of debunking psychiatry’s disinformation need to be honored, and called upon as resources for the dismantling of psychiatry as a control and abuse system (i.e. enforced by state power). I see a close relationship between the denial and aggressive promotion of disinformation that is part of the medical model, the pathologizing of human suffering as being something defective in the person, and the violence psychiatry uses to get its point across and make people into the zombies they would rather deal with.

    Thanks Jim and Mary for your own tireless work in Ireland and internationally.

    All the best,


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    • Thank you Tina for your solidarity and support! You inspired me so much right from the beginning when I met you in Denmark in 2004! It was great to get to know you better over the years since and to have you visit us in Cork some years ago. You are an outstanding woman and all psychiatric survivors are so fortunate you are a tireless campaigner for human rights!

      We can and we will find our lawful right to be human! and then the business of madness will be put out of business!!

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  6. Hi Mary, Jim, thank you so much for taking the time to write and publish this. My friendship with you both and with Mindfreedom Ireland has been one of the nicest things to happen for me since I disengaged from mainstream medicine circa 2000.
    It is interesting that you used the worth “truth” in your title. There are few if any values more worth aspiring to than truth, in my opinion. A commitment to truth often challenges us with stark questions regarding who we are and what we are doing. Which may help to explain why, in my opinion, so many mental health doctors seem to prioritize self-interest and maintenance of their (and psychiatry’s) societal position and status above truth. Of course they don’t SAY that, but reading between the lines their priorities become very obvious.
    It was largely because of my emerging commitment to truth in the 1990s that I would not continue to work within the confines of the medical/psychiatric system. If truth really was a core principle of mental health care globally, we would have a very different mental health care system to the one that pertains (dominates) currently.
    It is said that the truth sets one free, and that certainly has been my experience. I regularly see many of my erstwhile medical colleagues frantically attempting to justify the unjustifiable, regularly deluding and misinforming the public, their eye and body movements often portraying the lack of truth in their assertions. Perhaps many have also managed to delude themselves, otherwise I imagine it might be quite difficult for many of them to sleep peacefully at night.
    The spiritual, psychological and emotional benefits I have experienced secondary to this commitment to truth have totally eclipsed the “price” I have paid for speaking truth to power (and the public) for the past 15 years. Long may this continue, as there is no going back now.

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    • Everyday I continue to survive and thrive I am so glad that we got to know each other Terry!

      Thanks so much with all my heart and soul!

      “When the power of love overcomes the love of power then we will have peace.”

      “It is not a chemical imbalance. It is a power imbalance.” David Oaks

      ‘Mental health’ –out! Peace of mind — in!

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  7. I could fill this page with my thoughts on Mary and Jim, for all they have done for so many people who suffer, and what they mean to me personally. At times it is emotionally difficult to educate others about the injustice and harm that happens to many people as a result of the biomedical model in psychiatry. I lost my 33 year old brother in 2001 to neuroleptic malignant syndrome brought on by far too many psychiatric drugs (poly pharmacy) which caused sudden death by cardiac arrest. Despite my presentations of refutation through medical evidence, “natural causes” was recorded on his death certificate, and injustice was permanently recorded. Only months before his death, I asked the doctors and psychiatrists for more information about “what was happening to my brother” as he would cycle in and out of their facilities, spending more time in there than not in the last year of his life. They all said the same ‘mis-truth’, it was his “mental illness getting worse”. But I knew intuitively that this was false, my gut instinct told me this was all wrong. I intuitively knew it was the drugs and the treatment. I told my family that he would die if we “didn’t get him out of there and away from all those pills”…and unbelievably that is exactly what happened only 6 weeks later.

    In the same way that Mary and Jim help many who suffer from psychiatric treatment, they help me too, even though I mercifully never experienced psychiatric treatment. Mary and Jim helped me transform my trauma of injustice and loss into my voice for research, education, awareness, and life work to help others heal from trauma. I know there is a very real spirituality and sacredness in Mary and Jim’s work, because I feel it unconditionally from them. It is undeniably their love that helps those who suffer; and their leadership that helps other allied “mental health” practitioners understand and avoid the harm that can often come from the biomedical model. In my opinion, these wonderful people are two of the most genuine and authentic souls on this planet, selflessly giving so that others may benefit.

    Another soul of such humanity is certainly Dr. Terry Lynch. When I read Dr. Terry Lynch’s first book “Beyond Prozac” (2001) I was devastated. It was too late for us, my brother had just died. And in these pages were the very things I had intuitively known all along, but sadly could never find though I tried. This book highlighted everything my body “knew” without intellectually knowing how to say it. The psychiatrist pathologized my brother’s hidden trauma and unresolved grief and drugged him to cardiac arrest. They also lied to me when I asked what was going on with him, causing me to ignore my gut instinct when it might have saved my brother. “Beyond Prozac” confirmed everything that I was too ill-informed to understand. I knew this book was changing my life as I wept through the pages.

    In Terry’s new book, “Depression Delusion”, he forensically exposes the myth of the chemical imbalance theory, the same myth that lead to the death of my dearly beloved brother. The level of research Terry has meticulously constructed in this first volume (with further volumes on the way) is a concrete levelling of the truth. It is a thorough and final eviction of a bad tenet (pun intended) within the biomedical model of psychiatry. No self respecting practitioner could possibly still believe in the chemical imbalance theory after reading this exposé.

    In a few short decades, the biomedical model as a treatment model has yielded a population of death, suffering, and trauma on a level known by no other medical entity in history. However, as our collective history has shown, human resilience is powerful. Such resilience in the form of human suffering caused by the biomedical model has inspired an indivisible and emergent global network of human dignity, unity, and camaraderie and has given many who suffer a voice within which they may finally be heard. It seems Pope Francis is certainly listening, as he has very recently voiced his concern for human suffering when he said people must work closely together against individual delusion and ideological extremism,

    “….Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good”.

    An intelligent and courageous voice for healing, peace, and justice can be heard universally. In Ireland, that voice is certainly strong and growing in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity through people like Jim and Mary Maddock, and Dr. Terry Lynch.

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    • In a few short decades, the biomedical model as a treatment model has yielded a population of death, suffering, and trauma on a level known by no other medical entity in history. However, as our collective history has shown, human resilience is powerful. ”

      You show this in your every word and deed Patrice! I met you first of all through CVNI and thankfully I have gotten to know you well since! If I continued to express how much I appreciate connecting with you years ago I would run out of paper!!!

      You are warm and loving and you spread it around for those who want to receive it.

      Thank you for the solid solidarity and support you have given to MindFreedom Ireland https://mindfreedomireland.com but above all thanks for being YOU!
      Shine on Patrice!

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      • Thank you for your kind words, Mary. The feeling is mutual. Yours and Jim’s support, love and friendship over the years has been so vital and inspirational to me. I believe our work is carved from love and compassion, rather than ego. Like many of our friends in common, the work we do is a true service for our community. I will always support MindFreedom Ireland, it is aligned with an ethics and humanity that promote true healing and wellbeing.

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  8. Such an up lifting article inspiring great comments and hope for better days. Having spent most of my life under the boot heel of psychiatry even crying for myself that these neuroleptics ( that I then believed I must take all my life ) will never allow me to reach for enlightenment or even understand why this happened to me or even know who I am underneath the haze . I’m drug and shock free now and realize the minimum acceptable is as Robert Whitaker says to paraphrase.” We must find a way to convince society to strip away the authority psychiatry wields .” When the amazing resilience of the human being and truth meet in kind surroundings its as you say, ” We can and we will find our lawful right to be human ! and then the business of madness will be put out of business !

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  9. Thanks Fred! I have been reading most of your insightful replies to other articles and I feel so much in common with you . I think we are about the same age and are both electroshock and long term psychotropic drug survivors also. I loved this quotation: “Ask not what coercive psychiatry can do for you ?” “Ask what you can do to at least abolish coercive psychiatry” We have a difficult task ahead in debunking psychiatric power but with people like you on board WE CAN and WE WILL!

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  10. Mary, I just wanted to point out that your “hallucinations” were likely the result of anticholinergic toxidrome, and of course not “bipolar.” I had “psychosis” created in the same manner by my psychiatrists, if you can image, with 14 distinctly different anticholinergic intoxication syndrome inducing drug cocktails. At least for me, it helps to know what the drug poisoning is actually medically called, especially when dealing with subsequent doctors.

    “The symptoms of … anticholinergic toxidrome [can] include blurred vision, coma, decreased bowel sounds, delirium, dry skin, fever, flushing, hallucinations, ileus, memory loss, mydriasis (dilated pupils), myoclonus, psychosis, seizures, and urinary retention. Complications include hypertension, hyperthermia, and tachycardia. Substances that may cause this toxidrome include the four “anti”s of antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antiparkinsonian drugs[3] as well as atropine, benztropine, datura, and scopolamine.”

    Thanks for speaking the truth, and let’s hope the psychiatrists will remember learning about this toxidrome in med school some day, and stop creating “bipolar” and “schizophrenia” with their bad drug cocktails.

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    • Yes that was what we did realize when I was taken off Surmontil cold turkey after some time. I also realized years afterwards that all the most horrific physical, emotional and mental experiences I endured were in fact drug induced. Both when I was on them and coming off them. I am also aware that other prescription drugs I consumed changed my personality too. The first time I took panadol I experienced hallucinations but fortunately I did not tell anyone at the time!
      Thanks for sharing your own valuable information because indeed the drug can be your problem!!

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  11. Mary Maddock has been very supportive to me and so many others. She is an inspiration. I think it was her that told me about Dr Terry Lynch. I probably had his first book at the time but was on a similar journey to Mary with the drugs and not in a good place, with very little support. So it was a crucial part in my ongoing recovery and healing journey to have met people like Mary & Jim. Terry, Leonie and so many more.

    I also read her book which is very good “Soul Survivor”. People have been fighting hard for so long to bring about change. And I hope that change is in progress. Especially with the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry (www.cepuk.org) and some of the great work been done by people in the British Psychological Society. As well as Robert Whitaker, Dr Peter Breggin, Marius Romme, Prof David Healy and others. Also Prof Ivor Browne, who continues to get the word out about the true causes of emotional distress.

    I’ve read Dr Terry Lynch’s latest book “Depression Delusion : The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance”. It is very well researched and thorough. It was great that he gets to talk at various events, including one which I was able to attend recently. More people need to hear what he has to say, as the flawed biomedical model can bring a person on a road to no where. I discovered that 1st hand. As I continue to heal through talk therapy and working daily on myself. I eventually hope then to be more active in my own community in bringing about some change. I would like to see Open Dialogue and Advance Directives as part of an approach that, instead of damaging the person and their relationships, will bring about the best possible outcomes for people in distress, their family, community and our overall society.

    My review of Dr Lynch’s book can be found on here ~

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    • Thanks Aine! When we fellow survivors of psychiatric oppression love and support each other we are all stronger. Unfortunately there are many like my friend Helena King RIP that do not survive. Then we will be nearer the day when we too will no longer be treated as sub human and we will achieve our right to be and act as human beings. While any section of society are deprived of their human rights we are all deprived of our humanity! Thanks so much to everyone who is bringing this glorious day about sometime! Hope we do not have to wait too long but it will arrive! We Can and We Will!

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