Sunday, February 19, 2012

Peter Breggin on the hazards of psychiatric diagnosis

I've extracted three key points from Dr. Peter Breggin's Huffington Post blog. on the hazards of psychiatric diagnoses. Each one, except for "medication spellbinding" as Breggin terms it, speaks to my own experience. And the reason that medication spellbinding doesn't apply in my son's and my experience is because I sensed that the medication fairy dust fell on the psychiatrists' prescribing the drugs. They attributed all kinds of benefits to things I didn't see at all. Their judgement was impaired, not mine, but that, of course, was a no win point of view for me, because I had already ceded power and authority into the hands of health professionals. On Breggin's third key point below, try as I may to get people to look deep inside their own lives in order to heal their relative, many people just assume that I'm just a mother basher who is determined to push psychiatry back to the bad old days.

Psychiatric diagnoses take power and authority over your life, and the lives of your children, out of your hands. They place that power and authority in the hands of health professionals. Often it takes but a few minutes in an office to transform you or your child from a complex human being into a product on the psychiatric assembly line--and endless assembly line that can lead to a ruinous lifetime.

Perhaps worst of all, these diagnoses almost inevitably lead to the prescription of psychiatric medication to you or your child. Psychiatric drugs are toxins to the brain; they work by disabling the brain. None of them cure biochemical imbalances and all of them, every single one of them, cause severe biochemical imbalances in the brain. The adverse effects of these drugs on the brain and mind are stunning. In my recent scientific books and articles, including Medication Madness, I have demonstrated they cause medication spellbinding. Spellbound by psychoactive drugs we cannot adequately judge the impairments they create in our brain and too often we mistakenly feel "improved" when in fact our feelings have been dulled or artificially jacked up, and our judgment about ourselves and our lives have been impaired.

But something more subtle occurs when we accept a psychiatric diagnosis for ourselves or a loved one. We lose empathy for ourselves and our loved one. Instead of learning about and identifying with the sources of our emotional pain and suffering, and our failures in life, we ignore our real lives and explain ourselves away with the diagnosis. To understand ourselves or anyone else, to help ourselves or anyone else, we must care about the details of the life before us.
Read the rest here


  1. I appreciate you approaching this cognitive disorder from a holistic perspective. I only wish that more physicians examined holistic solutions before jumping straight to medication. As a long time participant in cognitive-behavioral therapy, I can attest to the effectiveness of alternative strategies. Thanks!


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