Conscience of Psychiatry: Peter Breggin

First Aired: 09-16-2009 -- 6 comments | Add comment
Dr Peter Breggin

What do modern psychiatric drug treatments have in common with lobotomy? Is informed consent possible when patients’ judgment is impaired by medication? Should psych drugs be banned?

For more than 50 years Dr. Peter Breggin has been a leading crusader against psychiatric abuse, Big Pharma, and medication dangers. His latest book is The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, MD.

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6 comments on “Conscience of Psychiatry: Peter Breggin

  1. Thank you for making these thinkers and reformers accessible to us, presenting clear and easy to understand conversations that educate us. It helps to widen my understanding accross disciplines as well as value people’s well-thought-through, personal struggles against an unjust, badly founded MH system.

  2. Will,

    Thank you for this show.

    It gives me hope in our humanity to know that there are men in the world like Dr. Peter Breggin – good men, who speak the truth.


  3. Dr. Breggin was the first doctor to correctly identify my moms traumatic brain injury and the resulting seizure dissorder. He did the right thing in recomending anti-epileptic drugs, but openly refuted that he did when I confronted him on a radio call-in show.

    He has some good points, but he goes too-far sometimes. There’s a bit of hypocrisy in what he says and does.

    1. “He did the right thing in recomending anti-epileptic drugs, but openly refuted that he did when I confronted him on a radio call-in show.”
      I’ve heard him openly say anti-epileptic drugs are appropriate on his show; in fact, I heard him say that two days ago when listening to his newest radio show, I believe, from Monday March the 5th, 2012.
      I’m curious if he didn’t remember the case when you called in? Not saying that is so, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  4. You’ve done well with that Breggin interview it was fantastic. Succinct, you asked the right questions, and that has got to be in the top five of all the 100 shows. Next you’ll have to convince Szasz to come on.
    I was interested to hear you mention about your father being targeted for electroshock. I was aware you, like me, escaped shock by a hair. But I’d never heard you mention your father’s shock before.
    I have a saying. It is that much like the family that plays together stays together, the family that goes to (or gets forced to go to) a biopsychiatrist for human distress together, gets labeled together. If that family went to a priest, or any other alternative, there would be no label.
    Young men and women who come from a family where psychiatry is perceived as having some legitimacy, often fall twice as hard into the mire, just because of this indoctrination around genetics and heritability. I think Jay Joseph’s work restored our collective humanity when he dedicated himself to going through all the flawed literature around behavioural genetics in psychiatry. When your mother or father, or grandfather, has had a psych label slapped on them, that is only going to seal your fate more when you’re first put in front of a shrink as a detainee at a state hospital. My grandmother, and I love her dearly, essentially contributed to my grave almost being dug, when she blabbed about my grandfather having shock for problem drinking. I love her, but people like us Will, are doomed to sometimes wish we could go back in time and tell certain people to shut their mouths. But that all feeds into this issue around the fact that when you’re first kidnapped by the state and hauled before a shrink, he views you as a non entity, and will give more credence to anything a family member has to say, or believes is important.
    All the more reason why this atrocity of bad science, psychiatry, shouldn’t be coupled with the force of law at all.
    Show idea: I’d LOVE, and I actually NEED, you to do a show about how to manage righteous anger, the righteous anger that springs up in the survivor of coercive psychiatry, or even the person who voluntarily went into the system but was lied to. A show about the great toll it takes on survivors just to be exposed to and be forced to read again and again about the preventable harm being done to others in the system, something, an aversion to engaging on the issue that we need to be overcome if we are going to offer our talents and experiences in a meaningful helpful way working for reform.
    For instance I’m not smoking cigarettes at the moment, but in recent years in my recovery, with my anger and disgust at the crimes against my humanity by psychiatry and sanctioned by my fellow citizens, I’ve at times turned my anger inward in terms of like for instance sitting at the computer all night chain smoking in anger…. which is destructive to my body…. or eating burgers…. or what not…. I’m not a violent guy, but when I feel this anger, I self harm in a slow burn, lung cancer and cholesterol way. I tell myself stupid things like ‘if the community doesn’t give a fuck what poison it violently forces into my body, why the fuck should I care about eating right and not smoking?’…. and sometimes I just find myself in this cycle. Looked at more broadly, I think this contempt that arises in survivors is a huge problem. I’d hazard a guess many violent crimes are carried out by those whose righteous anger is never listened to by their society.
    I think of the video that Cho at virginia state made, look at it on youtube, those are the words of a man who has been meddled with by the so called mental health system, by his society, dehumanized, alienated, to the point where he perhaps not only felt he had nothing left to lose, but that others, all others, were complicit in his being in that position. Oh wait, Cho had a ‘brain disease’ that was ‘diagnosed’ just by looking at him one day out of his life huh? I doubt it.

  5. I’m not a religious man. But the closest I get to God, to believing in God, is to be exposed to Breggin or Szasz. Thank GOD for these men. These wonderful, wonderful, men. These men save lives. Thank GOD for the internet. Defend net neutrality with your LIFE if it is ever threatened people! Thank GOD for the freedom of the new media to allow Breggin to reach those who are currently being neurologically raped by psychiatry.

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