Peter R. Breggin, M.D. is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former full-time consultant with NIMH who is in private practice in Ithaca, New York. Dr. Breggin's latest book is now available: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families. It describes the many reasons for stopping medication and offers a step-by-step approach to make withdrawal as safe as possible. He is also the author of more than twenty other books including the bestseller Talking Back to Prozac as well as the medical book Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Second Edition. Another recent book written for the public and professionals is Medication Madness, the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime. He is in addition the author of dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles, many in the field of psychopharmacology.
As a medical and psychiatric expert, Dr. Breggin has been qualified to testify in court approximately 85 times since 1987. As an example, in November 2012 a jury in the Supreme Court of the State of New York awarded $1.5 million malpractice verdict to the family of a man who committed suicide while taking psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants. Dr. Breggin was the medical expert for the plaintiffs. In addition, on September 16, 2011, based on Dr. Breggin’s report and testimony, a Winnipeg provincial judge concluded that Prozac caused a sixteen-year-old boy to knife a friend to death.
He as served as an expert in many civil and criminal suits including product liability suits against the manufacturers of psychiatric drugs. His work provided the scientific basis for the original combined Prozac suits. His efforts as a medical expert and his scientific publications have resulted in the FDA changing numerous official drug labels. He has been involved in landmark cases on behalf of patient rights in regard to antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs and tardive dyskinesia, electroshock, and lobotomy.
Those who wish to comment on and discuss Dr. Breggin’s Huffington Post blogs can go to his ‘public figure’ Facebook page where they can also stay abreast of with the latest developments and news relating to his reform work.
Dr. Breggin's weekly radio show with international guests can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network. Each show is archived for easy retrieval.
In 2010 Dr. Breggin and his wife Ginger formed a new 501c3 nonprofit organization, The Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, which continues Dr. Breggin's critique of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs, but places more emphasis on empathic therapies. The Empathic Therapy Conference is held April of every year in Syracuse, New York. The dual aim of the conference is to increase critical awareness of the flaws of biological psychiatry and to empower professionals and other caring individuals to enjoy their work and to make the most of their abilities in helping themselves and others to live happier, more effective lives.
A major project of the new center is ToxicPsychiatry.com—a news and library resource of critical information about biological psychiatry, including the latest scientific studies on brain damage from psychiatric drugs.
Dr. Breggin is the Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. He is on the editorial board of several other journals including the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine.
Called "the conscience of psychiatry," Dr. Breggin's reform work has drawn attention to the dangers of psychiatric diagnoses, drugs and ECT, and promoted more caring and effective psychosocial alternatives. Dr. Breggin has a rich informational professional website that provides access to his books and scientific articles. A new book titled The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, M.D, presents 50 years of Dr. Breggin's reform work seen through the eyes of his colleagues, the media and other sources.
Dr. Breggin has recently published Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime (2008) by St. Martin's Press. He draws on dozens of true stories from his clinical and forensic practice to show how psychiatric drugs can drive otherwise responsible people to commit bizarre and sometimes violent acts including murder and suicide. The dramatic presentations are laced with scientific explanations of medication spellbinding and other adverse effects.
Since 1964 Dr. Breggin has been publishing peer-reviewed articles and medical books in his subspecialty of clinical psychopharmacology. He is the author of dozens of scientific articles and many professional books about psychiatric medication, the FDA and drug approval process, the evaluation of clinical trials, and standards of care in psychiatry and related fields. Most of his scientific articles can be obtained on www.breggin.com.
Dr. Breggin's background includes Harvard College, Case Western Reserve Medical School, a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School, a two-year staff appointment to the National Institute of Mental Health, and a faculty appointment to the Johns Hopkins University Department of Counseling.
Dr. Breggin is the author of more than twenty professional books, including The Ritalin Fact Book (2002), The Antidepressant Fact Book (2001), Talking Back to Ritalin, Revised (2001), Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Drugs (with David Cohen, Ph.D., 1999), Toxic Psychiatry (1991), Talking Back to Ritalin (1998) Beyond Conflict (1992), and with Ginger Ross Breggin, Talking Back to Prozac (1994) and The War Against Children of Color (1998). In 1997 Springer Publishing Company simultaneously released Dr. Breggin's professional books Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Role of the FDA and The Heart of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence. Dr. Breggin has also published approximately thirty peer-reviewed articles in the field of psychiatry. Dr. Breggin's work is frequently covered in the national media such as the New York Times, Time, Fox News, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the New Yorker.
Dr. Breggin's reform work began in the 1950s as a college student when he directed the Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Hospital Volunteer Program. He graduated with honors from Harvard and then received his medical training at Case Western Reserve. He took his psychiatric training at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, and at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, where he was also a teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School. Before going into private practice in 1968, he spent two years as a full-time consultant with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In November, 1998 he was a scientific presenter at the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.