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Dr. Peter Breggin
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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.

Entries by Dr. Peter Breggin

$1.5 Million Award in Autistic Child Tardive Dyskinesia Legal Case

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 8:00 AM

On Feb. 11, 2014, a Chicago jury awarded $1.5 million to an autistic child who developed a severe case of tardive dyskinesia and tardive akathisia while being treated by psychiatrists with Risperdal and then Zyprexa between 2002 and 2007. The drug-induced disorder was diagnosed when he was 15...

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The Lobotomists Are Back!

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 12:43 PM

Researchers at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada have published a new study of current psychosurgery at their facility, but the project suffers from most of the unconscionable defects associated with the abusive practice of lobotomy in the 1950s. In the U.S., I know of...

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Triumph Over Suicide

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 11:39 AM

Hopelessness about life is the ultimate reason many people take their own lives. Among the military, as in civilian life, suicide often results when individuals feel isolated, abandoned, and without hope. Our military and veterans need to know that we Americans appreciate their sacrifices and the horrors they have endured,...

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The End of the American Household and Healthy Childrearing

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 9:24 AM

The very misleading headline on the August 1st PEW report summary says, "A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parental Home." In reality, between 1968 and 2012 the percentage of young adults ages 18-31 living at home rose a meager 2 percent. This slight increase from...

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A National Day of Male Atonement

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 5:08 PM

Watching TV coverage of about the escape of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight from sexual enslavement in Cleveland, I found myself becoming increasingly uneasy. I knew I would be talking about it to millions of Americans on a nationwide radio talk show that night, but didn't...

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Be Skeptical of Pharmaceutical Company Claims

(5) Comments | Posted April 7, 2013 | 12:19 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Ben Goldacre's TEDTalk describes the selective bias in research and publishing which strongly favors articles with positive outcomes. In my field of psychiatry, this bias is...

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What Lance Armstrong and Bernie Madoff Have in Common

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 12:17 PM

What do Lance Armstrong and Bernie Madoff have in common? Are they a different species from each other and from us? No, they are all too human. Like many of us, they want to be superhuman. The difference from the rest of us? They feel driven and entitled to go...

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How Forgiveness Can Change Your Life

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 2:35 PM

Early in 1865, in his second inaugural address, little more than a month before his assassination, Abraham Lincoln stood before the bloodied, fractured United States to speak about forgiveness, the letting go of hatreds, and the binding of wounds. He implored the people of America:

With malice...
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The Newtown Shootings: Mourning the Loss of Children Taken So Suddenly Away

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2012 | 2:40 PM

Children are about hope. Children are about our many hopes for them and for ourselves. We give these fragile beings all of our love, hoping and believing that they will grow with that love and then spread the gift to others.

We look at the mistakes our own parents made...

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Jury Awards $1.5 Million in Suicide Malpractice Suit

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 5:30 PM

A Syracuse, N.Y. jury has awarded a $1.5 million medical malpractice verdict to the family of a man who committed suicide. I was the medical expert for the family. After the verdict, plaintiff's attorney Ernest DelDuchetto told me, "It was comforting to see a jury agree with our...

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Today's Greatest Mental Health Need: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Programs

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 2:13 PM

The pharmaceutical industry and organized psychiatry act as if the greatest challenge today is to identify new psychiatric disorders, to promote the supposedly high prevalence of existing disorders, and to find new blockbuster drugs, all the while heavily promoting current moneymakers. Even the United Nations is involved in "

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Inside Psychiatry: Anxiety Over Antipsychotic Drugs

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 6:01 PM

Writing in the New York Times, Richard A. Friedman, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, points out:

You will never guess what the fifth and sixth best-selling prescription drugs are in the United States, so I'll just tell you: Abilify and Seroquel,...
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Soaring Numbers of Children on Powerful Adult Psychiatric Drugs

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 5:54 PM

A recent blog of mine described how unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of toxic antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the "success" of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In a comparison between the years...

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Psychiatry: Start Listening to Your Patients and Their Families

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2012 | 2:18 PM

Medication compliance -- the patient adhering to the doctor's prescription instructions -- is an important concern in medicine. Family members are asked to be involved to make sure patients comply with taking their medications as instructed.

On the face of it, medication compliance makes sense. Patients should...

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Drug Companies Drive the Psychiatric Drugging of Children

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 12:24 PM

With Ginger Breggin

Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, has tentatively agreed to a settlement of $2.2 billion to resolve a federal investigation into the company's marketing practices. Although details are not fully finalized, this includes "a roughly $400 million criminal fine for...

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Drug Company GlaxoSmithKline Puts American Values to Shame

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 3:06 PM

With Ginger Breggin

In April 2001, GlaxoSmithKline:

Implemented a marketing effort of unprecedented scale ... with 2,300 sales representatives scheduled to visit some 70,000 US doctors, responsible for writing 80% of asthma prescriptions, in the first week ... This push will be accompanied by a direct-to-consumer...
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$3 Billion in Fines for Illegal Marketing of Paxil, Wellbutrin and Other Drugs

(0) Comments | Posted July 4, 2012 | 2:42 PM

In the last few years in a series of civil and criminal suits, the federal government has been hitting the pharmaceutical industry with billions in fines, often for false or misleading marketing practices. Many of these suits have involved psychiatric drugs.

In January 2009, the

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Military to Hold Conference on Escalating Suicides; Drugs Not Allowed

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 6:36 PM

Suicides and personal violence in the military have continued to escalate since some of us first began warning about these problems and their relationship to the simultaneously escalating prescription of psychiatric drugs to active duty soldiers. The Associated Press has reported:

Suicides are surging among America's...
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New Study Confirms Electroshock (ECT) Causes Brain Damage

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2012 | 2:47 PM

A new study shows ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) causes brain damage? That's not what you will find in the many promotional press releases published in the mainstream media. As usual, biopsychiatric press releases always come out before the research articles are easily available, making critical analysis impossible until the wave of...

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Benzos and Other Sleep Medications: Deadly and Unnecessary

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2012 | 2:47 PM

My most recent HuffPost blog, "Xanax Facts and Whitney Houston," looked at how the benzodiazepine Xanax (alprazolam) might have contributed to the singer's death, and reviews many of the hazards of this group of drugs.

Since then, a new study has added more warnings about the life-threatening...

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