Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Back to the Anti-Psychiatrists

Posted by Zeke on December 1, 1999, at 20:07:24

In reply to Re: Yeah....what Bob said! (how my depression agree's), posted by Noa on November 29, 1999, at 15:54:26

Like many others, I want Breggin and the anti-psychiatry folks to be able to have their say. But they seem to me to be extremely biased and selectively ignore crediable science that doesn't fit their view. And this has the potential to do much harm to desperate persons unfamiliar with modern psychiatry and neuroscience.

My personal beef with Breggin is his attack on Ritalin, Dexedrine and other ADD meds. But rather than babble myself, I recommend you read Dr. Russell Barkely's review of Breggin's book, "Talking Back to Ritalin," available at the CHADD website: (regardless of whether ADD is your concern.)

One observation about Breggin is that he seems to complain that psychiatry conferences are biased in the other direction -- pro med -- it almost sounds like a conspiracy theory. But then when he is invited, I see comments about how must interrupt his busy schedule to prepare for and attend these meetings. In the Colorado case he had to fly in from London. I suspect Breggin spends much of his time in the well paid role of expert witness in court cases, testifying to 'Prozac Rage' and the like.

Breggin seems to find endless behavioral side effects od psychiatric meds -- eg, stimulant cause obsessions; antidepressannts cause mania. Though very overstated there is some truth here. The problem here is that if substances can produce behavioral effects, then some substances -- some effects -- should be beneficial and therapeutic for certain behavioral disorders. But for Breggin, any effect is a bad, dangerous and potentially fatal effect.

Now before many of you go out and buy his books, I suggest you visit his website:

Since schizophrenia is a central theme of this thread, I might also suggest an article by Dr. Al Siebert (who is an advisor to Breggin's organization), "If Schizophrenia is a Disease or Illness Why Doesn't it Act Like One?": My question is, how is a disease or illness supposed to act? Actually schizophrenia is probably better considered a disorder than disease -- by which Siebert means infectious disease. His opening anecdote about no vaccine for schizophrenia meaning that is is not a disease is nonsense -- I don't know od a vaccine for epilepsy either -- so is epilepsy also unreal? He also interprets studies such that hospitalization makes schizophrenia worse -- but he fails to see or note the obvious logic that the less severe the illness, the less hospitalized one would be. He is right that some recover completely without any treatment, but this is simply consistent with the rule of thirds.

In re Noa's comments on the amygdala: Please look at the research done by Dr. Joseph LeDoux, who is certainly an expert on the amygdala. LeDoux focuses on fear and the amygdala and asserts that "fear is forever" -- once a fear is learned it can't be simply unlearned (by the amygdala) but has to be compensated for by the (frontal) cortex. I suggest the following URLs:

Lastly, take a look at these columns from the Denver Post re Breggin and company...

As Diane Carmen says in her Denver Post article, "And doesn't it seem peculiar that drugs such as Ritalin and Luvox are commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder in countries all over the world but they only produce school shootings among American kids?"




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