Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Drugs

by Peter R. Breggin (Author), David Cohen (Author)

Editorial Reviews

Psychiatric drugs are prescribed to more than 20 million Americans. This book
aims to convince us to stop taking these drugs, and to show us how to do it
safely. The authors contend that after 15 minutes with a physician or
psychiatrist, Americans are prescribed medications that we may take for years or
a lifetime, which can do more harm than good. We're irritable, anxious,
emotionally numbed, physically fatigued, and mentally dulled. Yet when we stop
taking the drugs, we encounter a whole new set of problems and setbacks.
The book lists the adverse medical reactions you may encounter, plus additional
personal, psychological, and philosophical reasons for limiting or rejecting
psychiatric drugs. About half the book covers withdrawing from your drug--how to
do it carefully and slowly, what to expect, and how to get help--with specifics
for certain drugs and a chapter on easing your child off them as well.
If you suffer from depression or another condition that warrants taking
prescription drugs, you might refute the authors' contention that "the degree to
which we suffer indicates the degree to which we are alive. When we take drugs
to ease our suffering, we stifle our psychological and spiritual life."

Certainly it would be lovely if we could "find a way to untangle that twisted
energy and to redirect it more creatively," but is this really possible in all
cases? The authors blame our dependence on drugs and psychiatry on big
pharmaceutical-company bucks, psychiatric organizations, and even government
agencies. Certainly we are an overmedicated society--but is the answer to take
everyone off drugs? This provocative book says yes, and it's bound to be controversial.

Of course, do not go off any prescribed medication without working closely with
the medical professional who prescribed it, and do not use this book as a
substitute for professional help. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of
print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
In his previous books (Toxic Psychiatry, Talking Back to Prozac), psychiatrist
Breggin laid the groundwork for his battle against what he sees as American
psychiatry's harmful overdependence on prescribing medication. This time out, he
reiterates his primary tenets and, having teamed up with David Cohen, a
professor of social work at the University of Montreal, provides practical
advice for those who are considering stopping medication. According to the
authors, psychiatric drugs have replaced religion, spirituality, human
relationships and introspection as the solution of first resort for the
suffering endemic to a full human life. Because scientists know very little
about the brain, Breggin and Cohen argue, the much-touted theory that depression
and mental illness arise from chemical imbalances is "sheer speculation" and the
propagandistic cornerstone of a massive public relations campaign by drug
companies. In a well-researched argument that suffers from a somewhat dogmatic
tone, they contend that, rather than improve the brain's functioning, these
drugs actually create such imbalances, causing immediate and sometimes
irreversible damage. In place of medication, Breggin and Cohen recommend
therapy, as well as a commitment to religious, spiritual or philosophic ideas,
and offer a step-by-step approach to ending dependence on medication, to be
undertaken only with medical guidance. Although the authors warn readers against
feeling pressured to forgo medication, they never explore the alternatives.

Product Details

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (August 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738203483



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