Selected scientific papers

This section contains a selection of Dr. Breggin’s scientific articles spanning 1964 to the present.



Rational Principles of Psychopharmacology (2016)

Breggin, PR. (2016). Rational Principles of Psychopharmacology for Therapists, Healthcare Providers and Clients. J Contemp Psychother 46:1–13. Because the epidemic dispensing of psychiatric drugs is based on misinformation, it is important for all health professionals, consumers, and most citizens (including patients and their family members) to have a more rational understanding of how psychiatric drugs […]

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Understanding and Overcoming Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Based on Theory of Negative Legacy Emotions (2015)

Chapter 5 of Promoting Psychological Well-Being in Children and Families. Edited by Bruce Kirkcaldy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Peter R. Breggin I have spent more than half a century as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist trying to understand human suffering. Why does every single one of us come out of childhood suffering from guilt and shame? Where […]

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Biological evolution of guilt, shame and anxiety (2015)

Breggin, PR. (2015). The biological evolution of guilt, shame and anxiety: A new theory of negative legacy emotions. Medical Hypotheses 85, 17–24 The theory of negative legacy emotions proposes the first unitary concept for the biopsychosocial function of guilt, shame and anxiety, and seeks their origin in biological evolution and natural selection. Natural selection favored […]

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Understanding & helping people with hallucinations (2015)

Breggin, PR. (2015). Understanding and Helping People with Hallucinations Based on the Theory of Negative Legacy Emotions. The Humanistic Psychologist, 43: 70-87. This article applies the new concept of negative legacy emotions to understanding and helping people suffering with psychosis and hallucinations. The theory of negative legacy emotions proposes that guilt, shame, and anxiety result […]

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TBI, PTSD, and Psychiatric Drugs: A Perfect Storm for Aberrant States (2014)

“TBI, PTSD, and psychiatric drugs. A perfect storm for causing abnormal mental states and aberrant behavior.” In Brock, H. and Else, R.C. (Eds). The Attorney’s Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court. Minneapolis, MN: Veterans Defense Project. Chapter 10, pp. 251-264, 2014. Peter R. Breggin, MD Recent years have seen a marked increase in the […]

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Presumed Prudence Leaves Children Susceptible to Electroshock (2014)

The Utmost Discretion: How Presumed Prudence Leaves Children Susceptible to Electroshock. Children & Society, 28, (2014) pp. 231-241 Cheryl van Daalen-Smith, Simon Adam, Peter Breggin and Brenda A. LeFrançois This article examines the controversial and largely publicly undocumented practice of administering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT or electroshock) to children who are undergoing psychiatric treatment. Conventional psychiatric […]

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The Rights of Children and Parents Regarding Child Diagnosis and Drugging (2014)

The Rights of Children and Parents In Regard to Children Receiving Psychiatric Diagnoses and Drugs. Children & Society, 28, (2014) pp. 231-241 Peter R. Breggin, MD Based on the author’s extensive clinical, forensic and research experience, this article addresses the scientific and moral question of whether it is ever in the best interests of a […]

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Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI) (2011)

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for longterm treatment with psychiatric medication. International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, 23: 193-200. Peter R. Breggin, MD Abstract: Understanding the hazards associated with long-term exposure to psychiatric drugs is very important but rarely emphasized in the scientific literature and clinical practice. Drawing on the scientific […]

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The FDA should test the safety of ECT machines (2010)

International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 22 (2010) 89-92. Peter R. Breggin Abstract: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and the machines that deliver it have never been tested for safety and efficacy in order to receive approval from the FDA. The American Psychiatric Association and ECT advocates protested when the FDA took steps to classify […]

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