|Psychiatric Drug Adverse Reactions (Side Effects) and Medication Spellbinding||| Print ||
Dr. Peter Breggin’s new concept of medication spellbinding provides insights into why so many people take psychiatric drugs when the drugs are doing more harm than good. Psychiatric drugs, and all other drugs that affect the mind, spellbind the individual by masking their adverse mental effects from the individual taking the drugs. If the person experiences a mental side effect, such as anger or sadness, he or she is likely to attribute it to something other than drug, perhaps blaming it on a loved one or on their own “mental illness.” Often people taking psychiatric drugs claim to feel better than ever when in reality their mental life and behavior is impaired. In the extreme, medication spellbinding leads otherwise well-functioning and ethical individuals to commit criminal acts, violence or suicide.
The concept of medication spellbinding is a unifying theme in Dr. Breggin’s newest book, Medication Madness (2008), which describes dozens of cases of otherwise self-controlled people who became spellbound by psychiatric drugs, leading them to perpetrate bizarre acts, including mayhem, murder and suicide. Dr. Breggin’s other recent book, Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (2008), presents the science beyond the concept of medication spellbinding in great depth.
The majority of Dr. Breggin's books focus on harmful medication effects on the brain, mind and behavior. Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (2008) is the most up-to-date and thorough presentation of his overall views on the dangers associated with psychiatric medication. It describes how the supposed therapeutic effects of psychiatric drugs are in fact the result of drug-induced mental disabilities. The following very abbreviated summary should not substitute for the more thorough explanations in Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (2008):
• Antidepressants cause emotional anesthesia and numbing or sometimes euphoria, providing a fleeting, artificial relief from emotional suffering.
• Neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs disrupt frontal lobe function, causing a chemical lobotomy with apathy and indifference, making emotionally distressed people more submissive and less able to feel.
• Mood stabilizers slow down overall brain function, dampening emotions and vitality.
• Benzodiazepines suppress overall brain function, sedating the individual, with temporary relief of tension or anxiety at the cost of reduced mental function.
• Stimulants blunt spontaneity and enforce obsessive behaviors in children, making them less energetic, less social, less creative and more obedient.
The individual taking the drugs or the doctor, family and classroom teacher can mistakenly interpret these effects as an improvement when they reflect dysfunction of the brain and mind. As an egregious example, millions of school children are prescribed these drugs because schools find them easer to deal with when their spontaneity is impaired and when they become more compulsively obedient.
In the long run, all psychiatric drugs tend to disrupt the normal processes of feeling and thinking, rendering the individual less able to deal effectively with personal problems and with life’s challenges. They worsen the individual’s overall mental condition and produce potentially irreversible harm to the brain.
Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex (2008)
Categories of scientific papers by Dr. Breggin: