|| Print ||
Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
Resume and Bibliography
I. BACKGROUND HIGHLIGHTS
Harvard College (Cambridge) (1954-58):
Graduated with Honors.
Directed Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Hospital Volunteer Program.
Research grants from Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Co-authored 1st professional book, College Students in a Mental Hospital (1962).
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine (Cleveland) (1958-1962):
Conducted four years of psychopharmacology lab research with controlled animal trials supported by NIMH grant, resulting in first two published papers in psychopharmacology.
Special four-year individual tutorial with pediatrician Benjamin Spock, M.D.
Diplomat, National Board of Medical Examiners (1963):
Highest grade in country (99%) on psychiatry portion of boards used to qualify for medical licenses.
Massachusetts Mental Health Center (Boston) (1963-64):
First Year Resident in Psychiatry at the main Harvard teaching hospital.
Teaching Fellow at Harvard Medical School.
State University of New York Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse) (1962-63, 1964-66):
Intern in Mixed Medicine and Psychiatry.
Second and Third Year Resident and Teaching Assistant in Psychiatry.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and U. S. Public Health Service Officer (Charlottesville, VA and Bethesda, MD) (1966-68):
Full-time NIMH Consultant in Building and Staffing Community Mental Health Centers (1966-67).
Full-time NIMH Consultant in Mental Health and Education (1967-68).
University of Maryland (1968-1970):
Faculty, courses in counseling department.
Washington School of Psychiatry (1968-1972):
Faculty, courses for school counselors.
George Mason University (1990-96):
Adjunct Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, courses on brain and behavior.
Johns Hopkins University (1996-99):
Faculty Associate in the Department of Counseling and Human Services, courses including psychopharmacology and diagnosis in psychiatry.
Founder and Director, International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (1972-2002) and Director Emeritus (2002-2010):
Dr. Breggin, joined by his wife in the 1980s, developed this first professional organization devoted to psychiatric reform.
II. HIGHLIGHTS OF CURRENT PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Private Practice of Psychiatry, Ithaca, New York. (2003-present):
In November 2002, all of my professional activities (see below) moved to Ithaca, New York.
Private Practice of Psychiatry, Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD. (1968-2002):
Full-time private practice with individuals, couples and families with children.
Subspecialty clinical psychopharmacology and the drug approval process.
Forensic work includes criminal, malpractice and product liability lawsuits.
State University of New York (SUNY), Oswego (2007-2008, 2010-present):
Visiting Scholar in the Department of Education, Division of Counseling and Psychological Services, courses including psychopharmacology and psychotherapy (2007-2008).
Adjunct Professor, courses on Empathic Therapy and on Critical Psychology (2010-present).
Founder and Director, Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education and Living (www.empathictherapy.org) (2010-present):
This new nonprofit organization led by Dr. and Mrs. Breggin has a large Advisory Council that includes many psychiatrists, neurologists, psychologists, social workers and counselors, including professors and heads of department. Many public advocates and interested citizens also participate. The Center offers a free newsletter, a professional network, and an annual Empathy Therapy Conference. Dr. Breggin's many decades of reform work have led others to call him "The Conscience of Psychiatry." He continues his reform work with renewed emphasis on finding better, empathic approaches to helping children and adults in emotional distress.
Editor-in-Chief (1998-2002) and Founding Editor and Consultant (2002-present), Ethical Human Sciences and Services: An International Journal of Critical Inquiry.
Now entitled Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry.
Founded and edited a peer-reviewed journal with 40 contributing editors published by Springer Publishing Company.
Editorial Consultant (current):
International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine
The Psychotherapy Patient
Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy: Journal of the Psychology and Psychotherapy Association
The Humanistic Psychologist
Journal of Mind and Behavior
Hospital and Community Psychiatry (reviewer in past)
Syndicated Weekly Talk Radio Show (2010-present):
"The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour" on the Progressive Radio Network (PRN)
Psychiatric Consultant (2010-present):
Integrative Counseling Services in Cicero & Oswego, New York.
Scientific Presenter at Conferences, Grand Rounds, Universities:
Selected Recent Presentations
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Veterans Affairs, February 24, 2010, Washington, DC, Hearings chaired by Rob Filner (D-CA) on "Exploring the Relationship Between Medication and Veteran Suicide," 35-minute lead off testimony on "Antidepressant-Induced Suicide and Violence: Risks for Military Personnel." Audio of complete hearings and written presentations available on www.breggin.com.
17th Annual International Military and Civilian Combat Stress Conference, Los Angeles, May 1-2, 2009. Pre-conference full-day workshop on "Clinical Psychopharmacology: Efficacy and Alternatives" and Plenary on "Does Psychiatric Medication Increase the Risk and Prevalence of Suicide?"
Hundreds of invited scientific presentations on psychopharmacology, shock treatment, psychosurgery, psychotherapy, and legal issues, including to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conferences on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (November 1998); the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Electroconvulsive Therapy (1985); National Institutes of Health Panel on NIH Research on Anti-social, Aggressive and Violence-related Behaviors and Their Consequences (1994); National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Guest Speakers Program; U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education (September 2000); American Psychiatric Association; NIH Institute on Hospital and Community Psychiatry; American Psychological Association; American Orthopsychiatry Association; American Autism Society; American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Counseling Association, Connecticut Psychiatric Society Residents Program, Harvard University School of Education Special Lecture; Georgetown University School of Medicine Department of Pharmacology; New Jersey Medical School Department of Psychiatry Annual Medical Forum; Walter Reed Army Hospital Psychiatric Residency Program; National Naval Medical Center; Metropolitan Hospital Center/New York Medical College Department of Psychiatry; Manhattan State Hospital (New York City) Grand Rounds; Spring Grove Hospital (Maryland) CME Credit Seminars; Chestnut Lodge Hospital Case Conference; St. Elizabeths Hospital Grand Rounds and Seminars (Washington, DC); Regents College of Psychotherapy and Counseling (London); Institute for Genetics (Cologne); Royal Ottawa Hospital Grand Rounds (Canada); MIND of Great Britain; University of Sheffield Department of Psychiatry (England).
Special Presentations and Advanced Training Courses related to Clinical Psychopharmacology:
I have presented at and/or attended a number of lengthy several-day-long training workshops on the drug approval process that dealt with the FDA approval process and drug labeling. The following seminars, including several at which I made presentations, dealt extensively with adverse drug reactions, drug development, labeling and related processes:
(1) "Regulatory Training Course I: IND [Investigative New Drug] Phase." A course in how drug companies develop an IND for the FDA in accordance with FDA statutes, regulations, and guidelines. DIA (Drug Information Association). Bethesda, Maryland, February 26-28, 1996.
(2) "Future development of neuroleptic medications: A report to the FDA." This was a report to an FDA Meeting of the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee concerning labeling issues and the future development of neuroleptic medications. It was published as "Future development of neuroleptic medications: A report to the FDA" in the Rights Tenet (Newsletter of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy) Fall1995.
(3) "Regulatory Training Course II: Marketing Application & Post Approval Phase." A course in how drug companies develop an NDA [New Drug Application], as well as post-approval activities, in accordance with FDA statutes, regulations, and guidelines. DIA (Drug Information Association), Bethesda, Maryland, March 27-29, 1996.
(4) "Clinical Therapeutics and the Recognition of Drug-Induced Disease: How Health Care Professionals and the FDA Can Work Together to Reduce the Risks of Adverse Drug Events." A workshop focused on the spontaneous reporting system presented by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) of the FDA, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC, June 10, 1994.
(5) "The Application of GCP [Good Clinical Practices] for Study Site Coordinators and Business Administrators." Described as "a comprehensive, practical overview of the responsibilities of the investigator, the clinical study coordinator assisting the investigator, and the sponsor in the conduct of a clinical trial" for FDA approval of a drug. DIA (Drug Information Association), Philadelphia, December 11-13, 1995.
(6)"Pharmaceutical Industry Crisis Management Workshop." Purpose described as "to develop the participants knowledge of the fundamental elements of crises and crisis management in the pharmaceutical industry." Initial day covered handling of a variety of issues, including New Drug Applications (NDAs), FDA regulations and industry relations, recalls, adverse drug event reporting, and clinical trial standards. DIA (Drug Information Association), Washington, DC, December 4, 2000.
(7) "Ritalin Litigation." Described as "The medical and legal roadmap to trying or defending your Ritalin suit successfully," including presentations on stimulant drug treatment, ADHD, and the role of the FDA and DEA in monitoring industry activities. I presented on "The science behind the lawsuits" (including labeling issues) and also attended. The American Conference Institute, New York City, March 29, 2001.
(8) "Emerging Drug Litigation Conference." One-half day on class action suits at which I presented on "The Science and Medicine of Ritalin" (including labeling issues) and also attended. Mealey's (Lexis/Nexis). New Orleans, May 17, 2001.
(9) "Adverse Effects of SSRI Medications: A Medical Legal Conference." Labeling was a key issue at this conference focused on product liability. I presented on "Adverse Psychiatric Effects of SSRI Antidepressants" (including labeling issues) and attended conference. Extant Medical Legal Consulting. Philadelphia, October 4-5, 2002.
(10) "SSRI-Induced Stimulation, Suicidality and Violence in Children and Adults." These were public presentations to two FDA Advisory Committee meetings on modifying the labeling for SSRI-induced suicidality in children. Each meeting involved the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Advisory Committee. I summarized evidence for a stimulant syndrome that causes suicidality and violence that should be included in the label. The label changes later adopted by the FDA closely parallel my suggestions in my presentations and publications. Bethesda, Maryland, February 2, 2004 and September 13, 2004.
(11) "Anti-Depressant Suicidality and Violence: More about Deception than Science. Observations Made at the FDA Hearings Press Conference, sponsored by the Alliance for Human Research protection (AHRP)." I address issues surrounding what kind of material gets into FDA-approved labels, including the limitations of that data. Other presenters discussed related issues. Bethesda, Maryland, September 14, 2004.
(12) "Stimulation, Violence and Suicide as Adverse Reactions to SSRIs in Children and Adults." Public Presentations and attendance at two FDA Advisory Committee meetings on modifying the labeling for SSRI-induced suicidality in children (three days total). Each meeting involved the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Advisory Committee. I summarized evidence for a stimulant syndrome that causes suicidality and violence that should be included in the label. The label changes later adopted by the FDA closely parallel my suggestions in my presentations and publications. Bethesda, Maryland, February 2, 2004 and September 13, 2004.
(13) "Anti-Depressant Suicidality and Violence: More about Deception than Science. Observations Made at the FDA Hearings Press Conference, sponsored by the Alliance for Human Research protection (AHRP)." I address issues surrounding the quality of the data drug companies generate and what ultimately gets into FDA-approved labels. Other presenters discussed related issues. Bethesda, Maryland, September 14, 2004.
Medical Expert and Researcher:
I have testified in more than 70 cases since the early 1970s, including criminal, malpractice, and product liability. They often involve psychopharmacology and adverse drug effects, neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia, SSRI-induced violence and suicide, and psychosurgery and ECT-induced brain damage.
Some of the suits in which I have been involved, and some of research I have published, resulted in changes being made in the FDA-approved labels for neuroleptics and SSRI antidepressants.
A few highlights include:
(1) Medical expert in Kaimowitz v. Department of Mental Health, Wayne County, Michigan (1973). The three-judge panel followed my testimony in an opinion that helped to stop lobotomy and psychosurgery in the state and federal facilities around the country. This is considered a landmark case in the history of psychiatry and the law.
(2) Medical expert for the 100 or more combined Prozac product liability suits (1992-1994) against Eli Lilly, including the famous Wesbecker trial (Fentress et al.) that the drug company secretly settled in a controversial manipulation of the court system.
(3 Medical expert and consultant in many tardive dyskinesia malpractice and product liability suits.
(4 Medical expert in numerous criminal cases with defenses based on involuntary intoxication with psychiatric drugs.
(5) Invited Scientific Presenter on adverse drug effects in children at the November 1998 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder.
(6) Medical consultant for the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) concerning effects of SSRIs on pilots (1998-2000).
(7) Testimony before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the dangers of SSRI antidepressants in children (February 2004). The published opinion of the FDA panel closely paralleled my testimony and publications about the overall risk of stimulation (activation) with the potential for agitation, violence and suicide.
American Psychiatric Association (Life Member)
Canadian Psychiatric Association
World Association of Medical Editors
Until approximately 2005-6
Royal Society of Medicine
Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS)
Drug Information Association (DIA)
American Psychological Association
American Orthopsychiatric Association (Fellow)
New York State, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (last three inactive)
III. PROFESSIONAL BOOKS
1. College Students in a Mental Hospital: Contribution to the Social Rehabilitation of the Mentally Ill (New York, Grune & Stratton, 1962) (jointly authored by Carter Umbarger, James Dalsimer, Andrew Morrison, and Peter Breggin).
2. Electroshock: Its Brain-Disabling Effects (Springer, NY, 1979).
3. The Psychology of Freedom: Liberty and Love as a Way of Life
Buffalo, Prometheus Books, 1980.
4. Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain (Springer, NY, 1983).
5. Toxic Psychiatry (St. Martin's, NY, 1991).
6. Beyond Conflict (St. Martin's, NY, 1992).
7. Talking Back to Prozac (with Ginger Breggin) (St. Martin's, NY, 1994).
8. The War Against Children (with Ginger Breggin) (St. Martin's, NY, 1994).
9. Psychosocial Approaches to Deeply Disturbed Persons (senior editor) (Haworth Press, NY, 1996).
10. Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Role of the FDA (Springer, NY, 1997).
11. The Heart of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence (Springer, NY, 1997; new paperback edition in 2006).
12. Talking Back To Ritalin (Common Courage Press, ME, 1998).
13. The War Against Children of Color: Psychiatry Targets Inner City Children. (Common Courage Press, ME, 1998) (with Ginger Breggin) Revision and update of The War Against Children.
14. Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications. (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 1999) (Co-authored by David Cohen, Ph.D.).
15. Reclaiming Our Children: A Healing Solution to a Nation in Crisis. (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2,000).
16. Talking Back to Ritalin, Revised Edition. (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2001).
17. The Antidepressant Fact book. (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2001)
18. Dimensions of Empathic Therapy (jointly co-edited by Ginger Breggin and Fred Bemak) (Springer Publishing Company, NY, 2002).
19. The Ritalin Fact Book. (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2002).
20. Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications, Second Edition. (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2007) (Co-authored by David Cohen, Ph.D.).
21. Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex, Second Edition (Springer Publishing Company, NY, 2008).
22. Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime. (St. Martin's Press, NY).
23. Wow, I'm an American! How to Live Like Our Nation's Heroic Founders. (Ithaca, NY; Lake Edge Press).
IV. PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
1. "The Psychophysiology of Anxiety." Journal of Nervous Mental Diseases 139:558-568, 1964.
2. "Coercion of Voluntary Patients in an Open Hospital." Archives of General Psychiatry 10:173-181, 1964. Reprinted with a new introduction in Edwards, R.B. (ed): Psychiatry and Ethics. Buffalo, Prometheus Books, 1982, and in Edwards, R.B. (ed): Ethics of Psychiatry. Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, 1997.
3. "The Sedative-like Effect of Epinephrine." Archives of General Psychiatry 12:255-259, 1965.
4. "Psychotherapy as Applied Ethics." Psychiatry 34:59-75, 1971.
5. "Therapy as Applied Utopian Politics." Mental Health and Society 1:129-146, 1974.
6. "Psychiatry and Psychotherapy as Political Processes." American Journal of Psychotherapy 29:369-382, 1975.
7. "Madness is a Failure of Free Will; Therapy Too Often Encourages It." Psychiatric Quarterly 53:61-68, 1981. Originally published (in French) in Verdiglione A (ed):La Folie Dans La Psychoanalyse. Paris, Payot, 1977.
8. "Electroshock Therapy and Brain Damage: The Acute Organic Brain Syndrome as Treatment." Behavior and Brain Sciences 7:24-25, 1984
9. "Neuropathology and Cognitive Dysfunction from ECT." Psychopharmacology Bulletin 22:476-479, 1986.
10. "Ellettroshock: Tra Rischioiatrogeno e Mito Terapeutico." (P. Breggin and G. de Girolamo) Quaderni Italiani di Psychiatrica 6:497-540, 1987.
11. "The Three Dynamics of Human Progress: A Unified Theory Applicable to Individuals, Institutions and Society." Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry 21:(Nos. 1-3)97-123, 1988-89.
12. "Precious the Crow." Voices (Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists) 23:32-42, Summer 1987.
13. "Brain Damage, Dementia and Persistent Cognitive Dysfunction Associated with Neuroleptic Drugs: Evidence, Etiology, Implications." Journal of Mind Behavior 11:425-464, 1990.
14. "Psychotherapy in the Shadow of the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Complex," Voices (journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists) 27:15-21, 1991
15. "A Case of Fluoxetine-induced Stimulant Side Effects with Suicidal Ideation Associated with a Possible Withdrawal Syndrome (‘Crashing')." International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 3:325-328, 1992
16. "Parallels Between Neuroleptic Effects and Lethargic Encephalitis: The Production of Dyskinesias and Cognitive disorders." Brain and Cognition 23:8-27, 1993.
17. "A Biomedical Programme for Urban Violence Control in the US: The Dangers of Psychiatric Social Control." (Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin). Changes: An International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy 11, No. 1 (March):59-71, 1993.
18. "Psychiatry's Role in the Holocaust." International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine 4:133-148, 1993. Adapted from a paper delivered at "Medical Science Without Compassion" in Cologne, Germany and published in the conference proceedings.
19. "Should the Use of Neuroleptics Be Severely Limited?" Changes: An International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy 14:62-66 March 1996.
20. "The Hazards of Treating 'Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder' with Methylphenidate (Ritalin)" (coauthored by Ginger Breggin) Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 10:55-72, 1996.
21. "Psychotherapy in Emotional Crises without Resort to Psychiatric Medication." The Humanistic Psychologist 25:2-14, 1998.
22. "Analysis of Adverse Behavioral Effects of Benzodiazepines with a Discussion of Drawing Scientific Conclusions from the FDA's Spontaneous Reporting System." Journal of Mind and Behavior 19:21-50, 1998.
23. "Electroshock: Scientific, ethical, and political issues." International Journal of Risk & Safety In Medicine 11:5-40, 1998.
24. "Psychostimulants in the treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD: Part I-Acute risks and psychological effects." Ethical Human Sciences and Services 1:13-33, 1999.
25. "Psychostimulants in the treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD: Part II-Adverse effects on brain and behavior." Ethical Human Sciences and Services 1:213-241, 1999.
26. "Psychostimulants in the treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD: Risks and mechanism of action." International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 12 (1), 3-35, 1999. (Simultaneously published version of #'s 24 and 25)
27. "Empathic self-transformation and love in individual and family therapy." Humanistic Psychologist, 27:267-282, 1999.
28. "What psychologists and psychotherapists need to know about ADHD and stimulants." Changes: An International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy 18:13-23, Spring 2000
29. "The NIMH multimodal study of treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A critical analysis." International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine 13:15-22, 2000. Also published in Ethical Human Sciences and Services.
30. "Empowering social work in the era of biological psychiatry." (2001) [The annual Ephraim Lisansky lecture of the University of Maryland School of Social Work.] Ethical Human Sciences and Services 3:197-206.
31. "Fluvoxamine as a cause of stimulation, mania, and aggression with a critical analysis of the FDA-approved label." International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 14: 71-86, 2002. Simultaneously published in Ethical Human Sciences and Services, 4, 211-227, 2002.
32. "Psychopharmacology and human values." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 43: 34-49, 2003.
33. "Suicidality, violence and mania caused by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A review and analysis." International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 16: 31-49, 2003/2004. Simultaneously published in Ethical Human Sciences and Services 5:225-246, 2003.
34. "Recent U.S., Canadian and British regulatory agency actions concerning antidepressant-induced harm to self and others: A review and analysis." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 7, 7-22, 2005. Simultaneously published in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 16, 247-259, 2005.
35. "Recent regulatory changes in antidepressant labels: Implications for activation (stimulation) in clinical practice." Primary Psychiatry, 13, 57-60, 2006.
36. "Court filing makes public my previously suppressed analysis of Paxil's effects." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 77-84, 2006.
37. "How GlaxoSmithKline suppressed data on Paxil-induced akathisia: Implications for suicide and violence." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 91-100, 2006.
38. "Drug company suppressed data on paroxetine-induced stimulation: Implications for violence and suicide." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 255-263, 2006.
39. "Intoxication anosognosia: The spellbinding effect of psychiatric drugs." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 201-215, 2006. Simultaneously published in the International Journal of Risk and Safety and Medicine, 19, 3-15, 2007.
40. "ECT damages the brain: Disturbing news for patients and shock doctors alike." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 9, 83-86, 2007.
41. Exposure to SSRI antidepressants in utero causes birth defects, neonatal withdrawal symptoms and brain damage." (Co-author, Ginger Breggin). Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 10, 5-9, 2008.
42. "Homicidal ideation causally related to therapeutic medications." (Donald Marks, Peter Breggin, and Derek Braslow). Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 10, 134-145, 2008.
43. "Antidepressant-induced suicide, violence, and mania: Risks for military personnel." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 12, 111-121, 2010.
44.“Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for long-term tratment with psychiatric medication.” International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 23, 193-200, 2011.
V. SELECTED PROFESSIONAL REFORM ACCOMPLISHMENTS
SPANNING MORE THAN FIVE DECADES
Most of these selected accomplishments are documented in The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, MD (2009) through media reports, more than 100 professional testimonials and historical material. Also see Dr. Breggin's professional website, www.breggin.com as well as books and scientific articles.
*Led the first college volunteer program to demonstrate that untrained students with minimum professional supervision could help and bring about the discharge of otherwise chronic "back ward" state mental hospital patients (The Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Hospital Volunteer Program) (1954-1958). Written up in the President's Commission on Mental Health, Action for Mental Health (1962).
*Based on research in medical school (1958-1962), published two the first scientific papers describing the role of endogenous epinephrine in reinforcing anxiety attacks and demonstrating in animals the role of endogenous epinephrine in causing fatigue (1964 and 1965).
*Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service assigned to NIMH (1966-1968).
*Led an international campaign that stopped the wide-scale resurgence of lobotomy and psychosurgery on adults and children, and the stopping of all known psychosurgery on children and all psychosurgery in federal and state institutions (early 1970s). This was a major project requiring many hours of volunteer work per week for several years. It is described in many publications, including the War Against Children of Color (1998, coauthored by Ginger Breggin) and most thoroughly documented in The Conscience of Psychiatry (2009).
*Medical expert and consultant in Kaimowitz v. Department of Mental Health of Michigan which banned experimental psychiatric surgery in Michigan State Hospitals and brought to a halt all psychosurgery in state and federal facilities (including the VA and NIMH) in the United States (1972).
*Wrote federal legislation to ban federal funding of psychosurgery
*Worked with Congress to create the federal Psychosurgery Commission that declared the treatment experimental and not suitable for routine clinical application (1970s).
*Worked with Congress to create and testified at the Kennedy Hearings on Psychosurgery (1970s)
*Much more recently Medical Expert and Consultant in first successful psychosurgery malpractice case with a $7.5 million verdict against the Cleveland Clinic in June 2002. The Cleveland Clinic has stopped performing psychosurgery and only two ongoing psychosurgery projects have been identified in the United States.
*Wrote the first and still only medical book concerning the hazards of electroshock treatment (ECT), titled Electroshock: Its Brain-Disabling Effects (Springer, 1979).
*Alerted the profession to the danger of tardive dyskinesia in children (1983). Tardive dyskinesia is a potentially devastating neurological disorder caused by neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs.
*Alerted the profession to the danger of dementia produced by longer-term use of neuroleptic drugs (1983).
*Caused the FDA to force the drug companies to put in their labels for neuroleptic drugs a new class warning on tardive dyskinesia (1985). The FDA action resulted from Dr. Breggin's book Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain (1983) and his related media campaign, including a special on Dan Rather Reports.
*Scientific Expert on "Neuropathology and Cognitive Dysfunction Caused by ECT" at the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Electroconvulsive Therapy (1988).
*Caused the withdrawal of a large multi-agency federal program to perform dangerous invasive experiments on inner-city children in search of supposed genetic and biochemical causes of violence (the violence initiative) (early 1990s). Described in P. Breggin and G. Breggin, The War Against Children of Color (1994 and 1998).
*Caused the initial cancellation and later modification of a potentially racist federally sponsored conference on the genetics of violence (early 1990s).
*Exposed the channeling of drug company funds to individual researchers at NIH through the intermediary foundation, FAES, leading to cancellation of this program, circa 1994.
*Alerted the profession to danger of down-regulation and dangerous withdrawal reactions from the new SSRI antidepressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil (1992-4). See P. Breggin and G. Breggin, Talking Back to Prozac (1994).
*Alerted the profession and the public to the flawed nature of controlled clinical trials in determining efficacy and safety (Talking Back to Prozac, 1994, and later book and articles). Now many the problems are generally recognized.
*Developed the scientific basis for all of the combined Prozac product liability cases against Eli Lilly and Co. Dozens of these cases have been quietly settled by the drug company. Only one of my cases has gone to court (Fentress v., in Louisville, Kentucky, the "Wesbecker Case"). Provided much of the background research and testified as a expert in psychiatry and the FDA drug approval process. The suit was secretly settled during trial without informing the judge. The plaintiffs accepted a huge settlement in return for providing the jury with a weakened presentation of the case against the defendant drug company. The jury found for the defendants by a 9-3 vote. Afterward, the Supreme Court of Kentucky found in regard to Eli Lilly, "In this case, there was a serious lack of candor with the trial court and there may have been deception, bad faith conduct, abuse of the judicial process and perhaps even fraud." The trial judge, John Potter, was empowered to change the jury verdict to "settled with prejudice" against Lilly.
*Monitored and at times modified or stopped unethical, hazardous experimental research on children (1973 to the present).
*Scientific Expert on "Risks and Mechanism of Action of Stimulants" at the 1998 NIH Consensus Development Conference: Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Following my scientific testimony, many of my views and concerns were confirmed by the final report of the NIH Consensus Development.
*Provided criticism of the escalating tendency to give psychiatric drugs to preschoolers. In 1998 informed the International Narcotics Control Board about the drugging of children as young as two; the World Health Organization agency then issued a warning about it. In Talking Back to Ritalin (1998) I made one the first analyses of the dangers of these drugs in young children. More recently, a report and an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed the gravity of the problem. In March 2000 in response to public outcry raised partly in response to our national educational efforts, the White House (Hillary Clinton) made a public statement showing concern about the medicating of preschoolers.
*Medical consultant for the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) concerning effects of SSRIs on pilots (1998-2000).
*Provided the basis for the original Ritalin Class Action Suit. The model Ritalin class action suit against the manufacturer, Novartis, as well as CHADD and the American Psychiatric Association, was brought by C. Andrew Waters of Dallas, Texas in 2001, based on Talking Back to Ritalin and other publications by Peter Breggin and in consultation with him. Multiple suits have been brought since then.
*Helped to motivate and inform state legislation, including Connecticut, limiting the power of teachers and school officials to discuss the use of medication and psychiatric diagnoses with the parents of children in their care.
*Consulted in 2001-2002 as the medical expert in a California suit against Glaxo SmithKline concerning the failure of the Paxil label to describe withdrawal reactions to the antidepressant drug. The "resolution" of the suit included a change in the label so that withdrawal reactions are now listed and described. The label changes were published on the company website in 2002 and will appear in the 2003 Physicians' Desk Reference. In his scientific publications, Peter Breggin was among the first to warn about SSRI withdrawal problems.
*Medical Expert and Consultant in first successful psychosurgery malpractice case with a $7.5 million verdict against the Cleveland Clinic in June 2002. The Cleveland Clinic has stopped performing psychosurgery and only two ongoing psychosurgery projects have been identified in the United States. (See earlier description of successful anti-psychosurgery campaign in the 1970s).
*Testified before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the dangers of SSRI antidepressants in children (February 2004). The published opinion of the FDA panel closely paralleled my testimony and my scientific report previously distributed the FDA panel about the overall risk of stimulation (activation) with the potential for agitation, violence, suicide, and mania.
*Medical expert in first ECT Trial Malpractice victory in the USA in June 2005 in Columbia, South Carolina, where a jury awarded $635,000 in a malpractice suit against a psychiatrist who referred a patient for electroshock treatment. The attorney was Mark Hardee.
*Developed the concept of medication spellbinding (intoxication anosognosia) that describes how psychoactive substances, including psychiatric drugs, impair judgment and the ability to self-evaluate one's own mental condition, often with dangerous results (2008). Medication spellbinding is an expansion of Dr. Breggin's earlier concept of brain-disabling treatments. Most recent formulation in P. Breggin, Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Second Edition (2008).
*Published Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime (2008), the first book to bring together more than 50 in depth cases demonstrating medication-induced severely abnormal mental states and behaviors.
*Testified before the U. S. House of Representatives Hearings on the Dangers of Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs (especially antidepressants) to Active Duty Military Personnel (2010) and continue to work with military advocates and to present at military stress conferences on protecting our soldiers from psychiatric abuse.
*Started a new psychiatric reform organization with an annual Empathic Therapy Conference (2010-2011) (www.empathictherapy.org).
While many of these critiques and reform projects was initially considered highly controversial, and while each was frequently opposed by organized psychiatry, most are now accepted as rational and ethical by medicine in general. Here are some examples:
*Psychosurgery is no longer widely practiced in the United States and not at all in state or federal institutions or on children in the US
*The multi-agency federal research program aimed at using invasive procedures on inner-city child was disbanded and never revived
*The federally sponsored conference on the genetics of violence was delayed and then vastly modified, and eugenic psychiatry has not recovered since my campaign.
*All experts now recognize the dangers of tardive dyskinesia in children
*An NIH Consensus Development Conference confirmed the controversy surrounding ADHD and stimulant medication
*Many researchers have confirmed that the neuroleptic drugs produce dementia
*The FDA and experienced doctors now recognize the potential for dangerous withdrawal effects from the SSRIs
*All FDA-approved labels for antidepressant drugs now carry warnings about drug-induced abnormal mental states and behaviors that read like my books and scientific articles that first began appearing a decade earlier;
*Recent NIMH sponsored research has once again confirmed opinions that I expressed starting decades earlier that stimulants used in the treatment of ADHD are ineffective and cause the suppression of growth in children and youth.
*Recent scientific research from within the ECT establishment has confirmed my observations beginning in 1979 that ECT causes lasting brain damage and dementia. In 2011 the FDA finally reclassified ECT machines so that testing for FDA approval of safety and efficacy is now required for the first time.