Selected scientific papers
This section contains a selection of Dr. Breggin's scientific articles spanning 1964 to the present. They can be arranged chronologically in order to facilitate an overview of his work over the years.
"Empathic Self-Transformation and Love in Individual and Family Therapy." The Humanistic Psychologist, 27:267-282, 1999.
Lobotomies: an alert (1972) 02/01/1972
"Lobotomies: An Alert." (letter) American Journal of Psychiatry 129:98-99, 1972.
"Neuropathology and Cognitive Dysfunction from ECT." Psychopharmacology Bulletin 22:476-479, 1986.
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 literature and clinical experience, the author describes the syndrome of Chronic Brain Impairment (CBM) which can be caused by any trauma to the brain including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and long-term exposure to psychiatric medications. Knowledge of the syndrome should enable clinicians to more easily identify long-term adverse effects caused by psychiatric drugs while enabling researchers to approach the problem with a more comprehensive understanding of the common elements of brain injury as they are manifested after long-term exposure to psychiatric medications. Treatment options are also discussed.
Electroshock therapy and brain damage: the acute organic brain syndrome as treatment (1984) 01/01/1984
"Electroshock Therapy and Brain Damage: The Acute Organic Brain Syndrome as Treatment." Behavior and Brain Sciences 7:24-25, 1984.
What cost leukotomy? 01/01/1983
"What Cost Leukotomy?" (letter) American Journal of Psychiatry 140:1101, 1983.
"Campaigns against racist federal programs by the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology." Journal of African American Men 1:No. 3, 3-22. Winter 1995/96.
"What Psychologists and Psychotherapists Need to Know About ADHD and Stimulants." Changes: An International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, 18:13-23, Spring 2000.
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 the machines as posing “an unreasonable risk of illness or injury”, which would have required their testing before approval. Without requiring this testing, the FDA is now preparing to classify the treatment and the machines as safe. This article reviews evidence demonstrating that ECT is very harmful to the brain and mind, and concludes that the FDA should demand the usual testing, starting with animals, that is required before psychiatric treatments and machines are approved for marketing and use.
"Empowering Social Work in the Era of Biological Psychiatry." (2001) [The annual Ephraim Lisansky ecture of the University of Maryland School of Social Work.] Ethical Human Sciences and Services, :197-206.