Peter R. Breggin
Human beings are the most social and the most violent creatures on Earth. The combination of cooperation and aggression enabled us to dominate our ecosystem. However, the existence of violent impulses would have made it difficult or impossible for humans to live in close-knit families and clans without destroying each other. Nature’s answer was the development of guilt, shame and anxiety—internal emotional inhibitions or restraints specifically against aggressive self-assertion within the family and other close relationships.
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 individuals with built-in emotional restraints that reduced conflicts within their family and tribal unit, optimizing their capacity to survive and reproduce within the protection of their small, intimate societies, while maintaining their capacity for violence against outsiders. Unfortunately, these negative legacy emotions are rudimentary and often ineffective in their psychosocial and developmental function. As a result, they produce many unintended untoward effects, including the frequent breakdown of restraints in the family and the uninhibited unleashing of violence against outsiders.
Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 12, Number 2, 2010.
Peter R. Breggin, MD
The newer antidepressants frequently cause suicide, violence, and manic-like symptoms of activation or overstimulation, presenting serious hazards to active-duty soldiers who carry weapons under stressful conditions. These antidepressant-induced symptoms of activation can mimic posttraumatic stress disorder and are likely to worsen this common disorder in soldiers, increasing the hazard when they are prescribed to military personnel. Antidepressants should not be prescribed to soldiers during or after deployment.