Details for TBI, PTSD, and Psychiatric Drugs: A Perfect Storm for Aberrant States
NameTBI, PTSD, and Psychiatric Drugs: A Perfect Storm for Aberrant States

“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 prescription of psychiatric drugs to activity duty military personnel and to veterans. Until the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, soldiers were rarely if ever sent into combat while taking psychiatric drugs, but now it is commonplace, and may occur in 20% or considerably more of combat troops. Nearly all soldiers returning from combat with psychiatric diagnoses will be placed on multiple psychiatric drugs and maintained on them during treatment at the VA.

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Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems. In short, it is not only dangerous to start taking psychiatric drugs, it can also be dangerous to stop them. Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision. Methods for safely withdrawing from psychiatric drugs are discussed in Dr. Breggin's new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients, and Their Families.