by Peter Breggin
October 14, 2013
What’s going on in America? From the government shutdown to violence in DC perpetrated by out-of-control citizens, we seem to be moving toward chaos.
As a psychiatrist, I have documented that psychiatric drugs, especially antidepressants, frequently cause or exacerbate bizarre and violent behavior. The mass murderer at the US Naval Yard had been taking the antidepressant trazodone since August 23, 2013, with a refill on August 28 – 19 days before he went berserk. The woman with her child in the car who was shot after driving into the White House barriers was recently in psychiatric treatment for depression and reportedly had been hospitalized and discharged on Risperdal and Lexapro. The Aurora movie theater mass murderer had prescription bottles for the antidepressant Zoloft and the benzo tranquilizer Klonopin in his apartment.
But something much larger and even more menacing than taking psychiatric drugs is going on in the nation. Indeed, why would tens of millions of people take these drugs in the first place? Why would they give them so freely to their elderly parents and to their children?
The nation has no direction. We have lost our way. Our values have tanked. We no longer treasure the key combination of freedom and responsibility.
This country was built on the principles of freedom and responsibility. The Founders believed that a Republic of equal citizens could not be sustained unless the citizens were educated to live by moral principles and personal responsibility. As I describe in my book, Wow I’m an American: How to Live Like Our Nation’s Heroic Founders, every Founder, including skeptical scientist Ben Franklin and secular humanist Thomas Jefferson, believed that a Higher Power was active in their lives. George Washington was certain that the War of Independence could not have been won without divine intervention and his life is a magnificent demonstration of devotion to higher principles.
Every signer of the Declaration of Independence knew that he was in grave danger of being shot or hanged. They meant it when they gravely signed their names beneath their concluding statement: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
You don’t have to believe in God, but you must have serious and meaningful Higher Purposes in order to manage your darker emotions, and to live a loving, fulfilling and sane life. Your higher purposes can draw on religion or spirituality; they can be rooted in personal responsibility and political freedom; they can be based upon generosity and love for others; they can be expressed through devotion to family life or useful work – or all of these greater purposes; but in order to live good lives we must believe in something greater than ourselves and in purposes that contribute to others and to idealistic goals.
Even as the war dragged on perilously for year upon year, not one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence ever reneged and sought refuge with the British. As my book observes, none came out richer after the revolution, and some lost everything. Where is this kind of honor and devotion to higher purposes among current American politicians and leadership?
America is losing the common set of values for which our Founders risked and sacrificed their lives. Many Americans today have little or no idea about them. If American does not begin to educate and encourage its people to admire and pursue their Founding values, it will not flourish. Eventually it will decay. If the seemingly growing chaotic and out-of-control behavior has an ultimate cause, it is the collapse of basic American values.
In Wow, I’m an American! I offer a basic summary of Primary Principles which I believe are consistent with our Founding values and which provide the bulwark for a successful and principled life:
Take responsibility at all times
Express gratitude for every gift and opportunity
Become a source of love.
Originally Published in Natural News.