Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Medication Madness

Medication Madness

A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-Altering Medications

Peter R. Breggin, M.D.

St. Martin's Press




Medications for everything from depression and anxiety to ADHD and insomnia are being prescribed in alarming numbers across the country, but the "cure" is often worse than the original problem. Medication Madness is a fascinating, frightening, and dramatic look at the role that psychiatric medications have played in fifty cases of suicide, murder, and other violent, criminal, and bizarre behaviors.

As a psychiatrist who believes in holding people responsible for their conduct, the weight of scientific evidence and years of clinical experience eventually convinced Dr. Breggin that psychiatric drugs frequently cause individuals to lose their judgment and their ability to control their emotions and actions. Medication Madness raises and examines the issues surrounding personal responsibility when behavior seems driven by drug-induced adverse reactions and intoxication.

Dr. Breggin personally evaluated the cases in the book in his role as a treating psychiatrist, consultant or medical expert. He interviewed survivors and witnesses, and reviewed extensive medical, occupational, educational and police records. The great majority of individuals lived exemplary lives and committed no criminal or bizarre actions prior to taking the psychiatric medications.

Medication Madness reads like a medical thriller, true crime story, and courtroom drama; but it is firmly based in the latest scientific research and dozens of case studies. The lives of the children and adults in these stories, as well as the lives of their families and their victims, were thrown into turmoil and sometimes destroyed by the unanticipated effects of psychiatric drugs. In some cases our entire society was transformed by the tragic outcomes.

Many categories of psychiatric drugs can cause potentially horrendous reactions.

Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Xanax, lithium, Zyprexa and other psychiatric medications may spellbind patients into believing they are improved when too often they are becoming worse. Psychiatric drugs drive some people into psychosis, mania, depression, suicide, agitation, compulsive violence and loss of self-control without the individuals realizing that their medications have deformed their way of thinking and feeling.

This book documents how the FDA, the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry have over-sold the value of psychiatric drugs. It serves as a cautionary tale about our reliance on potentially dangerous psychoactive chemicals to relieve our emotional problems and provides a positive approach to taking personal charge of our lives.


Medication Madness

Chapter 1
Killing the Pain--and Almost the Cop
IF HARRY HENDERSON had been able to reflect on his behavior at the time, his mission would have seemed tragically and senselessly absurd--something...


Praise for Medication Madness

“Following his landmark book Talking Back to Prozac, psychiatrist Breggin follows up by arguing against what he calls the 'spellbinding' effects of psychiatric medications, and he doesn't mean 'spellbinding' as praise. His point is that all psychiatric drugs are dangerous; he describes how these medications can compromise brain function, resulting in bizarre, even violent behavior. Breggin, a former staffer at the National Institute of Mental Health who has testified in liability suits against pharmaceutical companies, cautions that consumers should thoroughly examine the drug labels for side effects as a precaution for such drugs as stimulants, antidepressants, tranquilizers, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. The tragic cases of beleaguered patients detailed here are troubling. Breggin joins the growing group of experts who argue that the FDA is 'more dedicated to serving the drug companies than consumers,' relying on doctored or incomplete evidence and botched tests. Breggin's assertion that psychotropic drugs induce rather than treat brain imbalances is controversial, but this book is a reasoned look at these drugs, which have come under increasing scrutiny in the media as well as medical world.” —Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Peter R. Breggin, M.D.

Peter R. Breggin, M.D., is a psychiatrist and expert in clinical psychopharmacology. He has been in private practice for four decades and has written dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty books, including Toxic Psychiatry, Talking Back to Prozac, and Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry. He has served as a medical expert in many criminal and civil cases, including product-liability suits against the manufacturers of such psychiatric drugs as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax, Ritalin, Risperdal and Zyprexa. Over the past twenty-five years, many of Dr. Breggin's initially controversial observations on the harmfulness of psychiatric drugs to the brain and mind have been confirmed by the FDA and by other scientists.

Harvard-trained and a former full-time consultant at NIMH, Dr. Breggin founded the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry ( and is on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He has taught at numerous universities including Johns Hopkins and George Mason and is a Life Member of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Breggin's views have been widely covered in the media including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time and Newsweek and he has been interviewed on Oprah, Larry King Live, Nightline, Hannity and Colmes, 20/20 and 60 Minutes. He lives in the Finger Lakes Region with his wife Ginger and practices psychiatry in Ithaca, New York.

Peter R. Breggin M.D.

© Ginger Breggin

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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