Never again! The real history of psychiatry— by Dr. Peter Breggin, psychiatrist

There have been recent calls for a national Mental Health Registry, and then additional calls to link such a registry to gun licensing. In the dreadful wake of Newtown, both the left and the right and the current US federal administration are demanding that we tighten mental health statutes to make it easier and even mandatory for health care providers including psychiatrists and psychotherapists to incarcerate people on suspicion of perpetrating violence.

In a recent blog, I evaluated all the ways psychiatry and individual psychiatrists already have too much authority to lock up American citizens. I’ve pointed out how ineffective that power has proven in preventing violence.

Chemical fix not the answer to all behavioral problems

When all of the rhetoric is stripped away, what psychiatrists have actually done is redefine a set of behavioral characteristics as an illness and drugged it. The expensive chemicals given to those labelled with ADHD produce nullifying effects that are hailed as “demonstrably effective.” What is actually happening is the person has been drugged, and is exhibiting the effects of a dangerous mind-altering foreign substance in his or her body.

How Big Pharma and the Psychiatric Establishment Drugged Up Our Kids

In his book Psychiatryland, psychiatrist Phillip Sinaikin recounts reading a scientific article in which it was debated whether a three-year-old girl who ran out into traffic had oppositional-defiant disorder or bipolar disorder, the latter marked by “grandiose delusions” that she was special and cars could not harm her.1

How did the once modest medical specialty of child psychiatry become the aggressive “pediatric psychopharmacology” that finds ADHD, pediatric conduct disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia, anxiety, sleep disorders, borderline disorders, assorted “spectrum” disorders, irritability, aggression, pervasive development disorders, personality disorders, and even schizophrenia under every rock? And how did this branch of psychiatry come to find the answer to the “psychopathologies” in the name of the discipline itself: pediatric psychopharmacology? Just good marketing. Pharma is wooing the pediatric patient because that’s where the money is. Just like country and western songs about finding love where you can when there is no love to be found at home. Pharma has stopped finding “love” in the form of the new blockbuster drugs that catapulted it through the 1990s and 2000s. According to the Wall Street Journal, new drugs made Pharma only $4.3 billion in 2010 compared with $11.8 billion in 2005—a two-thirds drop