Psychiatrist Peter Breggin Keynoted at PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Conference
08/18/2010

Peter R. Breggin, M.D. was the keynote speaker at the 2010 PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Education and Awareness Conference in Charleston, West Virginia, focusing on the hazards of psychiatric drugs.

Online PR News – 18-August-2010 – – Author and psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, M.D. was the keynote speaker at the 2010 PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Education and Awareness Conference in Charleston, West Virginia. Dr. Breggin’s presentation focused on the hazards of prescribing psychiatric drugs, especially antidepressants and psychiatric polydrug prescriptions to active duty military personnel and veterans.

He stated that many soldiers during and after their deployment suffer from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and emphasized that PTSD is actually the normal human reaction of soldiers who have been exposed to combat.

Dr. Breggin indicated that many symptoms of PTSD involve a state of hyper-arousal with anxiety, insomnia, irritability, anger, and emotional instability. The antidepressant drugs frequently cause a very similar spectrum of adverse effects, compounding and worsening the soldiers' natural reactions to trauma. He urged the military service providers present to continue the development of more human service oriented approaches for soldiers in distress--a theme that was repeated by others throughout the conference.

Biological psychiatry, unlike medicine in general, tends to make people worse, according to Dr. Breggin. He said, “In my clinical practice, I often remove patients from psychiatric drugs. The process can be hazardous, especially if the individual has been exposed for many months or years, and should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision. But despite the difficulty involved in withdrawing some patients, in my clinical experience almost everyone does better off psychiatric drugs than on them, especially when they are offered empathic therapy by a caring and experienced professional, he concluded.” Dr. Breggin’s most recent book is Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime.

All classes of psychiatric drugs can cause grave difficulties including SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. The so-called antipsychotics are another especially dangerous class including Abilify, Clozaril, Geodon, Invega, Risperdal, Seroquel, Symbyax (combined Zyprexa and Prozac) and Zyprexa. Stimulant drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse among others, and sedative, hypnotic and anxiolytic drugs (tranquilizers and sleeping pills) can also cause difficulties, especially when mixed with other psychiatric drugs. None of these drugs are without possible dangerous adverse effects and blunt the brain, judgment, and response time.

The conference was sponsored by Care-Net, a branch of the state Council of Churches, at the Blessed John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston, along with “Lest We Forget,” a PTSD Family & Military Support created by Tom and Diane Vande Burgt. The Vande Burgts were responsible for putting Dr. Breggin in touch with Care-Net representative Rev. Ricardo Flippin, himself a veteran.

Dr. Breggin spoke about the new Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy and several of the organizers and attendees expressed an interest in attending the first Empathic Therapy Conference, April 8-10, 2011 in Syracuse, NY. “We are just delighted to have made so many new friends and met so many colleagues who share our concerns for our brave men and women of the military,” said Ginger Breggin, Executive Director of the Empathic Therapy Center and wife of Dr. Breggin. She concluded, “You can reach us at our website, http://www.empathictherapy.org.”