Archive for August 2019

This open  mic Wednesday, which is always the last show of the month, turned into an extraordinary interview with my first caller.  I began the hour talking about the importance of self-determination, autonomy, independence, personal sovereignty and the dreadful “R—Word,” responsibility.   I described how all of us are tempted to let others take over at times while we lapse into some degree of helplessness .  I outlined the potentially deadly results when psychiatry takes over for people who feel or act helpless.   Then Julie called in and told the story of how she was taken over by psychiatry, put on drugs for decades, and finally developed kidney disease from lithium but was lied to about it.  But Julie is a powerful being and she managed to throw off the disabling impact of psychiatry suppress and to begin rebuilding her life.  Her story of retaking control of herself fit seamlessly into my introduction about taking charge of one’s own life. The conversation between Julie and me provides a marvelous opportunity to see with dramatic clarity the harm that psychiatry does in robbing people of their sense of personal sovereignty and free will—and how individuals can nonetheless find their own power, throw off the yoke, and begin to build lives for themselves.  A very strong hour!

A kind, gentle and thoughtful conversation with Beatrice Birch, an art therapist who founded Inner Fire, a non-drug, small residential “proactive healing community” in Vermont.  Her program’s mere existence makes me hopeful!   Beatrice has a caring, spiritual approach based on love which is, I am sure, the heart of healing.   She leaves behind the psychiatric framework, identifying participants as “guides” and “seekers.”  True healing comes through loving, healing relationships which by their very nature are health-giving to all involved, including those who offer and those who seek help.  She works with a psychiatrist to help her "seekers" withdraw from psychiatric drugs, relying on a variety of alternative approaches.   Her comparisons between drug therapy and true healing are worth listening to on this Dr. Peter Breggin Hour. 

This the 4th appearance of journalist and scientist Patrick Hahn on the Dr. Peter Breggin Hour.  He is an extraordinary analyst of the history of psychiatry and its current manifestations.  His new book, Madness and Genetic Determinism has a much broader and more dramatic sweep than the title suggests.  We talk about the era of Moral Therapy, Fried Fromm-Reichmann and Chestnut Lodge, and Loren Mosher’s Soteria House, as well as the utter failure of psychiatric genetics.  This is a show that anyone will enjoy and learn from about the good and the bad in psychiatry.

Scientist Thomas Moore joins me to talk about psychiatric drugs both in a very general way about why they do so little good and so much harm, and in very specific ways about drugs that affect the neurotransmitter GABA including Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta, as well as Lyrica and Neurontin and all the benzodiazepines.  Find out if there is such a thing as sleep driving and sleep sex caused by Ambien and similar drugs. If you or a loved one are taking these sedative drugs for sleep or anxiety or other purposes, this discussion may provide you information that you can usefully pursue further.   A valuable hour!

On Open Mic Wednesday, always the last Wednesday of the Month, I spend the first 15 minutes talking about suffering in relationship to love.   I spoke off the “top of my head” and the “bottom of my heart.”  Then I talked with six interesting callers about difficult matters in life such as recovery from medication injury, psychiatric drug withdrawal, how to help a grown son who stopped years of psychiatric drugs all at once, and how to help a fifteen year old son who has been hospitalized and heavily medicated.  It may help you think about how to talk with people in difficult psychiatric situations.


The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour
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