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Toxic Psychiatry. Drugs and Electroconvulsive Therapy: The Truth and the Better Alternatives: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, ... Biochemical Theories of the New Psychiatry [Paperback]

Dorothy Rowe , Peter Breggin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
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Book Description

2 July 1993
One of America's most controversial writers in the field, Breggin, writes about the uses and abuses of electroconvulsive therapy and drug therapy in the USA, where such things are used as cure-alls. He details the success of "talking therapy", and other psychosocial interventions in helping people diagnosed by psychiatrists as schizophrenic, depressed, panic disordered, hyperactive, and learning disabled, and documents how many of these conditions can be healed through love, guidance, empathy, family therapy, rehabilitation and the teaching of coping skills. And how psychiatry, motivated by power and money, increasingly favours chemical and mechanistic interventions.

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Toxic Psychiatry. Drugs and Electroconvulsive Therapy: The Truth and the Better Alternatives: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, ... Biochemical Theories of the New Psychiatry + Doctoring the Mind: Why psychiatric treatments fail + The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
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Product details

  • Paperback: 578 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (2 July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000637803X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006378037
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent book that gives a refreshing perspective on psychiatric practice. Written by a psychiatrist, you can be sure that it is not just a political rampage but written by some who has insider knowledge of the practice, theory and ideology that surrounds psychiatry. Working in the mental health field myself, it confirms a lots of concerns I have had for many years, particularily in relation to drug treatments and the harmful implications of biological theories, here stressing the word theory! A fantastic read, but does leave you feeling somewhat disheartened when contemplating if change will ever be possible. With such as close relationship between the drug industry and psychiatry - would it ever be possible? This book is a must read for anyone wanting to or working in the mental health field to ensure the protection of people entering and using the mental health system. I would recommend this book to psychologists and social workers, who through working in community mental health teams, would be more informed to challenge the drug focused decisions of psychiatrists, particularily when mental distress relates to psychosocial problems.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By Ross
As a long term sufferer of mental illness, this book was like a light switch for me, explaining the long held feeling of powerlessness and invalidation I have experienced in being treated by psychiatrists and doctors. I had always wondered why it was that doctors would always dip straight into a drugs manual (normally published by a pharmaceutical company) to help me, when I was sitting there describing relationship and interpersonal difficulties. When their multiple antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug options did not work for me, they seemed to get irritated, sometimes angry. I was made to feel that I was making things up, being a hypchondriac. This meant I started to hide my feelings and symptoms even more. Then after finding a good, empathic therapist, I began to open up about the symptoms I have, stopped covering them up for fear of being made to feel a liar, and when I started to be honest it emerged that I have had a lifelong, serious mental illness, of PSYCHOSOCIAL origin, and that is known not to respond well to drug treatments, despite the list of neuroleptics, SSRI's and so on that are commonly given out for it despite poor results. I Am now getting the treatment I need, albeit privately - by pursung the NHS route I found myself caught ever deeper in a web of invalidation, sadness, frsutration and anger. Now that I have found an empathic therapist who listens to me and is brave enough to help me deal with my traumatic past, I am starting to heal. I have spoken with hundreds people in mental health forums who are experiencing the same sense of impotence, invalidation, self-blame and hopelessness in relying on psychiatry to help them, and who consistently begin to feel better when they find an empathic, understanding and courageous therapist to help them through their struggle. Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the sake of humanity 11 Mar 2012
Brilliant book. Everyone should read this and learn. Neuroleptic polypharmacy is a shocking truth practised in 'mental health care' in the UK and beyond. Do not use the term antipsychotic as it's a complete misnomer but the term; toxic clamp pill is more appropriate and understandable if you have any knowledge and experience of these horrific drugs. I have witnessed the terrible effects these drugs have had on my daughter (parkinson-type, dyskinesia, akathesia and metabolic complications) and the arrogance and denial of psychiatrists up close and personal. Educate yourself, remember knowledge is power, and combine this with a single minded determination to protect vulnerable loved ones in a time of need.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reveals the myths of modern psychiatry 19 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This is an excellent book it bravely stands up to the overwhelming propoganda of modern psychiatry, Breggin presents compelling evidence for his arguments against the "toxic" treatments inflicted on those unfortunate enough to come into contact with the psychiatric establishment.
I particularly liked his critical approach to genetic theories of mental illness, these types of theories have received a lot of attention and popular support, indeed when I was a psychiatric nursing student we were led to believe that it was a fact that schizophrenia was a genetic illness, when in fact there is no proof to support this theory.
So few people question the claims of the psychiatric establishment, we live in an age when anti-depressants such as Seroxat ( a sister drug to Prozac) are being prescribed for the relief of shyness! Breggin makes the point that bio-chemical quick fixes, far from being the panacea for all our mental/emotional afflictions may in fact be exacerbating these conditions and leading on to further mental decline, and that these drugs do indeed represent a toxic threat to our minds and bodies. His plea for a more compassionate system of care, based on empathy and understanding should be heeded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The title hits the nail on the head 8 Aug 2011
Breggin is one of the two most prominent heroes of the opposition to psychiatry movement, who has been campaigning against tortures in the name of psychiatry since the fifties of the twentieth century. This is probably his best-known book, which Jeffrey Masson rightly calls "an all-out attack".

What Breggin does best in this book is expose the truth about psychoactive drugs, and especially the neuroleptics (also called antipsychotics). Developed from dyes, these drugs were known to have horrible side effects from the beginning. Their inventors proudly proclaimed them to bring about a "chemical lobotomy" which was considered an endorsement of the drugs. Breggin points out that the so-called side effects are actually the main effects, and even the only effects. When early psychiatrists saw what today is called tardive dyskinesia (TD) - the movement disorders caused by these drugs - they took it as a sign that the drug was "working."

Breggin points out that such destructive drug effects would not be tolerated in people about whom somebody cares. Only because they are prescribed to society's cast-offs can physicians get away with it. Neuroleptic drugs are used wherever social control is at a premium: in psychiatric institutions, prisons, homes for problem children, nursing homes, and in the former USSR, on political dissidents.

Early psychiatrists who spread the use of these drugs were even more familiar with TD than today's psychiatrists, who routinely fail to recognize it, or attribute it to the condition being treated.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very dated
This book might have justified a 4- or 5-star rating... had I read it a quarter of a century ago when it was published. Read more
Published 2 months ago by SAP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described. .. bargain. Thanks
Published 2 months ago by laura balderstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Toxic Psychiatry - The truth
Yet another excellent book by Peter R Breggin MD. about the dreadful effects of the use of antipsychotics or neuroleptics drugs, antidepressants, stimulants, minor tranquillizers... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Carla Carmichael Homeopathy
4.0 out of 5 stars Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the...
I enjoyed this book although it was a lot of information to take in. I felt it give me a lot of insight into Psychiatry and a new perspective.
Published on 16 May 2011 by Joy Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable but biased
A very readable book and interesting to see psychiatry from another perspective. However, Breggin does present a very biased picture when it comes to the "evidence" he discusses. Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
Toxic psychiatry was one of the first books I read about the world of psychiatry and psychiatric medication. Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2005 by andersen.counselling@virgin.net
5.0 out of 5 stars Dealing with Family Drug Abuse
I have been struggling with the effects of phychiatric drugs over the past several years with a niece on Ritalin, a brother on Prozac, and my father taking Thorazine. Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Breggin lacks scientific evidence to support his views... It is these kind of opinions which create the stigma associated with mental illness! Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2001
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