The Biggest Lie of All about Psychiatric Drugs


In January 1999, a young woman was pushed off a subway platform in New York City and killed.  The perpetrator was identified in the press as a mental patient who had stopped taking his drugs.  The Pharmaceutical Empire and organized psychiatry manipulated this horrendous event to stir up public fear of psychiatric patients who stop taking their drugs.  The result in New York State was Kendra’s law, making it easier to involuntarily treat patients who refuse to take their medication.

When “mental patients” become violent, the media reaction is almost automatic—they must have stopped taking their “meds.”  This myth of the violent patient controlled by psychiatric drugs is a myth.  There are no scientific studies to confirm it.  Indeed, the FDA has not approved any drugs as effective for controlling violence.   The Pharmaceutical Empire relentlessly perpetrates the big lie because it serves a trillion dollar purpose.  It keeps the public believing that psychiatric drugs are society’s last line of defense against violent individuals.  It also lends all psychiatric drugs an aura of magical effectiveness that none of them possess.

The Myth of “Off His Meds”

Although the myth of “off his meds” lacks any scientific basis, there is a mountain of evidence that many psychiatric drugs themselves can cause violence, including the antidepressants.   Many studies are readily available on my Antidepressant Resource Center, Section 5, “Antidepressant Violence, Aggression, Hostility, Irritability and Antisocial Behavior.”   In addition, my book Medication Madness: the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime, summarizes the evidence and presents many true stories about drug-induced violence from my clinical and forensic experience as a psychiatrist.

The media and its consultants from the Pharmaceutical Empire continue to argue that psychiatric drugs do not cause violence.  On the 10th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy, USA Today caught the nation up on the “truth” about the motives of the perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.  The newspaper stated unequivocally, “Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren’t on antidepressant medication.”

Columbine School Shooters and Antidepressants

Actually, USA Today was not telling the truth.  The fact is that Harris was taking the antidepressant Luvox (fluvoxamine) right up until the shooting.  Luvox is very similar to Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and others called serotonin specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

As a medical expert in cases related to Eric Harris, I had access to his medical records.  The records show that his doctor prescribed him progressively larger doses of Luvox for one year prior to the day he committed mass murderer.  During that year on Luvox, he developed his first known violent and psychotic feelings.  Furthermore, the toxicology report based on blood samples from his autopsy showed that he had a “therapeutic” level of the drug in his blood.  This demonstrated that he had taken the psychiatric drug shortly before his death and had an active amount in his system at the time of the shootings.

I wrote to USA Today to correct the facts, and cited the toxicology report and a drug company report to the FDA confirming it. The newspaper never answered me or printed a retraction.

Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal Reactions

When patients do become much more overtly disturbed when stopping their drugs, it is typically the result of a withdrawal reaction.  One of my most successful malpractice suits in which I consulted and testified resulted in an $11.9 million verdict for the family of the deceased.

The case was based upon the death of a prisoner whose antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine) had been stopped on admission to jail, resulting in a withdrawal reaction over several days that made him too disturbed to communicate.  The jail doctor, without asking how long the inmate had been off his Paxil, restarted him on 30 mg.

The patient had been taking that dose for several years; but his body was no longer accustomed to it.  If the doctor wished his patient to resume Paxil, he should have gradually raised his dose to re-accustom his body and brain to it.

After the first dose, the patient killed himself, probably from a combination of withdrawal and acute toxicity.  His method of suicide was extremely painful and violent toward himself, which commonly occurs in antidepressant-induced suicides (see my Antidepressant Resource Center Section 2C for research papers).

How to Reduce Violence

If we want to reduce violence the answer is not more psychiatric drugging, but less. Forcing patients to take drugs results in their stopping them secretly without proper clinical supervision and the support of a social network.

Imagine running an industry where you can force people to use your products—even if the products are poisonous neurotoxins.  Imagine convincing people that they are indispensable to a smooth-running society.  Imagining getting the government to enforce your profit-making goals of turning people into consumers whether they want your products or not?

Well, all that has now happened.  It is time to stop it. A population with far fewer drugged citizens will be a far safer and healthier society.

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Peter R. Breggin, MD
Psychiatrist at Peter R. Breggin MD
Peter R. Breggin, MD, has been called “The Conscience of Psychiatry” for his many decades of successful efforts to reform the mental health field.  His scientific and educational work has provided the foundation for modern criticism of psychiatric drugs and ECT, and leads the way in promoting more caring and effective therapies.  He has authored dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty books including the bestseller Talking Back to Prozac (1994, with Ginger Breggin), Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime (2008), and Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: a Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families (2013).
VIEW DR. BREGGIN’S RESUME, including his bibliography, scientific papers, accomplishments, and list of trials in which he has testified as a medical expert. Go to

  • wakeup

    Please expose directed energy weapons and V2K. These weapons used remotely need to be know that they cause victims to appear to have mental issues.

  • Fear is a contagion by which the mind operates against Life under the masking ‘belief’ – or the defence – of protection from exposure in the feared true.
    This ‘fear-evasion’ runs our mind and our lives unless it becomes conscious – which it is designed to defend against. But only conscious beliefs can be recognized AS beliefs and released or re-aligned to true of being.
    The mind of guilt projects itself away as if to ‘get rid of it’ – and so seeks the invalidity, error and sin on the other so as to seem ‘justified’ or powerful. Agreement and alliance in such ‘power and protection’ is society as a mask – laid upon relationship as a communication. And so the communication is suppressed, conformed and sacrificed to a sick society founded in fear and guilt that has been given power of belief and investment by the force of its defence.
    Reintegrating to true being is the recognition and release of the false – not by force – but as a result of a real relationship. Our relations in the world are one and the same as our relations within. Opening in self-honesty to that we are as we are is the step through which a curiosity as to why we choose our part in setting up our relational experience – can move as a spontaneity of our desire rather than a pre-set fear-framed strategy of ‘surviving’ under struggle and dilemma. The ‘movement of our being’ rises naturally to awareness when the thought that suppresses, subverts and usurps it, is recognized as unwanted and released. Merely asserting a negative value and seeking to deny it – is the way to keep it hidden – but no less active.

    Whatever the state or condition of your life at this time – it is the material with which you work – but not necessarily in the terms you judge. Judgement is divisive and rejecting – where a true discernment alights in the worthy and the valued – within ourself – seen in another and in our world. Guilt is judgement of rejection and invalidation that attracts ‘punishment’ as the de-facto interpretation of a mind predicted upon guilt. This ‘mind’ is not the basis from which to act or make decisions. pause this mind an instant and feel in simple willingness for the true movement of your being – for you are whole – regardless the fragmenting conflicts of mind and emotion – and their physical reinforcements.

  • Kitty

    Over prescribing of all types of meds is alarmingly high. The media twists everything for profits and people live in a pseudo reality because of it. It’s also alarming how most people never question anyone and so quick to believe those who act with supposed superior knowledge. My daughter was on meds for bipolar and schizophrenia and after 4 months of these horribly expensive and mind altering drugs removed herself and 5 years later after counseling and working through it all, she’s functioning quite normally. What a mess psychiatric medicine is.

  • don

    I picked up the book, “You are the Placebo” and it points out that thought can heal illness. If you take a pill regardless of what it is, may just heal you simply because of your belief processes.

  • Sandra Villarreal

    I experienced the worst mental torture during my Klonopin cold-turkey withdrawal after 10+ years of prescriptions that I’ve ever experienced in all 58 years on this Planet, followed by Trazodone, Effexor & Lithium cold-turkey withdrawals after being drugged for 35 years that I read about myself on every page in ‘Medication Madness’. Need I say more. God Bless you for being my voice after being ‘silenced’. Psychiatry truly has no idea just how we suffer at their hands. It’s tragic the Hippocratic Oath doesn’t apply to Psychiatry – First Do No Harm. Because we suffer relentlessly and needlessly. And no, there is NO ONE to help us. NO ONE CARES, and I’d like to know why.

    • Christa Leone

      Unfortunately, very few medical schools still have graduates take the Hippocratic Oath. Many have written their own oaths and the most popular Lasagna Oath has no prohibition against abortion and no promise by the physician that they will “do no harm” or never give a “lethal medicine.”

  • Mm Eeee

    Funny, the violence supposedly caused by these drugs seems to be mostly in the usa even though huge numbers of people in other western countries take them, now why is that I wonder?

  • NeverForget

    I just choose to believe that the wonderful FDA, CDC and many other kind and caring government agencies will do their best to protect us poor uninformed citizens from dangerous drugs and ensure we only have good safe medicine made by the benevolent hands of philanthropist leaders at pharmaceutical companies.