Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How And Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications

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9780738201849: Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How And Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications
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Well over ten million Americans are prescribed a psychiatric medication annually, for symptoms as varied as headache and insomnia to depression and various psychiatric disorders. Unbelievably, many of these drugs have not been formally tested to treat the problems for which they have been prescribed. Scientifically documenting the need for an end to this vicious cycle of inadequate approval, mis-medication, and irresponsible inattention to adverse side effects, Breggin and Cohen advocate compassionate and non-toxic therapies, and offer readers a roadmap for sensible, safe withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.Whether the drug is a sleeping pill, tranquilizer, stimulant, antidepressant, mood stabilizer, or antipsychotic, Your Drug May Be Your Problem reveals its documented withdrawal symptoms, demonstrating what many doctors don't know, understand, or consider: withdrawal symptoms often mimic the symptoms for which a person has been medicated in the first place, a fact that frequently prompts doctors to mistakenly re-medicate their patients at even higher doses. Armed with this essential background information, readers will then be able to choose for themselves when and how to withdraw from psychiatric drugs. Groundbreaking and empowering, Your Drug May Be Your Problem offers readers what they have long sought—a medically and psychologically sound program for freeing themselves from psychiatric drugs, emphasizing throughout the importance for patients to keep control over the withdrawal process.

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Review:

Psychiatric drugs are prescribed to more than 20 million Americans. This book aims to convince us to stop taking these drugs, and to show us how to do it safely. The authors contend that after 15 minutes with a physician or psychiatrist, Americans are prescribed medications that we may take for years or a lifetime, which can do more harm than good. We're irritable, anxious, emotionally numbed, physically fatigued, and mentally dulled. Yet when we stop taking the drugs, we encounter a whole new set of problems and setbacks.

The book lists the adverse medical reactions you may encounter, plus additional personal, psychological, and philosophical reasons for limiting or rejecting psychiatric drugs. About half the book covers withdrawing from your drug--how to do it carefully and slowly, what to expect, and how to get help--with specifics for certain drugs and a chapter on easing your child off them as well.

If you suffer from depression or another condition that warrants taking prescription drugs, you might refute the authors' contention that "the degree to which we suffer indicates the degree to which we are alive. When we take drugs to ease our suffering, we stifle our psychological and spiritual life." Certainly it would be lovely if we could "find a way to untangle that twisted energy and to redirect it more creatively," but is this really possible in all cases? The authors blame our dependence on drugs and psychiatry on big pharmaceutical-company bucks, psychiatric organizations, and even government agencies. Certainly we are an overmedicated society--but is the answer to take everyone off drugs? This provocative book says yes, and it's bound to be controversial.

Of course, do not go off any prescribed medication without working closely with the medical professional who prescribed it, and do not use this book as a substitute for professional help. --Joan Price

About the Author:

Peter R. Breggin, M.D., is the author of a dozen books, including Talking Back to Prozac and The Antidepressant Factbook . He lives in Ithaca, New York.

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