Dr. Peter Breggin, MD is a bit of an unusual psychiatrist in that he is critical of the drugs which psychiatrists routinely prescribe. I must state from the outset that I am not a fan of the mental health professions. I have had fairly negative experiences with them. While I do not doubt that there are well-meaning people in the professions, I am alarmed at the high rates at which doctors medicate their patients. As a teacher, I have at least three students who, were they in a school in North America, would likely be on Ritalin or some other medication. Here, they are not.
Dr. Breggin is not surprised that the Fort Hood shooter was a psychiatrist. According to him, many psychiatrists today are no longer interested in talking with their patients and doing psychotherapy in the traditional manner. Rather, they are more interested in medicating their patients.
“Modern psychiatry is not about counseling and empowering people. It’s about controlling and suppressing them, and that’s a dismal affair for patients and doctors alike. The armed forces have been taken in by the false claims of modern psychiatry.
“By contrast, it’s not depressing to do psychotherapy or counseling. As therapists, it’s inspiring when people entrust their feelings and their life stories to us. There is no burn out when therapists feel concern and empathy for their patients and help them to find the strength and direction to reclaim their lives.
“But being an ordinary psychiatrist is deadly depressing. Psychiatrists routinely commit spiritual murder by disregarding and suppressing their patients’ feelings and even their cognitive functions, making it impossible for them to conquer to their emotional struggles. It’s no wonder my colleagues have such high suicide and drug addiction rates.”
Dr. Breggin is basically critiquing how psychiatry is practiced in the US Armed Forces today. You can read the rest of it here.
As an addendum, you might enjoy his piece on the dangers of psychiatric diagnosis.