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Peter R. Breggin, MD
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Takes a fresh new approach to American history that will give you a deeper appreciation of the people who founded our nation and how to apply their beliefs to your everyday life.
William Glasser, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory, Los Angeles, California

I have read the book and enjoyed it. It ties it all together as a sort of "primer" on the founders, their sacrifices and what they bequeathed to us and makes clear that now it's up to us. A good message on our heritage, our luck in being born here and the need to take responsibility for our own lives, happiness and futures. A good Christmas present for teens and anyone who hasn't studied or would like to refamiliarize himself with our heritage and the giants that created this country.
           David Keene, Chairman, the American Conservative Union

You've re-inspired my sense of Patriotism along with the dignity and vision of the birth of this nation. I love how you carry forward the dream of freedom, love and responsibility. This book so beautifully weaves the greatness of these exceptional qualities into the texture of our shared history and the magnitude of how these Founding qualities inform and call us in the present. Thank you Dr Breggin!
Howard Glasser, psychologist and best-selling author of Transforming the Difficult Child—The Nurtured Heart Approach

As a historian, I admire Peter Breggin’s insight into the American past. As a parent, I am grateful for his wisdom about how to communicate with children. Wow, I’m an American! teaches a lesson that is as old as the Greeks and as astute as the Constitution: education in freedom and responsibility is the bedrock of a republic. If you want one book that explains for the whole family what America is all about, look no further.
Barry Strauss, Ph.D., author of The Spartacus War and Professor of History and Classics, Cornell University


When I teach the history of American journalism, my students often don’t appreciate what the founders accomplished in creating a nation of principles and ideals.  Peter Breggin’s book describes the magic and majesty of what the founders did for us. An inspiring book that my family, including my 16-year-old daughter, enjoyed.
Christopher Harper, Associate Professor of Journalism, Temple University, and a former Washington correspondent for Newsweek

The man who taught us to be fully alive rather than deaden ourselves with psychiatric drugs, now goes a step further to teach us how to live as Americans. Breggin brings us to marvel at what our Founding Fathers accomplished and the guiding principles they followed. The principles of freedom, responsibility and love are not only the foundations of our great nation, but can become the foundations for each of our individual lives. How could we have forgotten that?  Breggin reminds us and inspires us in a most timely way.  I read this book at a time when I was facing an important career decision. It was perfect timing, as if guided by the invisible hand of God, which our founding fathers believed in and experienced. I made the choice that led me to the most freedom and independence, which in turn allows me to become a grateful source of love – read this book and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I want my children to read this and for it to be our dinnertime conversation for a long time to come.
Douglas C. Smith, M.D., psychiatrist, private practice, Juneau, Alaska; Commander, U.S. Public Health Service, retired.

Take it from an Australian who loves America:  This is a great primer on how to live like an American.  I often wish that my American friends had more appreciation for the basic values that make your country unique and great. This book fills that need. It's written so simply that a teenager with no background in history can grasp the principles of the Founding Fathers and it's written so originally that even an adult with more depth of historical knowledge should find it enlightening.  Its principles of freedom, responsibility and love can guide us both in our political thinking and in how we live our everyday lives.
Brian Kean, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Southern Cross University, Australia

Dr. Peter Breggin is one of the most amazing, wise and compassionate human beings I have ever known. … Peter is a warrior of course, but as his core he is fueled much more by love, kindness and a genuine compassion than anger.  Peter WANTS to help people, he LIVES to help people and that is the source of his power. 
Candace Pert, Ph.D., former Research Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of Molecules of Emotion

As the old saying goes, “You can fool a lot of people some of the time and some people a lot of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”  Peter’s writing, campaigning and his relentless desire to uncover the truth, to help people and not to give in to those would like to silence him, is a testament to the wisdom of this.
Sami Timimi, M.D., Visiting Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lincoln University in the United Kingdom; the author of several books, including Pathological Child Psychiatry

Peter Breggin is the conscience of American psychiatry! … In short, Peter Breggin has made a difference in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and mental health treatment.  He has made a difference to many patients whose treatment has been less destructive and more helpful, including thousands of people who would otherwise have been lobotomized, and to many more in creating hope that one can receive and once can practice treatments that actually help people.
Bertram Karon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University and author of The Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia

Every child needs a hero—a champion who will speak truth to power.  That hero is Peter Breggin.  When he writes on behalf of children and caring parents, the world should stand up and take notice.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Mason, Ph.D., former Projects Director of the Freud Archives and author of bestsellers about psychology and life including Dogs Never Lie About Love and When Elephants Weep

Peter Breggin has been at the forefront of presenting an alternative account of what psychiatric drugs do that helps to explode the myth that they act as disease-specific treatments and indicates the potential for harm that is an integral part of their action.  He has helped thousands of people with psychiatric problems to make a more informed choice about the treatment they are offered.
Joanna Moncrieff, M.D., Senior Lecturer in Social and Community Psychiatry, University College London, and the author of many scientific articles and books, her latest, The Myth of the Chemical Cure

In court, he answers from the witness box are clam, qualified, and above all abundantly clear. They are patently honest and impartial. They bear the stamp of reasoned authority and brave conviction. They reflect a broad and deep knowledge; but, even more important than that, they display the understanding that comes with wisdom and a deep respect for one’s fellow men.
M. N. G. Dukes, M.D., physician and lawyer, former Professor of Drug Policy at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, editor of international journals and books, and Senior Consultant on Drug Policy to the World Bank

Dr. Breggin’s work and his personal encouragement became a mainstay in the development of Pennsylvania’s responses to both federal legislation and the needs of individual with and without so-called disabilities… Every individual can represent the power of one to affect the lives of all.   William Penn, John Dewey, and Peter Breggin represent models who exemplify the ideological yet practical belief that the values of all matter.
James A. Tucker, Ph.D., McKee Chair of Excellence in Dyslexia and Associated Learning Exceptionalities, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Breggin’s books on the damage caused by electroshock and psychiatric drugs were decidedly different from those of Szasz, Goffman, and Laing in their specificity and concreteness. …  For this reason, his work probably has had more direct impact on the understanding and behavior of practitioners and patients, perhaps more than all the other theorists combined.
T. J. Scheff, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California-Santa Barbara

We will look to Peter Breggin as one of the real heroes of the struggle against falsehood and deceit in the field of mental health.
Pat Bracken, M.D., Professor, the Institute for Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom and Clinical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist, West Cork Mental Health Services, Ireland

Dr. Breggin’s ethical stance in the area of psychiatric treatment and human rights is virtually without peer in contemporary psychiatry.
Steve Baldwin, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, and then Professor of Psychology, Teeside University, England

I learned from reading Dr. Breggin’s work that it is just as important to study risk as it is to study benefit of psychotropic medication.  I learned that there are powerful corporate interests that might endeavor to keep such information under wraps if it threatens billions of dollars in generated revenue.  This experience led to a shift in my interests…
David Antonuccio, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada

I was struck by Peter’s adherence to true scientific principles, in marked contrast to the often-flawed science and logic that dominates mental health…My favorite is The Heart of Being Helpful.  I read this book in one sitting, such was the impact of Peter’s humanness, warmth and compassion on me…  Peter’s writing played a significant part in the emergence of the life I now live.  The pursuit of truth, and the integrity of truth are certainly worth the effort.
Terry Lynch, M.D., family doctor and psychotherapist, Limerick, Ireland, and the author of Beyond Prozac

Andrew Jackson said, “One man with courage makes a majority.”  How well that describes Peter.
Milton Shore, Ph.D., former editor of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry and former President of the American Orthopsychiatric Association; recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Professional Contributions.

It is my pleasure to have known Peter R. Breggin, M.D., for over twenty-five years both as a student and a colleague.  I do not exaggerate when I say that Peter Breggin was the brightest and most capable resident in the life of our residency program here at Upstate SUNY.  Even then he displayed the scholarship, erudition, and most of all, the unique sensitivity to human values so vital to our field.
Robert Seidenberg, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Syracuse, New York

Men like Peter Breggin are crucial to the survival of our culture, centered as they are on the oldest dictum of Medicine.  They illuminate and preserve the deepest elemental pieces of the human spirit.  I count it as one of the riches of my life to know and to have been guided by the first among them in Peter Breggin’s humanism in clinical science: They teach one to look deeper than the science and technology of medicine.
Robert Grimm, M.D., neurologist and educator, Portland, Oregon

Much of today’s psychiatric science is based on wish, myth, and politics.  Breggin addresses this self-serving pseudoscience head-on. 
Loren Mosher, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Former Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia, the National Institute of Mental Health

I had many cognitively lonely years until I heard about Peter Breggin and read his books.  I appreciate Peter’s courage.  His persistence and the kindred spirits that he and his wife Ginger attracted lifted my optimism and strengthened my belief that one day the ineffective mental illness professions will dissolve and be replaced by competent, effective, true mental health experts.
Al Siebert, Ph.D., Director, The Resilience Center in Portland, Oregon; author of The Survivor Personality, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back

As a result of Dr. Breggin’s scholarship, I train students differently than I would have if I had not had the benefit of his books such as Toxic Psychiatry, Reclaiming Our Children and Talking Back to Ritalin.  …In the absence of Dr. Breggin’s influence, many, many more children would be subjected to the negative and often devastating side of effects of psychotropic drugs. Dr. Breggin has courageously challenged an empire that is well funded and works hard to protect its hold on a practice that is such a disservice to so many children.  Peter, my personal and heartfelt thanks for being there for so many professionals, and so many children, adolescents and parents.  I know of no one who has been the kind of advocate he has been for so many who had no real voice.
Thomas Cushman, Ph.D., retired Professor and Past Chair of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at SUNY, Oswego.  In 2007-2008 he invited Dr. Breggin to teach as a Visiting Scholar in his department

Repeatedly, he has opened my eyes to the dangerous nonsense perpetrated by my own profession and others.
Thomas Greening, Ph.D., editor, Journal of Humanistic Psychology

Peter Breggin is the leading voice in this country exposing psychiatry’s betrayal of the most fundamental essence of what it means to be human.
Eileen Walkenstein, M.D., psychiatrist, author of many books, including Shrink to Fit

I want to write a few brief statements about the man who at first intellectually challenged me and later demonstrated what it mean to be a humanitarian, a teacher, a patriot and hero, and a scholar who could integrate spirituality and psychology/psychiatry. Thanks to Peter Breggin for helping me become a more intelligent, complete and wholly integrated human being.
Toby Tyler Watson, PsyD, Clinical and Doctoral Training Director at Associated Psychological Health Services in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and newly elected International Director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

If it were not for Dr. Breggin and his fine work, perhaps I would, myself, have gone crazy… I consider myself fortunate to be able to stand on the shoulders of this giant.
Stuart Shipko, M.D., psychiatrist, author of Surviving Panic Disorder, Pasadena, California

Dr. Breggin admirably walks the talk, at great personal and professional risk, truly embodying the spirit of the words of Mahatma Gandhi, another gentle warrior, “Be the change you want to see.”
Michael Corry, M.D., Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Ireland; Co-Founder, the Institute of Psychosocial Medicine; and co-author, Going Mad? Understanding Mental Illness

It is true that science and psychiatry have benefited enormously from Peter Breggin’s work.  Nevertheless so-called mentally ill people are undoubtedly the greatest beneficiaries of his work.  In fact Peter has greatly improved the quality of life of those “diagnosed” or labeled as mentally ill.  The fact that a great scientist like Peter has had the courage to speak the truth about psychiatric medication, changed the life of those imprisoned in what I call the new Chemical Asylum.
Alberto Fergusson, M.D., psychiatrist, Columbia, South America; President and Founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Accompanied Self-rehabilitation in Washington, DC

I could not believe that I was in the same room with all of these brilliant minds and deeply caring souls.  One thing was clear.  None of us could do our contributions, i.e., our books, our essays, or our articles, without the giant upon whose shoulders we stood, Peter Breggin.  …  We desperately needed his scholarship to help us with ours.
David Stein, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Longwood University, Farmington, Virginia and author of Ritalin Is Not the Answer

Peter Breggin, I salute you and applaud you for your courage, resilience, and insight as a researcher, practitioner, and leader of the movement for the humane, caring, and thoughtful treatment of the many human beings suffering with emotional conflicts.
Dominick Riccio, Ph.D., psychoanalyst and Director, the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

The brilliance of Peter’s work is that, if you open your mind and heart, he is simply clarifying what you should already have learned before graduating grade school, that, first, we are responsible for our behavior and, second, without love and empathy emotional survival is at risk.
Joseph Tarantolo, M.D., psychiatrist, Washington, DC, and Chairman of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

What a joy it has been to share these past two decades with Peter and all who have been involved in his saga of psychiatric reform!  He has undertaken his life’s work at great risk.  How many of us get to know a reformer of such importance who so generously shares his successes with his friends, and to whom all colleagues who seek truth and justice are friends?  There seem to be no limits to the numbers of persons who may bask in the light of Peter’s successes.
Lawrence A. Plumlee, M.D., former Assistant Professor of Behavioral Biology at Johns Hopkins and currently Editor, The Environmental Physician at the American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Dr. Breggin comes to his position through what I consider unusual clinical wisdom and a very careful scholarship.  As a reviewer of some of his publications, I can attest to his grasp of the psychiatric literature that is not exceeded by anyone I know.
Marvin Skolnick, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University

This visionary, Peter Breggin. He remains for us all the consummate role model of the Principled Professional, who has not tired of being the conscience of psychiatry and who in so many ways has inspired all of us to speak truth to power, even in the face of danger.
Nora Porter, M.D., mind/body medical practitioner in central Pennsylvania

Peter has been a friend, mentor, colleague and positive role model for me.  He is an energetic, intelligent, committed, passionate person with dignity, courage and integrity. He is a champion in the fight for children and others who have been harmed by the mental health system.  Peter, I thank you, deeply, appreciate you and honor you.  You have made the world a better place.
Michael Valentine, Ph.D., educator, school psychologist, family therapist, and author of How to Deal with Discipline Problems in School

Every time I speak on this subject I know in my heart I would not be able to do so if were not for Peter. I am sure there are hundreds of others like me who are “out there” being brave only because we were embolden and validated by Peter’s work.  Peter has protected countless children and adults through his groundbreaking work, and it has been a tremendous honor to have the privilege of knowing him.
Bob Jacobs, Ph.D., J.D., Manager, Education Team for the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disability

Probably, the best way to accurately present the way I see Peter Breggin is to repeat what Ty Colbert said in his wonderful book Broken Brains or Wounded Hearts.  Ty describes the three people that both he and I consider to be heroes in this field. The first, Philippe Pinel, in the early 17th Century, went into the horrible asylums in Paris, where he saw people in chairs, forgotten by the world. …The second hero in the field is Sigmund Freud. ….The third hero in this field is clearly Peter Breggin, a 20th and 21st century ultra professional who, like Pinel, got his real education in a state mental hospital, in Peter’s case as a Harvard undergraduate volunteer. …Thank God for this incredibly brave man who is my hero.
Lloyd Ross, Ph.D., National Director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, and a Founding Fellow of the American College of Advanced Practice Psychologists

I admit I like being linked with him.  He is mentor and peer.  I appreciate the opportunity to write about Breggin, especially since we share so many beliefs and because I have had the privilege to successfully implement our shared ideas with a most difficult population that has remained immune to traditional therapeutic techniques.
Thomas Edward Bratter, Ph.D., President of the John Dewey Academy in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and the author of many studies on how to help gifted, rebellious youngsters

Through some kind of primordial wisdom he has allowed himself to be driven by his awareness, his perception, his insight about the true, essential nature of human beings.
Al Galves, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of Lighten Up: Dance with Your Dark Side

The impact of Dr. Breggin’s work is immeasurable and will be felt for generations to come.  As a result of his compassion and perseverance there are many around the world who will continue to promote the ideals needed to strengthen families and communities and in the process reclaiming our youth and providing them an opportunity for childhood as it should be.
Michael C. Gilbert, PsyD, school psychologist and founder, It’s About Childhood & Family  

You are a beacon to me and to legions of others, giving us courage and lighting the way.  The world is a far better place for you being in it.  I have no doubt the impact of your positive presence will grow far larger as the broader populace comes to realize, “Dr. Breggin is right; he’s always been right.”  Most importantly, thank you for being you.  We love you.
James B. Gottstein, J.D., President, Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Alaska
 
Some day soon, the pendulum will swing back, and we’ll have an accurate assessment of just how toxic these so-called “antipsychotics” are.  … And when this glorious day does eventually arrive, we can look back with enormous gratitude to Peter Breggin, M.D., who never shrank from asserting it, and who so gloriously held up a lantern in a dangerously dark psychiatric world.
Thank you Peter, from the bottom of my medical heart!
Bob Johnson, M.D., Consultant Psychiatrist and member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Great Britain; author of Unsafe At Any Dose

With audiences made up of those used and abused by Big Pharma, Peter can be almost docile, like someone reading your favorite bedtime story, a teddy bear.  With fellow psychiatrists he shows an understanding of research that leaves floundering anyone who dares take him on.
Craig Newnes, MSc, Editor, Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy (Great Britain) and author of Making and Breaking Children’s Lives

We do not like having to undertake the hard work of changing our ideas, and British psychiatrists are no exception.  However, Peter played a major role in forcing British psychiatrists to change their ideas.
Dorothy Rowe, Ph.D., British clinical psychologist, winner of the Mind Book of the Year Award, and the author of fifteen books, including Beyond Fear


Media Commentary


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that it will examine whether antidepressants post a similar risk of increased suicidal thoughts among adults as they do for children, by reanalyzing the data for adults…  Psychiatrist and clinical psychopharmacologist Dr. Peter Breggin, who first described the risks of violence and suicide in his book Talking Back to Prozac, published in 1994, welcomes the review.
British Medical Journal (BMJ)

Happy….he seems very alive and has a cheeriness that contradicts his image as a fighter.  What keeps him in the struggles? …  “Principles,” [Breggin] says.  “I’ve lived a life which, for better or worse, I’ve attempted to live by principles.  Sometimes I’ve flubbed them very badly, too.  …  People don’t want to believe that life is a matter of principle, yet I don’t see how else you could live.” 
The Washington Post
Endorsements for
Wow, I’m anAmerican!
How to Live Like Our Nation’s Heroic Founders
By Peter R. Breggin, MD
(Fall 2009)
Excerpts from
The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, MD.   Edited by ICSPP
(Fall 2009)
Endorsements