by Dr. Joseph Mercola, public domain

Screenshot: Interview, Dr. Peter Breggin with Dr. Joseph Mercola

(Dec. 26, 2021) — Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist, has written more than a dozen bestselling books on psychiatry and the drug industry. He’s frequently referred to as “the conscience of psychiatry” because he’s been able to successfully reform the psychiatric profession, abolishing one of the most harmful practices, namely lobotomies and other experimental psychosurgeries.

He was the first to take a public stand against lobotomies as a young man, and was able to change the field as a result. He’s featured in Aaron and Melissa Dykes’ excellent documentary, “The Minds of Men.”1

Now 83 years old, Breggin has seen a lot, and in this interview, he shares his own evolution and experiences as a psychiatrist. His interest in psychiatry began at the age of 18, when he became a volunteer at a local state mental hospital.

“It was a nightmare,” he says. “It was like my uncle Dutch’s descriptions of liberating a Nazi concentration camp. The place stank. People were sitting in these bare, barren concrete corridors.

They had a TV set that wasn’t working … and bolted down tables and chairs so the people couldn’t throw them at each other. No attention being given to them at all. Often just sitting there; some hallucinating, and somebody told me that the girl in the corner coiled up in a ball on the floor by a radiator had been a Radcliffe student …

The doctors were callous, the aids were callous, there was just no love in the place at all. I could tell, even though I didn’t really have much experience growing up with love, I could feel that what was missing was love, care, nurturing. It was so clear.”

Toxic Psychiatry

Breggin eventually became the leader of that volunteer program. He and 200 other students painted the walls and took patients for walks. He asked the superintendent to assign one patient per volunteer aid, to build real relationships. The superintendent balked at the idea, but eventually gave in. Breggin tells this story in his book, “Toxic Psychiatry.”2

“We ended up getting almost every patient out of that hospital,” he says. “We got them placed in different places that were much better. We got some back with their families. It was so clear to me that this was the way to go …

I watched electroshock and insulin coma shock where people would come in and they’d give them overdoses of insulin to send them into coma. They’d be frothing at the mouth, unconscious, having seizures and getting ready to die, literally. Then they would give them orange juice or sugar water and they would become alert again.

It was so clear to me what was going on. People would come in full of energy — angry, depressed, anxious and often resistant … They’d get this injection of insulin to knock them out, killing them, basically, but when they came awake they were like puppies. They were grateful, they said ‘Thank you, I feel like you saved me.’ They’d be docile … There’s no fooling about what this was. I knew exactly what it was.

I knew what shock treatment was … I’ve been fighting this, but we’re still doing it … It’s when they put electrodes on the forehead of the brain … You get a shock of a voltage … 10 times what you need to give convulsions … and it makes docility. It makes people out of touch with themselves. It makes people unable to complain … [Elevated mood] is the artificial euphoria [caused by] brain damage. This is very brain damaging.”

All of this is what motivated Breggin to go into psychiatry, in order to help reform the profession from the inside. Interestingly, as early as 1963, Jerry Klerman, who later became the highest-ranking psychiatrist in the federal government and a professor at Harvard, told Breggin there was no future in helping people strengthen their mental resilience.

The future, Klerman told him, was in drugs, and using computers to decide which drugs to use. After his first year at Harvard medical school, Breggin left and went back to the Upstate Medical Center (University) in New York, where he had already done internship.

“Then I went on to the National Institute of Mental Health … for two years. There I saw clearly what was happening. Psychiatry was leaving the psychosocial model behind.

My volunteer program had already been described by the last big Federal Commission on Mental Health. It’s mentioned two or three times and described as one of the solutions to the vast mental hospital problems … Nothing about drugs, drugging and shocking people in it.

It was much more real, much more about what was really going on with human beings and human sufferings, spiritual, psychological. I could just see this writing on the wall and I was not sure what to do. I was invited to stay at the National Institute of Mental Health.

I accepted briefly, in the child division. I was very interested in helping children. Then I thought, I can’t do this. I gave them warning without even having a job that I was leaving. I didn’t know what else to do, so I went into private practice.”

Breggin Spearheaded Drug-Free Psychiatry

Breggin focused on helping people without medication. “I learned very quickly that the most disturbed people would calm down and relate when somebody cared about them, wasn’t afraid of them, was interested in them and made no pretense of being superior to them,” he says. Drugs, he explains, were simply stifling the patients. While they might ease some of the suffering, that relief came at the expense of brain damage.

Breggin goes on to tell the story of how he prevented the return of lobotomies and psychosurgeries — strategies in which the brain is purposely damaged through electric shocks, radium chip implants or puncturing the prefrontal area of the brain with an ice pick inserted next to the eyeball, for example.

Breggin refers to lobotomies as a rape of the soul, the permanent mutilation of an individual’s selfhood, as damage to one area of the brain will harm the integration of the whole brain. As noted by Breggin, you cannot “plop out aggression” like a pit out of an olive. The brain doesn’t work like that. It’s an integrated organ and mental processes arise from integrated processes involving many different areas of the brain.

Read the rest and see the interview for a limited time here or download the article:

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  1. Dear Dr. Mercola;

    Another excellent article and I thank you for it. Now about treating PTSD patients: it has been my experience that the VA wants to make the nuts as brain dead as possible by prescribing dependent brain-numbing pills.

    The VA’s plan is to have the patients become totally dependent on them, to be played as a cat playing fiddle with no rhyme or reason except to force them to toe the line. In cases where the drugs were refused to be renewed, the dejected patients would commit suicide right there in the parking lot or go home and eat the bullet or resort to heroin and other downers, thereby contributing to the growing number of meth deaths, as an example.

    In order for the VA patients to have their prescriptions filled, acquiescing to the deadly so-called ‘vaccine’ is a requirement.

    I myself am a Veteran and, even to the point of death, would I voluntarily enter any VA facility, which makes me without a lick of health care.

    Thanks a lot, Biden-Harris, and all the other nitwits who are mandate crazy. I figure a needle with ‘The Jab’ pointed at me is the same as a loaded gun and I have the right to defend myself, something for the cops and the soldiers to consider when they start forcing people to get ‘The Jab’.


    Professor ‘Trash the masks’ Zorkophsky

    1. Agreed!
      Stage II of this insanity for our military I believe, is to start coercing the military retired personnel currently receiving TriCare For Life to submit to the cruelties of the Biden/Kalamady Bovine Excrement. I call it what it is.

  2. Dr. Peter Breggin’s psychiatry experiences by the staff members at the mental hospitals remind me of our own government’s treatment of every US citizen since just before the Civil War in the 19th century.

    Who will be the Dr. Breggin savior that will save us from the daily horrors levied on every US citizen by our own government leaders in all three branches of the US government?

    The insane patients have certainly taken over the US government.