Peter Breggin’s Website… and other interesting items found on the web while researching
Hello all…from beneath the stack of books, empty yogurt container, collection of “Bic” lighters, and dirty plates that line my bed after writing my first theoretical paper for my M.A. degree.
(not actually me, but you get the idea!…only I’m in bed with my macbook, not at a desk.)
Today, I finally finished this three-times deferred paper on Emily Martin’s Bipolar Expeditions and The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction. I have often stated the mantra that “my life is my research and my research is my life”, but as I picked up the latter book, I realized that just like art, life often imitates research – I had chosen to write about her work because of her research on bipolar disorder, not knowing about her feminist sociology/anthropology of the body, and only becoming aware of it when I was already in the grip of reproductive illness.
I digress. I have a rather odd (and slightly masochistic) way of referencing others’ work in my own. I write once I feel I’ve done enough reading, only inserting “needs ref” after certain statements that I know have been backed up by books, articles, or even anecdotal evidence, which I will later need to find a formal reference for. However, I also come across new information while I finally insert those references, often crawling the web for sources as I did today. I thought I would share these extremely valuable resources, all representing critical perspectives on “mental health/illness”.
First, how did I forget about Dr. Peter Breggin’s website? If you don’t already know who he is, Dr. Breggin is a psychiatrist by trade who has been conducting critical studies in the field of psychiatry since the early 1960s, starting with electroshock therapy, then moving on to Ritalin/psychostimulants, and SSRIs. His book Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, after I first opened its pages and read that I am on the drug – Effexor – that is hardest to get off, and makes one choose between permanent brain damage or taking the drug for life. I picked it up again today, and will try to approach it with less fear… Back to his website – it offers what most authors do not – free access to a great amount of his written work, radio interviews, and even his resumé! Breggin is awesome – his work is free of “academese” (academic jargon that makes reading incredibly difficult if not impossible) and you should check him out. Today I used his work to back up the statement and fact that SSRIs were only tested in 8 week-long clinical trials, with dropout rates so high that they should have rendered the data useless. Instead, the data about dropouts was simply omitted from Big Pharma’s final reports about the “safety” and “efficacy” of these drugs.
I found two other gems, not useful for my bibliography, but which I will explore when I have a little more spare time. The first was an incredibly complete list of all case studies about the harmful effects of SSRI antidepressants, the same drugs Breggin speaks about extensively in his more recent work. I’m sure I’ll be referring to it frequently in the future! The second was an outdated (from 1999), but staggering report on the profits made by pharmaceutical companies and their CEOs, including the tidbit that that most of them have tens or hundreds of billions of dollars of unexcercized stock options, in addition to their salaries of close to $40 million a year. One can only imagine how many times these salaries have doubled over the past decade.
Well, the Cialis commercial on T.V. is telling me it’s time to eat dinner (female singing “evenings are my favourite time of day!”. Extremely disturbing, that one can tell the time of day by which Cialis commercial is being played – the morning, afternoon, or evening one.