A Project of the Empathic Therapy Center is an online library and newspaper project of the 501c3 nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living, founded by Peter R. Breggin, MD and Ginger Breggin, working toward replacing the biological theories, diagnoses and treatments of "modern" psychiatry with better therapeutic and educational approaches

Peter R. Breggin, MD Websites
Medication Spellbinding

Dr. Peter Breggin’s new concept of medication spellbinding provides insights into why so many people take psychiatric drugs when the drugs are doing more harm than good.  Psychiatric drugs, and all other drugs that affect the mind, spellbind the individual by masking their adverse mental effects from the individual taking the drugs.  If the person experiences a mental side effect, such as anger or sadness, he or she is likely to attribute it to something other than drug, perhaps blaming it on a loved one or on their own “mental illness.”  Often people taking psychiatric drugs claim to feel better than ever when in reality their mental life and behavior is impaired.  In the extreme, medication spellbinding leads otherwise well-functioning and ethical individuals to commit criminal acts, violence or suicide.  

The concept of medication spellbinding is a unifying theme in Dr. Breggin’s newest book, Medication Madness (2008), which describes dozens of cases of otherwise self-controlled people who became spellbound by psychiatric drugs, leading them to perpetrate bizarre acts, including mayhem, murder and suicide.   Dr. Breggin’s other recent book, Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (2008), presents the science beyond the concept of medication spellbinding in great depth.



 "Intoxication Anosognosia: The Spellbinding Effect of Psychiatric Drugs",Peter R. Breggin, MD, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 8, 201-215, 2006.

ABSTRACT: Why do so many individuals persist in taking psychoactive substances, including psychiatric drugs, after adverse mental and behavioral effects have become severe and even disabling? The author has previously proposed the brain-disabling principle of psychiatric treatment that all somatic psychiatric treatments impair the function of the brain and mind. Intoxication anosognosia (medication spellbinding) is an expression of this druginduced mental disability. Intoxication anosognosia causes the victim to underestimate the degree of drug-induced mental impairment, to deny the harmful role that the drug plays in the person’s altered state, and in many cases compel the individual to mistakenly believe that he or she is functioning better. In the extreme, the individual displays out-of-character compulsively destructive behaviors, including violence toward self and others.


Should the use of neuroleptics be severely limited?  by Peter R. Breggin, MD This article was first published in Controversial Issues in Mental Health, edited by Stuart A. Kirk and Susan D. Einbinder (pub. Allyn and Bacon). The article discusses long-term neuroleptic use tied to tardive dyskinesia.

 Parallels between Neuroleptic Effects and Lethargic Encephalitis  by Peter R. Breggin MD  "Parallels between Neuroleptic Effects and Lethargic Encephalitis: The Production of Dyskinesias and Cognitive Disorders," Brain and Cognition 23 (1993).

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, Tardive Dyskinesia, Tardive Dystonia, and Tardive Akathisia A sample chapter from Dr. Breggin's 1997 book Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry.