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Peter R. Breggin
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This is the first book of its kind to establish guidelines and to assist prescribers and therapists in withdrawing their patients from psychiatric drugs, including long term exposure to antipsychotic drugs, benzodiazepines, stimulants, antidepressants and mood stabilizers. It describes a method developed by the author throughout years of clinical experience, consultations with experienced colleagues, and scientific research. Based on a person-centered collaborative approach, this method builds on a cooperative and empathic team effort involving prescribers, therapists, patients and their families or support network. It provides critical information about when to consider psychiatric drug reduction or withdrawal, and how to accomplish it as safely, expeditiously, and comfortably as possible.
Prescribers, therapists and other health professionals-as well as patients and their families-are provided with the theoretical framework underlying this approach along with extensive scientific information, practical advice, and illustrative case studies that will enable them to:
Establish a collaborate, trusting and empathic team approach to psychiatric drug withdrawal Recognize common, serious and sometimes overlooked adverse drug effects that may require drug withdrawalTreat emergencies during drug therapy and during withdrawalIdentify common withdrawal reactions for every type of psychiatric drugDetermine the first drugs to withdraw during multi-drug therapyDistinguish between withdrawal reactions, newly occurring emotional problems, and the recurrence of pre-medication problems Estimate the length of withdrawalPrescribe very small doses of medication when necessaryUnderstand how "medication spellbinding" (intoxication anosognosia) makes patients unaware of the adverse mental and emotional effects of their drugs during treatment and withdrawalIdentify and handle Medication-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI)-a common but easily missed need for psychiatric drug withdrawalModify the withdrawal program for children, the elderly, and severely emotionally disturbed patientsDecide when and how to provide individual, couples or family therapy appropriate to the specific stages of medication withdrawal
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