Book Reviews of Reclaiming Our Children: A Healing Solution for a Nation in Crisis

Reclaiming Our Children: A Healing Solution for a Nation in Crisis
Reclaiming Our Children A Healing Solution for a Nation in Crisis
Author: Peter R., M.D. Breggin
ISBN-13: 9780738204260
ISBN-10: 0738204269
Publication Date: 2/1/2001
Pages: 352
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Publisher: Perseus Publishing
Book Type: Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Attributing the fundamental disorder of American society to the alienation and neglect of our children, this ambitious manifesto calls for a multipronged attack on the forces that distort children's healthy development: abuse, dysfunctional parents, poverty, assembly-line schools, racism, sexism and "pedism" (prejudice against children). Breggin, a psychiatrist and the foremost critic of biological psychiatry (Toxic Psychiatry, etc.), opens his report by lambasting the first-ever White House Conference on Mental Health (held weeks after the Columbine High School shooting), at which President Clinton advocated a congressionally funded program to identify children in need of psychiatric help. This plan, charges Breggin, is a thinly disguised windfall for biopsychiatry, health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry, who aim to put children on drugs like Prozac and Ritalin. He cites studies indicating that antidepressants frequently induce a manic reaction or severe emotional disturbance in young people, and that Prozac, in particular, can make children violent, depressed, psychotic or suicidal. Drawing on his own therapy practice, Breggin presents numerous case studies illustrating how troubled youth can be helped without recourse to psychotropic drugs. He also tours model programs around the country for treating disturbed or violent children--a Quaker high school, a yeshiva, an alternative public school offering a 12 Step approach to drug and alcohol abuse--where adults form meaningful relationships with young people. This wise and humane book brims with practical suggestions for parents, teachers and mental health professionals. (Feb.)