With globalising psychiatry and medicalisation of social deprivation in the Asia-Pacific region, psychiatric drugs continue to be prescribed to people without enough information about their side effects. This increasingly leaves them and their caregivers in the lurch about withdrawing from them safely or even making sense of their side effects.
Peter Lehmann, a certified pedagogue and independent social scientist, publisher, author, medical journalist and freelance activist of humanistic anti-psychiatry in Berlin, survived psychiatric treatment in the 1970s. He has an extensive body of work on the iatrogenic effects of neuroleptics, also called antipsychotics, and how to come off these drugs safely. His is a fierce voice in the global anti-psychiatry movement, advocating for human rights of mad persons.
In 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in acknowledgement of “exceptional scientific and humanitarian contribution to the rights of the people with psychiatric experience” by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). In 2011, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in acknowledgement of service to the community by the President of Germany.
His book, Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers (2004), originally published in German in 1998 was the first book addressing the issue of safely and successfully coming off psychiatric drugs for people in treatment who decide to withdraw.
We laud his invaluable work and hope that it could help address the confusions and fears of survivors and their caregivers in the Asia Pacific region.
Information sheets on neuroleptics produced in collaboration with the Rhein-Mosel-Fachklinik Andernach, the Rheinhessen-Fachklinik Alzey, the Pfalzklinikum Klingenmünster, Volkmar Aderhold and Peter Lehmann in English, Arabic, French, German, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Turkish, could work as lifesaving resources for some families and individuals in our region.