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Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants…
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Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down,… (edition 2012)

by Katherine Sharpe

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452256,992 (3.44)2
Member:_Zoe_
Title:Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are
Authors:Katherine Sharpe
Info:Harper Perennial (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Recently Read
Rating:****
Tags:not owned, read, non-fiction, depression, medication, medicine, psychology

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Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are (P.S.) by Katherine Sharpe

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I was drawn in by a factoid on the back cover: apparently 10 percent of Americans over the age of 6 use an antidepressant! But I was pretty ignorant about the issue of depression in general, so I felt like I had to learn more. The back cover seemed to play up a certain perspective a bit more than was fully honest, claiming that the author had been prescribed antidepressants just for "a bad case of homesickness", but the book still turned out to be extremely interesting and informative. It blends the author's personal story, interviews with other young people who took antidepressants, and a general history of antidepressant use in the United States.

There are so many issues here that I had never thought about, like the pharmaceutical companies' role in presenting depression as a chemical imbalance that should be treated with medication. This is a story that I've always just accepted without really thinking about it, and it was interesting to hear the author's perspective about how talk therapy had actually turned out to be far more important in her case. I also appreciated the general stories about how people who took antidepressants at a young age struggled to figure out who they really were versus how much their personalities were defined by the drugs they were taking. I did find that some of the later chapters dragged a bit, because I felt like I had grasped the basic argument and didn't need it to be presented in such great detail throughout, but I'd still strongly recommend this book on the whole. As someone who hasn't personally experienced depression, I found it very informative, and I'd imagine that people who have gone through it themselves might appreciate hearing from others with similar stories. ( )
  _Zoe_ | Dec 21, 2012 |
The structure of this book makes it difficult to get through: the chapters alternate between personal reflection/summary of interviews with others on pharmaceuticals and lit review/history of antidepressant drug development. With the two types of chapters alternating, it's difficult to settle in to this book. I also found some of the quotes the author picked from her interviews to give repetitive and often superficial views of what young people's life on long-term antidepressant or anti-anxiety drugs had been like and how it affected them. There were no conclusions, which I hadn't really expected, but there weren't even really trends or summaries presented from her qualitative research. I had hoped for something more definitive. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Dec 16, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062059734, Paperback)

When Katherine Sharpe arrived at her college health center with an age-old complaint, a bad case of homesickness, she received a thoroughly modern response: a twenty-minute appointment and a prescription for Zoloft—a drug she would take for the next ten years. This outcome, once unlikely, is now alarmingly common. Twenty-five years after Prozac entered the marketplace, 10 percent of Americans over the age of six use an SSRI antidepressant.

In Coming of Age on Zoloft, Sharpe blends deeply personal writing, thoughtful interviews, and historical context to achieve an unprecedented portrait of the antidepressant generation. She explores questions of identity that arise for people who start medication before they have an adult sense of self. She asks why some individuals find a diagnosis of depression reassuring, while others are threatened by it. She presents, in young people's own words, their intimate and complicated relationships with their medication. And she weighs the cultural implications of America's biomedical approach to moods.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:00 -0400)

"Sharpe blends deeply personal writing, thoughtful interviews, and historical context to achieve an unprecedented portrait of the antidepressant generation. She explores questions of identity that arise for people who start medication before they have an adult sense of self."--Publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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