Katherinesharpe.com

Her own story with antidepressants began after a breakup during her first year at col-lege. A 20-minute consultation with a coun- oundup selor at the campus health center resulted in a prescription for Zoloft. While the pills brought strength and calm (her words), they versity of New York and an award-winning cognitive scientist, Jesse Prinz’s Beyond Since it is highly influenced by both biology and culture, Prinz wraps up with the topic of see antidepressants as bringing them back sex: “No aspect of human life better illustrates to their “old self,” whereas adolescents who the way in which something natural can be are searching for their identity don’t have an at the same time thoroughly cultural.” From “old self” to return to. She writes, “Lacking beauty standards and gender stereotypes to a reliable conception of what it is to feel ‘like sexual preferences and taboos, Prinz demon- themselves,’ young people have no way to From a nurture perspective, we gain a better strates how difficult it becomes to define the gauge the effects of the drugs on their devel- understanding of the inner workings of human line between culture and biology. “The story of sex is the story of our species. Here as Prinz offers up a slew of reasons to defend elsewhere, we are always moving beyond hu- way or the other for the use or disuse of his stance that “our capacity to change with man nature.” Exploring the horizon of our bio- antidepressants. Rather, she offers a prism circumstances demonstrates that biology is cultural reality will serve to give us a deeper not the complete story.” Prinz critiques the understanding of the interaction between us others’, giving the reader an honest, multi- approaches that so heavily rely on biology as and our environment. —Britt Keller
layered picture inside the mind and heart he explores the frontier of cultural psychol- of the drug user. She ends the book with an ogy. Intriguingly, he began mapping out the earnest focus on the current generation, whose overly pressured drive for accomplish- sociologists, criminologists, linguists, geog- ment is responsible for the prevalence of raphers, economists, psychologists and neu- pharmaceuticals in everyday life. To describe roscientists, benefitting from being front and the unrealistic expectations of this driven center of the nature-nurture debate.
generation, Sharpe quotes a psychiatrist who treats many Manhattan college students and Prinz directs our attention to the fact that recent grads: “[Being] able to work fourteen vast differences in perception, intelligence hours a day, and then go out and have a social The World Health Organization identifies life, and maintain a certain weight, and not cultural (rather than biological) causes. While depression as the leading cause of disability be exhausted…There’s a sense that they’re naturists focus on fixity, nurturists are more worldwide. In 2012, Prozac turns 25 years concerned with flexibility—human potential. old, and SSRI antidepressants have become thing possible that’s not healthy or normal.” While most of both fronts agree that both the most-used class of drugs in America. Disconnect, culture of silence, the high rate nature and nurture hold importance, there With the advent of neuroscientific research of depression in young women—these are but are many positions to be held in the spectrum providing the biomedical model of mental a few of the issues affecting this generation between the two. Prinz tells the story from illness as a chemical imbalance, drug use in which Sharpe explores with a deep empathy.
where biology leaves off. Through exploring general is supplanting traditional methods of That Dr. David Healy, author of the ground- the sources of knowledge and language, think- talk therapy. In 2008, 5 percent of US teenag- breaking Let Them Eat Prozac and The Anti- ing, feeling and values, Prinz shows us ways in ers took an antidepressant, and the number depressant Era, gives a nod to Sharpe’s book which we transcend nature. Since all of these increases each year, as doctors have begun is impressive and noteworthy. He writes, traits involve an interaction between biology prescribing these medications to younger and “This is a book for anyone taking or think- and the environment, they can be referred to ing about taking antidepressants, anyone In this probing and beautifully written book, author Katherine Sharpe explores how this about their suitability—or anyone who wants class of drugs has affected young people, a mirror held up to our time.” And we agree. their parents, doctors and society in general. —Margaret Emory
Through the sharing of her personal story as a user, compelling interviews with her peers and their relationships to SSRIs plus scientific and sociological research, Sharpe describes how the generation of the mid-’70s to 80s—the first to have been raised on psychiatric drugs—altered the definition of mentally ill, anxiety disorders, wellness and self-identity.

Source: http://www.katherinesharpe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/BW13-Book-Roundup.pdf

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