When I was offered Coming of Age on Zoloft for review, I was really excited to get my hands on this book. While I have a different personal history with anti-depressants than Sharpe does (I have never been offered them), I have asked similar questions. What are we saying when we turn to medication as the first (and sometimes only) solution to our problems? Are these medicines changing who we are, as individuals and as a generation?
Sharpe’s book discusses these issues from a personal standpoint, but also through research. It is well-balanced between the personal touches and the statistical. She wasn’t content giving just her story: she fills the pages of Coming of Age on Zoloft with the interviews of dozens of others. If there was one part that I found a bit tedious to read, it were these sections as they did go on for too long sometimes.
One thing that I found particularly helpful was her discussion about why some people turn to medicine as the potential answer to their depression: because insurance funnels them in that direction. Most insurance companies readily cover medication, but balk at covering alternatives to medicine like therapy. Desperate for help, doctors and patients reach out for pills, because for many there’s not a reasonable alternative.
If you have ever questioned our use of medication to tread psychological issues should check out this book. Whether or not you come to the same conclusions Sharpe does, she has some good research and brings up good questions.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Coming of Age on Zoloft in order to write this review.