Listening to Prozac: 2a Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of the Self

Peter Kramer, Author Viking $23 (432p) ISBN 978-0-670-84183-7
Tracing the development of mood-altering drugs, in particular the widely used antidepressant Prozac, psychiatrist Kramer ( Moments of Engagement ) synthesizes recent biochemical research, psychological and biosocial theories in a comprehensive, provocative study. Citing cases from his practice and the conclusions of such researchers as Donald Klein, Jerome Kagan and Robert Post, among others, he examines current thinking about what determines personality traits and character. Observing the effectiveness of Prozac in releasing confidence and energy in patients who are somewhat inhibited by depression, compulsiveness or timidity, he raises important questions about the way drugs can influence diagnoses. He sees application of medication as particularly valuable in cases where a patient's symptoms become functionally autonomous, appearing independent of their originating stimuli. Calling for an approach that combines psychotherapy with psychopharmacology, Kramer urges careful, studied use of Prozac with continuing attention given to the philosophical, moral and sociological issues its effectiveness raises. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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