cover image The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age

The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age

Meg Jay. Simon & Schuster, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-668-01229-1

Clinical psychologist Jay (The Defining Decade) presents a brisk and pragmatic guide to mental health for young adults. Critiquing what she sees as a crisis of overmedication and overdiagnosed mental illness, Jay posits that most 20-somethings “don’t have disorders that need to be treated; they have problems that need to be solved,” many of which stem from the inherent uncertainty of that stage of life, which can catalyze depression, substance abuse disorders, and other mental health issues. As an alternative, Jay outlines brass-tacks skills for tackling challenges such as career shifts (in an uncertain job landscape, 20-somethings should focus on accruing skills that are “transportable across jobs or locations”) and social stress (“The only way to feel more sure of yourself socially is to spend more time being social... only experience can teach your brain that this isn’t as dangerous as it feels”). While Jay’s assertion that “we ought to proceed thoughtfully... when considering psychiatric medications” for young adults is well-taken, readers may be left unsure about how to harness that information in terms of seeking psychiatric care and deciding whether to go on medication themselves. Still, the author’s can-do attitude and experience-based advice will do plenty to reassure that uncertainty is an inevitable element of young adulthood that needn’t be incapacitating. This is a solid resource for the stressed-out. (Apr.)