Archives for Identity

Adherence

How long is too long for antidepressants?

Young people spend too long on antidepressants without examining whether they still need them, a Duke psychiatrist argued in a recent New York Times post.

The psychiatrist, Doris Iarovici, is almost certainly right that more young adults are taking these meds for longer these days than in the past. The problem is that we don't have a very good idea of how many - or for how long. As a...
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Childhood

Can Meds Transform Mental Illness Into Mental Health?

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I've been thinking a lot about the terms "mental health" and "mental illness" ever since reading a recent post post on the topic by blogger Natasha Tracy.

Natasha contends that using the politically-correct, cheerier-sounding term "mental health" trivializes psychiatric disorders and ends up shortchanging those who suffer from mental illness. That got me thinking again about a question I've often pondered:...
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ADHD drugs

A Hierarchy of Medications?

People who take psychiatric medications long-term are no strangers to stigma, or the threat of it. We perennially face, for example, the question of whether it's worth risking others' judgment and the potential negative repercussions of disclosing our conditions -- and the fact that we take medication for them.

But you can commit to taking medications long-term and still perpetuate or further the stigma associated with meds. And I don't just mean that...
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ADHD drugs

Ritalin and Relying On Others for Approval

Today I'm featuring the first of two guest posts from a reader, M., about her experience taking Ritalin for ADHD as a teenager and later taking Zoloft during her 20s and early 30s for anxiety.

In this post, M., now 34 and living near Dallas, discusses how her views about Ritalin shifted as she got older. Ultimately, she came to suspect that relying on the medication actually exacerbated her anxiety - and may even have...
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ADHD drugs

After Years On ADHD Meds, No Shortage of Questions


What are the issues involved in taking stimulant medications for ADHD from early elementary school onward? And what happens when someone who has done this decides to quit the drugs in college - only to find her motivation and academic capabilities diminish without the meds, and to suffer a crisis of identity and mood problems upon resuming them?

Two recent guest posts from a reader raised these questions and prompted ample discussion and comments...
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Antidepressants

Sexual Side Effects & Young People: Should We Worry?

Pediatrician and author Claudia Gold recently published a column about my book, Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up, over at The Boston Globe in which she highlighted an issue I’ve been meaning to address here for some time: Young people and medications' sexual side effects.

The drugs most famous for interfering in the sexual realm are the SSRI antidepressants, like Prozac and Zoloft, which can cause loss of libido and problems with...
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ADHD drugs

The Effects of Growing Up Medicated

In this blog, I have been writing about different facets of "the experience of medication" in young people who take psychiatric drugs for a variety of conditions.

I'm going to continue to do that, because there are many more topics I want to discuss (please feel free, as always, to make suggestions in the comments section if there are particular subjects you'd like me to write about).

However, if you'd like to read an account of...
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