Ordinarily Well: The Case For Anti-Depressants By Peter D. Kramer-A Review

Let me say first of all that I came to this book predisposed to like it. I had read Kramer’s earlier books on depression (Listening to Prozac, Against Depression) and enjoyed them  a great deal. I’m aware that there has been a controversy concerning the use of anti-depressants and their efficacy so was pleased when I found this book. In the interest of transparency, I have a personal reason for advocacy of this book, for I have a long history with depression. I’ve got reason to know that anti-depressants can be just as efficacious and life-saving as Kramer says. They have indeed made me “ordinarily well”, a person who can function in the world. Before I found the one that worked, I was immobilized by anxiety and the kind of depression that cripples a person. I regarded existence as a burden, longed to die, but was so immobilized and enervated that I lacked the energy to do anything about it. The right anti-depressant and a good psychiatrist changed that. And after several good years on the right medication, I can say that I have found I am more resilient, that I can face even potentially devastating news with a measure of equanimity,  and that I can finally say “I enjoy living.” In Kramer’s new book, he makes the case that anti-depressants ARE effective, that they have the research behind them to back this up, and they function as what he calls “co-therapists.”  He cites study after study and backs up his claims with evidence. There IS reason to be wary of Big Pharma where psych drugs are concerned, but anti-depressants just might be one of their biggest successes. Don’t stop taking your anti-depressants! If you want to know WHY NOT, read this book!

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