Anxious Americans have increasingly pursued peace of mind through pills and prescriptions. In 2006, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 40 million adult Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year: more than double the number thought to have such a disorder in 2001. Anti-anxiety drugs are a billion-dollar business. Yet as recently as 1955, when the first tranquilizerMiltownwent on the market, pharmaceutical executives worried that there wouldn't be interest in anxiety-relief. At mid-century, talk therapy remained the treatment of choice.
But Miltown became a sensationthe first psychotropic blockbuster in United States history. By 1957, Americans had filled 36 million prescriptions. Patients seeking made-to-order tranquility emptied drugstores, forcing pharmacists to post signs reading more Miltown tomorrow.” The drug's financial success and cultural impact revolutionized perceptions of anxiety and its treatment, inspiring the development of other lifestyle drugs including Valium and Prozac.
In The Age of Anxiety, Andrea Tone draws on a broad array of original sourcesmanufacturers' files, FDA reports, letters, government investigations, and interviews with inventors, physicians, patients, and activiststo provide the first comprehensive account of the rise of America's tranquilizer culture. She transports readers from the bomb shelters of the Cold War to the scientific optimism of the Baby Boomers, to the just say no” Puritanism of the late 1970s and 1980s.
A vibrant history of America's long and turbulent affair with tranquilizers, The Age of Anxiety casts new light on what it has meant to seek synthetic solutions to everyday angst.
Brand new 2015 edition, with an expanded section on "off-label" and experimental options, along with a fascinating explanation of the current research into the next generation of drugs to treat mood & anxiety-spectrum disorders Are you confused about which antidepressant is right for you? Would you like to learn all the important information on all of the antidepressants currently available? Do you suffer from - - Major depression (including treatment-resistant depression and dysthymia) - Generalized anxiety disorder - Panic disorder - Phobic disorder - Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) ...or any mood disorder which is one the depressive or anxious spectrum? There are huge differences even between just SSRIs, let alone the huge number of alternatives you have probably never heard of. Unfortunately, doctors tend to be incredibly busy, and sometimes they just don't have the time to finely calibrate your treatment. This means that very often, you will just be given the drug your doctor has the most experience in. This may or may not be the right tool for the job. Quite often we see the example of two patients visiting the same doctor - one patient anxious and one patient lethargic and depressed. Yet both emerge from the doctor's office with a prescription for the same SSRI. Depression and anxiety are incredibly varied conditions. Some people are "anxious depressed" whereas others can be more "low energy depressed". Or if we look specifically at anxiety disorders, the right drug (and dosage) for someone with panic disorder and for someone with OCD is dramatically different. Each condition needs a slightly different pharmacological approach. This comprehensive, encyclopedic guide by Benjamin Kramer (author of Brain Renovation), provides detailed information on every common antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) such as - - SSRIs (Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors - such as Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac & Lexapro) - SNRIs (Serotonin & Norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors - such as Effexor & Cymbalta) - Atypical antidepressants (such as Remeron, Buspar & Wellbutrin) - TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants - such as Endep & Anafranil) - Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan & Klonopin) - "Off-label" and experimental options including stimulants (amphetamine, methylphenidate), Lyrica, tramadol memantine and ketamine - Upcoming drugs due to become available soon Learn about how the slight differences between each drug can be the difference between success and failure. There is no such thing as the 'best' antidepressant - it depends on the individual and the nature of the illness. Are you anxious and depressed? Are you unmotivated with a lack of energy? Can't sleep? In pain? All these factors should influence your doctor's (and your own) choice as to the best option for you. Kramer also addresses the most common questions people have when starting an antidepressant or looking for one which works, such as - - Which medications won't make me put on weight? - Which medications will kill my libido? What adjunct options do I have for restoring libido? - How long will the medication take to start working? So before you visit your physician, get as much information as possible so you can participate in the decision-making process aimed at deciding on the best treatment. To this end, Kramer has also included brand new "layman's" explanations of the most common questions around exactly how each drug works, including - - How does an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) work? - How does a tricyclic work? - How does a MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) work? - What is the different between an agonist and an antagonist? - How can I tell which drug is the most potent?
This book owes its existence to an ideal, a burning frustration, and a trusted believer. The ideal was the sense that governed my feelings about systematic desensitization during my early introduction to its benefits. It is hard to put into words the initial doubts that pervaded me during my first attempt with desensitization with a seriously phobic client, as I re- ligiously worked my way through the procedure: "Will this client really become relaxed? And then what-will the visualization actually occur? And then what-will the fear really vanish, just like that?" And oh, the feeling of discovery, and validation, when indeed the process worked, and worked well. Desensitization was everything it was claimed to be: systematic, clean, theoretically grounded, empirically tested, applicable as a behavioral technology regardless of one's own theoretical bias. And there were testable outcomes; concrete evidence for change. So I became invested and aimed at doing more with desensitization. My students and I raised some theoretical questions in order to open the doors for revising the desensitization to improve on its applications. We tested the rapidity with which desensitization could be accomplished, shortening the time by shortening the anxiety hierarchy. Along with others, we studied the question of group delivery, and reducing the total number of sessions, as well as examining the use of audiotaped delivery of services.
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