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Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up
$25.95
Hardcover
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Hardcover
  • Apr.10.2012
  • 9780807001349

Kaitlin gives an overview of the book:

Over the last two decades, we have seen a dramatic spike in young people taking psychiatric medication. As new drugs have come on the market and diagnoses have proliferated, prescriptions have increased many times over. The issue has sparked heated debates, with most arguments breaking down into predictable pro-med advocacy or anti-med jeremiads. Yet, we’ve heard little from the “medicated kids” themselves.   In Dosed, Kaitlin Bell Barnett, who began taking antidepressants as a teenager, takes a nuanced look at the issue as she weaves together stories from members of this “medication generation,” exploring how drugs informed their experiences at home, in school, and with the mental health professions.   For many, taking meds has proved more complicated than merely popping a pill. The questions we all ask growing up—“Who am I?” and “What can I...
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Over the last two decades, we have seen a dramatic spike in young people taking psychiatric medication. As new drugs have come on the market and diagnoses have proliferated, prescriptions have increased many times over. The issue has sparked heated debates, with most arguments breaking down into predictable pro-med advocacy or anti-med jeremiads. Yet, we’ve heard little from the “medicated kids” themselves.
 
In Dosed, Kaitlin Bell Barnett, who began taking antidepressants as a teenager, takes a nuanced look at the issue as she weaves together stories from members of this “medication generation,” exploring how drugs informed their experiences at home, in school, and with the mental health professions.
 
For many, taking meds has proved more complicated than merely popping a pill. The questions we all ask growing up—“Who am I?” and “What can I achieve?”—take on extra layers of complexity for kids who spend their formative years on medication. As Barnett shows, parents’ fears that “labeling” kids will hurt their self-esteem means that many young children don’t understand why they take pills at all, or what the drugs are supposed to accomplish. Teens must try to figure out whether intense emotions and risk-taking behaviors fall within the spectrum of normal adolescent angst, or whether they represent new symptoms or drug side effects. Young adults negotiate schoolwork, relationships, and the workplace, while struggling to find the right medication, dealing with breakdowns and relapses, and trying to decide whether they still need pharmaceutical treatment at all. And for some young people, what seemed like a quick fix turns into a saga of different diagnoses, symptoms, and a changing cocktail of medications.
 
The results of what one psychopharmacologist describes as a “giant, uncontrolled experiment” are just starting to trickle in. Barnett shows that a lack of ready answers and guidance has often proven extremely difficult for these young people as they transition from childhood to adolescence and now to adulthood. With its in-depth accounts of individual experiences combined with sociological and scientific context, Dosed provides a much-needed road map for patients, friends, parents, and those in the helping professions trying to navigate the complicated terrain of growing up on meds.

kaitlin-bell-barnett's picture

The issue of growing up taking psychiatric medication hits close to home for me. It encompasses not only my experience and my peers',  but, as we become parents ourselves, that of our own children. I hope these dispatches from this first generation of "medicated kids" will shed light on a controversial but little-understood phenomenon.

About Kaitlin

Kaitlin Bell Barnett is a nonfiction author and journalist with a particular interest in health and mental health. Her first book, Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up, comes out in April from Beacon Press. It explores the experiences of young adults - herself included...

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Published Reviews

Mar.14.2012

Call them Generation M—for medicated. In this sometimes disturbing and often heartbreaking debut, journalist and blogger (PsychCentral.com) Barnett chronicles her own rocky road to adulthood and that of...

Mar.14.2012

As a member of this group herself, Barnett explores the issues faced by the first generation of children, now entering adulthood, who were treated with psychopharmaceutical drugs from the time they were...