Is It Me or My Meds? by David A. Karp
Living with Antidepressants

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



By the millennium Americans were spending more than 12 billion dollars yearly on antidepressant medications. Currently, millions of people in the U.S. routinely use these pills. Are these miracle drugs, quickly curing depression? Or is their popularity a sign that we now inappropriately redefine normal life problems as diseases? Are they prescribed too often or too seldom? How do they affect self-images?

David Karp approaches these questions from the inside, having suffered from clinical depression for most of his adult life. In this book he explores the relationship between pills and personhood by listening to a group of experts who rarely get the chance to speak on the matter--those who are taking the medications. Their voices, extracted from interviews Karp conducted, color the pages with their experiences and reactions--humor, gratitude, frustration, hope, and puzzlement. Here, the patients themselves articulate their impressions of what drugs do to them and for them. They reflect on difficult issues, such as the process of becoming committed to medication, quandaries about personal authenticity, and relations with family and friends.

The stories are honest and vivid, from a distraught teenager who shuns antidepressants while regularly using street drugs to a woman who still yearns for a spiritual solution to depression even after telling intimates "I'm on Prozac and it's saving me." The book provides unflinching portraits of people attempting to make sense of a process far more complex and mysterious than doctors or pharmaceutical companies generally admit.


About David A. Karp

See more books from this Author
Professor David A. Karp (BA Harvard, PhD New York University) has taught sociology at Boston College for 30 years. Karp's 1996 work, Speaking of Sadness was the 1996 winner of the Charles Horton Cooley Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. His most recent research uses qualitative methods to explore the moral boundaries of caring in emotional illness and conflict, and seeks to discover the cultural resources people draw upon when confronted with this dilemma.
Published June 30, 2009 by Harvard University Press. 304 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Is It Me or My Meds?

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This engaging, well-written book begins with a harrowing account of the author's own struggle to go off his meds. While this is certainly a gripping way to begin the book, it is more important in esta

May 15 2006 | Read Full Review of Is It Me or My Meds?: Living ...

Reader Rating for Is It Me or My Meds?

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review