Listening to Prozac
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Listening to Prozac: A Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of the Self is a book written by psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer. Written in 1993, the book discusses how the advance of the anti-depressant drug Prozac might change the way we see personality, the relationship between neurology and personality.
Kramer coined the term "Cosmetic pharmacology", and in this book he discusses the philosophical, ethical and social consequences of using psychopharmacology to change one's personality. He asks if it is ethically defensible to treat a healthy individual to, for instance, help him climb a career, or on the other hand, if it is ethically defensible to deny him that possibility.
In a review in the New York Review of Books, Sherwin B. Nuland said that Kramer has "played fast and loose with the most basic principles by which physicians evaluate clinical experience and propose new ways of explaining or treating illness. Those principles require (1) meticulous and personally made observations of an illness or maladaptive state; (2) even-handed review of all pertinent publications that bear on the problem; (3) scrupulous attention to every fragment of clinical evidence, whether or not it supports the observer’s evolving hypothesis; and (4) a commitment not to speculate beyond what is justified by the accumulated data and its supportable implications." Nuland said that Kramer has used his preliminary observations to hype unjustified assertions in trade books and on TV shows, orchestrated by profesional publicists.
Daniel X. Freedman, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, wrote that Listening to Prozac “does not provide reliable directions for those in troubled quest of self or those seeking a clear introduction to the brain sciences and pharmacology.”
- Hardcover Edition: (June 1993)
- Publisher: Viking Press
- ISBN 0-670-84183-8
- Paperback Edition: (June 1994)
- Publisher: Penguin USA
- ISBN 0-14-015940-1
- The Pill of Pills, by Sherwin B. Nuland, New York Review of Books, June 9, 1994. Review of Listening to Prozac, by Peter D. Kramer.
- New York Times Book Review, August 8, 1993
- Cosmetic pharmacology
- Let Them Eat Prozac
- Prozac Nation
- Prozac Nation (film)
- Peter Breggin
- Eli Lilly and Company
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