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Article
March 9, 1994

Listening to Prozac: A Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of Self

Author Affiliations

University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine

 

by Peter D. Kramer, 409 pp, $23, ISBN 0-670-84183-8, New York, NY, Viking, 1993.

JAMA. 1994;271(10):794. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510340084045

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Abstract

Kramer vs Kramer.

Kramer, the psychotherapist, vs Kramer, the psychopharmacologist.

Kramer, the ethicist, vs Kramer, the pragmatist.

Kramer, the eclectic psychiatrist, is in conflict and transition, representative of that which envelops the theory and practice of psychiatry. They are elucidated in this thoughtful and refreshingly provocative book, which bridges Freudian, behavioral, social, neuroanatomic, and pharmacologic approaches to an understanding of brain function.

Kramer, the provocateur, challenges the diagnostic presumptions, psychoanalytic concepts, and cultural ramifications in patients with a wide variety of personality traits significantly altered by the serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine hydrochloride—Prozac.

Kramer, the introspective clinician, covers such common problems as depression, compulsion, rejection sensitivity, stress, kindling, risk, self-esteem, inhibition, pleasure, and anhedonia. He traces the effects of Prozac on these conditions, noting the remarkable changes wrought, changes that were previously thought to occur only with extensive psychotherapy. The transformative powers of the medication on the sense of self clearly

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