What It’s Like: My 30-Year Struggle With Antidepressants

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Lauren Slater, journalist and author of Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs That Changed Our Minds, has had a complicated relationship with antidepressants for most of her adult life.

While psychotropic drugs such as Prozac, Effexor, and Zyprexa have greatly soothed her mental health, they have also exacted a terrible toll on her libido and her body.

Long-term use of antidepressants has risen rapidly in the United States in the past ten years. In 2014, over 15 million Americans reported using prescription antidepressants for five years or more, according to a New York Times analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.

Here, Slater tells the Cut about her long journey with her prescription drugs, and how they have significantly impacted her relationships, work, and life.

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What It’s Like: My 30-Year Struggle With Antidepressants