PLEDGE NOW
Medication And Female Moods

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren’t always so clear. (Flickr / Princesse Ecossaise)

Americans take a lot of pharmaceuticals to control their moods, their emotions, their state of mind.  And women take a lot more than men.  One in four American women, now on some kind of psychiatric medication.  You know the names from the ads all over TV:  Cymbalta, Zoloft, Abilify, more.  My guest today, psychiatrist Julie Holland, says that flood of drugs is shutting down natural emotions that women need.  Numbing women in a way that’s bad for many of them, and bad for society.  This hour On Point:  a cry against medicating women’s feelings.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dr. Julie Holland, psychiatrist in private practice in New York City. Author of the new book, “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy.” Also author of “Weekends at Bellevue,” “Ecstasy” and “The Pot Book.” (@BellevueDoc)

Dr. Crystal Clark, psychiatrist and professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Medicating Women’s Feelings — “At least one in four women in America now takes a psychiatric medication, compared with one in seven men. Women are nearly twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder than men are. For many women, these drugs greatly improve their lives. But for others they aren’t necessary. The increase in prescriptions for psychiatric medications, often by doctors in other specialties, is creating a new normal, encouraging more women to seek chemical assistance. Whether a woman needs these drugs should be a medical decision, not a response to peer pressure and consumerism.”

CNN: Are Drugs Stifling Women? — “Modern women are suffering from an energy crisis. Competing in the workplace, caring for aging parents and trying teenagers, and busier than ever, we use anything we can to duct-tape our lives and ourselves together: comfort foods, alcohol, energy drinks, and an expanding array of antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, painkillers and amphetamines. All in an effort to maintain our unnatural pace.”

Scientific American: Psychotropic Drugs Affect Men and Women Differently — “Sex differences in the body’s response to medication have long been overlooked. In fact, until the 1990s women were banned from participating in clinical trials in the U.S. Yet women are now almost twice as likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication as men, and research suggests that their different hormones, body composition and metabolism may make them more sensitive to certain drugs. Further, women are between 50 and 75 percent more likely to experience side effects.”

Read An Excerpt Of “Moody Bitches” By Dr. Julie Holland

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 24, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Vietnamese Communist party secretary general Nguyen Phu Trong at the Central Office of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, Monday, May 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama’s in Vietnam and Japan. The G7, Hiroshima and his pivot to Asia are all on the table. We look at the big picture. Plus, President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

May 24, 2016
Activist and author Gloria Steinem. (Carly Romeo / Courtesy Gloria Steinem)

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem explores how violence against women drives global instability in her new show, “Woman.” She’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 23, 2016
Robin Wright, right, attending the Emmy Awards in 2015 with Kevin Spacey. The pair star in "House of Cards" on Netflix. Wright recently shared that she fought to have an equal salary as Spacey. (Alex Berliner/Invision for the Television Academy/AP)

The pay gap between men and women is much greater in white-collar than blue-collar jobs. We’ll look at why, and what should be done about it.

 
May 23, 2016
A long line of travelers wait for the TSA security check point at O'Hare International airport in Chicago. Some major airports are currently seeing wait times exceeding 90 minutes at peak hours. (Teresa Crawford/AP)

The latest on the EgyptAir crash, and the latest on the TSA and security in the United States.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment
 
‘Best Of’ 2016 Commencement Speeches
Monday, May 16, 2016

Excerpts from a few of the best commencement speeches delivered to the graduating class of 2016.

More »
Comment
 
Caller: Trump is a ‘Yankee moron,’ but I support him
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“I’m a working man. I’ve worked 13, 14 hours every day. I got two jobs. I got three kids. I got a wife. You know, I’m not a misogynist.”

More »
Comment