Book Review: Coming of Age on Zoloft by Katherine Sharpe REVIEW by: Shaun D. Curran


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When I was a teenager there were a lot of kids in my class who looked depressed or withdrawn, and I often wondered how many others looked the part of the happy, upbeat, involved teenager but deep down inside struggled with their self-esteem. Back then, it was a horrible secret to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and a far worse fate awaited those on mood-altering medication.

Katherine was the same age as I was when I graduated. In the first part of the book, as well as the end, she narrates her tale of coming of age on various mood-altering drugs, having been diagnosed with depression. She wasn’t suicidal, she said “I just feel sometimes like I don’t want to exist.” Her narrative is the plight of every teenager becoming who they were born to be, struggling with schoolwork, social skills, fitting in, boys, girls, extra-curricular activities.

Toward the middle of the book, the narration stops, for the most part, and becomes more of a thesis. Through various case studies, Katherine continues research into the hearts and minds of teenagers and young adults who have been struggling with depression, and also interviews those in the medical field on the topic.

The book is well written. The narration in the beginning and end kept me glued to my chair, but the middle section felt weighted down with too many case studies and interviews. While this part is important, if it felt less like a thesis, it would have made for much easier reading.

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