Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds

Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds

A groundbreaking and revelatory history of our major psychotropic drugs, from "a thoroughly exhilarating and entertaining writer" (Washington Post). Although one in five Americans now takes at least one psychotropic drug, the fact remains that nearly seventy years after doctors first began prescribing them, we still don't know exactly how or why these drugs work--or don't A groundbreaking and revelatory history of our major psychotropic drugs, from "a thoroughly exhilarating and entertai...

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Title:Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds
Author:Lauren Slater
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:0316370649
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:416 pages pages

Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds Reviews

  • Nancy
    Feb 27, 2018
    Lauren Slater's way of describing the history of psychiatric medication is easily accessible and engaging for the lay reader. Her background as both a therapist and a patient gives the reader a believable look at this topic. The book moves from the well documented successes and fai...
  • Ellen Keim
    Mar 24, 2018
    As someone who takes several medications to treat my depression and anxiety, I found this to be an important but sometimes confounding book. The author has done her research, but seems to have a complicated relationship with psychiatric drugs herself. She is basically negative about th...
  • Kent Winward
    Mar 08, 2018
    This book does a couple of things very well. First, it gives an excellent background on the history of psychiatric medicine and at the same time shows, more than it tells, just how hit and miss our use of psychotropic medications are. These drugs are dangerous and while they work for s...
  • Ryan Mishap
    Jun 10, 2018
    A selective history of psychopharmacology and a bit of memoir, this beautifully written book was fascinating--and sometimes frightening. While mind-altering drugs for mental health issues are commonplace today, a biological basis for mental illness was barely conceived of as recently a...
  • Christina Dudley
    May 07, 2018
    This is a truly fascinating and excellent book by the author who also wrote another favorite of mine, OPENING SKINNER'S BOX. I picked BLUE DREAMS up because my mother-in-law suffers from dementia (and now related psychosis) and has moved beyond non-pharmacological solutions, so I wante...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    Feb 27, 2018
    Lauren Slater is open honest and raw holding nothing about her use of psychotropic drugs.This book is a fascinating at times horrific look at theses drugs their use the havoc they can cause in your body your life& those around you.Highly recommend .Thanks @littlebrown& @netgall...
  • Jt O'Neill
    Jun 12, 2018
    Damn. I'm angry at Goodreads. I wrote the review and then hit SAVE but the review did not save. This is the second time this has happened and I am just venting. I know, I know, I should always copy before saving. Trust me, I will never not remember to do that again. So I don't have...
  • Judy
    Mar 17, 2018
    Absolutely terrifying. Hard to imagine that our powerful psychotropic drugs can be so ineffective and misused. I found the section on placebos to be especially scary. ...
  • Christina
    Apr 25, 2018
    Well written, weaves together personal and factual content. Slater is a good story teller, and the book is strongest where she tells her own experiences. Despite being a psychologist, she relies heavily on secondary sources and sometimes gets it wrong, such as by saying research finds ...
  • Virginia Franklyn
    Jul 10, 2018
    This book was okay. It takes the reader through the history of psychotrophic drugs. It's overall pretty dry. There are some parts that are very interesting, such as the author's struggles with psychotrophic drugs and the use of psychedelics in psychiatry, but overall I was pretty bored...
  • Grace
    Jun 17, 2018
    I thought this book was great, with the caveat that the author wasn?t able to write on the subject of psycho-pharmaceuticals outside of the darkly colored lens of her personal experience. It was very readable for a dense book. Slater came down very hard on SSRIs, which she said ga...
  • Ivana
    Mar 18, 2018
    An extraordinary book, and one that left me with so many questions and so much desperation over the fact that, big pharma has once again determined the course of treatment for millions of people with various mental disorders, while all along crushing medicine that stands in the way of ...
  • Alisha Bennett
    Apr 01, 2018
    4 stars with reservations.....this could have used a more effective editor to reduce the repetition which bogged down the technical aspects. Slater?s personal travails are of course the most gripping and put a face to the many problems of psychiatry and medicine. Provides a wonderful...
  • Jenny GB
    Mar 09, 2018
    I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you! For a subject matter that I don't normally read, I found this book quite fascinating. Each chapter focuses on a different drug that shaped the past, present, and possible future of modern treatment of psycho...
  • Sharon
    Jul 10, 2018
    The author has been hospitalized for depression and has taken antidepressants most of her life. She has suffered their side effects. She describes psychiatry's journey through all the psychotropic drugs. She describes the effects of placebos. Slater considers the hallucinogenic drugs o...
  • Tyler
    Apr 18, 2018
    Liked: history and science of psychoactive drugs. First person descriptions of being on various drugs and of symptoms of mental illness. Disliked: massive speculation about efficacy of particular treatments (very down on SSRIs despite self-described decades of benefit; very excited ...
  • William
    Jul 02, 2018
    Some books are just not as good as you want them to be. This one is in agreement with most of modern ideas of consciousness. Essentially our DNA sets us on a path to gathering information from our environment as quickly as possible, particularly while we are dreaming. Then the protein ...
  • Yannie Chan
    Mar 23, 2018
    A very readable and informative chronicle of how psychiatry went from Freud, psychotherapy and freaking lobotomies to Prozac, profit-driven pharmaceutical companies and also its future, dotted with the author's personal journey with mental illness. It?s frightening how much we haven?...
  • Louis
    Feb 27, 2018
    Lauren Slater's Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds explores the history of psychopharmacology, from the development of Lithium and Thorazine to more contemporary drugs. Although Lithium and Thorazine were clearly breakthroughs, an improvement ove...
  • Danielle
    Mar 21, 2018
    A very interesting read. A bit of a "tougher" read as its subject matter is very analytical vs a traditional fiction novel or autobiography. The science in the book is not without merit. And while ultimately the author *****SPOILER****** is pro-medication she makes some very inter...
  • Meredith
    Jun 08, 2018
    I?m pleased to say that I have zero first hand experience with prescription psychiatric meds. They seem like a shadowy world to which I have a tough time relating. But the author has decades of intimate knowledge, and uses that experience in weaving the stories of the development of ...
  • Amy
    Mar 24, 2018
    Lauren Slater has undertaken a monumental task in exploring the stories behind the development of psychopharmacology. As both a practitioner (she is a psychologist) and a patient, she has insights on par with Kay Redfield Jamison. In sometimes purple prose, Slater takes us from methyle...
  • Shaun
    Oct 19, 2017
    I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. "Blue Dreams" is an interesting history wrapped around the personal story of the author, Lauren Slater. The history of psychotropic drugs is discussed from Thorazine to Prozac to psilocybin and MDMA. T...
  • Ann Campbell
    Mar 29, 2018
    This was a fascinating mix of autobiography and nonfiction focusing on the history of treatment of mental illness and depression in particular. The author is forthcoming about her own history of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder and the cost her treatment exacts on her healt...
  • Meaghan
    Jun 17, 2018
    I had to give a four for the tremendous amount of thorough research, but the author?s struggle with severe bi-polar and depression make this a difficult book to read. Reading ?Blue Dreams? for too long at one sitting gave me a sense of her struggle and left me emotionally bruised...
  • Karen Adkins
    Mar 27, 2018
    There's a lot to like in this book; Slater's a psychologist and an experienced writer, so her history of medical treatments used to treat mental health is informative without being overly technical, comprehensive, and efficient. She's fair-minded, paying attention to the ways in which ...
  • Rachel Blakeman
    Mar 17, 2018
    This is a solid 3 star book. I was really interested in reading this after hearing the author interviewed however the boom takes detours I was underwhelmed by. The chapters on psychedelics, ecstasy and deep brain stimulation felt like a distraction. The SSRI chapter was probably the be...
  • Lisa
    Apr 13, 2018
    Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds by Clinical Psychologist and best selling author of Prozac Diary, Dr. Lauren Slater, is a fascinating history of psychopharmacology told with scientific rigour along with the empathic recounting of the author?...
  • Ashton
    Feb 23, 2018
    This book BREATHTAKING! It was shocking! And anyone who says you shouldn't read it I think has something to hide!!! I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher, and because of how far behind I am on my reading schedule, took a couple of weeks to read it. L...
  • Heath Kelly
    Jul 15, 2018
    I found this book to be quite an eye opening experience. I admit I have near zero previous experience with anyone who has had serious depression/mania or any other mental illness. The way the book is written, both personally and from a research standpoint, allows a reader to truly unde...