Blue Dreams by Lauren Slater

Blue Dreams

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 work--on what ails our brains. Blue Dreams offers the explosive story of t...

Details Blue Dreams

TitleBlue Dreams
Release DateFeb 20th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreNonfiction, Science, Health, Medicine, Psychology

Reviews Blue Dreams

  • Gingersnap
    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. Life just kept getting in the way, but no matter how many times I came back to it, I was blown away all over again. NO matter how many times. It would take only paragraph...
  • Kent Winward
    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 some, they certainly also come with a price. My wife and I are currently living daily with the price she paid for her psychiatric meds and I can guarantee that the c...
  • Judy
    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.
  • Nancy
    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 failures of past mental health treatments to the benefits and side effects of current drugs to speculation on what might be possible when deep brain stimulation is approve...
  • Ivana
    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 profits, and in its wake leaving those same millions of people suffering unnecessarily, denying them potential cure.It's a sobering account of the state of our ment...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    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& @netgalley for advance readers copy,
  • Rachel Blakeman
    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 best. The book was the most interesting when she was writing about her own accounts. The researched sections suffered from a lack of editing by dragging on and on. In...
  • Karen Adkins
    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 treatments have made the difference between people having lives outside of institutions, and also addressing the downsides (serious side effects, increased toleranc...
  • Shaun
    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. The book is laid out linearly from early drugs and procedures to "cure" mania and depression to what future may hold (neurosurgery for psychiatric disorders). It's a wel...
  • Louis
    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 over lobotomies and other treatments, concerns over their side effects and the development of newer drugs led to a decline in their use. Likewise, Prozac was initially...
  • Amy
    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 methylene blue to MDMA. At points, Slater doesn't delve as deeply as one could wish into the side effects and dangers of the different treatments available. For example, w...
  • Danielle
    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 interesting points on medications and its prescribers merritts. A pro and con if you will on prescriptions for mental health illness' and some philosophical (I felt) on how we...
  • Ellen Keim
    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 their effectiveness for the population at large, but says repeatedly that they keep her sane and even though her physical health has been compromised by them, she wou...
  • Jenny GB
    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 psychological illness. Each chapter contains interesting history, personal stories, and analysis of the effectiveness of each treatment. I was especially shocked with the SSR...
  • Yannie Chan
    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’t figured out. Psychiatry’s drugs have helped many people, but we have no idea how they work exactly and their long-term effects. We don’t even know what caus...
  • Tony
    Goodreads giveaway winner...Thank you!
  • Bridgett
    Lauren Slater writes beautifully about psychopharmacology. This book is part history/part memoir/part musing. Lyrical, smart, and curious.
  • Deborah Shaw
    Just finished reading, I learned many thing, some I kind of wish I hadn't! (Take meds for panic attacks, learned side effects I wasn't aware of) I am loaning this book out to friends and family!!