The reflectively anxious and depressed: psychotropics and lives worth living

Mark P. Jenkins

in Philosophical Perspectives on Technology and Psychiatry

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780199207428
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754494 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

The reflectively anxious and depressed: psychotropics and lives worth living

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This paper explores a philosophical worry involving psychiatry and psychotropic technology. Put most bluntly, the worry is that familiar and widely prescribed antianxiety and antidepressant medications may actually prevent lives worth living. Fully articulating this worry requires unpacking three assumptions. First, that Socrates was right that the unexamined life is not worth living. Second, that there exists both a class of anxious and depressed people and a class of drugs that can effectively treat them. And third, that some not insignificant subset of the first class, call them the reflectively anxious and depressed, finds their anxiety and depression so exacerbated by the very prospect of treatment by some subset of the second class, call them SSRIs, that they refuse any course of therapy that includes psychotropic drugs.

Chapter.  6617 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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