NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t


FRESH AIR: Antidepressants and medications for bipolar disorder can be life-changing and even lifesaving, but journalist Lauren Slater warns that the long-term side effects of these drugs are “cloaked in mystery.”As a nation, we’re consuming them; we’re gobbling them down,” she says. “And we don’t really know what we’re taking into our bodies.” Slater, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has firsthand experience with psychotropic drugs; she’s been taking medication for 35 years. Her new book, Blue Dreams, dedicates separate chapters to drugs such as Thorazine, lithium and psilocybin. Slater says she wanted to “unveil” the drugs by explaining their history, as well as how they work and the benefits and consequences for people who take them: “My goal was to almost try to make the drug into a character in and of itself. … I wanted to bring these drugs alive.” MORE