The Age of Anxiety

The Age of Anxiety

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Anxious Americans have increasingly pursued peace of mind through pills and prescriptions. In 2006, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 40 million adult Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year: more than double the number thought to have such a disorder in 2001. Anti-anxiety drugs are a billion-dollar business. Yet as recently as 1955, when the first tranquilizer--Miltown--went on the market, pharmaceutical executives worried that there wouldna€™t be interest in anxiety-relief. At mid-century, talk therapy remained the treatment of choice. But Miltown became a sensation--the first psychotropic blockbuster in United States history. By 1957, Americans had filled 36 million prescriptions. Patients seeking made-to-order tranquility emptied drugstores, forcing pharmacists to post signs reading qmore Miltown tomorrow.a€ The druga€™s financial success and cultural impact revolutionized perceptions of anxiety and its treatment, inspiring the development of other lifestyle drugs including Valium and Prozac. In The Age of Anxiety, Andrea Tone draws on a broad array of original sources--manufacturersa€™ files, FDA reports, letters, government investigations, and interviews with inventors, physicians, patients, and activists--to provide the first comprehensive account of the rise of Americaa€™s tranquilizer culture. She transports readers from the bomb shelters of the Cold War to the scientific optimism of the Baby Boomers, to the qjust say noa€ Puritanism of the late 1970s and 1980s. A vibrant history of Americaa€™s long and turbulent affair with tranquilizers, The Age of Anxiety casts new light on what it has meant to seek synthetic solutions to everyday angst.Wallace Laboratories, Miltown, The Tranquilizer with Muscle Relaxant Action: Physiciansa#39; Reference Manual, 4th ed. ... a€œThe Mind: Sciencea#39;s Search for a Guide to Sanity, a€ Newsweek, Oct. 24, 1955, 61; Nathan G. Hale Jr., a€œFrom Berggassee XIX to Central Park West: The Americanization of ... Take Valium, a€ Ms. 4 (1975): 27; a€œTightening the Lid on Legal Drugs, a€ Science News, June 14, 1975, 382.

Title:The Age of Anxiety
Author: Andrea Tone
Publisher:Basic Books - 2008-12-30

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