I’m a journalist, blogger and now, author. Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up examines what it’s like for young people to come of age taking psychiatric drugs that alter emotions, behavior and identity in a society that at once encourages and criticizes the use of psychopharmaceuticals.
I write about mental health at The Huffington Post and about young people’s experiences of medication at My Meds, My Self, a blog at the psychology website Psych Central. I also review books for several psychology and mainstream outlets.
I got interested in the topic of young people spending their formative years on medication after reading a case study on the topic several years ago by The New York Times’ mental health columnist. At that point, I was 25 years old and had been taking various medications, mostly antidepressants, for anxiety and depression since I was in high school; I had been contending with the underlying psychological conditions for several years before that. Until reading that column, I had thought I’d had a relatively uncomplicated experience with pharmaceutical treatment. For me, the medication had seemed to make my apathy, boredom, despair and panic vanish where introspection and therapy had failed to make any inroads.
But the more I thought about it, I realized that psychiatric meds do alter one’s personality in fundamental ways, and that when taken in childhood and adolescence, as one is trying to locate a sense of self, they must inevitably affect one’s developmental trajectory. I decided to embark on a project interviewing my peers about their own experiences taking medications for a variety of psychiatric conditions ranging from panic disorder to ADHD to bipolar disorder. The result was Dosed.
Previously, I worked as a freelance journalist for a wide range of publications, including The New York Observer, Parents, Prevention, Hungry, and Gastronomica. I also spent two years as a reporter at The Monitor, a daily paper on the Texas-Mexico border. There, I covered the raucous and often-corrupt local, regional and school politics, as well as crime, the environment, and pretty much anything else that interested me. I also interned at The Boston Globe’s Washington, D.C. bureau, where I wrote about politics and education policy, as well as at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
I’m a graduate of Dartmouth College, where I majored in history and took a healthy sprinkling of English, philosophy, French, geography and government classes. Most of my time, however, was devoted to working at The Dartmouth, the college’s daily newspaper, where I served as a reporter, news editor and eventually executive editor. I’m also a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where I focused on long-form writing and where the idea for Dosed was born. In my free time, I enjoy reading, cooking and baking, skiing, yoga, NPR and Netflix. I am something of a health fanatic but try hard to minimize how much I diagnose myself and others. I have wanted to write books since before I could read them and hope to embark on another project soon.