The latest article in the NY Times Being a Patient series describes the reasons and ways 20- and 30-somethings get meds after determining that they need them. Particularly for mental health problems, the people featured question psychiatrists’ expertise. The rely on their experiences and stories from friends to self-diagnose.
A four-page article, it’s worth a read, even if you only get to through the first page. Here’s an excerpt:
"If a person is having a problem in life, someone who is 42 might not know where to go – ‘Do I need acupuncture, do I need a new haircut, do I need to read Suze Orman?’ said Casey Greenfield, 32, a writer in Los Angeles, referring to the personal-finance guru. ‘Someone my age will be like, ‘Do I need to switch from Paxil to Prozac?’
"’My initial experience with physicians who are supposed to be experts in the field was disappointing,’ Rich said. ‘So I concluded I can do things better than they can.’"