The best four years of your life?
On Jan. 17, NPR announced that, according to the APA, the number of students on college campuses taking psychiatric medicines has increased more than 10 percent in the last 10 years. College mental health centers have had to increase staff to keep up with the growing numbers, and the issue as a whole has been receiving increased media attention. However, many students are still skeptical about psychiatric drugs and their side effects—some even go so far as to label the entire field of psychology a “fake science.”
David Leibow, of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, recently published his book that addresses these issues, titled “What to Do When College Is Not the Best Time of Your Life.” I recently interviewed him for the semester’s first issue of The Eye. We discussed his new book, why college students are so unhappy, and what they can do about it. Check out an unprinted quote from Leibow after the jump, when I asked him Should students be skeptical?
First of all, it’s good to be skeptical. It’s not bad to be skeptical. Even as practitioners we should be skeptical. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t know everything. We are frequently wrong. So even we should be skeptical about what we are thinking, a student’s predicament and what we are recommending. I think the evidence for psychiatric drugs is very well established. It has great scientific credibility and they are very effective and they don’t take a long time to work. So in school, when time is of the essence, they are very reasonable approach. As for psychotherapy, there are good psychotherapists and there are mediocre psychotherapists and a lot of it depends on the chemistry between the patient and the therapist. But I think therapy also, now, is pretty well established as a helpful modality.
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