The prescient Aldous Huxley (1935) in his novel Brave New World characterized future society as exhibiting two characteristics that were thought fanciful and improbable half a century before his prediction was to take place. First, most of the populace would be taking a drug called “soma” to alleviate even the slightest anxieties and mood swings that accompany life’s daily vicissitudes. This would not be imposed by a totalitarian government exercising mind control; rather, people would clamor for it. As unlikely as this seemed in the 1930s, many authorities are now sounding the alarm that our current society is overmedicating itself rather than addressing and solving everyday problems, thus rendering itself and future generations less and less able to face the normal exigencies of living (Glasser, 2003; Healy, 2004; Kirsch & Antonuccio, 2004). In response to extensive, unrelenting TV advertising, an increasing number of patients are demanding medications from their primary
care physicians, preferably medications that have in their names the letters xyz (Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, with Zyprexa being a nom magnifique). Particularly disturbing is the trend to prescribe psychotropic medications to adolescents, children, and even preschoolers, possibly endangering the delicate maturational balance that is still in progress (Cummings & Wiggins, 2001; Minde, 1998; Zito et al., 2004).