Casey Schwartz

  • culture February 18, 2021

    Kind of Blue

    And then there were pills. Like many discoveries in the history of psychopharmacology, antidepressants became antidepressants quite by accident. The earliest prototypes were developed as tuberculosis drugs in the United States in the early 1950s. They weren’t particularly effective at treating TB, but, doctors observed, they bestowed on certain recipients a conspicuous boost in mood. Patients who received them at one hospital in Staten Island were described as “dancing in the halls” of their ward. Why not, then, try the pills out on a class of patients who had confounded doctors since time