Park Slope's "Hidden Addicted Mom Problem"
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Is Brooklyn's Stepford-esque suburban enclave hiding a secret substance-abuse problem behind the walls of its idyllic brownstones? Motherland, a new book by Park Slope mother Amy Sohn, claims moms in the neighborhood routinely abuse anti-depressants and afternoon cocktails in order to cope with their secretly unhappy lives. "The woman who starts drinking at three or four, people aren't necessarily going to know about that," says Sohn, who wrote the book as fiction based on research from her own life. "And a lot of them are also on antidepressants—I think women turn to antidepressants in larger numbers than men do. They're steered to Zoloft after they have children." Sohn claims these women keep their unhealthy lifestyles closeted from other moms—Stepford Wives-style—for the sake of not ruining the "perfect family" image that's so assiduously cultivated in Park Slope. Motherland is a follow-up to Sohn's 2009 bestseller Prospect Park West, another fiction-based-on-truth novel that offered an inside look into families in the area. "One of the things that's weird about this neighborhood is there's very little interpersonal confession between mothers," she says. "I don't hear people admitting to their problems very often. They'll make comments like, 'Oh my God, I'm going to kill my husband' and they'll say it lightly, but you can tell by the tone of their voice, the look, that they're pissed."