Re: Prozac for everyone.

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Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 21:50:28 PDT

My problem with Prozac is exactly what the topic says: they throw it at
everyone. Alcohol problems? Anger problems? Have 3 kids you're
supporting by yourself? Twisted an ankle? Here! Have some prozac!
While I've seen it work in life-saving ways (brings my ex gf out of
suicidal depression with a SNAP), each case must be considered
individually. IMO, medication should be the last straw, the first being
an in-depth study of the patient's background, family history, present
state of life, etc. I can personally bring myself out of deep depression
by writing my way out of it, thanks to the suggestion of a kind counsellor
I had about 12 years ago. I know it's not quite that simple for some, but
it seems that going to a shrink is like going through the justice system
lately. Fast food medicine for a fast food world? None for me, thanks.

 "A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity."
          -- Robert Frost

On Thu, 17 Aug 2000, Eirikur Hallgrimsson wrote:

> (If Eliezer is actually on FoRK now, watch for fireworks! We differ
> on this. He doesn't medicate.)
> I'd expect that you would see performance improvement in
> "normal" people. I have cosmic amounts of personal experience
> ingesting (and withdrawing from) SSRIs and their recent decendants.
> Normal is a continuum, and normal people vary (seasonally,
> daily, even hourly) in their emotional state. Prozac seems to push
> in a direction in that continuum, and even if it did not affect
> people who were in peak emotional condition, it would increase the
> activity level and resilience of anyone who was suffering from one of
> life's setbacks, as we all do from time to time. But, I say it's a
> continuum, and I know that you can become manic (ala
> amphetamine psychosis) with an SSRI overdose. So there's a limit to
> it. Too much self-confidence. Maybe that explains some of those
> dot-coms!
> Me, I can get really set back. Too many blows or setbacks and my
> physical mind seems to sort of cave in and stop being able to believe
> in ANYTHING, or forecast anything except disaster and pain. And I
> don't seem to naturally snap out of it. A pill can change that for
> me. It's completely astounding.
> SSRIs are truly weird. Even when I'm not *depressed* I can go from
> being noticably quiet, retiring and reticent to being fairly
> outgoing. So which is the real me? Where on a complex continuum of
> mood should I put up my tent? I can choose, but it's very hard to
> figure out what criteria to apply. And it's a slippery slope
> because a lot of the time I don't want any help at all--but history
> shows that subjectively I tend not to notice when I'm slipping.
> I'll leave you with my pet peeve about antidepressants, and that's
> the state of the research, which is pretty appalling. There's a
> constant circularity of defining depression as that which is changed
> by taking the drug, and a real lack of long-term studies considering
> that with present practice, many people will be on them for life.
> The contemplative "pro" case: "Listening to Prozac" by Peter Kramer
> The contemptuous "anti" case: "Talking Back to Prozac" by Peter
> Breggin. It's been said that Breggin makes money testifying in
> "Prozac made me do it" cases, but I take his objections seriously.
> He's not a crank. Not really about Prozac: "Prozac Nation" by
> Elizabeth Wurtzel. Read her wonderful rant "Bitch!" instead.
> Eirikur

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