Prozac -- the Toxic Miracle Drug

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Biology 202
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

Prozac -- the Toxic Miracle Drug

Michelle Tahmoush


America's society has turned to an aggressive means to treat the overwhelming numbers of people who suffer from depression -- antidepressant medication. "The National Institute of Mental Health... has estimated that almost 10 million Americans are seriously depressed and that a total of 14 million will suffer from it during their lifetimes" (7). Taking psychiatric drugs such as Prozac has become trendy. People no longer covertly take antidepressants, but discuss their medications openly as if there were nothing wrong with chemically altering one's brain. This is partly due to how psychiatrists propose the necessity of Prozac and other such drugs. Psychiatrists explain that Prozac will counteract the low levels of serotonin by inhibiting the loss of this neurotransmitter. The low levels of serotonin are said to be the cause of the depression, thus Prozac remedies this disease for certain people. Supposedly, with only a few side effects exhibited in a mere fraction of the patients taking Prozac, happiness can be in one's grasp. Prozac is idealized in this fashion as a euphoric drug. In reality, Prozac harmfully changes one's brain chemistry with no guarantees of reducing one's depression. Society has ignorantly euphemized this toxic drug as the cure of depression because of faulty trial studies, the understatement of the potential adverse reactions, and the neglect of patients prescribed Prozac.

 


Although Prozac has been on the market since 1988, the initial trial studies that were done on Prozac in order to prove its efficacy were manipulated in order to make the drug pass FDA approval. The drug studies themselves were considerably shady. First of all,
"all FDA drug studies are constructed, supervised, and paid for by the drug companies themselves, using doctors and research teams of their own choosing... Pharmaceutical companies do everything they can to make the studies turn out right" (7). Some people may think that the federal government actually supervises the safety of all the drugs that are screened, but this is not the case. The drug manufacturers themselves do the testing and can therefore pick the doctors who would endorse the drug. These are often people with longstanding relationships with the company. In the Manufacturer's Report of June 1998, Eli Lilly claims: "the efficacy of Prozac for the treatment of patients with depression (>18 years of age) has been studied in 5 and 6 week placebo-controlled studies"(6). There are several major points that are essentially left unsaid by this statement. One might ask is this drug safe for adolescence or the elderly; what are the effects of long-term dosages on the nervous system; was this drug able to prevent suicide in at risk patients? The answer to these questions is that they don't know. The community at large is basically one big guinea pig at the moment with thousands of people on antidepressants. "86 percent of all the patients in all the studies were treated for 'three months or less'"(7). This is inadequate time to monitor the effects on one's body. It will not be surprising if, twenty years from now, someone discovers major damage is done to the liver or the brain. There has already been evidence that Prozac is addictive. In addition to the lack of long-term observations, the trials did not include a large number of people due to their age or severity of illness. "The Prozac studies as designed by Lilly excluded all patients with serious tendency toward suicide... Hospitalized psychiatric patients were also excluded... There were no children or elderly adults in the Lilly sponsored FDA studies of Prozac" (7). The trial studies were biased. What is even worse is the fact that the data from the trials was manipulated. Some data was left out while the rest was pooled together in order to have the studies show that Prozac was effective. In actuality, "the number of Prozac patients who actually completed the four-, five-, or six-week trials used as the basis for FDA approval... turned out to be 286 patients" (7). This is unlike the reported 6,000 people that Eli Lilly claimed they had tested. The FDA approval of Prozac was an atrocity. If there was sufficient investigation into the data of the studies, Prozac may not be on the market today.


Even though Prozac passed FDA approval, the drug continues to be a threat because the dangers of Prozac are extremely understated by health care professionals. Most of the populace does not comprehend the extent of adverse reactions that are linked to Prozac. "By December '95 there had already been reported 35,230 adverse reactions to Prozac - including hallucinations, aggression, hostility, assault, manslaughter, and suicide - resulting in a total of 2,394 deaths" (2). In a time span of seven years there had been over two thousand deaths caused by this antidepressant, yet patients are, most likely, only told of the minor side effects such as nausea, sleeplessness, and loss of libido. Neither is the association with fits of aggression or death indicated as warnings on prescription bottles; nor is it likely told of by the patient's doctor. Yet, indeed Prozac can elevate one's mood to a highly agitated state in which one cannot rationally evaluate the surrounding environment. This may cause the patient to behave irrationally and violently. "In some rare, but much publicized cases, patients on the drug have murdered relatives or others"(1). The fact that these extreme states can occur at all on Prozac is call for concern from at least the patients taking Prozac, if not the public at large. The lack of warnings is also significant when it comes to telling the patient that Prozac and other drugs "cause permanent brain damage at the doses customarily given" (5). These are factors that should be of substantial controversy, yet are most likely not discussed when prompting the patient to take antidepressants.


In addition to the potential harm that the patient is at risk for by simply ingesting the antidepressant, suicidal tendencies may occur due to the improper monitoring or distribution of Prozac and other such drugs. Theoretically, Prozac is administered to individuals who are undergoing therapy so as to help that person deal with certain disturbing issues. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Many people, especially students, take Prozac as either a "quick fix" or an upper. They use the drug in a way as to continually avoid their problems or to escape from the depressing feelings. Due to the large number of people who experience depressing feelings at some point in their life, professionals may prescribe them with medication instead of therapy. Often times, an appointment with a psychiatrist only lasts twenty minutes. Is that really long enough to thoroughly assess a patient? In addition, doctors who prescribe antidepressants are not limited to psychiatrists. "Because Prozac can be prescribed by all medical doctors, many fear that understaffed and overburdened counselors may be prescribing the drug to lessen their load... The net result: a nationwide culture of collegiate pod people" (4). A detachment from emotion and an estrangement from the everyday world are experienced by some people who take Prozac. With enough people on antidepressants, the world could change drastically. Prozac "inspires a dreamily contented disengagement from the problems of the world. [It also] diminishes any drive to constructive activity" (3). This can be detrimental to society as well as to patients who may be using Prozac as a means to avoid one's issues. The further estrangement felt by a patient can make him or her feel alone and detached from the community. This causes a greater risk of one committing suicide. In fact, Prozac "was implicated in inducing suicidal ideas and behaviors" (1) - the exact conduct it is supposed to counteract. The misuse of Prozac is a direct result of individuals not being informed of the dangers associated with psychiatric drugs. Less people with minor depression would take Prozac and risk themselves to these potential threats if doctors told them of the adverse reactions, such as suicidal ideation and aggression. These drugs have become so commonplace that people consider them to be as safe as aspirin; however, this is certainly not the case.

 


Prozac, the wonder drug of the nineties, has proven to be both harmful and ineffective, yet it is still readily prescribed to fight depression. During the past fourteen years, one would think that the populace would have discovered this, but there are several reasons why Prozac has been so popular. First of all, the mindset of a person who seeks a psychiatrist's advice is most often desperately yearning for a change in his or her lifestyle. This alone could be the reason for one's improved mood. Attitude is a very powerful tool to becoming well. This may seem euphemistic, but "it's been repeatedly demonstrated that up to fifty percent or more of depressed patients improve on the sugar pill. In some studies, nearly 90 percent have improved on placebo" (7). The person merely thinking that the pill will have some effect on his or her mood drastically can change one's outlook. One other reason that Prozac could be considered effective is that some of the side effects could make a person happier. For example, Prozac is a stimulant, which can boost a person out of the tiredness that most depressed people feel. The positive side effects alone are not good reasons to be having a large percentage of the American society on drugs such as Prozac. There are many natural means to change one's mood such as eating well, taking one's vitamins, getting sufficient sleep, and exercising. It seems today people are more willing to putting themselves at risk by taking antidepressants than they are willing to take care of themselves naturally.

References

1) Peter Breggin Homepage, "Dangers of Fluoxetine"

2) "The Dark Side of Prozac"

3) "Hedweb Good Drug Guide: the Responsible Parent's Guide to Healthy Moodboosters for All the Family"

4) College Magazine, "Numb and Number, How One Little Pill is Changing the Face of College"

5) Antipsychiatry, "Psychiatric Drugs: Cure or Quakery?"

6) "Manufacturer's Report, Eli Lilly"

7) Breggin, Peter. Talking Back to Prozac. St. Martin's Paperback's edition Sept. 1995

 

 

Comments made prior to 2007

I have suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, and actually I am beginning to think I am bipolar, but anyway....I was recently in the hospital for an attempted suicide and I began treatment. I was put on low doses of Prozac and Buspar and this is the first time I have ever been treated, by the way. It helped, until I realized that I was totally void of all emotion. I couldn't cry and I just plain did not give a darn about anything or anyone. And that is not me! I started to hate this person and was scared that I was just going to get worse so I stopped taking my meds completely. It has been a week now and I am starting to feel more depressed than ever. I have been real up and down. I obviously need medication, but there must be some sort of median. My doctor is no help because I have been assigned someone from the County because I do not have health insurance so I really do not think he cares about me. I was hoping there would be someone out there who has been through a similar situation and can give me some advice. Also, what medicine has worked for you? Thank you so much ... Allisha Zegray, 14 November 2007

 

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

prozac, good or evil?

I went through a debilitating depressive state about 10 years ago. My GP sent me to a counselor and prescribed Prozac. I am not a pill taker and don't believe in long term medication. I took it because I could not function because of the depression. Over the next month I felt myself coming back to normal again and took myself off the medication. I don't know if Prozac is good or evil, but I do know it helped me get my life back and then I was done with it. Yes, there were some really depressing days after that, but I was able to handle them. I just needed to get back up out of the black hole I was in. Now I rely on God, my family and friends, and myself to see me through. I still have some days, but nothing like that first episode. If everyone would see the drug as a lift up and not a crutch then it might work, but some people just don't want to deal with anything in life. They want everything to be sunshine and roses all the time. Life is not like that. We have to face the music some times even if it's hard to do. Find a buddy to help you through and check out He would love to be your buddy.

Mariah's picture

i love prozac

I love the prozac, my sex drive was gone, some reason i want it, i was celebrant. I know why i was depressed, but it's like remember.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Prozac hurt me

It made me a moron, it did not make me feel better, my shrink had me on 1, then 2, then 3 a day - I had no idea I was losing IQ points fast. It got to the point I fell down a lot, I forgot where I was, I could not type, I was interested in what the president said on TV news, I forgot how to add, told my shrink this, she said to cut down to 2 pills a day, I told her I took them all at once and dumped them in the toilet - I would function better drunk than on Prozac. She was pissed, I've been off it for 2 weeks now and every day I am returning to normal and able to type today. Now my medicine is sniffing onions (nasty sinus problem), rinsing my nose, having 1 beer a night and one puff of weed a night - so much safer than doctor's pills. I meditate and and trying to eat fiber and give up soda pop and tune out the crap in the world and focus on my health, how I treat those that deserve it, and to ignore morons. And when the Prozac leaves me, start writing again.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Prozac Helps Me

Just as you described feeling while on Prozac is exactly the way I began to feel before I started it. I became so obsessed and enthralled by any and every benign matter that crossed my path which led my thought pattern to spiral out of control to the point where I was delusional. I had mild to severe thought disorder and was worried that I might be becoming psychotic. I soon realized, even before I saw a shrink, that these thoughts, ideas, and obsessions had very little basis in reality. It took some time but I escaped from that state of mind, so be it with a severe case of depression and a huge shot to my self-esteem. I started prozac a little over a month ago and my depressive symptoms have almost completely vanished. I am doing the best in school that I think I ever have and I am feeling the best that I think I ever have. Don't get me wrong, before my depression and ocd got to the point where I couldn't control it anymore I was against all psychiatric pharmaceuticals but eventually there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough I've tried everything else and its time to give in. I understand that this is not the case for everyone but I sure found something that helps me.

North Eastern Texas's picture

Producer Lindsay Show Is A Case Nut!

I Don't Even Like Taking Mental Health Drugs! The University Of Iowa, In My Home State Of Iowa, Are The Ones, That Mostly Force Fed Me, And Other Mentally Ill Patients, Way Too Many Mental Drugs There, At The University, Of Iowa. We As Mental Patients, The Other Mentally Ill Patients, And Me, Got Force Fed Way To Many Mental Health Drugs, At The University Of Iowa, In My Home State Of Iowa! (rewind button ALL Of This)! (Please Just Rewind Button, ALL Of This)! That's Why I Don't Like Taking Mental Health Drugs! Anyways, Have A Safe And Happy Thanksgiving To You All, Amen! Yours Truly; Elise. PS: I'm Straight. Also: I'm Looking For Friends, In The Lawrence, Kansas Area, Where I Moved Away From, In About Summer Of 2012. Yes, I Am Looking To Be Making Myself Some Friends There, In The Lawrence, Kansas Area, Where I Moved Away From, In About The Summer, Of 2012. Maybe Some Friends Here In Greenville, Texas Too?? I Might Be Looking To Be Making Me Some Friends Here In Greenville, Texas Too, Maybe??

Robert Visitor's picture

prosac

After reading this article and some of the comments i do not think many of you, including the author, have sufficient knowledge of medical practice to make the statement that you are. I certainly feel for each and everyone who has seen a GP and been prescribed medication based on maybe, what, one or two visits & has subsequently experienced a misdiagnosis. I urge whomever wishes to explore the option of antidepressants to see a psychiatrist who will, by taking interest in your psychological condition, prescribe the most appropriate medication.

To the author, Prosac being abused recreationally? that is just.. shit man.

Prosac and brain damage okay i see this one coming up too. It seems like you are are misinterpreting what you have heard/read. Anti-depressents change how certain receptors work. This is not damage, this is just not the right drug for you. These drugs are astoundingly safe for the amount of good it can do for some people. It doesnt mean its easy though, it might take time before you find the right drug for you.

A long term treatment for many individuals, including myself, who do not plan on being on these drugs until the grave can look to supplements as an alternative. I have had my blood work done which told me i was low in some key nutrients which lead to depression and anxiety. If you can do this i highly advice it!

And to the folks who comment about jesus being your cure, why not try a sugar pill. Please don't comment on medical related topics because your not helping anyone.

Derek's picture

Wow this is bull

Prozac is prescribed for a chemical imbalance in the brain. Although it didnt work for you, it has worked for me and many others. I disagree with the drug being abused as you must take it daily for several weeks to feel any sign of improvement. Yes people have committed suicide but that is at the fault of whoever prescribed it and not the drug itself. There may have been a dopamine deficiency and not a problem with serotonin. This drug isn't toxic and it baffles me that anyone in there right mind would say so. Therapy is not always needed when taking these drugs and there is not always a psychological problem going on. The brain is like every other body part , it has faults so why would you discredit the meds to help fix it.! Every drug has harmful side effects and if you want to live the most "healthy" lifestyle STOP taking any sort of medication immediately.

I hope you got an F on this paper. It sickens me.

Serendip Visitor's picture

nope

Do some research. It's not as simple as " it's an ssri" do research on how ssri, work and you will find there is no known way to measure serotonin. (Unless you cut the brain open) so how could this "chemical imbalance " be so specific If no one knows how to measure it? Or what an acceptable level is. As you do research it becomes very shady as to whatever this drug does.

If someone handed you a pill and said....you might feel great...or you might kill yourself. Would you take it? See most marketing firms leave out that last part.

Kudos....If it helps you. I find it funny to be the fault of the therapist if you don't react well. Too bad for all those people who killed themselves on it. There are tens of thousands of court cases and sides effects. To say its the fault of anything but the drug is insane.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I dont fully agree with your

I dont fully agree with your statements on this text. I dont feel detached. I actually feel more constructive an functional. I think if someone has difficulty and is miserable, and they need the help of the medicine (with therapy)then what is the problem with that?

Serendip Visitor's picture

i have been on Prozac

hi, i am disabled(cerebral palsy). i have been feeling depressed since i was a teen. ive been prescribed several different antidepressants and each one made me feel worse and worse. My mother was so scared because they instilled a more violent and suicidal nature in me. i didnt want that so eventually i quit taking the drugs. its been 7 years and i still have negative side effects. i talk to myself when i dont even want to and i sometime have points where i feel emotionless. its hard to explain this to someone you love.

Serendip Visitor's picture

prozac

I really appreciate the comments that have been posted pertaining prozac. For three years my 15 year old has lived with me, she moved with me because of issues with her mother, and issues with herself. She began to open up and settle in with our living situation. She has been very active, but sometimes would complain of depression. I found a therapist who worked with her and they seemed to gel. She found out that her mother has been depressed for years and is currently prescribed prozac. Since then my daughter has been pressing the issue of being prescribed prozac. She also convinced me that she wanted to go back with her mom to reconcile difference. Not even a week together her mother convinced a general practitioner that my daughter is depressed and needs to bee prescribed an anti-depressent. It took me almost three years to help get my daughter back on track and one week for her mother to add our 15 year old daughter to the prozac nation. I am freaking angry !!! Any suggestions on how to handle the situation?

Sue K's picture

Hell after prozac

I have been off Prozac for 3 months after going on it for depression. I went off cold turkey as had uncomfortable side effects. I am more paranoid, highly strung and depressed than ever before. Two weeks ago I overdosed on the 12 tablets I had left. This has ruined my relationship and my life. I am moody and snap at everyone, even my bosses at work. I am totally suicidal and I blame the meds. It was a big mistake to go on them in the first place. You get over depression in time, but these meds make it never go away, they have ruined my life. I have nothing left.

Rachel H's picture

OMG Sue K.

I hope you are ok. Please tell me you are getting help or something? I was considering the meds. Since having my daughter I have been struggling so much with anxiety and depression. She is 4 so its been a while I know its my need to take better care of my health. Everyday I put off my health - too busy :| I know its terrible. I work full time, go to college, have a young daughter and I am single mom. I feel fizzle fazzled lol.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Prozac

How are you feeling now? Lately? I too stopped taking Prozac about 3 weeks ago. Lately I have been feeling very despondent and upset , alot of anger, and it seems to me like it is at a whole new level of depression. Much deeper feeling than before. I also take marijuana daily and this really seems to help motivate me whereas the common belief about MJ is that it causes lethargy and makes people generally lazy. This couldn't be further from my experiences with it. I use it and go running 4 miles daily, get up every day at 5:30am and have a normal appetite. Now, this new feeling Iv'e been experiencing is so deep feeling and intense I am currently thinking that not even the MJ will help. Anyways, just wanted 2 know if u were still having issues? Thx.

Jasmine B's picture

There's No Need For Prozac, Jesus Is The Answer !

Sweetheart, there is no need for Prozac, Jesus is the answer because he will never leave you nor forsake you and he will give you peace of mind and unexplainable joy! Look, I was going through something in my Junior year of highschool where I just feared speaking in front of people and I've been doing it my whole entire life and I never thought anything about it till then. It hit me out of no where, like I was terrified, shaking all over the place, having massive headaches just thinking about it, and wanting to do nothing but die. I was literally losing my mind and I felt so alone because people thought I was crazy and it made me so depressed. Then one day I was on Facebook, I came across this Jesus post and it said "911 Scriptures," so I read them, believed them, encouraged myself, listened to Christian, uplifting music and I got through it in the end. God had restored my mind, he can do all things, nothing is impossible for Jesus Christ. Now every time I think about that situation, it makes me cry tears of joy because I was so messed up and thought that I would never get through it, but with Jesus I did. Honey, there is no need for Prozac, it only makes matters worse, Jesus is the way!

Johnny's picture

Jesus is not the Answer.

There are many thousands of Chrsitians committing suicide every year due to depression and jesus is doing absolutely nothing.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Jesus or Prozac?

Are u 4 real??!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

She has a reason. I am a

She has a reason. I am a Christian and i believe He can rescue us out of any situation. He can also work through medicine too, and so far it has worked for me. If the medicine didnt help tho you its because you need Jesus in your life. You need to be set free.

Serendip Visitorjinji's picture

Try the supplement SAM-e. It

Try the supplement SAM-e. It really cushioned the blow the second time i tried to get of my antidepressants.

Serendip Visitor's picture

try READING THE BIBLE

try READING THE BIBLE

spottebaum's picture

Anti-depressants

My husband has tried at least three different anti-depressants and they made things worse. He recently went through something traumatic and thoughts drugs might work. He is a christian and is starting to believe that he doesn't even need any meds. I am praying for him much and you can't beat a relationship with the Lord. With a drug there are always bad side effects. With the Lord only good things result. Try Him people!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Really?

try READING MOTHER GOOSE

Lorraine's picture

Bad Drugs

I laugh on the guy who wrote that he is porn star after taking Prozac. Prozac is killing your sex drive and making you a zombie...Period

Sue K's picture

Long lasting prozac side effects

I have been off Prozac for 3 months after going on it for depression. I went off cold turkey as had uncomfortable side effects. I am more paranoid, highly strung and depressed than ever before. Two weeks ago I overdosed on the 12 tablets I had left. This has ruined my relationship and my life. I am moody and snap at everyone, even my bosses at work. I am totally suicidal and I blame the meds. It was a big mistake to go on them in the first place. You get over depression in time, but these meds make it never go away, they have ruined my life. I have nothing left.

rocky's picture

wat to do i feel nevous every

wat to do i feel nevous every were couz of i smoked some bad drugs

e thomson's picture

prozac

yes i do believe prozac helps thousands of people and has helped me cope with this hard and difficult world as it is today.

i will stay on prozac forever as it is keeping severe deppression away. which is a very painfull illness.

good luck to everyone that is helping.

unavailable's picture

be careful

ive been on prozac for a few weeks now and ive had slight side effects like loss of appitite and some dizzyness. all i can say is watch your back...everyones going to react different to prozac and make sure you keep your eyes open on anything different with your thought process and any way you think. I do believe the longer you take it the more at risk you are to become addicted. Try dealing with your depression naturally and if your at your lowest point, take prozac for a few months and slowly come back down to earth and face your problems. Medication is just a way of covering things up. Your not getting rid of your depression your just covering it up for the time. Thats what im doing at the time because i know i cant handle all these things that are going on right now. Be careful when taking any medication that could be attictive. Because when your addicted, you need more, when you buy more, your handing more money to the government.

snaveleber's picture

Prozac has changed my life

Prozac has changed my life for the better. I was dealing with depression more and more each day. The black could of hopelessness was closing in on me. I was a nonbeliever concerning depression. I felt like people who were depressed were just lazy and looking for excuses. But I knew something was wrong with me. It wasn't like I didn't want to get things done - it was like I felt hopeless that they would ever actually get accomplished, so I wouldn't start. I finally decided to take prozac, and I have hope again. I feel optimistic and get up and love on my children and I'm overall a better person. I haven't experienced a single side effect. I still feel normal emotions, still enjoy my... ahem... bedroom experiences. Everything is great. I just feel so, normal. I'm thankful.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I feel the same way as you. I

I feel the same way as you. I wonder if because of extreme stressful continuous situations of the past. Traumas etc, it changes something in the chemistry of our brain, and prozac somehow supplys that. I dont know, just a thought.

Alec Meadows's picture

Wellbutrin/lexapro

While these are not quite the same drug, they function in the exact same way. and may cause permanent brain damage.
I know i will sound like a braggart. but i SWEAR ON MY LIFE that i am telling the truth
I.Q at age 15 (before i started these drugs for depession) 172... i was called a genius by nearly everyone i knew, and was a star athlete on the school football team, i suffered from anemia briefly in freshman year and had to stay home for a few weeks. after i made a PHYSICAL recovery i remained sleepy and apathetic. i was then diagnosed with depression and prescribed Wellbutrin and lexapro.
i had a loss of focus and became even more depressed, during this time i quit the football team and became very introverted. after this went on for 2 years i told my parents that i COULD NOT keep doing this and had to quit the drugs, they refused, as i had been on them so long without complaining (I thought i WAS depressed). so i stopped taking them without consent, i suffered typical withdrawal symptoms like dizziness and nausea. BUT I FELT GREAT emotionally. the highs AND lows were back. and it was worth it. as soon as i turned 18 i stopped getting the drugs at all. and got my IQ tested again because i still wasn't quite my old self. i was quite unfocused and lethargic and was concerned about brain damage,
IQ at age 18 (After 2 years of SSRIs) 112. Fuck doctors. Fuck Parents. I hoped to change the world, hell, look back at things i wrote in school when i was drug free and i can't even comprehend how this happened to me. i'm not the person i used to be and i am now worse in every way. I hope that this can be stopped, and no one else is ruined like me.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Antidepressant lowers IQ

The Antidepressant does lowers my identical brother's IQ. We're identical brother, we both depressed, my brother took PROZAC/fluoxitine at about 20 year old, I didn't take any at all. My brother took the drug for a few month then stopped due to severe side effect such as high blood pressure, eye-sight loss etc. After two years I left, I came back and see my brother with no much improvement on brain activity.

By comparison, his reflexes is still good, but his ability of grabbing new things is much slower than me such as reading books, creativity, memory, efficiency of doing things. His reasoning skill decreased as his reasoning is somewhat uncoordinated; his find himself hard to concentrate, as he complain to me that I take too much words on one point he won't understand; he is more forgetful than before; he is irritable than before.

On the contrary, he is more social-like, friendly than before.

rocky's picture

drugs

this story is like i smoked some bad drugs from there till now i didnt got mad but i had unusall behavier from last 3 years but now i iam trying to take these drugs hopefully i get well soon i dont kno can some one tell me how to deal wid dis problem.

Dave Boyce's picture

prozac

Man there are some heavy comments here. SSRI's dropping IQ 60 points. Turning one into a sociopath. I don't understand.

Archibald Somers's picture

Prozac made me a Narcissistic sociopath.

Whether or not I believe you are stretching the truth about a 175 IQ is irrelevant; I do, however, agree with you that Prozac is dangerous.
I was put on this legally sanctioned crack when I was 14 and I experienced a decrease in acceptable emotions; I also came very close to becoming a spree killer, I am grateful that my family did not possess firearms to which I had access. I eventually had to be taken off prozac, as it was becoming dangerous to my mental health.

I can't go into great details, as I am currently preparing to go out, though I can say that, since coming off prozac, I have never been the same as I was. I used to want to help the world; now I fit the psychological profile of a Sociopath.

I don't feel emotions anymore; only anger and determination.

In curing one mental illness, the OCD, they've made me more insane; the doctors made me a psychopath.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Prozac is a killer. Don't take it

I totally agree with Archibald. I was recently prescribed Prozac. I was on 20mg a day. Wow, I'm so lucky to be here now. It took total control of my mind and I had demons in my stomach (that's what I called it anyway). I went from a mild mannered person into a maniac. The penny did not drop until taking Prozac for about 3 1/2 weeks. The emotional damage it has done to me. I did some wreckage in the house, abused my mother and eventually the police were called. The hospital did nothing as they obviously thought I was some druggie or drunk ( I don't drink or do recreational drugs). No support system for me. I was so frightened and did not know what was happening to me. As it was only recently I am still trying to get over it. But it will take a long time. I cry every day. The only thing at the time that calmed me down, cause I was one angry lady, was codeine. It was given to me by someone close who takes them. It may be a narcotic, but by geez, if it hadn't been for the codeine, like I said I would not be here. Don't take the drug, it's not worth it. Read more about the drug. It may give some of you a "nice feeling", huh, that's more luck than anything else. It should be banned.

Serendip Visitor's picture

it works wonders for me

i have been on prozac for 3 years and it has worked me wonders. i have been suffering from depression since i was 12, and when i got put on prozac at 19 after other medications failing i made a complete turn around. my anxiety is in check and i finally started feeling happy enough again to go out and make friends and my academics improved. just remember with any medication therapy is important too.

AT's picture

And then there are situations

And then there are situations like myself, a 24 year old recovering cocaine addict. First of all, without the help of Prozac during my initial stages of detox, I'm not really sure I would have gotten clean? How do I know this? I went through many treatment centers. Is it ironic that when prozac was added to the mix it, ahem, it "worked"? That was my final treatments center. (Dont worry I'm not too naive, I do understand that there were several reasons why that particular facility was helpful) Having bean clean for nearly 3 years at this point, should I take the risk of not being on prozac? I really think not. If Prozac is suddenly my vice, I've done this whole thing wrong. Now, i DO NOT believe that anyone, anywhere, should be taking prozac. I am currently working toward my doctorate To be a psychiatrist, and I think recognize abuse of Prozac is an existing problem. Perhaps through better awareness for the next upcoming generation and more cation labels on such drugs would draw people away from "quick fixes"
A

Denizen's picture

Experience

I am firmly convinced that "depression" is simply the emotional response to being in a bad place in life. All the bells and whistles adorning the notion by Big Money, Psychiatry, etc., are just so many labels making the straight path crooked. The fact that SO MANY people NEED to take synthetic pharmaceutical chemicals now to feel ok is one of the major threats in our society.
If this is true, that emotional response to being in a bad place in life is what we CALL depression, people are opting to STAY in bad situations and simply repress their feelings with drugs. There can be NOTHING so dubious or dangerous!

Andrea's picture

Lol um, no...

I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong you are. Instead, I'll just suggest that you Google this depression subject. Yes, in some cases, someone could be in a bad place in their lives and just say it's depression...but not all cases are like this. Obviously everyone's different. You are just one of the many different people I like to use as an example as to a close minded individual. Although, I do agree with you in one aspect that alot of people are misdiagnosed and are put on the wrong medication or any medication when they don't need it. Some doctors just want money, money, money. Other than that, ignorance. Thank you!

P's picture

It's not that

Its not that "so many people NEED to take" these synthetic chemicals, it's that for the first time ever these synthetic chemicals are available and we can experience better living by taking them. So why not? If it doesnt help, don't take it. If it does, then do.

Andrea's picture

Yes

I completely agree!

Serendip Visitor's picture

And what about those people

And what about those people such as myself who aren't "remaining in a bad situation," but have lived through the murders of their family and abuse in foster homes? People who live a tragic life have little means of escaping the psychological stigma later in life. Not to mention the fact that mental illness and schizophrenia runs through my family tree just like many other peoples. I see a psychologist, but nothing has helped my depression and PTSD as much as prozac has. You are too quick to dismiss chronic depression as something that people could just "get rid of".

P's picture

Too quick to dismiss

I think you are spot-on....so many people are too quick to dismiss true mental disorder as just "being unhappy with your situation". People wih depression, OCD and other mental illnesses are unable to enjoy even small moments of happiness because their bad feelings hang over them like a cloud that just will not go away. Antidepressants can help lift this cloud so that the person may actually be able to start working toward a happier life and enjoying happiness that is already around them. If you have ever experienced the hopelessness of this kind of mental illness, you will realize that the same situation can be hellish when not on an antidepressant and perfectly fine while on an antidepressant. This is the true mark of depression caused by brain chemistry rather than "your situation". Sure, people who don't have true brain chemistry disorders abuse the meds. But that is not to say that plenty of people with true chemical disorders aren't at a huge bennefit to "being happy about their situation" or working towards a healthy lifestyle with the help of antidepressants.

Serendip Visitor's picture

ssri brain death

have taken these drugs for 7 years for so called depresson . actually was in a state of anxst due to hsband removing himself from family and me and going off with the new model i came of them gradually and havent taken anything except aspirin for 3 years .
i still feel fogged out
i feel imbalance when walking in the house
i trip and fall my spacial awareness is crap
im not depressed .
i cant concertrate on anything
im just a jumbling mess really
trying to put over to all around thAT IM OK WHEN INFACT IM NOT
I SUSPECT THAT IM BRAIN DAMAGED BUT GET NO RESPONCE FROM THE DOCTORS THAT PUT ME ON THIS SHIT IN THE FIRST PLACE
I RUE THE DAY I EVER TOOK IT .
SO THREE YEARS ON IM STILL THE SAME
ITS LIKE WAITING FOR DEATH AS I CANT WORK
NO ONE WOULD EMPLOY ME AS I FORGET EVERTHING MINITES AFTER BEING TOLD
I FLOODED OUT MY OLD WORK BY LEAVING ON A TAP
what a hoot
but the goverment in there wisdom want to put ppeople like me back to work. i dont know what to do next
its all a bit mad .

William's picture

It can definitely help

I've been on fluoxetine (the generic for Prozac) for about 8 years now. I was in my mid-30's, had suffered lifelong OCD and had bouts of very bad depression. Prozac had worked wonders for my mom, who had the same problems. It completely changed my life for the better, but that is not to say there were no side effects. I did have problems attaining erection and orgasm for several months, but these went away and have not resurfaced. Also, I was a little wild for the first few years of fluoxetine therapy, I think just because, for the first time in my life, I was free from OCD fears and limitations and so it made me want to test the waters a bit. I eventually calmed down, and it may have been just a midlife thing. I can't begin to tell you how much fluoxetine improved my OCD especially, and also worked wonders with the depression. It may not work for everyone, but that's why we need to see doctors in order to get it. They keep an eye on us while we try different medications out, as it should be. Please don't demonize a drug based on SOME people's reactions to it!

LR's picture

axe grinding

I think anyone who says Prozac is really great or truly awful has a personal agenda and is not looking at all the facts. I recognize that lots of people have had various problems with it. And it doesn't help everyone. For me, it was extremely helpful, despite some annoying side effects. I think for anyone who's struggling with depression, it's worth considering. If you're not prepared to accept a little discomfort at time, then either you're not very depressed or you have misplaced priorities.

The emotionless state can be temporary, or at least for me it was. And for me it was quite an improvement. I also had some days which bordered on mania, but those went away too.

I wonder if, when they talk about the number of behavioral problems, they compare those to a sample of patients on placebos. I suspect in that case these behavioral problems would be a small fraction compared to those not taking anything. I suspect that, at least for people it works on, the side effects of Prozac are far less than those of depression! We have to keep in mind that, if severe enough, "natural" depression is fully capable of killing you. And even if not that severe, it can still damage your health.

To all you knee jerk Puritans: Prozac is not a happy pill. If it works, it just lets you start from the same place as all those non-depressed people. If you're a resourceful person who's been depressed, that may mean you eventually end up fairly happy, but it's not automatic!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Personal Aganda

Sounds like you're the one with a personal agenda.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Prozac is great

At first I was extremely resistant to medication of any type having lost two friends to oxycontin ODs and many others just went off the reservation.

I have been on Prozac for 8 weeks now and it has totally changed my life. I am back to being happy again. I have a girlfriend. I have sex like a porn star. Considering there is a large percentage of Americans abusing prescription pain killers, benzos and amphetamines. Prozac is by far a much happier medium. And is much more effective than all of the drugs listed above.

I wonder if the author of this article has ever taken prozac. If not then they probably shouldnt be talking about it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

That sounds like the

That sounds like the stimulant effect. Hope you don't crash. Wonder how much you take. I have chronic pain issues. I'm on an anti-inflammatory which stimulates and helps counteract the low of muscle relaxers and pain killers. Thank God, I no longer need lortab or neurontin. Just flexiril and tramadol if I can't sleep. Prozac doesn't stimulate if you're having to take any pain killers or muscle relaxers. Just shows how easily you can crash on it. It has a long half life, so you can experiment with skipping a dose to see what it might feel like if you crash. Believe me, you don't want to unexpectedly crash. That's why so many commit suicide on it. They have found that some people can take just one high dose a week, like 60mg, instead of letting it build up taking it every day. Be careful. Too much of a good thing will come back to bite you.

Rosi's picture

prozac

It was 1988 when I start to take prozac THANK YOU GOD FOR PROZAC my life is changed, I am still taking and I will take till I die.....
No side effects for me, no problems. I am content with my life, when I have problems in my life I take it as it comes and keep living.... I think I am a better person since I star with prozac.

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