Listening to Prozac, 20 years later.

gretchen

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
816
20 years ago, a psychiatrist named Peter Kramer wrote a book called Listening to Prozac. In the book he detailed people's personal transformations from using the SSRI drug Prozac. People said using the drug caused them to become happier and more like their idealized selves. In the years after this book was published, Prozac became a household name.

In the news lately we are hearing a lot of reports about gun violence that is likely linked to use of SSRIs. It's clear they make people more aggressive. How does this mesh with what Kramer wrote 20 years ago? There are continued anecdotes all over the Internet of people who can't function off SSRIs. Why is this?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/014026671 ... mdp_mobile
 

John Eels

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
151
Re: SSRIs, aggression and American culture

I think it's relevant to distinguish between short term effects and long term effects. Shirt term, I mean a couple of months, there might be a sense of heightened mood and energy. The effects over a couple of years are a different story. I see a lot of people on SSRI's and they often complain about tiredness and increased daytime sleepiness. I had been on Prozac and I felt less sensitive to stimuli. In consequence I was less able to both experience joy and sadness. I was blunted by the drug.

Danny Roddy published a blog post not long ago about Serotonin and SSRI's (http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/things-are-getting-trippy-serotonin-and-lsd). Here's a excerpt from it:
Q: Yeah, but I took (an antidepressant or 5-HTP or tryptophan) once and it made me feel good. Real good!

SSRIs, 5-HTP and tryptophan can all increase levels of serotonin.

Serotonin can act on the pituitary to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which tells the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol.
“Serotonin acts centrally to affect renin release, and it promotes ACTH secretion.”
— Constance R. Martin (Endocrine Physiology 1986)
ACTH and cortisol, possibly due to their anti-inflammatory effects, can make one feel good, at least in the beginning:
“Adaptive hormones can cause mental changes in man. Many patients who take ACTH or cortisol first develop a sense of extraordinary wellbeing and buoyancy, with excitement and insomnia; this is sometimes followed by a depression which may go so far as to create suicidal tendencies.”
— Hans Selye
“Glucocorticoids exert early influences on the brain that tend to elevate mood and increase the sense of ‘well-being.’ Larger amounts can bring on temporary euphoria. However, the secondary effects include psychic depression. Patients with chronically elevated levels tend to have mood swings. They have been known to display bizarre behavior and to suffer hallucinations.”
— Constance R. Martin
The effects of Prozac may be due to its effects on neuroactive steroids like pregnenolone (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305706002528):
Pregnenolone and its sulfate enhance learning and memory in rodent models, and therefore pregnenolone elevations may be relevant to cognitive changes in psychotic and affective disorders. Since pregnenolone decreases have been linked to depression, it is possible that olanzapine- and fluoxetine-induced pregnenolone elevations may contribute to the antidepressant actions of these agents.
In the book "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America" (http://tinyurl.com/bhtavc5) Robert Whitaker compiles evidence that suggests that over a five year period people on SSRI's fare worse than those not medicated. For instance, in third world countries the long term outcome of schizophrenia patients is better than those in developed nations b/c they get prescribed an antipsychotic whereas only 16% of the patients in poor countries receive medication (according to a WHO report). The psychotropic substances that are supposed to help you make you seek, Whitaker concludes.
 

gretchen

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
816
Re: SSRIs, aggression and American culture

On Zoloft I flipped over in to a manic state within a few months & instinctively stopped taking it after the damage was done.

This is unrelated, but I also took estrogen (the bcp) which also increases aggression. I consistently worked and stayed hyped up while on it. Since going off, I feel more mellow and quiet ; some days I don't even want to leave the house. Is this like what people go through on SSRIs- they get all fired up to do something, which is very American (laying around and being peaceful is lazy), then the social approval dynamic kicks in and everyone says good job, I'm so proud you work/shop/are happy/ party woo hoo way to go! Only the fact is, when I wasn't active (on estrogen), I used to just sit on my futon by myself and wonder how I would cope. Everything drove me crazy.
 

Lucy

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
70
I have a similar anecdote. One of my friends had a good job as a programmer, was in a decent relationship, saving some money for an apartment, in short, she lead what you could call a normal life. But she is prone to depression/anxiety and got put on several antidepressants by her psychiatrist. And one of them, the one that worked best according to her, sent her into hypomania (which I saw with my own eyes - it included aggression on top of extreme restlessness and grandiose ideas). She kept taking it for a few years and in the mean time left her job, her boyfriend, sold her car and used up all her savings, just to be able to start a new business of her own - a huge international online portal. Well, a few years later, the portal was functioning, but she didn't earn a dime off it and was completely broke with nowhere to go but her parents' place. Then she stopped ADs and calmed down, and now she's saying she doesn't want to be an enterpreneur at all, but just wants a regular 8-hour job and a family life. She now has a regular job and is building her life again, but I think her grandiose idea cost her a lot.

I'm almost sure this happened because she was put on ADs. And I also think that estrogen drives the crazy western behaviour (workaholism, partying excessively, aggression etc.). Like the mice that run 30 miles per day when given estrogen. When I watch documentaries of hunter-gatherers or other noncivilized people, what strikes me the most is how extremely placid they are in comparison to western people.
 

jyb

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
2,775
Location
UK
Re: SSRIs, aggression and American culture

John Eels said:
In the book "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America" (http://tinyurl.com/bhtavc5) Robert Whitaker compiles evidence that suggests that over a five year period people on SSRI's fare worse than those not medicated. For instance, in third world countries the long term outcome of schizophrenia patients is better than those in developed nations b/c they get prescribed an antipsychotic whereas only 16% of the patients in poor countries receive medication (according to a WHO report). The psychotropic substances that are supposed to help you make you seek, Whitaker concludes.

I recall reading that it's similar for those on sleeping pills. Those with insomnia who get drugs for it are worse off in the long run.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
79
Lucy said:
I'm almost sure this happened because she was put on ADs. And I also think that estrogen drives the crazy western behaviour (workaholism, partying excessively, aggression etc.). Like the mice that run 30 miles per day when given estrogen. When I watch documentaries of hunter-gatherers or other noncivilized people, what strikes me the most is how extremely placid they are in comparison to western people.

Sayyid Qutb's observations are relevant here:

This small city of Greeley, in which I am staying, is so beautiful that one may easily imagine that he is in paradise. Each house appears as a flowering plant and the streets are like garden pathways. As one observes, the owners of these houses spend their leisure time in toil, watering their private yards and trimming their gardens. This is all they appear to do ...

I stayed there six months and never did I see a person or a family actually enjoying themselves, even on summer nights when breezes waft over the city as if in a dream. The most important thing for these people is the tending of their gardens, much in the same way a merchant spends time organizing his store or a factory owner his factory. There is nothing behind this activity in the way of beauty or artistic taste. It is the machinery of organization and arrangement, devoid of spirituality and aesthetic enjoyment.
 

Lucy

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
70
This small city of Greeley, in which I am staying, is so beautiful that one may easily imagine that he is in paradise. Each house appears as a flowering plant and the streets are like garden pathways.

There is nothing behind this activity in the way of beauty or artistic taste.

Isn't he contradicting himself a bit here?
 

kiran

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
1,054
Dorito Loyalist said:
Sayyid Qutb

He was an islamist radical, indeed the granddaddy of all islamist radicals. I'm not sure that we can put any weight upon his words.
 

John Eels

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
151
And I also think that estrogen drives the crazy western behaviour (workaholism, partying excessively, aggression etc.). Like the mice that run 30 miles per day when given estrogen. When I watch documentaries of hunter-gatherers or other noncivilized people, what strikes me the most is how extremely placid they are in comparison to western people.
I like your thinking. Maybe western society's pace is related to people's overall physiology which might be estrogen dominant.
 

kiran

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
1,054
I'm not sure I believe that. The hunter-gatherers left today are mostly on marginal land and comparatively shy, perhaps not the most typical of H-Gs in general.

I imagine the healthy human would be very curious and experimental.
 

Lucy

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
70
Placid and curious/experimental are not traits that are mutually exclusive, actually all three combined are how I would like my child to be, for example :) (In comparison to the children I sometimes see who can hardly focus enough to learn anything, and are anything but placid.) Perhaps H-G are not the best example, but in general they don't seem to suffer from such afflictions. By the way, this is an interesting example: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/ ... inkel-text

Ha, I just noticed the word "placid" is used in the first sentence of this article :)
 

Jenn

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
1,035
"Old fashion" serotonin inhibitors are different that the "improved" SSRIs. They work differently, though I don't pretend to understand them. The newer ones can do serious damage and can affect how hormone supplements behave in the body....like pregnenelone, progestE etc.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
79
It's surreal of every generation of "remedies" gets more and more dangerous.
 

mandance

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
473
Jenn said:
"Old fashion" serotonin inhibitors are different that the "improved" SSRIs. They work differently, though I don't pretend to understand them. The newer ones can do serious damage and can affect how hormone supplements behave in the body....like pregnenelone, progestE etc.

Where did you hear that?
 

4peatssake

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,055
Age
60
mandance said:
Jenn said:
"Old fashion" serotonin inhibitors are different that the "improved" SSRIs. They work differently, though I don't pretend to understand them. The newer ones can do serious damage and can affect how hormone supplements behave in the body....like pregnenelone, progestE etc.

Where did you hear that?
She is probably referring to this:

Ray Peat said:
Every doctor in the country seems to know that the old MAO-inhibitors are dangerous because they can raise blood pressure if you eat certain kinds of cheese while taking them. In fact, statistics show that they are safer than the new generation of antidepressants.
Bold is Ray Peat

and

The drug companies like to call some of their new products SSRI, “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” meaning that they don’t indiscriminately increase all the biogenic amines, the way the old MAO inhibitors supposedly did.

Serotonin, depression, and aggression: The problem of brain energy

The article well explains the serious damage done by SSRIs. Just one snippet.

Ray Peat said:
Some research shows that increased serotonin is associated with certain types of increased aggressiveness, and antiserotonin agents decrease aggresiveness (Ieni, et al., 1985; McMillen, et al., 1987) but the clearest research has to do with the crucial role of serotonin in learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a biological condition that is created by inescapable stress. In this state, animals that would normally swim for hours will stop swimming after a few minutes and allow themselves to drown. They simply don’t have enough mental or physical energy to overcome challenges.
 

mandance

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
473
She is probably referring to this:

Ray Peat said:
Every doctor in the country seems to know that the old MAO-inhibitors are dangerous because they can raise blood pressure if you eat certain kinds of cheese while taking them. In fact, statistics show that they are safer than the new generation of antidepressants.
Bold is Ray Peat



Well ive read that article, but she said that they do serious damage and effect how hormone supplements effect the body...Im wondering where she got that info because I have not come across it before. I def feel the learned helplessness thing...since getting off these pills recently after a long time on them...I dont have much will to do anything, even eating.
 

HDD

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2,030
mandance said:
Jenn said:
"Old fashion" serotonin inhibitors are different that the "improved" SSRIs. They work differently, though I don't pretend to understand them. The newer ones can do serious damage and can affect how hormone supplements behave in the body....like pregnenelone, progestE etc.

Where did you hear that?


I asked about this a week or so ago. I was considering letting my son take pregnenolone until I read that.

Jenn, could you explain?
 

mandance

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
473
I think its fine...Peat knows my history of antidepressants and still advised preg and thryoid. I only took it once, it felt good but I will hold off on supps for awhile.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
N Listening To Intestine Sounds. Quote From Ray Digestion 3
L Does Anyone Get Migraines When Listening To Music? Eyes, Ears, Nose and Headaches/Migraines 9
DaveFoster Listening To Your Body Digestion 12
Dan Wich Generative Energy #21: Beyond Nutrition: Are You Listening? Generative Energy Podcast 1
healthnatura Requests Here Please - I'm Listening Health Natura 97
I How Do You Experiment? What Do You Guys Look For When "listening To Your Body"? Health 6
L Listening to my cravings Diet, Recipes 3
charlie What music are you listening to right now? The Ray Peat Forum Lounge 19
N Microdosing Prozac Cortisol, Serotonin, Histamine 2
B Prozac + PMDD Cortisol, Serotonin, Histamine 0
A Prozac Disrupts Behavior/Cortisol Over Generations Scientific Studies 19
haidut SSRI Drugs Such As Prozac (fluoxetine) Cause Antibiotic Resistance Scientific Studies 7
haidut SSRI Drugs (Prozac) Worsen Prenatal Stress And May Contribute To Autism Scientific Studies 3
pimpnamedraypeat 14 Year Old Girl With Depression On Prozac What Do Female Issues 17
haidut SSRI (Prozac) Drugs Cause Irreversible Bone Loss Scientific Studies 14
A Why does Prozac work? Pharmaceutical Drugs 12
haidut Maker Of Prozac Hid From FDA Data On Drug Risks Articles 2
Amazigh Anxiety/PTSD/OCD: Prozac's Mechanism Of Action Is Normalization Of Allpregnanolone In The Brain Mind, Sleep, Stress 5
A Aging seems to progress in discrete steps - at 34, 60, 78 years Scientific Studies 5
BearWithMe We had 23 sunny days in past 2 years Ask For Help or Advice 10
D Did Low Carb diet for 3 years, help! Diet 8
P Chronically elevated TSH but normal FT3 and FT4, despite Peating for years - ideas? Blood Work, Labs 11
D Recalcitrant SIBO ongoing for 3 years Digestion 43
M Best way to eat peaty at 17 years old? Diet 46
Soren Mouth Cancer women 95 Years Cancer 7
L All my hair loss ideas over the years summarized Hair & Nails 90
username Erectile dysfunction at 29. No morning wood for years (unless eating lots of starch and fat before bed). Diet 15
Lambivore 17 Years Old And Eating Like This, Is it Good? Ask For Help or Advice 16
Velve921 My Nutrient Requirements/Caloric Intake Are Increasing After 7 Years Diet 0
Atma 81 Year Old Woman Ate Fruit and Milk Diet for 27 Years Milk 58
Mito Reductions in 2020 US life expectancy due to COVID-19 (1.13 years) Miscellaneous Health Discussions 2
R 5 years with sinusitis Health 42
jamies33 My Experience With Coffee After 3 Years Of Daily (ab)use Coffee 5
2ManyHistamines After Years Of High Hemoglobin. Polycythemia Vera Diagnosis Blood Work, Labs 0
haidut No Excess Deaths In Sweden In 2020 Compared To The Last 10 Years Scientific Studies 119
Spartan300 Steroids/Androgens Good - Persistent Hypo Symptoms (years) Thyroid and Hormones 34
Drareg Anthony Fauci: 40 Years Of Lies From AZT To Remdesivir Articles & Scientific Studies 26
B Phytoestrogens Administered At Auschwitz Tanked The IQs Of Children Born Several Years Later Scientific Studies 3
K I Took 100mg Pregnenolone ED For Years - Please Help Me Supplements, Pharmaceutical Drugs 64
T Can't Work, Won't Work Been Years Mental Issues 8
Hgreen56 Subjects Who Drank More Than 2 Cups Of Milk Per Day During Their Midlife Years Had Approximately 40% Dairy, Eggs 30
Drareg Years Of Life Lost Due To The Psychosocial Consequences Of COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies Based On S Scientific Studies 0
T 2 Years Ago Life REALLY Crashed Anyone Have Information? Mental Issues 23
M Hypopnea Sleep 1 Good Night In 7 Years Insomnia, Sleep Issues 47
R 5 Years Of Fasting Daily And 3 Years Of Low Carb - I Need Help On Metabolism Ask For Help or Advice 4
I 150 To 200 In 3 Years Weight 8
Tristan Loscha D3 5000 TO 50000 INTERNATIONAL UNITS/d SEVEN YEARS EXPERIENCE DOSING REVIEW D 5
D I’ve Been Eating 2000-2500 Calories/day For Years. (6 Ft 8, 220 Lbs) Macros & Micros 19
Velve921 After 5.5 Years, I Finally Started Losing Weight. Key Has Been Strictness Rant or Rave 24
D Constant Insatiable Hunger, Extreme Stress, And Brain Fog All For 7 Years Now Ask For Help or Advice 92

Similar threads

Top