Listening to Prozac, 20 years later.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Health Discussions' started by gretchen, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. gretchen

    gretchen Member

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    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
     
  2. John Eels

    John Eels Member

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    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:
    The effects of Prozac may be due to its effects on neuroactive steroids like pregnenolone (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305706002528):
    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.
     
  3. OP
    gretchen

    gretchen Member

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    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.
     
  4. Lucy

    Lucy Member

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    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.
     
  5. jyb

    jyb Member

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    Re: SSRIs, aggression and American culture

    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.
     
  6. Dorito Loyalist

    Dorito Loyalist Member

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    Sayyid Qutb's observations are relevant here:

     
  7. Lucy

    Lucy Member

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    Isn't he contradicting himself a bit here?
     
  8. kiran

    kiran Member

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    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.
     
  9. seventhchord

    seventhchord New Member

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    In reference to “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America” by Robert Whitaker, the following clip (pertinent information concerning serotonin/antidepressants) is taken from his appearance on BOOK TV.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/4371366&newclip
     
  10. John Eels

    John Eels Member

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    I like your thinking. Maybe western society's pace is related to people's overall physiology which might be estrogen dominant.
     
  11. kiran

    kiran Member

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    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.
     
  12. Lucy

    Lucy Member

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    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 :)
     
  13. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    "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.
     
  14. Dorito Loyalist

    Dorito Loyalist Member

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    It's surreal of every generation of "remedies" gets more and more dangerous.
     
  15. mandance

    mandance Member

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    Where did you hear that?
     
  16. 4peatssake

    4peatssake Member

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    She is probably referring to this:

    Bold is Ray Peat

    and

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

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

     
  17. OP
    gretchen

    gretchen Member

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    Looking back, I can't believe I ever took Zoloft.
     
  18. mandance

    mandance Member

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    She is probably referring to this:

    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.
     
  19. HDD

    HDD Member

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    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?
     
  20. mandance

    mandance Member

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    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.
     
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