Discussion in 'Human Science' started by TheNatMan, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. TheNatMan Chlamydia-free since 1934 Registered Senior Member

    Last week, after seeing a therapist, i began taking Prozac. This was very hard to do, to even go to the office in the first place, but i felt i truly did need it. And i have noticed an overall positive change in my mood.
    But my brother called me today, who is a buddhist, and proceded to question: "who is this perfect person that you are trying to be? Why not just accept your depression and work through it yourself? And really, what is the difference between prozac and any other drugs? Why is cocaine so different?"....
    And I realized he had a point. I disagreed with him, stating that it is fixing a chemical imbalance, but he had to go in the middle of my response, leaving me time to think about it. And i realized they are good questions. Good enough to propose to you, my fellow sciforumers: How do you feel about Prozac? Would you agree with my brother? Is it surrender?
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  3. jps Valued Senior Member

    Prozac doesn't get you high. In fact, taking an individual prozac probly won't do anything at all. If you take it for an extended period of time it will basically fix the lack of serotonin in your brain. It should be viewed like any other medication(psychiatric or otherwise).

    If you are depressed because something bad happend to you or you feel your life is genuinely going badly(in other words, if your depression is not the result of a chemical imabalance) then psychotherapy, actively working to improve your situation, or just time could correct it and prozac might not be the answer. However, if things are generally ok, and you're miserable over things that one would not normally be miserable over, or for no reason at all, then there may not be anything to "work through" and saying that you should try and work through it rather than treat it, is akin to saying you shouldn't take coumadin but rather should work through your bloods tendency to clot on your own.
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  5. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Prozac corrects a chemical imbalance in the brain, returning the brain to its normal state. Cocaine creates a chemical imbalance in the brain, moving it away from its normal state. It seems like the difference is pretty obvious.
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  7. Yes Registered Senior Member

    I have to agree with your brother, Prozac is Satan!

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  8. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    Prozac adjusts the chemical levels in the brain, altering it such that the brain fits the more classicaly "normal" state in certain individuals at perscribed doses. Cocaine adjusts the chemical levels in the brain, moving it away from its normal state, and in almost all cases, away from the classical norm of brain chemistry as well. It seems like the difference is pretty obvious.

    while there is certainly a species-wide, and subdivided down (culturally-wide) norm for brain chemistry, we tend to assume that different=bad.

    Prozac makes you, who is a unique individual, more like everyone else in the brain chemistry department. That isn't bad or good in of itself. Depending on what you want, it could be a life saver, or a destroyer of creativity and free will. For me, it was the latter, so I don't take these meds any more. They were very useful at the time, though, and I'm glad I took them then.

    TheNatMan, if you are unable to deal with life on your own, then go ahead with Prozac, it can be a useful tool. However, don't use it as a crutch to avoid living your own life -something which happens often these days. It's when you get to this point that cocain and prozac are identical. Both are escapes from the life you have available to you right now.
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  10. TheNatMan Chlamydia-free since 1934 Registered Senior Member

    Wow! thank you everyone who posted, and especially river-wind. I told all of that to my brother, and he agreed with every word of it. and in the end, im going to keep taking it, though as a tool to help me sort through my problems. Its not a happy pill, and i realize that now--And too often it is used as one. So thanks once again
  11. Abnak Registered Senior Member

    " How do you feel about Prozac? "

    Prozac and other drugs should be available to responsible adults . These adults should acquaint themselves with the risks involved because many of the adverse effects , long term and short are actually more severe than the consumers original complaint . There are numerous studies that conclude the effectiveness of SSRI's are placebo in nature , derived not from the chemical composition , but from the therapist / patient relationship . Get a PDR , full version and study it .

    This drug and others however are being forced on children as young as 5 years old . Children that are basically prisoners to a system where even their own bodies belong to others .
  12. MRC_Hans Skeptic Registered Senior Member

    Good decision.

    Some people have a permanent imbalance, which can be remedied by Prozac. Of course, you might say that they are now a different personality, but that may be preferable, if their "real" personality does not allow them to live a useful life.

    Others have a temporary condition, brought about by internal or external causes. Here Prozac is not basically a cure, but it can bring about balance and reduce suffering and confusion to a level where the person is able to work with the problem and recover. Much like a crutch for a broken leg. In such cases, the Prozac should be discontinued after an appropriate time, of course.

    Prozac cannot make you happy, but it may enable you to refind happiness.

  13. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member


    im sure your brother is aware of the medical practice that happens in the realms of other cultures and obviousely has a point in a manner of speaking

    the most difficult situation that currently pervades the use of most drugs is quality, accurate data of the person and then controlling the amount of drugs combined with psychology sessions to monitor and help resolve the overall problems.

    the drug Extasy (M.D.M.A) is a form of prozac in a manner of speaking and so both will cause the same potential problem if abused

    as an example i would therefor suggest that if technology were capable then a brain chemistry analysis should be done prior and during the use of such drugs

    good luck with your situation
    try and find a good counsellor to have weekly meetings with and set a potential end point for the drug as the longer you use it the more likely you are to become dependent and require more larger doses to obtain the same effect as with most drugs of that nature

    the start to any thing like this is a TOTAL RE- EVALUATION
    of your diet

    you are what you eat!
    not just a saying

    groove on

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  14. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    There is nothing un-buddhist about treating your depression with prozac. Accepting yourself for who you are includes accepting that you are depressed and need medical help. Even if you became enlightened at this moment, that would not ensure permanent happiness. Have compassion for yourself first, then you can have compassion for others.
  15. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

    How about this perspective?

    Everything you take into your body is to some degree a drug. Cocaine affects you, Prozac affects you, a daily vitamin affects you, that pot pie you ate last night affects you. Now some things affect you more than others. For instance Prozac will affect you more than a sugar pill. But in reality it's all chemicals and compounds. I've heard that carbohydrates help alleviate depression to an extent.

    From your brother's perspective... you may learn more from going through it yourself. You may become a stronger person for it. Or you may become so depressed you commit suicide.

    There's no shame in wanting to feel well and helping yourself becoming well. A buddhist quote goes something like... "When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thristy, I drink. That is the nature of Zen." This basically means listen to your body, it knows best. So if you are depressed, is it not natural to take some course of action to remedy it, whether it be thinking it out or taking Prozac?
  16. AndersHermansson Registered Senior Member

    By having a negative attitude for a long period of time or demanding too much of yourself (resulting in depression) result in a lower lever of serotonine in your brain. Personally I think many psychological disorders is easy to attack on a therapeutical level. Most revolve around fear for something. That's also why it is so hard. To overcome a mental illness, you have to overcome your fear.
  17. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    I advise caution for few reasons. First, this stuff is being handed out by some like candy. Next, I was put on Prozac and counseling for depression for six months. Later it became clear that my depression was allergy related- not because my mother was mean to me which required that I adjust my brain chemicals. I was furious!!! Honestly, my reaction was: WHAT A CROCK!

    Obviously it does help many people so I don’t mean to
    slam the treatment for everyone, but I suggest that you talk with your doctor about going off the medication in a few months. I have read that sometimes all that one needs is a kick start. Also, after about six months I didn’t like the way it affected me. I felt like I was losing my emotions. I went from highs and lows to flatline.
  18. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

    Why Prozac?

    Sort of off topic, but I am surprised that your doctor prescribed this drug, which was the first of many newer SSRIs. It has some definite disadvantages, especially the length of time that is stays in your system. It's a couple of weeks to establish the levels you need, and if you stop taking it or need to switch to a different SSRI, it takes a couple of weeks to get it out of your system.

    Paxil or Zoloft?
  19. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

    emotional lobotomy

    yep... I agree, Ivan S - I used the SSRIs for a short time, and that is definitely the outcome; that's what they are designed to do. It is difficult, even for an experienced professional, to diagnosis "true" depression, versus the normal human ups and downs. There's no doubt clinical depression exists but I think it is diagnosed far too frequently.

    In my case, protracted (years) of stress led to some "depression" but once those circumstances changed, I ditched the SSRI, because I did not like the "flatline" aspect; it's sort of like being given an emotional lobotomy. Also there are a lot of side effects; sleeplessness, dreams, etc. After all, these are powerful PSYCHOACTIVE chemicals, they are not to be taken lightly.

    I think that many people would be better served by relying on a short-term drug like Klonopin or even an old-timer like Valium to use in those circumstances when things get really out of control. Using a drug like that once a month or so when needed is a lot better than completely altering your brain chemistry and your personality, to address a short-term situation. Of course long-term clinical depression is another story!

    Another comment on this topic... I think a lot of the psychological problems that we experience in the West are a direct effect of the rate of change of technology, and the pace of our culture. The human mind is simply struggling to deal with the demands of 21st century automated society. Our brains and bodies were not evolved to deal with urban/suburban environments. We are dealing with loss of environment and even more importantly, the isolation that we seem to encourage here in the West.

    That our brains require alteration simply to survive in this environment is not surprising.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2003
  20. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    Information overload! [for one]
  21. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    /Prozac corrects a chemical imbalance in the brain, returning the brain to its normal state.

    Hmm.. I know what you mean but have you considered that "normal" is almost impossible to identify?

    The "normal" state of a brain would have to be defined by that particular brain right? Shouldn't it be "the state for this brain without the influence of drugs"? I see a problem with that though, since I'm pretty sure that most of what we eat can be considered a "drug" or causal to the internal creation of one.

    Certainly given today's science it's possible to make some rough correlations between chemical present in the brain and resultant mental health or behavior. I'm sure the drug companies, the government and the doctors involved have hard data to back it up. Does that mean though that they are right? Is there data to tell me how much of the brain's chemistry is determined the choices that brain makes for itself?

    If a person decides to take prozac, is that a choice that the brain made for itself? By that choice does the brain change its chemistry? What about eating an extra banana? What about posting on sciforums or willing yourself to think happy thoughts by watching back to back episodes of Spongebob Squarepants for days and days on end?

    What about realizing that with every passing instant comes a choice:

    "I see good in the world" or

    "I see bad in the world"

    What about OWNING that choice? What if that were the brain's normal state?

    While I don't think prozac is a bad option, I think you have to OWN it. You must realize that you're accepting responsibility for the choice. You may feel that the chemical route is a fair path by which to own it. That is fine, but it has it's downside, just like forgoing the drugs. Just remember that all choices have opportunity costs.

    Regardless you should take the route which has the lower costs from your perspective. Consider that dependency on a drug is an expensive drag, and that learning how to make the choice requires a large exertion of will, and impossible for some. Which one does you the most good in the long run?

    Hell if you try for five years and don't learn how to choose, try drugs for a while. Then go off of drugs and try to learn. Then make the rational decision for your maximal happiness from there.

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2003
  22. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

    or willing yourself to think happy thoughts by watching back to back episodes of Spongebob Squarepants for days and days on end?
    well... far be it for me to agree with anything wess has to say just out of perverse character dynamic ego-centric prozac free stability ..
    but i think .. DAMN it.. youve got a winner there!
    sponge bob square pants FREAKIN ROCKS !!!

    helps me understand the mentality of most politicians too

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