Prozac Nation : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have a good friend whose young teenage daughter, who seems sweet and smart to me, has been "diagnosed" with some supposed "anxiety disorder" and will start taking Prozac. My question is, if things really go down, will the cessation of this drug after dependence on it has developed make facing that harsh reality even worse ?

Think what our human ancestors have survived without Prozac. Do we need to be drugged to live our own lives on our own planet now ?? What is going on ??? Maybe if people are immediatelely suicidal they need short-term drug therapy, but it looks to me like it has now gone way beyond that, into Brave New World territory. But maybe I'm just behind the times....

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), May 08, 1999


Blue....the question about withdrawl of the drug is determined by the person's system. Some can go off and have no problems. Some can't. Me being one of them. Prozac is given for many reasons other than depression and anxiety. It is usually given for physiological problems that then cause one to react differenlyt to life. I know it seems like a lot of us need this crutch, but I for one fought it as I was not depressed and was really insulted that the Dr. wanted me on it. But with the disease I have, it has made me so much more physically active. I now garden, bike ride, can meat and veggies, etc,. where as pre Prozac I was having to use a cane. So...I wouldn't die without it, but my lifestyle certainly wouldn't be the quality it is now, were I not to have access to it. Why do so many need it now and kids on rittlen (sp)? Its got to be in the food/water/air we breathe chain. Why do we have so much cancer now? Heart problems? I don't know, but I am one who votes for Prozac for those of us who need it. And yes, I have stockpiled some. Got my Dr to double my RX and I will have a years extra supply by 2000.

-- Taz (Tassie, May 08, 1999.

No, I don't think you're behind the times. I know several people that are on Prozac just to "deal with life". Life is out of control - that's why my personal feeling is that y2k, in and of itself, will only be the catalyst for "the end of the world as we know it". It certainly cannot continue the way it is.

-- Scarlett (, May 08, 1999.

PS: I think if a few more on this forum were on prozac we might get some productivity out of them instead of so much rage!!!! Lotta good brain power sure has been going to waste on this forum recently. Wish we could channel that into more productive channels/research of y2k.

-- Taz (Tassie, May 08, 1999.

When the shock sets in that this is not a hoax people will probaly start feeling the need for all kinds of anxiety I think it will be too much for them to handle at so late of a date... what gets me is not only are millions of adults on prozac or another form of anti-depressant, but now it seems we are drugging our children as well. It seems most any kid who is a little rowdy can get a prescription for ridilin at the drop of a hat... guess it is the easy way out...the kicker is, I just saw on 20/20 or 60 minutes (or something like that) people are now giving prozac to 'ol fido and mittens!!! I used to work at MHMR as a psychosocial progam assistant and the people I worked with really and truly would have gone over the edge without their proper medication or the 5 rights. However, my entire family besides (my husband,and my kids,and pets) has been diagnosed with depression to some degree or another and are all on medication...a few of them probaly do need it but all of way...

-- shellie (, May 08, 1999.

you obviously never expierienced chemical depression.before anti depresants people who were chemicaly depressed were,well depressed.They probably never knew why they were always depressed,nor their spouses,who probably told them to "snap out of it"or some equaly useless wife has chemical depression,when she takes her meds,she's fine,off the meds,non-stop sobbing.we've gone from using zoloft(brand name med)to st.johns-wort,a plant that has seratonin reuptake inhibitor properties.we're currently looking for seeds.any advice?

-- zoobie (, May 08, 1999.

Blue -- Good point and another big problem if Y2K goes south. We have lots of extended family members in therapy-professions and I am long-familiar with their arguments (and their own usage)! My intuition is that we're looking at a weird mix of cultural, technological and environmental factors that are causing greater amounts of depression as WELL AS a mind-set that prefers treating symptoms rather than causes. We've had threads before on the extraordinary amounts of drugs being prescribed for kids (our 15-year old niece, in big-time crisis and living with us for now, is on one of the most powerful, for no serious reason, IMO): extremely frightening. We're running a real-time experiment on tens of millions of people in this country .....

-- BigDog (, May 08, 1999.

brave new world delt with people who used drugs for's important to separate escapist drug use and medicinal anti-depresant use.if you don't have depression,when something bad/sad happens sad chemicals are released and experienced in the brain.for a normal person,after a bit the normal brain releases "sad-off"chemicals,this doesn't happen for the chemicaly depressed person,just more and more sadness.anti-depresants fix that,NOT the same as using drugs to escape the problems in life("a gram is better than a damn").peace.

-- zoobie (, May 08, 1999.

Zoobie -- You make good points and (we could all cite examples) I have a dear friend who has been unquestionably helped. I'm simply saying (think how this will look 100 years from now) that the current drugs are extraordinarily crude and that we have only the foggiest clue as to their long-term effect on adults, let alone children. We can't even be sure that the initial "help" doesn't metabolically lock people into a drug-use cycle to retain the effect. It's the zeal and the uncritical prescription of them, aided by the drug companies, that concerns me greatly.

-- BigDog (, May 08, 1999.

To be more specific, I have often heard people say to someone who is even just MOMENTARILY down, "you should be on Prozac." This is yet another sea-change in our view of the human person. BTW, I would guess that somewhere between 25-40% of the posters to Yourdon, whether doomer, polly or tweeners, have used or are currently using one of these drugs. That's how common their usage has become. Is it really necessary for a third of Americans to be doing drugs?

-- BigDog (, May 08, 1999.

Good morning!

Let me begin by stating that I once dated a Psychologist and he explained to me the "chemical imbalace" idea. My younger (26) sister has been on a roller coaster ride for 10 years, now uses Zoloft and doing very well. HOWEVER her turnaround also coincided with going to work and stopping the constant tv watching/soap opera mindset. She is also bulemic but this has improved since she works so hard now physically. Life is much better for her but I give a tremendous credit to the value of physical work and joining in the mainstream instead of the "invalid mentality/perpetual patient". Yes the Zoloft seems to be very effective also.

Last fall I was dealing with chronic back pain from a work comp injury earlier in the year, trouble with my employer trying to piss me off so I would quit and relieve him of rehab responsibilities and general busy life with my family (including our beautiful 2 year old son). I found myself crying alot. Went to the Dr. for a referral to therapist (my 1st time) and she insisted I go on antidepressant meds. I refused, saying that I am not suicidal, wanted to learn self- relaxation techniques, etc. and that a common side effect (so I read) of those meds is decreased libido - now wouldn't that just make matters worse?!

Worked through on my own and with help from family. Best therapy FOR ME is to get outside, garden, milk the goat and feel sunshine and the breeze. I also found a nursing book that gave instruction on relaxation techniques.

My thought is that physical labor and the resultant satisfaction of a job well done can do great things for our emotional wellbeing. This goes for kids on Ritalin as well - get them outside, let them bounce around and play in the mud and grow/destroy their own little garden spot, run laps around the house. But I guess it is easier to give them a little pill and watch them transform into the nice, quiet children we always thought we should have.

Stepping off my soapbox now...


PS: I am sorry if I offended anyone with this. I realize some people really do need/benefit from these drugs however I believe they are horribly overprescribed.

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), May 08, 1999.

Blue: I place prozac in with all the other 'diversions' that Blaise Pascal mention, that keep humans from scrutinizing why they are never satisfied, or what we moderns would call 'alienated.' The religious person argues that only in God is there rest for the heart; that serenity and contentment only come through knowing Him. The atheist/rationalist laughs, and says we are all just a bucket of chemicals, and some buckets are short on serotonin, or GABA, or norepinephrine, or whatever the 'magic bullet' du jour happens to be. Would that it were so simple. The conditions causing human disenchantment are not altered by prozac, only the brain's perception and response to those conditions. Which leads to questions of neuroteleology: why a brain that conjures feelings of alienation, or despondency? Why not a happy-all-the-time brain? Like a frisky cocker spaniel? Or a serene computer? Aside from any question of redemptive suffering, I'd still like to think that humans mean more than the sum of their jollity. Or, in other words, would Edvard Munch have painted 'The Scream,' or Bartok or Gogol have put pen to paper if they'd been on prozac? Do we really want a world of endless contentment, subserved by little pills?

-- Spidey (, May 08, 1999.

While I agree that anti-depressant drugs can be over-prescribed, there are some who need to take these drugs due to a chemical imbalance in their bodies. I count myself among the later.

No amount of work, distraction, sucking it up, thinking happy thoughts, funny stories or movies, Bible reading, faith, and praying, thinking of others, exercise, etc, ad nauseum, changes the fact that my brain doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Believe me, I'd much rather be 'normal' and hobby my way to happiness or distract my way to deliriousness (wow, I'm being poetic!) than take Prozac. But, take it I must if I want to remain alive. Without it, I hide in my room away from the family and dream of ways to end my life (and that's on the good days.)

Yes, it does have side effects, both good and bad: the good, I don't have night terrors anymore-dreams of being stalked and murdered night after night; my family knows that they can rely on me to function during the day instead of napping my life away; I can enjoy living instead of being afraid to go to sleep and dreading the dawn. The bad: yes, decreased libido; I fall asleep 6 hours after taking my meds and I mean asleep-like a log, no moving, no hearing the kids, dog, phone, nada; the cost, $130 a month until we got insurance; social stigma (you notice I didn't give my name, I still feel like a second class citizen, a defect.)

Would I like to be off Prozac? In a heartbeat. But since I have a choice between being drugged and being alive, I have chosen to live.

So, give us legitimate 'crazies' a break. I, personally, need all the help I can get. (You can be sure that I am stockpiling my meds for next year; I think we'll have enough to worry about without my going back over the edge.)

Artifically Sane (but sane, nonetheless)

-- saner now (thankGod@backfromthe.edge), May 08, 1999.

IMHO, Our threshold for tolerance is becoming much lower since our standard of living has become "easier."

For example: A few years ago, I was getting tired of living. I was depressed and all that and knew I needed to change things drastically.

So, I moved from Boston down to Virginia Beach in November. I had hardly any money. I had to stay in hotels that had so many bugs crawling in them, that I laid in bed, with my clothes on, sitting up, so they wouldn't fall on my face.

In another hotel, I was afraid to go out the door, because the couple in the room next to us were having terrible arguments about cheating, and I could hear them both punching each other. Finally, I snuck out.

The next motel had no was being fixed. The people who knocked on our doors were transients (sp?) that were totally messed up on heroin. The ones on the other side of us were messed up on heroin and theives.

We slept in our car for days. We looked for work, but couldn't find any. Our money was dangerously low.

About 3 months later we decided to drive back to Boston. We had about 40 dollars.

We made it back and i wanted to kiss the south-east expressway!

The point: When you are missing the basics comforts of live, you no longer are pissed if the hot water in the shower runs out after 15 minutes....

How many of us have complained about having to change our area codes? Yet how many have one or two cell phones?

How many have complained about restaurant service not being up to par? Hmmm, poor us--life just bites, ey?

How many have complained because we getting wrinkles around the eyes and need some money for lazer surgery?

Well, the cure for all these petty problems is to know what it's like to look for food and heat, a roof to get out of the rain. To be glad to have a bed to sleep in, clothes to fit and ANY job at all.

Society has given us so much in this life, that we have nothing to worry about--no real life-threatening problems. So we make them up.

"One of man's curious idiocicricies (sp?) is to create problems for the pure pleasure of solving them." Throeau (I think...grin).

I think that's where we are now. Too many petty stupid things bother us. And I am not putting myself outside that group--belive me, I get insulted when someone passes me on the highway--like it's personal, or something....gawd....sometimes I hate myself...;-)

So that's my thoughts on the subject. Once we have some REAL problems to worry about, all this other stuff will go away.

M. Moth

(Which is of course, not to say that some people really are imbalanced and need these medications, I just don't think THAT much of us truly do...shrug...I hope this makes sense....)

-- M.Moth (, May 08, 1999.

Kristi, I too have done my own alternative remedies as I'm not much of one for going to doctors and taking stuff. I have bouts of depression and occasionally I give into it, allow myself a day to wallow in it, and hibernate with chocolate and whatever book suits my taste.

Then I say, OK time to get moving. I work in the garden, listen to the birds, think how lucky I am not to be in a refugee camp, take a hike in a nearby state park, or do some chore that requires great amounts of energy. Get in motion. It won't cure, but it helps. I think lots of depression results from being stuck in jobs we don't like, or relationships we don't like, and I also think the amount of pollution in the environment, and the way our society is going, adds to the overall problem.

I have a friend in a high salary job she hates, and she said she couldn't live without Prozac. Now she's cheerful all the time, which is depressing and in my opinion, isn't normal. As Spidey so perceptively said, "...I'd still like to think that humans mean more than the sum of their jollity." And it's true that much of the great literature, art and creative endeavors have been created by malcontents, loners and depressed people. I"m a loner and I like it that way. I enjoy company only occasionally, and then with a real person..

My friend on Prozac is hardly my friend any more. She's happy, but it's Prozac talking, not her. When I told her about Y2K, she said, "That's silly. They'll fix it. You worry too much about the government, the enviornment and computer breakdowns. You should take Prozac." Maybe she's right; I could then claim our government is as concerned about humanity as it claims to be, and I'd feel that toxic waste is good for me and that they'll fix the Y2K bug.

Is there some mandatory law of human nature that says you have to be cheerful and optimistic all the time. Why is it considered abnormal to be depressed? Did you know that Prozac is on the 10 worst medicines list, and also has one of the highest profit margins for both doctors and drug companies? We have a doctor here that's called Dr. Feel Good, because he prescribes Prozac, Valium or zolof for everyone.

Years ago our neighborhood had lots of characters. There were grouches, loners, happy-go-lucky types, steady, cheerful types, morose people, the old man who always shook his cane at us, the lady who passed out candy, the drunk, the bum--no more, the characters have become clones. Just my rambling, I did not mean to offend anyone. We all have to march to our own drummer.

-- gale (, May 08, 1999.

watch out for zoloft,worked on my depression and made me impotent.when I complained to my doc,he said it happens and is even given to double-y chromozone inmates as "chemical-castration"now I use st.johns-wort and ginko-biloba,I feel great and no more problems,you know,DOWN THERE!

-- flacid@30 (oldsoftie@up!up!.com), May 08, 1999.

Zoobie- re: a source for St. Johnswort seeds. Horizon Herbs. 541-846-6704 or

they are an incredible herb seed company, they have an incredible catalog with just about any seed you'd want to grow that's an herb.

when you start growing St. J- start it ASAP- be patient. it takes awhile for the seeds to sprout and they are very fragile little seedlings. Given TLC however, and light and water, they will turn into a great bunch of seedlings. Then- they'll take off and do fine outside. But be forwarned- you will not think they are gonna make it for awhile- just keep a close eye on them.

-- anita (, May 08, 1999.

Amazing wisdom among this forum (especially when the lurkers come out to have their say) when someone dares to go OT!

I think y2k is just the mirror, to hold up and see ourselves in at this (believed-to-be) end of century, and I'm very happy and lucky to have found myself among you GENEROUS spirits.

-- jor-el (, May 08, 1999.

thank you emmensely for the info on st. john's wort! i am the 3rd generation in my family to be medicated for depression; my father has had episodes bad enough to drop out of life (i.e. do nothing but eat and sleep) for 2 months straight! my longest time has been 3 weeks; hopefully (please, please, pretty please!!!), i will not go through that again. it is the most terrifying thing i can think of to experience, the realization that nothing is important, not even your own life.....

-- sarah (, May 09, 1999.

Can't beat getting slaughtered on a few (well, more than a few :) ) pints of Guiness and some good company. Puts a lot into perspective for me. Worked for Behan.

St. John's Wort is the way to go I think - hugely popular in Europe, especially Germany, also Gingko Balboa - both a mite expensive but whatever floats your boat :)

-- Andy (, May 09, 1999.

Thanks a heap all, this is very interesting. I'm going to print out the whole thread and give it to the family I mentioned. To summarize, it seems there are at least 3 classes of cases out there:

1. A minority of seriously, clinically depressed types. Potentially suicidal, may require immediate high-tech intervention, Prozac or whatever. OK, Fine.

2. Depressed, anxious, or sad types, who might be able to weather the storm on their own, are currently being OD-d with legal hi-tech drugs, but would probably be best off with St. John's.

3. Recreational Prozac: perhaps the majority, lots of people who now think they need some kind of medication to live their own lives in their own world. Sad (but profitable for some!). Not to mention Ritalin, aren't we just trying to drug kids into forced conformance with "a world they never made" ?

Seems like #3 and maybe #2 are just another way for the pharmaceutical-industrical complex to get their hooks into us. Talk about the NWO !!

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), May 09, 1999.

Gale wrote:

I have a friend in a high salary job she hates, and she said she couldn't live without Prozac. Now she's cheerful all the time, which is depressing and in my opinion, isn't normal. As Spidey so perceptively said, "...I'd still like to think that humans mean more than the sum of their jollity." [snip] My friend on Prozac is hardly my friend any more. She's happy, but it's Prozac talking, not her.

Maybe what this is coming down to is an entire society that, as a whole, is deciding it would rather live with -- and BE -- the stepford wives, than live with and be people with awareness of their problems.

I had a friend who was suicidal and depressed. The welfare system (or whatever) put her on prozac. She worked very hard on changing her attitude, finding a job, living each day. When she attempted to cut down on her dosage the guy at the clinic told her no way. They actually made her take the pills while watching her to make sure she ingested them rather than went home and didn't use them -- despite that she was doing better than ever with them, working, no threat to anybody. Then I realized that not only do docs often make money off these drugs, but in her case, the clinic made government money based on the number of people and the quantity of drugs handed out. She was just another number they wanted on their balance sheet for compensation. She eventually went totally off prozac at my urging. She was no longer the same every day -- she had ups and downs. And one day she said, "I'm alive." And we looked at each other and I knew what she meant. She had been CONTENT before. Like a stepford wife. Not necessarily ALIVE.

I am from a family of depressives and alcoholics and even suicides, and have a great deal of that tendency myself. Fortunately, although it has sometimes been problematic in ways, it has never been extreme enough to seriously mess up my life.

I think what many people don't realize is that unlike the image we are sold from the time we are born, the rest of the world is not bouncingly happy like everybody on TV or in ads. A great deal of the world is fairly depressed -- or in Emerson's words, "Living lives of quiet desperation." It was already that way even before mass media. But now that we EXPECT that everybody else is like the brady bunch, it's even worse. We have been sold a bill of material-goods-make-you- happy by our society, and they do NOT, and we are left in a spiritual vacuum wondering why. Gee whiz, everybody else looks so happy, how come I'm not.

Being happy takes SO MUCH WORK that frankly it is easier to be depressed, it is downright exhausting to put the effort in that is often required to be even cheerfully content. Taking drugs would be way easier.

As for the comments about ritalin, I can't even start on that topic or I will start ranting about the medical system the way Andy and INVAR rant about the state of the world. :-) Suffice to say there are serious long term side effects of this drug, and the only thing required to put ANY child on this drug is a parent or teacher thinking that maybe the child could pay better attention to what the parent or teacher wants them to. I think it is an absolute Evil with a capital "E" to force any drug on a child short of extreme life saving measures. I was once interested in adopting a child and went to many web sites to read about this. Damn near every kid listed, including kids (like one girl) who were president of their high school, involved in extracurricular activities, honor students -- they were ALL on medications. Apparently the most normal, predictable, expected effects of losing your parents are considered "psychological problems that need medication." Wait till they're in their 30's and 40's and start shaking with Parkinson's type effects like my grandfather did in his late 70's. By then it will be too late to wish other approaches had been taken.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (, May 09, 1999.


I can appreciate your point of view. I have been to the Mayo Clinic twice for evaluations of back pain. Spinal injections were the only relief I got from pain, and they wear off in about 3 months, if they work at all. For me, Prozac is for major pain management. I had gone for 2 years without being about to sit in a chair. Vice like pain on both flank side areas. Try to live without being about to sit. Driving, dining, visiting with friends, concerts, working, hobbies were impossible for me. I could not drive for more than 15 minutes. I ate meals, read and watched tv from a reclining position. I could walk through a mall for no more than 45 minutes without being carried out to the car and lay down in the back seat for a ride home.

For about 2 years I have been on Prozac and traveled all over the country, been a real functioning member of my church and I praise God for everyday I have without pain.

This week end I have started to suffer from this pain again. If it takes more prozac to live a quality life, so be it. If the prozac will no longer help me, I praise God for the time I have had to enjoy the daily activities in comfort.

I will continue to apprecicate the comfort I have enjoyed if the pain reappears and praise God for Prozac. I have been seriously preparing for y2k and am at peace with whatever happens over the next few years. Only family in city limits with new well :) My family will be taken care of. God may have allowed this all to happen to me so that I could get all my priorities in order. With God I can endure.

God Bless Each of You,

-- Tess (, May 10, 1999.

Wednesday, 12 May 1999 0:30 (GMT), (UPI Spotlight)

First Drug To Treat Social Anxiety

WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to treat social anxiety disorder. SmithKline Beecham says (Tuesday) its drug Paxil was approved, and is the only medication cleared to treat the more than 10 million Americans who suffer social phobia, the third most common psychiatric disorder after depression and alcoholism.

Just in time for Y2K! a social anxiety pill! Hahahahahaha, the magic bullet! Delivered by Beecham, not Bill Gates. Problem solved, go back to sleep  ;-}

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, May 12, 1999.

does anyone know of a mail-order source for tryptophan? I took it for years before the Sleep-Eze and Sominex corps set up the poisioing hoax . They had congress ready for the take, and had it immediately taken off the market. It WORKED. I am an insomniac. 100% natural tryptophan was an absolute JOY. you could take it, get a fabulous dream sleep, and wake up feeling really really refreshed - not drugged out. The corps. new this to be true, and it was really taking off when they sabotaged it all. Any sources???? Oh, and it is excellent in slight doses for Nervousness - would replace Prozac easily. karen

-- karen (karen@karen.karen), May 12, 1999.


L-tryptophan is legal by prescription from your doctor and can be filled by a compounding pharmacist. A search should turn up one in your area. (I had a nationwide list but somehow lost it.)

The following is a veterinary source.
BIOS Biochemicals
8987-309 E. Panque Verde #340
Tucson, AZ 85749

Their website seems screwed up at the moment.

-- Debbie (, May 12, 1999.

Thank you Debbie! This is really great. I had taken L-trytophan for years and it was a pure blessing. This is great news! karen

-- karen (karen@karen.karen), May 12, 1999.

Hey Leska! Social anxiety disorder? No doubt any psychiatrist who got hold of me for 30 seconds would pour Paxil down my gullet ASAP! ;-D

Actually, my brother came up with an apt phrase for those of us who require seclusion from the general population - Empathic Overload. Right on the money.

-- Bingo1 (, May 12, 1999.

Empathic Overload! So there's a name for why this forum has gotten exhausting lately. I'm trying to treat everyone as a human being. ;-)

-- Debbie (, May 12, 1999.

Ha Bingo! A shrink'd prop our trops permanently wide like a parched pelican and cement-truck pour the Paxil! What are they gonna do to the troops positioning for martial law because of fears of Y2K social unrest? Dose the whole military? Pax through Paxil!

It strikes me funny because of all times, 1999 is THE time to soberly weigh the possibility of social anxiety and prepare accordingly. Not take a pill to blunt the life-saving urge of self-preservation! Too funny!

Memorizing Empathic Overload ...

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (, May 12, 1999.

Interesting -- this must be a current hot topic on many ppl's minds -- blossomed on another BB too -- hhhmmm. Looks like many are depressed these days. Maybe it is normal to be depressed if there are legitimate reasons? Not good, but normal. Wonder when society will agree that conditions can be depressing and start working together to rectify the conditions.

A great lifter of depression is to come to this Forum and bemoan, brainstorm, share, and read other's brave wrangling with real problems. Thanks to all of you!

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xx

-- Leska (, May 13, 1999.

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