May 13, 2007

Prozac Patient

Ever taken Prozac?

Doctors hand it out like candy (I'll get back to this point, doctors, relax), so I'd be mildly surprised if you, or someone close to you, hasn't been on it at some point.

Great article today in The Guardian's Observer magazine by Anna Moore. For twenty years now (where has the time gone?) Prozac has been the go-to drug of choice for, well, almost everything. The article does a step by step process questioning the science, the social impact and the personal factors that all end up nestled in the emotional house of a Prozac guzzling world.

Originally thought to be easily controlled and dose-applicable across all spectrums, family doctors were hit hard with a campaign for this safe, reliable cheerer-upper. And they responded. Bubble packs were handed out like chicklets, and the world commenced a pretty much self-medicated journey to wellness.

Or did they? There's a reason most brain drugs are prescribed by psychiatrists. The science is too spongy, the factors are too complicated, and the clientele too diverse. In today's world, there are just far too many people who never want to feel sad, or be fat, or get sick, or have a zit. The race to the doctor to get the pill is hard-wired into too many of us, and even more of our kids.

I blame a lot of things. I blame society's reaction to genuine mental illness, which should never be shameful to those who suffer. I blame the past decade of But It's Not My Fault Lit, where writers vomit their transgressions, and more blatantly the transgressions of others, across page after page in the world's worst game of Show & Tell. If broken and damaged lands you on Oprah, start writing your book.

I blame a lazy public who accept, like spoon-fed 6-month-olds, any kind of pap that is fed to us. I take that back; even a 6-month-old will spit out crap.

I like the linked piece for succinctly laying out what Prozac has been a precursor to as well as a proponent of: Big Pharma will make you all better, even if you don't rightly know what ails you.

Moore nicely weaves the fact with the wit. Prozac has been found in the British water system, so highly concentrated is it in the sewage. She quotes the governments talking heads, and adds her own snarky turn:
"The government's Drinking Water Inspectorate said the quantities were too diluted to have an effect (and poured themselves yet another glass, laughing maniacally through rolling eyeballs)."

Read it and think.


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