erupture no.9
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Prosaic about Prozac

will griping ease the pain of a pill too bitter to swallow?

I know, I know, everyone in the world goes on Prozac at one point in their troubled little lives, but damn it, I really needed it. I needed something. I tell people I've been depressed since I was 12 or 13 and they think I'm joking it's so absurd, but it's true! And I may have been depressed prior to that, I just wasn't as in touch with my feelings at age eight as I was when I was an angry little punk rock girl. I have my reasons, both inherited and situational, which I won't go into here (I found out that there are more people reading my page than I figured, and some of them don't need to know this stuff), but, regardless, I've been a prime candidate for psychopharmacology for a long time.

Once when I was dog-sitting I had a little breakdown and I found myself crying while watching Jack the Bear, a terrible movie starring Danny Devito. The only other people crying through this movie were the people directly involved. I knew at that point that things had gone far enough: after close to 15 years of feeling suicidal every day, never having enough motivation to get anything done, basically just limping through each day, it took Jack the Fucking Bear to wake me up to the fact that this was not normal. I got an appointment with a therapist who sent me to a psychiatrist to write me up a scrip.

Lemme tell ya, I was like a big black lesbian crazed with lust (sorry, obscure Howard Stern reference) when I picked up the little green and beige capsules at the pharmacy. I'd read Listening to Prozac and I was ready to become a new, happy, productive, brain-dead zombie. I had vague concerns about loss of identity, declining creativity, decreased sex drive, etc etc, but I figured I hadn't been doing a whole hell of a lot the last few years, so who cares? And besides, even if I didn't want to have sex, I'd look fucking fabulous after the Prozac deleted ten pounds of ugly fat.

Well, as you can imagine, the experiment turned out disastrously. Massive headaches, nausea, dizziness, spots before my damn eyes f'crissakes. A month on 'zac, then two on Zoloft where I felt sick, angry and more depressed than before, and finally, a few weeks on Paxil before I got the weird neurological disease, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (it means your muscles don't respond anymore. Try walking when your muscles don't move), that was brought on by the high dosage of Zoloft I was on. I lost faith in my psychiatrist (if I ever had any) when he told me that I was being "resistant to my medication" because I had the unmitigated gall to complain about feeling ill and angry. He prescribed a drug called Navane which I researched before I filled. It was an anti-psychotic medication. When I went back next time I told him I was pissed off and depressed, but I was definitely not psychotic.

It's years later, I'm managing the weird neuro thing with other medication and I deal with depression sadly without the use of drugs. I always get a strange little pang deep in my solar plexus every time I hear someone's positive psychopharmocology experience. I guess it's akin to being always the bridesmaid but never the bride. If any of those serotonin reuptake drugs had worked for me who knows where I'd be now. Maybe I could have gotten a masters' degree from Harvard, or a better job, or finished several novels and even published them. I'd be motivated, toned, snappy, refreshing. My hair would un-nap. Damn, I'd be better than a Mr. Pibb! Funny thing about getting a life-threatening illness tho; you sort of put your mental problems on hold. Although I sincerely wished for death each day I struggled to climb out of bed (I was at the point where even getting up from a seated position was very difficult), I never did attempt suicide again. I won't go as far to say that in a weird way the drugs gave me a will to live, but I did realize that years of hospitals and IV treatments would go to waste if I off'ed myself. And who'd feed the cats?

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