I enjoy reminiscing about the weird dates I was on and often wondered if my date across from me was on Prozac or some other anti-depressant drug. Picture this, you are across a dinner table with a cute girl (or guy) and their mood seems off somehow. One minute their life sucks, the next they hate themselves and then they think the date won’t go well because they are so negative. So they excuse themselves to the bathroom and about 20 minutes later they are all happy and the world is a great place to be. On those occasions, I sat their in complete awe. This has happened to me a couple of times and I have seen this happen to friends. At that moment, I feel like being a bookie and taking bets that if I scour their home, I will find Prozac or other medication.
Prozac’s Chemical Reaction
Prozac which is also known as fluoxetine is an antidepressant drug or as I call it “I love life drug”. It suppresses depression in people to the point where they function like everyday, active, full of life, happy adults. It comes from a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This means that fluoxetine stops the chemical absorption of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a chemical synthesized in the liver that controls your mood, appetite and sleep functions. Too little serotonin and you lose appetite, can’t sleep and feel depressed. But there is such a thing as too much serotonin which can lead to heart attacks or bad cases of diarrhea. The idea is to have the right chemical balance.
Prozac helps other disorders as well such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, for women) and when used with other chemicals, it helps treat bipolar disorder. It is amazing how Prozac can chemically adjust and help people lead active lifestyles. No wonder it is one of the most prescribed antidepressants on the market.
The Bad News
Of course, let us not forget that man made chemicals have side effects. Let’s start with the typical common side effects of nausea, diarrhea, headache, drowsiness and my favorite, decreased sexual function. By this I do mean, lower sex drive (just when married men thought it couldn’t get any lower) and ejaculation delay. No matter how long you rub it for, you just can’t finish. The good news is Prozac might work for those who suffer from the opposite problem of premature ejaculation (finish way too early).
For adults ages 18-24, there is a black box warning on Prozac for an increase in suicidal thoughts and tendencies. So if you turned 25 and still feel bad about yourself, you might be in the clear with Prozac. Keep in mind that black box warnings are never good for medication.
Do you think Prozac helps or hurts?