"Yeah, I'm on Prozac," I hear quite often, said as if the speaker had just received a new Porsche. I often do catch myself responding with, "I'm on Zoloft
These days, being prescribed an antidepressant carries less stigma than in the past. "Prozac has attained the familiarity of Kleenex and the social status of spring water" (Cowley 41). Gone are the days when the label "loony" is slapped upon a person taking these drugs. Antidepressants have become almost as commonplace as Tylenol. Prozac is being prescribed for much more than clinical depression. Some of the other illnesses that are treatable by Prozac include bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and dysthymia, which is chronic low-grade depression. In some cases, it is even prescribed for anxiety or low self-esteem (Chisholm and Nichols 38).
Part of the popularity of Prozac stems from declining health care. "As medical plans cut back on coverage for psychotherapy, says [Dr.
Robert] Birnbaum of Boston's Beth Israel, psychiatrists feel pressure simply to Oemedicate and then monitor side effects'" (Cowley 42). General practitioners, however, write the majority of Prozac prescriptions. Both of these scenarios raise concerns, as some psychiatrists state that it can be dangerous for antidepressants to be used without concurrent psychotherapy sessions (Chisholm and Nichols 38). When I discontinued my therapy sessions after two years, yet still continued to take my antidepressants, I felt as if something was missing from my life. Therapy has been a very important part of my treatment, and I would not have recovered as well if I had not attended regular psychotherapy sessions.
With the common use of Prozac and other antidepressants, another consideration arises: are these drugs becoming a substitute for really coping with problems? Prozac and the related antidepressants, such as Paxil and Zoloft, are known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors...