A psychiatrist takes a critical look at this SSRI and newer medications that are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in America. Prozac. Millions of Americans are on it. And just about everyone else is wondering if they should be on it, too. The claims of the pro‑Prozac chorus are enticing: that it can cure everything from depression (the only disorder for which Prozac was originally approved) to fear of public speaking, PMS, obesity, shyness, migraine, and back pain—with few or no side effects. But is the reality quite different? At what price do we buy Prozac‑induced euphoria and a shiny new personality? Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, MD, and coauthor Ginger Ross Breggin answer these and other crucial questions in Talking Back to Prozac. They explain what Prozac is and how it works, and they take a hard look at the real story behind today’s most controversial drug: The fact that Prozac was tested in trials of four to six weeks in length before receiving FDA approvalThe difficulty Prozac’s manufacturer had in proving its effectiveness during these testsThe information on side effects that the FDA failed to include in its final labeling requirementsHow Prozac acts as a stimulant not unlike the addictive drugs cocaine and amphetamineThe dangers of possible Prozac addiction and abuseThe seriousness and frequency of Prozac’s side effects, including agitation, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, loss of libido, and difficulty reaching orgasmThe growing evidence that Prozac can cause violence and suicideThe social and workplace implications of using the drug not to cure depression but to change personality and enhance performance Using dramatic case histories as well as scientific research and carefully documented evidence, the Breggins expose the potentially damaging effects of Prozac. They also describe the resounding success that has been achieved with more humane alternatives for the treatment of depression. Talking Back to Prozac provides essential information for anyone who takes Prozac or is considering taking it, and for those who prescribe it.
When trying to withdraw from many psychiatric drugs, patients can develop serious and even life-threatening emotional and physical reactions. In short, it is dangerous not only to start taking psychiatric drugs but also can be hazardous to stop taking them.
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This is almost a mathematical equation: To the degree that a human being is capable of suffering deeply, to that same degree the human being is capable of a full, rich, exciting, and creative life.