Tag Archives | Prozac

The echoes of the Prozac revolution


This article originally appeared on MindHacks.com. It has been published here under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Lancet Psychiatry has a fantastic article giving a much needed cultural retrospective on the wave of antidepressants like Prozac – which first made us worry we would no longer be our true selves through ‘cosmetic pharmacology,’ to the dawning realisation that they are unreliably useful but side-effect-ridden tools that can help manage difficult moods.

From their first appearance in the late 1980s until recently, SSRIs were an A-list topic of debate in the culture wars, and the rhetoric, whether pro or con, was red hot. Antidepressants were going to heal, or destroy, the world as we knew it.

Those discussions now feel dated. While antidepressants themselves are here to stay, they just don’t pulse with meaning the way they once did. Like the automobile or the telephone before them, SSRIs are a one-time miracle technology that have since become a familiar—even frumpy—part of the furniture of modern life.

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The Prozac in America’s Wastewater is Making Birds Fat

Are the birds near you are looking more than a little plump? It’s probably all the Prozac in the water they drink reports Quartz:

A 2014 US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report (pdf) found that, between 2009 and 2012, 9% of Americans were using a prescription antidepressant at least once a month. Now, a sizable bunch of birds are too.


(Hold onto your lunch.) New research has found that Prozac, one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, can “significantly alter the behavior and physiology” of some bird species, The Guardian reports. The study in question concluded that wild starlings, when fed wax worms injected with levels of fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac) equivalent to what the birds might be exposed to by “feeding on invertebrates at a wastewater treatment plant,” showed “conspicuous changes in foraging behavior.”

That’s right—birds are getting dosed with Prozac by eating worms in your poo.

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Plato Not Prozac

Lou Marinoff is a Philosopher, bestselling author and Canadian table hockey champion.



Source:  IAI News

Beatrice Popescu: Where does your love for counselling stem from? Who was your first inspiration?

Lou Marinoff: My first inspiration was my talkative extended family, most of whom were capable of dispensing advice almost continuously, and on any topic. In such a climate, one must think for oneself, dispense advice in self-defence, and ultimately take one’s own counsel.

Beatrice Popescu: From a philosophical practitioner’s standpoint, philosophy needs to be demystified and made available in the service of people for whom it was initially created. Can philosophy (the discipline that discusses anything and attempts to treat any ailment of the soul) become a resource for common people, from the perspective of philosophical counselling?

Lou Marinoff: Yes, and no. I have come to believe that while many people can and do benefit from philosophical counselling, it is not a panacea and may never attract as many people as does psychological counselling.

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Traces Of Prozac In Water Make Fish “Antisocial, Aggressive And Even Homicidal”


Good thing there aren’t traces of Prozac in the water we drin– oh, wait. ABC News reports:

Fish swimming in water with a trace of the anti-depressant Prozac became edgy, aggressive and some even killed their mates.

The fish were subjected to traces of the drug by a research group at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that examined how environmental exposure to the medication altered the behavior of fathead minnows. Lead researcher Rebecca Klapper says that this experimental setup could actually be a reflection of the fishes’ reality.

The human body does not absorb medications 100 percent, so a trace amount is excreted in urine. Water treatment centers are unable to completely filter out all of those contaminant and can trickle down and affect the wildlife.

Klapper sees the minnows as a way to gauge the long-term effects of Prozac in humans. “It’s not just an environmental question but a human question as well,” she tells ABC News.

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Does Prozac Help Artists Be Creative?

Prozac pills croppedHas creativity been squelched in our Prozac nation? Alex Preston discusses whether or not SSRI antidepressant drugs “hamper the creative process, extinguishing the spark that produces great art, or do they enhance artistic endeavour?” in the Guardian:

Twenty-five years after pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly unleashed Prozac on the red-braced 80s, SSRIs are still the world’s most popular antidepressants. They are swallowed by more than 40 million people, from Beijing to Beirut, knitting a web of happiness from New York to New Caledonia. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, of which Prozac is the best known, are the defining drug of the modern age, the crutch of choice for the worried well. In the US, where one in 10 takes antidepressants, you can buy beef-flavoured Prozac for your dog, trademarked Reconcile. The Prozac revolution has not only changed the way we think about depression (aided by Eli Lilly’s mammoth advertising campaign); it has also changed the way we think, full stop.

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