Book Review - Prozac Diary
Last night, I finished the book Prozac Diary by Lauren Slater. Since I started taking fluoxetine (generic form of Prozac) a few months ago for dysthymia, I figured it would be interesting to read of some experiences of others who have used the drug.
Slater was one of the first to start using Prozac in 1988 and talks about her 10 year "relationship" with the drug. She had some serious mental disturbances, and taking Prozac was yet another attempt to deal with them. She chronicles the changes in her personality, the highs and lows of those changes, and how she dealt with the effect called "Prozac poop-out" when the drug ceases to work after an extended period of time. On the positive side, she went on to become an accomplished psychologist after being a drifter for the first part of her life. On the down side, she still struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCP) and feels that in some ways the Prozac has suppressed a number of internal parts of her personality.
For me, I couldn't relate to much of what the author wrote. For one, there's a vast difference between low-level depression (dysthymia) and OCP/self-mutilation. I could go back to my "old" self and function ok. I just don't want to... :-) She can't. Also, her style of writing is very "artistic" for lack of a better term. Readers who are in touch with emotional writing will relate, but those looking for a clinical examination and discussion won't find it here. If you look deep enough, you can see some themes that might make sense (Prozac as a personality/intellectual "steroid"), but for me the writing gets in the way of that.
If you struggle with Prozac, this might be a good read for you in order to get a different viewpoint. Just don't judge all Prozac users by this book.