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Prozac as a Personality enhancing drug

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My husband and I are debating the issue and I thought it would be interesting to get some more opinions.

Prozac and other drugs of the SSRI family seem to effect many patients by creating some sort of a personality change. Not only is the depression or anxiety lifted, many patients also report they are more confident, optimistic and out-going.

Here's an article I found that sums up the dilemma -

Personally, I have been on prozac for 4 years now and I'm very pleased. Hubby says I am a lot more confident, happy and easy going.

I wonder if other people here have similar or different experiences and what do you think about prozac or similar drugs as personality enhancing drugs?
post #2 of 12
My mother had her first panic attack at the age of 13 in 1952. They became worse over the years and made her drop out of high school. She often left jobs because of the constant 'fear'. She went to doctor after doctor and tried everything available back in the 50's, 60's, and 7o's. She went through therapy, drugs, and even the now dreaded shock therapy. The shock therapy wiped her brain of all her childhood memories. She gave up on the medical profession and lived a life of fear, anxiety, and constand dread of the world outside the door to her home. She did not have a career, her life was literally stolen from her.

Flash forward to the 1990's. A new doctor prescribes Paxil for her to try. Within 4 weeks on the lowest dose, my mother became 'herself'. She goes out all the time, travels, and invites people over. She is her true self. She now wishes she had this 'miracle' drug 50 years before because maybe she could have had a career and goals that she could have strived for. Anxiety prevented her from having a life.

My mother at the age of 64 is now trying to live the life she always wished for. Seeing her today is really a miracle, and I am saddened by everything she missed out on.

I have also read about Paxil being the 'wonder' drug to the 20 year old's who need that extra 'push' in the business world. My mom transformed before my eyes, and I thank Paxil for it. I just wish she didn't have to endure so much pain to get there.
post #3 of 12
I was on Paxil for about 4 years for depression. I had been depressed since late high school and didn't really notice it until I was living with Earl. I was unbearable, and my depression (along with a few other issues) made our lives miserable. The drug did wonders for me....for a while.

I never thought of it as personality changing, though. (Maybe that's because it isn't Prozac )

I may have become more assertive but I would have to say that it was a by-product of not being so wrapped up in myself and my dark world, of not seeing everything as being against me. I think the woman in the article who just *had* to go back on Prozac was using it as a crutch. She had convinced herself that she couldn't cope without the pill.

I took myself off of Paxil when I realized that it not only evened out my moods, I didn't have any moods. After Mom passed away, my father and sister and I got together to go through her clothes and some other things. I realized that Dad and Sam were crying, and I didn't feel anything - nothing! I consciously knew I should be sad, remembering Mom, all the memories that surrounded certain outfits. But I felt nothing. I stopped taking the meds the next day, and although I have my moods back (and not as black and white as they were before), but I certainly didn't lose any self-confidence. That is ME, not the drugs.
post #4 of 12
I think I need some. I'm always a nervous reck.
post #5 of 12
I went on Prozac awhile back and was one of those rare ones that it just didn't help. In fact it made my symptom worse. I finally decided that I needed to take another route to get better and I weaned myself off of Prozac (against my doctor's wishes) and went into counseling to get my thoughts and emotions straight.
post #6 of 12
I have had good results with Serzone. My doctor says he wishes he had a video of my progress over the past few months, he said he has never had anyone react so quickly and positively to that particular drug. I feel a lot better, and act a lot less cranky. It wasn't until I started feeling so much better that I realized just how depressed and mean I had become.
post #7 of 12
I take Lexapro and it has worked well for me.
post #8 of 12
I was on Prozac for almost a year and I am actually thinking about trying it again. My moods were so out of wack and I'd fly off the handle at the littlest things. Once I started Prozac, my moods were ALWAYS upbeat. So, yes I do think it changes your personality to a certain degree. With in a couple of weeks of stopping the drug, I could tell a difference again.

Today was one of those days where I felt I needed something for my moodiness. Someone yelled at me and I started bawling...that is just not how I am usually. My depression is based on stress and when my stress level gets to high point, I'm a mess. Right now my stress level has been quite high since I took this new position at work. I'm just not happy...not just at work, but with everything around me. I hate that feeling, which makes me even more depressed. It seems like a never ending battle for me.

Tybalt, you are not the only one when it comes to sexual problems when taking depression med's. My ex was on them for a while and the sexual problems made him even more depressed. But as for the medicine (Paxil), it controlled his anger and temper quite well...until it came to the sexual problems.
post #9 of 12
I've been on paxil for about 2 years, maybe longer, anyway I hadn't realized what I was like OR the fact that I was depressed until about a month after I started taking it. WOW what a difference.... For those who are having a problem with the sexual side effect of the drug, I understand that Lexapro is suppose to help with that... it's a dirivitive of selexa i think....
post #10 of 12
Ken, you're right. Lexapro and Celexa are exactly the same medicine. It comes down to one ioda difference in their makeup and therefore they have the right to sell it as a different product (double profits that way). There are so many different anti-depressants out on the market. Unfortunately, most of them cost an arm & a leg. I do believe out of the newer (within the past 10 years anyway) drugs, Prozac is the only one that is now in generic.
post #11 of 12
I'm torn about personality-enhancing drugs like Prozac and Paxil. I know of several people who are taking these drugs, and they have really helped these people deal with the psychological and physiological problems they have. On the other hand, I know people who have been on the same drugs and have had really bad side effects. One friend became agressive and attacked her husband-luckily they figured it was the drugs and not her that caused the attack. Another friend had her depression and PMS worsen while taking these drugs.

I've been diagnosed with depression, which comes on around the anniversary of Mom's death. I've been offered Prozac in the past, but decided for myself (and with the consent of my therapist) that talk therapy was much more effective-for the rest of my life this anniversary will make me blue. Taking drugs daily each day every day really has little impact on something that is so date-limited.

Also, I'm concerned that people are taking these drugs to become "more themselves". I agree with Tybalt, that I'd rather experience deep grief, along with the wonderful highs, than be on an even keel. I've become used to the person that I am, with my happiness and grief, and I really don't want to lose those extremes. I'm open about my mood swings (around the anniversary of Mom's death) with my friends, my co-workers and my boss. I've learned to live and function with them, and to lose them will make me be a lot less than the person I've become.
post #12 of 12
When my hubby has my prescriptions filled, he jokes with the pharmacy that my blood sugar meds are the ones I need, and my Prozac is the one that he needs......'nuff said ?
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