Prozac One of the most recognizable antidepressants in the market, Prozac is one of the many brand names for Fluoxetine hydrochloride. Used to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Prozac is the third most prescribed antidepressant in the United States.

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Old 04-17-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Prozac can change personality

Can Prozac really make you less shy?

There are studies that show it does change a person's personality, and can help in cases of being too shy or lacking in confidence.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:42 PM
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I think I know where that originated from. I've read Peter Kramer's book Listening to Prozac. Kramer claimed that this was the case. Kramer is a psychiatrist, by the way.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:38 PM
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Though it might help people with depression, I don't think that Prozac can change personalities.
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMon View Post
Can Prozac really make you less shy?

There are studies that show it does change a person's personality, and can help in cases of being too shy or lacking in confidence.
Studies have pointed out that these claims are overly exagerrated. You tend to be easy going and boisterous when taking the drug, but that could be an offshoot of getting off your depression, and not from magical properties in Prozac!
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:11 PM
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Kramer observed that his patients "transformed" while taking Prozac. This transformation were evident not just with their psychological problems but helped them improved other aspects of their lives as well.
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:45 PM
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Even Kramer admits that this transformation occurs only in 10% to 20% of people who takes Prozac.
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:24 PM
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In Kramer's own words:
Quote:
My first experience with Prozac involved a woman named Tess, the eldest of 10 children born to a passive mother and an alcoholic father, who was physically and sexually abused as a child. When Tess was 12, her father died and her mother entered a clinical depression from which she had never recovered. Tess-one of those inexplicably resilient children who flourish without any apparent source of sustenance-took over the family.

In time, Tess made a business career out of her skills at driving, inspiring, and nurturing others. Still, her personal life was unhappy. Tess stumbled from one prolonged affair with an abusive married man to another. As these degrading relationships ended, she would suffer severe demoralization. The current episode had lasted months, and, despite psychotherapy, she was progressively less energetic and more unhappy.

When I first met Tess, I ran down the list of signs and symptoms of clinical depression, and she had them all: tears and sadness, absence of hope, inability to experience pleasure, loss of sleep and appetite, guilty ruminations, poor memory and concentration. But for her many obligations, she would have preferred to end her life.

Had I been working with Tess in psychotherapy, we might have begun to explore hypotheses regarding the source of her social failure. (For the past four years her principal social contact had been with a married man named Jim who came and went as he pleased and finally rejected Tess in favor of his wife.) Instead, I was relegated to the surface-to what psychiatrists call the phenomena.

When Prozac was released by the FDA, I prescribed it for Tess for entirely conventional reasons-to terminate her depression and to return her to her "premorbid self." My goal was not to transform Tess but to restore her.

But medications do not always behave as we expect them to. Two weeks after starting Prozac, Tess reported that she was no longer feeling weary. In retrospect, she said, she had been depleted of energy for as long as she could remember, and had almost never known what it was like to feel rested and hopeful. She had, it now seemed to her, been depressed her whole life, and she was astonished at the sensation of being free of depression.

With this new demeanor came a new social life. Within weeks of starting Prozac, Tess settled into a satisfying dating routine. I'd never seen a patient's social life reshaped so rapidly and dramatically. Low self-worth and poor interpersonal skills-the usual causes of social awkwardness-are so deeply ingrained and difficult to influence that ordinarily change comes gradually, if ever. But Tess blossomed all at once.

"People on the sidewalk ask me for directions! " she said. They never had before.

The change went further. "I never think about Jim," she said. And in the consulting room, his name no longer had the power to elicit tears.

This last change struck me as most remarkable of all. When a patient displays any sign of social masochism-as Tess did in her acceptance of Jim's behavior-psychiatrists anticipate a protracted psychotherapy. It is rarely easy to help a socially self-destructive patient abandon humiliating relationships and take on ones that accord with a healthy sense of self-worth. But once Tess felt better, the masochism just withered away and she seemed to have every social skill she needed. Even her relations to those she watched over changed she was no longer drawn to tragedy, nor did she feel heightened responsibility for the injured.

There is no unhappy ending to this story. Tess did go off medication after about nine months, and she continued to do well. She was, she reported, not quite so sharp of thought, so energetic, so free of care as she had been on the medication, but neither was she driven by guilt and obligation. She was altogether cooler, better controlled, less sensible of the weight of the world than she had been.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:43 PM
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What makes Prozac so special then?
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:59 PM
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Well, for one, unlike other street drugs or prescription drugs, Prozac's effects is even and is sustained for a period of time. It is also deemed safer with lesser side effects than previous medications.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:25 PM
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That's true, Prozac only works to regulate the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that carries messages between nerve cells.
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