Sunday, 17 June 2007

Tangent: Orgasm or prozac

The choice is quite simple, prozac or orgasm? orgasm or prozac? The two are not often mutually compatible.

I've been married three times, twice to the same man. No, I don't feel ashamed of it, I'm way behind Liz and Richard. Anyway, these days it's more the norm than the exception. At least I married my second husband again, just to gain some credability, and have had a much better marriage second time/third time around. I know it's all a bit confusing, wierd and wonderful, so welcome to my world!

Depression was never a stranger to me. We were familiar friends by my teenage years, long before depression ever became fashionable. I felt as if an enormous black hole was reaching up to engulf me and drag me down, down, down and there was nothing I could do to help myself.

In those days it was very much a case of 'pull yourself together, for heavens sake!' and the more this was said to me, the deeper I sank. I could no more pull myself towards myself than fly to the moon- which hadn't been flown to yet. I used to wake up feeling dead inside, heavy (which I was anyway, weighing about75 kgs- 12 stone by then) and full of dread. No one can ever understand this feeling unless they have truly suffered with it.

A lot of people will say, 'I feel depressed' today, or 'I feel so down' but often that is not true depression. We who suffer from it and have suffered from it know that you rarely go around saying 'oy, am I depressed, oy, am I depressed.' It's rather a 'becoming' emotion than an 'arriving at' emotion. It creeps up on you so gradually that often you aren't even aware of it till you reach that unenviable stage of not being able to get out of bed, let alone eat or dress yourself (some have the overeating 'thing' till they can't anymore) and still the dread grows.

Fifty years ago you were scoffed at, glared at, questioned and harrassed to 'stop this nonsense for heaven's sake!.' It just wasn't possible in most cases. A lot of my dire unhappiness and foolish decisions could've been avoided if they had invented prozac by then, certainly for me.

Oh, yes, I was put on antidepressants, but ohmigod, they totally annihilated anything I had left, making even thinking harder and the side effects were horrific. When I failed to stay on them, or failed to adjust to the side effects, I was always made to feel like 'a failed' person so further blighted by my unwillingness (or so it was thought) to try to get on with the happy pills. They were more like zombie pills than anything close to happiness I ever experienced.

So, you can imagine, in the late eighties, when my doctor told me I was depressed and should try prozac and some counselling, I decided on the latter. However, thank heavens for the counsellor, a nice, friendly, empathetic, homely little woman who entered my life and advised me strongly but firmly to try prozac- which was then the new wonder drug for depression.

I have never looked back. I have taken it intermittently since then and can honestly say that without prozac I would not have managed to weather the menopausal storms. Women who are prone to severe pms will ultimately struggle even more with the crashing thrashing hormonal waves of the menopause. I have blessed prozac every day for saving me from that.

I know it hasn't always got good press; claims of suicide, changed personalities etc, but if it works, it works, and for me it works.

There is one drawback- isn't there always that one?

After prolonged use of this drug- in my experience - one loses most sexual urges. Of course the 'meenie menos' can do that too, but those who gulp down their 40mg flouxetine with their breakfast probably can expect this to occur eventually. After all if it calms you down and balances you wonderfully ,then it has to be calming those fierce and famous sexual storms too.

Personally, I would rather have 40g for breakfast than that 'BIG O'. Must be reaching 'SIX O'