The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'prozac'
The rise in the use of antidepressants in Britain could be threatening shrimp populations across the coast; scientists have found that shrimp exposed to fluoxetine (i.e., Prozac) concentrations similar to those in waste water are more likely to be fatally overconfident, swimming towards light where they'd be easier prey for predators.
Thanks to Britons' love affair with Prozac, Britain's water supplies are full of yummy Prozacky goodness.
(I wonder what the drug companies think of all those Britons getting a sample of Prozac for free every time they drink from the tap. Is it a free sample to drum up business, or intellectual-property piracy on a national scale? Though at least seasonal affective disorder may be less severe.)
All joking aside, Britain's Environment Agency (which apparently isn't run entirely by polluters' representatives yet) claims that this is a "potential concern", and that Prozac in the water table may be toxic. Mind you, judging from the taste and consistency of tapwater in London, if the stuff already in it doesn't kill you, a little bit of extra Prozac probably won't make much difference.
It looks like antidepressants are wreaking havoc with the human courtship/mating/bonding instincts, doing everything from dampening sexual desire and disrupting the positive feedback mechanisms that lead to emotional bonding to preventing those affected from recognising bad relationships or feeling any desire to seek good ones: (via FmH)
Serotonin enhancers can also dampen the sex drive of men and even their ability to ejaculate. These men naturally shy away from bedding women, leading to increased loneliness, setting up a vicious cycle of depression. Also, without frequent orgasms, men and women dont have the flood of oxytocin and vasopressin that promote relationship bonding. Men might enjoy a womans company, but never fall head over heels for her. Semen may also be critical in retaining a womans interest, as recent studies indicate that men may alter womens emotional states through chemicals transmitted through semen.
One guy on SSRIs would look at a beautiful woman and recognise that intellectually, but he said there was no oomph. He described being on the drugs as if the lenses in his glasses somehow had been changed. He wanted off the drugs. Even if he couldnt chase women because he was a married man, he still wanted to enjoy looking.
Thomson also worries that some women could suffer a double whammy where antidepressants hinder their natural judgment to leave a bad relationship and also blunt their ability to spot healthy, desirable new mates. Indeed, he recalls that one patient wasnt healthily distressed when an abusive ex-boyfriend with a history of stalking showed up at her door.
Though I'm sure that humanity, a technological species, will adapt. Perhaps we'll become a species of solitary cube-dwellers, choosing breeding partners by some market-based mechanism or computerised matching system, and future generations will find it incredible that, once upon a time, people relied on wild, atavistic passions to select their breeding mates?
Fish on Prozac! (Which sounds like a Clag/New Waver MP3 mashup, but I digress.)
According to a study by a Baylor University toxicologist, fluoxetine -- the active ingredient in the antidepressant Prozac -- is making its way to a lake in the Dallas area and into the tissue of the fresh water blue gill fish.
Science may have finally developed a happy fish that doesn't mind being eaten, and whose fluoxetine-saturated flesh makes you contented.
Conspiracy theory of the day: is the Bush administration drawing up plans to
put Prozac in the water supply to head off the mass protests that are inevitable when Bush
steals wins his second term and continues screwing things up?
(via New World Disorder)
They noted that since the election of George Bush, the use of Prozac has increased by 30% and it was the opinion of this board of Department of Defense psychologists that if Bush has another term in office, it could lead to mass depression in the United States, wherein suicide and homicide rates could continue to rise.
There is also a memorandum from the FBI, expressing concerns about this -- that if Bush is allowed a second term in office, there could be not only an economic depression but also a mass psychological depression in the United States.
And then there's the connection between financial statistics and violent crime:
There's another reason why the Department of Defense wants to put Prozac in the water supply. The Department of Justice has begun to notice a very disquieting correlation - a rapid and tremendous increase in violent crime over the last six months. These include murders, kidnapping, rapes, and assaults, and this has occurred in correspondence with the time when people get their IRA and 4o1(K) statements.
Of course, they could just legalise marijuana and encourage everybody to toke up. It's remarkably useful for making people passive and docile, increasing snack food consumption (thus patriotically boosting the profits of companies like RJ Reynolds and Mars) -- and it has that countercultural cachet of rebellion and underground culture which will make some of those most prone to oppose The Man self-medicate into compliance. (The Netherlands, where cannabis is all but legal, has had surprisingly nonviolent international football matches, some believe due to the effects of all the hooligans taking advantage of the local ganja bars and getting mellow.)
Though, of course, it won't happen; the War On Drugs fundamentalists in the Republican party (and US government as a whole) are too committed to their ideology. Though it could be achieved surreptitiously; for example preventing the police from arresting cannabis growers, or even having the CIA start funneling high-grade skunk to the suburbs (as they allegedly did with crack cocaine in the inner cities). That would have the advantage of not risking diluting marijuana's underground cachet.
At the same time, synthetic cannabinol-based medications without the fundie-scaring image of Marihuana ("The weed with roots in Hell!"), and a milder buzz, could be developed and put on the market, all profits going to Republican-donating drug/food companies. Perhaps a genetically-engineered THC-bearing tobacco strain could be developed to get around the ban, ending up in "extreme cigz" for pierced, wallet-chained mooks.
As more and more Americans (and other westerners, to an extent) spend more and more of their lives on medication, from childhood ritalin to adolescent MDMA to adult Prozac, the question arises of what proportion of personal relationships are mediated by medication: (via Follow Me Here)
But according to Dr. Amy Banks, a psychiatrist at the Stone Center for the Study of Relationships at Wellesley College: ''There are two categories of medicated couples. There are those in which the medication allows the rightful relationship to emerge, and then there are those in which medication serves as a screen to cover up real issues. How can you tell them apart?''
"I saw a woman ... with 7-year-old twins. She came to me because she felt she needed to be less mean in her relationship. But she has 7-year-old twins while her husband gets to kick back, sleep late. She resented the hell out of him. I told her: 'You know what? Drugs won't fix this. I don't want to take away your anger.'" What Banks is saying makes a lot of sense, but there's also something a tad condescending to it. I mean, if the woman doesn't want anger, why impose it on her? Maybe, for her, the best thing is to mellow out. There is something to be said for living a less honest life, the edges softer, peace in place of confrontation.
(This piece reminded me of a scifiesque story idea I once had, about chemical marriage counselling, in which troubled couples are given drugs (acting much like phenylethylamine, the "falling-in-love" neurotransmitter) to make them fall in love all over again. I never figured out, however, whether such a programme would be a roaring success or a catastrophic failure.