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Prozac-Mania Yeah Im on Prozac I hear quite often said as if the speaker had just received a new Porsche I often do catch myself responding with Im on Zoloftisnt modern medicine great In a way this exchange is a way of bonding In another more twisted way it is a way of receiving a stamp of approval from my peers for antidepressants have become extremely widespread and widely accepted Prozachas entered pop culturebecoming the stuff of cartoons and stand-up comedy routines and of course really bad jokes by people who do not take the drug Chisholm and Nichols 36 These days being prescribed an antidepressant carries less stigma than in the past Prozac has attained the familiarity of Kleenex and the social status of spring water Cowley 41 Gone are the days when the label loony is slapped upon a person taking these drugs Antidepressants have become almost as commonplace as Tylenol Prozac is being prescribed for much more than clinical depression Some of the other illnesses that are treatable by Prozac include bulimia obsessive-compulsive disorder and dysthymia which is chronic low-grade depression In some cases it is even prescribed for anxiety or low self-esteem Chisholm and Nichols 38 Part of the popularity of Prozac stems from declining health care As medical plans cut back on coverage for psychotherapy says Dr Robert Birnbaum of Bostons Beth Israel psychiatrists feel pressure simply to medicate and then monitor side effects Cowley 42 General practitioners however write the majority of Prozac prescriptions Both of these scenarios raise concerns as some psychiatrists state that it can be dangerous for antidepressants to be used without concurrent psychotherapy sessions Chisholm and Nichols 38 When I discontinued my therapy sessions after two years yet still continued to take my antidepressants I felt as if something was missing from my life Therapy has been a very important part of my treatment and I would not have recovered as
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