I saw an interview with Jim Carrey on 60 minutes tonight. And while I have always been at the very least impressed with him in movie roles, mostly in his dramatic ones, Eternal Sunshine is a real winner by my count, this interview greatly impressed me. He came off as a very interesting, very driven, and very emotional man.
I'd love to rant about Jim Carrey for another 5 paragraphs, but that's not what tonight's 365 is about. What it is about is anti-depressants, specifically SSRI's, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac. About them Mr. Carrey said:
"There are peaks, there are valleys, but they're all kind of carved and smoothed out ... It feels like a low level of despair you live in where you're not getting any answers but you're living OK and you can smile at the office."
That was the first time I had heard it put into words so well.
I've been on SSRI's before. Probably a total of 3 to 4 out the last 10 years, on and off. Prosac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor (which also effects norepinephrine), I've tried a number of them, and other than the first time I was on Zoloft, which was an amazing experience for another 365, I've found them to be almost exact as Jim Carrey put it.
Now, I'm not knocking them. I've gone through my share of serious depression. Days, weeks, and months where I didn't want to do much but sleep the hours away. In these times, I've used some of these drugs in order to get on with my life. Have the motivation to get out of bed, do enough work to pay the rent, etc. But I've always looked at them as a crutch.
Maybe for some people they're experience is different. Maybe for them, there is no downside, or perhaps very sadly, they don't care if they're not getting answers as long as they can smile at the office. I guess that goes back to my fear of mediocrity.
Other people say that these drugs are over-prescribed. Maybe, but my guess is that most of those people have never been depressed like that. Kinda like the rich kid who's against welfare from the government, mainly because he got his welfare from his parents. I think that if they help you in your life, I'm all for them.
I guess the real point of this 365 isn't so much SSRI's as it is the realization that no matter how you feel, be it spiritually, emotionally, politically, or what have you, there is someone out there who feels the same way you do. And that is something that may help me better than Prosac, or Paxil, or Zoloft ever could.
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