To Take or Not to Take?

Q:  Think of a difficult time in your life. If faces with a similar situation, would you consider taking Prozac? 

Prozac is so controversial, and there seems to be so much good and bad news about it, that I would want to do a lot of reading and research before taking it. Personally, I'd rather get through a problem on my own-without medication.

Karen Fleece

Administrative Assistant

Davis, Wright & Tremaine

Anchorage, Alaska

I support the use of Prozac and other effective medications when one has a diagnosed inability to cope with life due to depression or anxiety. Symptoms are expressions of changes in brain chemicals and Prozac and other drugs have a proven abilitv to correct these changes. All medicines, however, can have side effects so those who take medications should report to their doctors frequently.

Taking a medication like Prozac does not indicate weakness or a lack of will. And if I were to develop serious symptoms of depression and or anxiety, I would not hesitate to take Prozac or anv other appropriately prescribed medication, for that matter.

Denise Edgecombe Holland,

MD Medical Director,

Out-patient services

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

St. Elizabeth Hospital

Washington D. C.

No. Because there are better ways to deal with problems and Prozac has too many bad side effects.

Steve Mocquin

Corpsman, United States Navy

Ocala, FL

Yes. I would consider taking Prozac to get help but I don't know exactly what it does.

Chris Patrick

Stereo Sales Representative,

C.A.S., Inc.

Burlington, MA

As a practicing psychiatrist who has done a number of clinical drug studies on new antidepressant medications, my answer might suprise vou: No! While I feel that Prozac (and its cousins Paxil and Zoloft) are excellent medications for the treatment of clinical depression--a serious potentially incapacitating, and even fatal illness-I do not feel that this type of medication should be used to help people handle "difficult situations." Taking medication is no substitute for learning effective coping strategies to deal with not only current, but future situations. Self-help bools and techniques, and, if necessary, consultation with a behavioral/cognitive/interpersonal therapist Would seem a much more appropriate alternative to dealing with life stressors.

If symptoms of depression occur, are serious, and last more than two weeks, then I think medications like Prozac might be appropriate.

Harry Croft, M.D.,

F.A.P.A. Diplomate,

American Board of Psychiatry

San Antonio, TX

I would consider taking Prozac because I always consider all my options when dealing with a problem. In the long run, however, I would not take Prozac because I prefer to handle mv problems by working through them without medication.

John Connelly,

Gallery Assistant

New York, NY

Yes. I'd consider taking Prozac because I've heard it works well for some people and I'd be willing to see if it worked for me.

Kate Kristensen

Real Estate Agent,

Lexington Properties Unlimited

Lexington, MA

I don't think I would take Prozac because I Would rather use therapy and introspection. I deal with the world in a positive way so I can't imagine a situation where I would need to take it.

Laiko Bahrs

Marketing Consultant

San Francisco, CA

Yes. I think it's a great drug if it is used properly.

Sharon Marteson

Physician's Assistant

Jacksonville, NC

Under no circumstances whatsoever would I take Prozac during a time of stress. That's what friends and psychotherapy are for.

Steven O. Philippi

Driver, United Parcel Service

Valley Stream, NY

ILLUSTRATION

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.