maybe i’ll pass on that prozac after all

I’ve off and on considered that maybe I need Prozac to take the edge off of dealing with the in-laws, especially now that not-so-dear brother-in-law has arrived and will be around for eight long weeks. Just the thought makes me want to go all IED on something/someone. Now before I needlessly self-medicate, am I clinically depressed? Let’s go through SIGECAPS, our little med school mnemonic for depression. Major depression is diagnosed when a patient experiences depressed mood + 4 SIGECAPS for two weeks or more. So, first off, depressed mood for 2+ weeks? Well, yeah, I guess. Sleep disturbance? If you mean not being able to fall asleep for hours and involuntarily waking up at 6:30 every morning, then yes, that’s been going on for quite awhile now. Decreased Interest in previously pleasurable activities? If you mean sex, then yeah, haven’t been interested in it for awhile. Guilt? Well, not really. Decreased Energy? Yep. Decreased Concentration? You mean it’s not because I have ADD? Change in Appetite? If I eat any less, I just might disappear. Psychomotor agitation/retardation? Huh? I don’t think so. Suicidal ideation? Not lately. So that leaves me with depressed mood and 5 SIGECAPS for 2+ weeks. Guess I’m depressed. Most of these symptoms can be explained by other things besides depression. My sleep disturbance can just simply be insomnia or my natural sleep cycle. I just might not be interested in sex because of other issues—fighting about the in-laws all the time just doesn’t really set the mood. Decreased energy could simply stem from the lack of sleep from insomnia and all that fighting. Decreased concentration—yeah, well, I dare anyone to try to concentrate on doing nothing for long periods of time without getting distracted. Lack of appetite? Well, maybe I’m just sick of eating.

So, no, I don’t think I’m depressed. But I bet my doctor would. Thankfully, before I decided to jump onto the Prozac bandwagon (well, I never was seriously considering it, but let’s pretend I did), I read this article about a guy who tried taking Paxil (another anti-depressant with the same mechanism of action as Prozac—they’re both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to try to “cure” his shyness because Paxil is being marketed as a treatment for social anxiety disorder. Hmm…I’m pretty shy too and I’ve seen the commercials for Paxil. Guess it just didn’t click. Well, based on his experiences, I’m glad it didn’t. Besides, since when did shyness become a disorder? In any case, since Prozac and Paxil are basically the same thing and he experienced alarming things (at least to me) such as a loss of emotions period and Paxil withdrawal (though I don’t know if he tapered off like he was supposed to) when he went off of the medication (not to mention the weird stuff going on with his head and GI tract), I think I won’t be trying Prozac out any time soon. No, thank you. I’ll leave it for the people who really need it (yes, I mean you, mother-in-law, and you, brother-in-law, oh and you too, sister-in-law).

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The patient is a 20-something-year-old MD/PhD student with a history of extensive schooling now presenting with frustration at her current lack of progress consistent with being stuck in a rut.
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