The doctor whose book opened a Pandora's box of questions about the potent pill still prescribes it And while he neither outright advocates nor opposes the use of Prozac or its more recent derivatives, it was Kramer who flashed the caution signal, who asked the toughest question of all about these new compounds: Are we approaching a point in our society when chemical realignment of personality will be as routine as changing the oil in a car?Kramer insists that he is uncomfortable with his unofficial anointment as the oracle of antidepressants.
To his occasional embarrassment, he finds that colleagues now treat him as a kind of guru. "I'm not sure I have a message that is simple enough" to merit that kind of label, Kramer said. "And so I resist it." Kramer is 45 but looks so much younger that it is tempting to ask where he plans to go to medical school, not where he went. (The answer is Harvard.) A thick shock of dark hair persistently wanders onto his forehead, making him appear more boyish still. At home, in the Federalist era house he shares with his wife, health researcher Rachel Schwartz, and their three children, Kramer dresses in blue jeans and a corduroy shirt not exactly standard guru wear. And he maintains that he was unprepared for the upending that took place in his own daily pace when "Listening to Prozac" was published. Before the book came out, Kramer prided himself on balancing a caseload of private psychiatric patients with a busy teaching schedule at Brown University Medical School. He wrote a monthly column for his profession's best read journal. He eagerly spent time with his children, attending to such details as daughter Sarah's broken cello string. By the end of each workday, all business calls had been returned. And by Friday afternoon, the week's professional correspondence was neatly tied up. But with the publication of the book, Kramer suddenly he became the object pandora malaysia website of cheap pandora charms "a disturbing amount" of phone calls and letters, "testimony and witness" to experiences on Prozac or its derivatives. He probably should not have been so surprised, Kramer acknowledged. "But I'm a little dense on this score." But if Kramer has become an inadvertent star on the psychopharmacology circuit, so has Prozac. In the six months since Kramer's book came out, pandora special four Prozac cartoons have appeared in the New Yorker a sure sign of intellectual stardom in contemporary America. A Prozac joke was recently written out of a TV sitcom too touchy a topic, network censors protested. And Prozac has followed a true celebrity pathway embraced, then shunned, then forgiven. Headlines first hailed the drug in 1988 as a miracle worker, custom made for subclinical or "situational" depression the kind of cosmic Angst that dogs so many men and women on any given day or week or month. Within months, Prozac was blasted for allegedly provoking violent behavior, even suicide. With pandora beads price those reports debunked, Prozac has become such standard fare in psychiatric treatment that between 900,000 and 950,000 prescriptions for the drug are filled each month. But its acceptance, Kramer contends, should not rule out reservations about what this drug really means. Prozac, he wrote, "highlights our culture's preference" for certain personality traits, such as vivaciousness, confidence and resilience to "rejection sensitivity."Some women, pointing to these effects and to the fact that about twice as many women as men seek treatment for non manic depression, have expressed concern about Prozac's growing popularity. They worry that if the drug is overprescribed, women may feel that they are being crammed into a cheerful and productive, chemically induced and socially approved personality cookie cutter. "I don't think this is a drug that makes people conformist, but the result of being on this drug is that it makes people conformist to a new stereotype of femininity," Kramer said. "But that stereotype is itself assertive." In that sense, he wrote, these new antidepressants may be seen as "feminist drugs, liberating and empowering." In truth, said Kramer, "there are all kinds of possibilities" with these drugs, "all kinds of visions of what the possibilities are or should be." But Kramer, who says he has never taken an antidepressant, is not about to see Prozac or its derivatives turned into some 1990s version of a recreational drug. This is strong medicine, he points out, not Halloween candy. To the theoretical patient who appears at his doorstep demanding a prescription for Prozac, Kramer retorts: "I'm the wrong person to come to for an easy handout. I think that would be like going to a surgeon and saying, 'Look, I want to have this operation, and use that anesthetic, and I want you to make that kind of incision.' I wouldn't even take such a request at face value.
"Often Kramer prescribes Prozac on a short term basis, to guide a patient through an especially rocky period. Sometimes, he said, "people are scared about going off afterward.".
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