Friday, September 02, 2005

Notes from the Prozac Nation, Vol. I, No. 2

  • Tom Cruise still in the depression news, this time being warned that men too can suffer from post-partum depression. According to a study published on June 25th, in the Lancet:
    Fathers can develop depression after the birth of a baby and its arrival home.

    What's more, says the University of Oxford report, postpartum depression (PPD) in fathers doubles the risk that the child will later have behavioral problems, especially if the child is a boy.
  • According to another study, babies born to women who are taking SSRIs, such as Prozac or Seroxat (Paxil in the US), are more likely to suffer from birth defects of be born prematurely.
  • The Archbishop of Vancouver, Raymond Roussin, has taken a six-month leave to treat his depression. What is notable about this report is Roussin's desire to treat this medically and challenge stigmas about depression, rather see this as some kind of spiritual struggle (or what Medievalists called acedia)
  • While watching, briefly, CNN Wednesday night I couldn't help but notice that the majority of ads were: Lunesta, Cialis, a general ad for Pfizer and Merck.
  • Major Pharmaceutical companies have also donated up to $25 million in aid and medicines. I applaud this! And, its certainly a good way for companies like Merck to earn back a better reputation.
  • Ashley Judd does Yoga and adopts a yogic philosophy to deal with her bipolar illness. She also--perhaps careful to distinguish herself from Crazy Cruise, said: " there might be a time in my life when medication is appropriate for me again. There are periods when your brain chemistry is off-kilter enough that it doesn't matter what you do until you get that synaptic s**t worked out."
  • New Zealander Matthew Johnstone has written a new memoir on dealing with depression, entitled I Had a Black Dog.
    Mr Johnstone says he was inspired to write the book after surviving the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. He was just a block away when the first tower fell, leaving him choking in the ash-laden air and painfully grateful to be alive.

    He writes of that day: "I felt like I had unwittingly become an extra in a catastrophe movie. I knew what I was seeing but it didn't make any sense. I watched as several people jumped or fell from the large burning holes. One man fell face down with his arms and legs outstretched, like a cat anticipating a jump, his tie flapping furiously over his shoulder. I remember thinking `that man is still alive'. It truly felt like the end of the world."
The "Black Dog" was Winston Churchill's name for depression.