In his 1993 bestseller, Listening to Prozac, psychiatrist Peter Kramer, MD,
described the wondrous effects of a new drug. Prozac, a new type of
antidepressant medication, which has highly specific effects on the
neurotransmitter serotonin, swept through the United States, with cover stories
in many newsmagazines, and breathless reports on TV and radio. Not the least
of Prozac's appeal came from Dr. Kramer's compelling tales of patients whose
lives had seemingly been transformed by this powerful new drug. A shy, withdrawn,
fearful woman magically became outgoing, bubbly, sociable. No longer dour
and pessimistic, now she was breathlessly optimistic. She was not only
better--she was "better than well."
Not only did Prozac treat depression and other disorders, it seemed almost
guaranteed to re-sculpt people's very personalities! Dr. Kramer's felicitous
term for this sort of change was "cosmetic psychopharmacology." In our
cosmetically-obsessed culture, continually enhancing the contours of breasts
and noses, such a phrase turned allure into mystique. No wonder one of Dr.
Kramer's patients announced to him that she was changing her name to "Ms.
Prozac"! And so, a great mythology was born.
The purpose of "DOES PROZAC CHANGE YOUR PERSONALITY?" is to look in
a serious way at the question that Peter Kramer raised. Prozac has
been on the American marketplace for over a decade. Does Prozac (and related
SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft or Celexa) change personality? Do
they make you "better than well"? And if so, how?
"DOES PROZAC CHANGE YOUR PERSONALITY?"attempts to answer these questions
using findings from clinical practice and the latest research studies.
Prozac Change Your Personality? is now available at