Prozac for PMS

By Stephen Bloom

By Salon Staff
July 21, 2000 1:42AM (UTC)
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Stephen Bloom's sarcastic attempt at being humorous sure missed the mark. PMS is real and it causes havoc. And PMS is biochemical. But there surely are alternatives to treating beyond Eli Lilly's recycling of the Prozac patent.

As the author of "Potatoes Not Prozac," I think these should be taken seriously. And I think people can be taught the biochemistry and make informed choices.

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-- Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

I'm going to overlook the author's vitriolic, misogynistic comments. Try living IN this body instead of WITH it!

One of Prozac's biggest side effects -- the abolition of libido -- could do more harm than good for the PMS-stricken woman. My friends and I agree that a long, hard orgasm is the best thing for the cramps and bitchiness.

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Prozac is NOT a panacea -- it's overprescribed for conditions that can be addressed naturally. If she'll let you get close enough to her to have sex (and you aren't being too selfish), you will both be pleased with the results. Repeat as needed while symptoms persist.

-- Amy Cox

In the '50s and '60s, women were given Valium for agitation, anxiety, impulsivity and the rest. I mean, they were just so damn annoying, what with all those ... dissatisfactions. Dreams. Demands. Ideas.

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Aside from their years as zombies, many women died from the long- and short-term effects of Valium. That's a story medical writers haven't told much. After all, these were only mad housewives ...

The claim is that SSRIs are safer. But who knows?

I love my PMS. I love the chance to be angry about things that deserve anger. I love being unable to pack things away that need unpacking. You got a problem with that, with me? Maybe YOU should take the Prozac.

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-- Chris McLaughlin

A person's health is directly related to their emotional state. If you have a low social status, don't make enough money and don't feel very good about yourself, it has an ill effect on your health. Many of us feel overworked and underpaid, physically inadequate, and most are taught to hate our menstrual cycles. It's no wonder over half of us get PMS.

I'm not saying we have to rid ourselves of all social inequalities in order to cure women of PMS. That's not reasonable. As women we must learn to love our bodies and our lives and understand the power we have to change things that make us unhappy. This will cure most cases of PMS.

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Using Prozac to treat PMS is a just a Band-Aid for low self esteem in women. It's a step in the wrong direction.

-- Carlen Reynolds


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