Why the Prozac?

I guess you could say I’m depressed. I have classic reoccuring negative thoughts, am socially akward in many situations, and just generally pissed off with the way things are going. This has been going on for most of my life, too.

Noticed that I have said “most” of my life. There have been times in my life when I was successful and got what I wanted. I was happy. Though they were brief, they were real. I’ve tasted true happiness.

Which leads me to think that depression isn’t caused so much by a chemical imbalance or train of thought, though those are factors, but more by just not getting what you want.

My problem, plain and simple, I get no ass. I haven’t had sexual contact with a female in quite a few months and I’m getting desperate. Everything else is fine, but this problem drives me crazy.

But, I know I would be happy and normal again if I could just get a girlfriend. So this gives me hope and I keep trying.

So whether it’s your goals, relationships, appearance, whatever it may be, if you get what you want I think you will be happy.

SO, whats the difference between depression and just generally being dissatisfied? Furthermore, if you follow my line of thinking, why the need for drugs like Prozac to make you feel better?

A very rough breakdown of a common way to look at depression:

Besides varying degrees of depression, there are internal vs. external sources of depression. If your dad dies and you become depressed, that’s external. If you hate your job/lack of a love life/city where you live, that can lead to externally-caused depression. If stuff in your life is going along well but you still struggle to force yourself out of bed and to go to work, you don’t really feel like seeing your (much-loved) friends, you don’t feel like doing the hobbies you enjoy, that’s internal.

For whichever kind of depression, as long as things aren’t falling apart around your ears and you perhaps work on talking with a therapist or something about how you’re doing and if you’re making any progress at working your way out of your emotional rut, then you don’t really need meds. If you’re close to just stepping in front of a fast-moving train one day, or if you’re in such a deep funk that you are having trouble functioning in life (close to or at don’t want to shower, don’t want to eat, don’t want to leave your house), then maybe you need meds to get your brain jump-started to something closer to functioning. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing in your life that you have to work on, after the meds kick in, but it can get you to the point where you can have the energy to do that work.

(Side note: I’ve had both kinds of depression, including feeling like crap even when my life was going well otherwise. Telling the depressed person “but you have nothing to be depressed about!” doesn’t help, and can make them feel worse - of course they know they have a pretty decent life, and feeling that awful in the face of that is really distressing.)

I think the obvious answer is that there are many people who can’t identify any particular reason they feel depressed.

Beyond that, it’s often the case that people’s evaluation of their own situation may be reasonable on its face but is ultimately irrational. For instance, you’ve convinced yourself that you`d be happy if only you had a girlfriend. Is it really rational for a person to have persistent negative thoughts or generally feel depressed simply because they don’t have a girlfriend? Why do you feel that having a girlfriend is so essential to your mental well-being that being single justifies feeling badly about yourself?

Maybe if you were on prozac you’d think differently? I don`t know a lot about SSRIs but I disagree that your evaluation of why you’re depressed is rational.

As the Rolling Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want …”

Seriously. You can’t. Mental health is about dealing with this.

The idea of dating a guy who “would be happy if only he had a girlfriend” is about as appealing as dating a girl who “just wishes she had a boyfriend.” I hope you’re grounded enough to find that unappealing, instead of just thinking “well, if she has sex with me I don’t really care what’s going on in her head.”

Most guys will find that the female gender doesn’t owe them an uninterrupted lifetime supply of sex. Just as the job market doesn’t owe anybody an uninterrupted stream of rewarding, well-compensated work. Mental health is about dealing with this stuff without getting to the point of “desperate” or “crazy.”

SSRI’s can help with depression, but they work best in combination with therapy. They are needed because some people’s depression is caused by brain chemistry. But in your framework, some kind of treatment may be necessary because nobody has any magic wand to change the facts of life so that people get what they want.

Thanks for that. In a similar vein, it doesn’t help much to compare the depressed person’s situation to the plight of others who are truly suffering under unbearable conditions (usually some third-world deal, but I was getting “Katrina victims” for a while). It’s not that we lack perspective, really.

As for Prozac, I cringe a bit when someone mentions “chemical imbalance”. While our current understanding of the neurochemistry certainly suggests a biogenic component to depression, I’m not at all convinced that we have it pinned down to any particular imabalance. SSRI’s are probably getting warmer rather than colder for some types of depression, as far as addressing underlying neurochemical dysfunction, but it ain’t like Vitamin C for scurvy.

For some, medication for depression is like taking a painkiller for a broken leg. It doesn’t help (and might even hinder) the healing, and the side effects can be problematic. But it can reduce the pain and therefore raise the quality of life (which feeds back into making the depression more manageable, at least for some). Coupling it with therapy can work like painkillers during rehab from a broken leg - ideally it can make it possible for one to get more out of the therapeutic process.

The OP, however, strikes me as someone for whom I would frown and bite my tongue if I learned that they had started medication based on the picture presented. IANAP, but I’m concerned about the tendency to consider medication (some even seem to suggest it’s the only way to go) for such situations; IMO, a situational depression will best benefit from developing the skills (or, ala CBT, more positive/empowering/functional thought patterns) to better deal with the situation.

I’ve known (online) one person who had honest-to-gosh depression.

He needed the medication. On it, it made his hands swell and caused nausea and whatnot (I don’t recall all the specific side effects), off of it he was a crying, suicidal mess. His problem, so far as I could tell, was most certainly not a simple issue of misfortune in his life. It really was a physical, chemical phenomena.

There probably are quite a few people on medication who really don’t need it, but that doesn’t mean that honest diagnoses don’t exist.

I don’t understand why people constantly question the reality of depression, while not questioning things lke schizophrenia and OCD. No one says to the person who hears voices, “Just buck up and cope, man. Life is too good for you to be sitting in the corner talking to yourself!” Why can’t people see that clinical depression is a real-life disease just like anything else?

It’s a spectrum. You can have chronic, low-grade depression that is so mild that it takes a professional to diagnose it. You can have catatonic depression–the kind where you have to wear diapers because your brain and body is frozen. You can have mixed/agitated depression where you’re manic and depressed simultaneously (imagine being suicidal and having all the energy in the world to follow through with it). You can have bipolar depression II where you vacilate between normal mood and major depression. And then you can have a depressive personality–the “Debbie Downer” type–who suffer from low self-esteem and cynicism in a life-long, pervasive way.

There are so many types of depression that asking “Why Prozac”? exemplifies a total lack of understanding about mental illness. There’s no cheering yourself out of endogenous depression. Having a crappy life can make depression worse, but if you’re catatonic, all the “ass” in the world ain’t gonna shake you out of it.

Maybe your dysthymia is caused by loneliness, and you’re right that all you need is a good girlfriend to help you back to happiness. But I’m sure you’ll change your mind if your negative thoughts become boom-box loud, loop at 3000 rpm, spill out of your mouth in the form of verbigeration while simulatenously you’re all jerky and ticcy and crazy-looking. Does that really sound like it’s just the matter of being a failure at meeting life goals? Or does that sound like an ill individual in need of medication?

Gosh, you sound like me right now. Although I’m not concerned with getting ass, everything in my life right now is taking a huge emotional toll on me. I have had depression, also, several times in my life. This bout, however, seems exceptionally long and tedious. I went to the Dr. the other day and, yes, the only “answer” is put me on an anti-depressant. FWIW, I was on anti-depressants before and they stopped “working” after a few months. Also, I gained 20 lbs. almost instantly. That really helps when you’re depressed. One book I turn to when I feel like this is *The Feeling Good Handbook *by David Burns, MD. It’s about cognitive therapy. I would suggest reading this book. It is helpful. Be patient with yourself. I have to tell myself that several times a day.

Know, too, that tough times don’t last. Tough people do. I try to get up every day with a positive attitude. I know it’s very difficult, though when you’re so down.

Stay away from SSRI’s or whatever. They are evil. Some people do benefit from them. But, most people who are prescribed them just need someone to talk to or perhaps a few sessions with a psychologist to get thru the issues. My sister is on two, yes 2, anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pills and she’s still angry!! She claims they work, though! Uh, yes, they do…if you’re looking to cross into delusional.

Good luck with everything. Also, know that you’re not the only one out there have a hard time dealing. You’re in good company. I only wish my mom would have taught me better coping skills. Apparently that cut into cigarette/soap opera/game show time.

IMHO, this is extremely poor advice.

I don’t understand why you think you will be happy and normal again if only you had a girlfriend. If its just about being horny I’m sure you know how to take care of that. If it’s a relationship you are after, how hard are you trying? Online dating sites are hit and miss for sure especially for average looking guys like myself but have you tried? Are you even a tiny bit religious? Try church, you might be surprised at the available women. Hell, even if you aren’t religious give it a try if you don’t mind being a hypocrite.

I love women and I love having sex with them but I don’t get depressed when I’m not in a relationship with one like now. Do you like the rest of your life? If not I doubt a girlfriend who puts out is going to magically make you happy.

Good luck man.


You are probably right. There are chemical imbalances, and there are “thinking” problems (i.e. problematic attitudes and thought processes). I would hazard a guess that yours is the latter.

It is likely that your attitudes toward, and expectations of, women are in fact causing your problem, rather than representing the remedy. The more you succeed in putting the band-aid on your problem by using a woman in this manner the worse (or more entrenched) the problem will become.

I would challenge you to declare a phase (6-9 months, maybe) of abstinence from sex, and find a professional counselor with whom to talk through these issues. You need to find happiness inside yourself. If you are counting on outside influences to make you happy then you can not build a consistently happy life for yourself.


sorry for the delayed response, I’ve been somewhat busy.

I’m really not trying to come off as an ass or anything, but this is honestly the way I feel. Let’s break it down, too.

What more does a young man ask for?
got friends.
got family.
got a decent job that I enjoy.
Got no GF.

Drives me crazy. and it’s not all about being horny, but also a lot about loneliness. And it shows too in my everyday behavior.

So I don’t know. I have the belief that meds are bad and not really needed. But I feel at this point, I’m willing to try anything.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!