The Drugs! The Drugs!

In my conversations with other mothers, friends, and bloggers it seems to me that nearly everyone is on some sort of SSRI (Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, to name a few). Despite the legions of well-documented side-effects suffered by those taking these drugs (including weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and snarkiness) it seems they remain the preferred method of addressing existential angst among mothers today.

As I tried on clothes the other day and observed (again) the new curvature of my body (which has been traveling toward chubby and away from bodacious these past months), it occurred to me this weight gain might relate more to Prozac than to laziness and maternal languor.

And wouldn’t it be great if there were some external reason for this? Something less blame- and shame-worthy than failure to attend kickboxing?

At Babble today, I raise the possibility that our over-reliance on antidepressants has taken the place of proper cocktail hours and orgasms.

What do you think?


8 Responses to “The Drugs! The Drugs!”

  1. December 30, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    I think you may be on to something. However, had I not started a heavy regimen of Lexapro at 5 months pregnant with my son, I am not sure either of us would have survived the first year of his life! While I believe many use it simply as a crutch, I think just as many NEED it to help them survive. I was not medicated with the birth of my daughter, and I can not begin to describe the depths of my depression. I was mad at everyone, her, my husband, or any other well meaning friend or family member who had the misfortune of crossing my path. I simply could not put my husband, my daughter, or myself through all of that again with my second child. However, I like the idea of cocktails and orgasms! It has to be cheaper than all those prescriptions and doctors visits!

  2. December 30, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    I read and commented on your Babble post. Excellent post BTW.

    The more I think about it, the more I feel that PCPs and OBGYNs prescribe antidepressants without thought to long-term guidance, observation, history, etc. Those of us who are under the care of a Psychiatrist for the meds are the lucky ones.

    Hell, I’d MUCH prefer to just have MORE DAMN FUN! Orgasms? Please! Cocktails? Please!

    For some, like me, it’s likely chemical. For many though, it seems like a short-term bandaide.

  3. December 31, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Re: that your weight gain might relate more to Prozac than to laziness and maternal languor….mmm, I wouldn’t bet on it. I worked out practically every day for a year and hardly lost any weight until I really cut back on food, stopped eating junk, chocolate etc. It really is a case that to lose weight over thirty five you have to eat very little and exercise a lot.

  4. December 31, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    Yeah, I take Zoloft, but that was after I had PPD after my first kid, and I’m a lot more pleasant when I’m on it, according to my hubby.

    I’d much rather have the cocktails and the orgasms, thank you very much.

    One of my resolutions is to lose about 15 pounds. I’m dusting off the bellydancing videos! Va-va-voom!

  5. 5 mama featheren
    January 1, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Many moons ago, when I was a PR exec in NYC (and before marriage and baby), I was forced to shift focus from working on high tech clients to working on Celexa and Lexapro.
    Although I agree that these drugs (and other anti-depressants) are helpful – and absolutely necessary – for some folks (including moms!), I also strongly feel that they are over-prescribed for many, many groups (Social Affective Disorder – AKA shyness?!?! depressed senior citizens? these folks need companionship, maybe even a pet – NOT MORE DRUGS!) The net-net is that the drive from these companies to get everyone on their drugs (and the oft-willing doctors who go along with them) upset me at the very core of my moral fiber.
    Please let me be clear: I’m not on any wacky-Tom-Cruise-esque mission to deny post-partum depression and the chemical imbalances that some folks suffer. But honestly? I think all moms need something to lift our spirits and bring us back to ourselves. YES – more orgasms! YES – more fantastic cocktails! (with a group of close girlfriends, preferably). Maybe just a real good cry (y’know, the kind where you might just have to fling something at the wall). Personally, I like VERY loud rock’n’roll and a half hour to take a walk down to the beach. We all need something…just not sure that SSRI’s (and all their cousins) are the answer. (sorry for the long rant).

  6. January 2, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Read all the books. Did the SSRI thing for years. Then got off of them.

    It turns out (in my humble opinion) you need to do things that make you happy. And feel sad when you are sad. My dad ( a shrink himself) always told me: never fertilize a dormant plant. Never understood that as a young man. After SSRIs, I learned what it means: when you are down, leave yourself alone; when you are up, beat the hell out of it and make life worthwhile.

    A bit manic/depressive, but not bad words to live by in the new year!

  7. January 2, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    You’re all so thoughtful on the subject. Love what you had to say, HIA, and MF!

    I’m ignoring Emma’s comment but not because I don’t think she’s fabulous

  8. January 10, 2007 at 3:14 am

    that’s quite an idea – that genuine maternal/parental angst is being magicked away instead of the root causes being addressed. i adds a whole new dimension to the whole ‘madness of modern families’ debate that i hadn’t properly considered. i’m off to read your other article. see ya for cocktails …

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