Sunday, December 23, 2007

Have a holly jolly SSRI

I have read a lot of posts lately that go kind of like this...

Is it here yet? Is Christmas here? Because the sooner it gets here, the sooner I can hug all those people I intentionally moved miles away from, and pass out those gifts I resent having to spend so much money on, and feed them those cookies I hate having to waste time on.
Is the fucking holiday here yet?
And when will it all be over?

As I may have mentioned (seven or eight times) already, I did my OB rotation in Small Town America. The downtown streets are lined with little shops with their Christmas wares displayed in picture windows. The trees are all decorated with tiny white lights. People say, "Merry Christmas" everywhere you go. There is no Hanukkah or Kwanzaa gumming up the works. It's all a very merry Christmas, all the time--think Normal Rockwell circa 1950.

And it's all bullshit.

Beginning in mid-November, women started to trickle into the doctor's office asking for anti-depressants. Can I have something for stress? Will you refill that pill you give me for stress? I'm going to need to you to up that thing I'm on for stress.

I finally had to ask, "So, you use a lot of fluoxetine (Prozac) in your practice, huh?"

"Well, you know," he said, "it's that time of year. None of these women are really, what I would call, depressed. I send actual depressed patients to a psychiatrist. These women are just miserable because the holidays are coming. The Prozac seems to help. Except, I never actually call it Prozac, and I never say anti-depressant. If I did, they'd never take it. And, they'd all eventually really lose their minds and, by Christmas, shoot their husbands."

"So, the whole town is medicated."

"At least through January."

So, if you've written one of the posts I referred to above, take heart. You're not alone.
The emperor's not wearing any clothes.
Christmas sucks.
And anyone who tells you differently is heavily medicated.


Susan said...

*smile* Thanks.

Terroni said...

I'm glad it made you smile, Susan.
You're welcome.

CS said...

I get that a LOT in my practice. I think the holidays often stir up very painful family issues, and some people just get really, really sad. The media (old TV shows and movies, ads, etc) all show these unrealistically happy and perfect families, and of course it isn't like that for most people. And it is particularly hard on the women because they bear the brunt of the work - the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping. Especially in more traditional areas like the one I live in and the one where you did your rotation. It can be a very tough time.

Still, as you know, I LOVE it.

nina said...

Well, with me I avoid the rush and just stay medicated all year...


thank you for this hon...


Maria said...

Yup. The biggest anti depression drug begging month is December.

All that hype, all those commercials that make us look at our families and spouses and think, "Holy shit...they could never make a hallmark card commercial out of my sorry lot."

What no one realizes is that we are all basically in the same boat.

And small towns are notoriously easy places to get drugs. Often the town doc is like the best dealer in town.

dive said...

Yup. Christmas is the suicide season.
Roll on Spring.

Have a wonderful, non-medicated Christmas, T.

Sassy Sundry said...

Christmas can really suck. I was dreading everything the whole season, but I seem to be OK (and chem free---except for coffee) now.

I have encountered a few militant Christmas people, though.

Cheryl said...

I'm kind of on a high all month, but that's just me. I hope this holiday turns out better than you expect!

suesun said...

Then there's always the old painkillers in the back of the cupboard from the last time you had surgery or a root canal or a really bad headache.... Who cares if they're out of date?! Everybody's got a few lyin' around somewhere. :-) Great post.

.j.william. said...

brandy is the poor (wo)man's xanax. Relieves anxiety, helps with sleep.

Rich said...

So, was Santa good to you this year??? Huh?????

Terroni said...

I got a small wad of cash, Rich, which is exactly what I needed (to pay off my bookie).