Can I use Prozac to Enhance My Personality?
I have been on Zoloft for around a year now and it has given me incredible confidence in talking with people. I am not afraid to talk to anyone and have asked many girls out.
While I understand that antidepressents are a medication used to treat a pretty serious illness, they have some pretty cool side-effects namely making you become more outgoing.
While this is a pretty complex moral conundrum, would it seem that if a guy is not getting dates as an illness? especially if he got really really depressed about it? Would it then be OK to use an AD to cure him? Would it be OK to use these medications just to "extrovertise" your personality a bit?
An interesting study on Prozac on chimpanzees, found that in a community of chimpanzees there would be an alpha-dominant male that got to mate with all the females. Prozac was given to one of the non-alpha-males and within a few weeks that monkey managed to become the alpha-dominant male in the group.
The first thing to understand is what anti-depressants do. In the case of someone with bio-chemical depression, the levels of various neuro-transmitters are either low. Most modern anti-depressants are what are called "SSRI's" or "Selective Seritonin Re-uptake Inhibitors." What this means is that these drugs let your brain continue to use the Seritonin which it has made. Or to use a really bad anology, think of the old "This is your brain on drugs" commercials. The seritonin is like oil in a fryer... SSRI's just prevent it from getting changed out too often.
Contrary to popular belief, for most people anti-depressants are not "happy pills" when bad things happen, they still get depressed. The difference is that they allow someone to have a better sense of perspective. With anti-depressants you may realize that a bad date was merely a bad date not a end to all future chances of happiness.
Another thing to understand is that, oftentimes in men, depression does not manifest itself as "sadness." In men in frequently appears as irritability and withdrawl from daily life and social contact.
Also, with anti-depressants, you may find yourself better able to overcome the inertia that keeps you sitting at home watching "Must-See TV."
The side effect of the medication-induced sense of perspective? An apparent increase in extroverted behavior. Anti-depressants do not have some magical side-effect of making you outgoing. They let you be as outgoing as you would be if your neuro-transmitter levels were those of a "normal" person.
As for using anti-depressants to "groom" your personality, why not? If you were blind, would you not use a cane or a dog to help you get around? If you were a diabetic, you might use insulin. If you're prone to depression, you use anti-depressants. It's not necessarily first-date discussion material, but it's nothing to be ashamed of either. It's merely another medical condition.
As for when you should tell someone you're on anti-depressants, that's up to you and your level of comfort with your partner. I would say that it's in the category of thing to talk about before having sex, but that's my opinion. It's probably on par with discussions about your family and Weird Uncle Matt.
- "Mr. Nice Guy"