Page seven reads [in part]: "My doc and I tried a lot of other medications along the way, and I had all the classic side effects. I went hypomanic on the Prozac, so we added mood stabilizers to even me out. I lost interest in sex, so we tried another antidepressant, Wellbutrin, to bring me back. We switched, jiggered, and recombined, looking for that perfect pickle. But if one thing didn't give me a rash or panic attacks, then it made me gobble salty junk food in the middle of the night. I tried most of the majors, and burned through their effects. I got scrawny, then fat, petrified, then out of control, sexless, then sex-obsessed."
"Eventually the dope just doesn't work the way it used to. Even Klonipin needs a boost to keep hammering you. And that's when they start referring to you in whispered tones as 'medication-resistant'."
So I ended up in the bin that first time, to do some serious recalibration. I was all used up. In the space of a few years, I went from being just another twenty-something having a good old-fashioned life crisis to being a pscyhotropic junky."
Page 280 [ 3rd paragraph] reads: "I know that when I go off medication I feel far worse than I ever felt before I took it, and I have never been able to stand the downside for more than a few months, so I don't know how long my brain might take to recalibrate, if it can."
Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin (Hardcover)by Norah Vincent
Norah Vincent (Author)
Editorial ReviewsFrom Publishers Weekly
Vincent's first trip to a mental institutionto which the writing of Self-Made Man drove herconvinced her that further immersion would give her great material for a follow-up. The grand tour consists of voluntary commitments to a hospital mental ward, a small private facility and a boutique facility; but Vincent's efforts to make a big statement about the state of mental health treatment quickly give way to a more personal journey. An attempt to wean herself off Prozac, for example, adds a greater sense of urgency to her second research trip, while the therapists overseeing her final treatment lead her to a major emotional breakthrough. Meanwhile, her fellow patients are easily able to peg her as an emotional parasite, though this rarely stops them from interacting with herand though their neediness sometimes frustrates her, she is less judgmental of them than of the doctors and nurses. The conclusions Vincent draws from her experiences tend toward the obvious (the better the facilities, the better chance for recovery) and the banal: No one can heal you except you. Though keenly observed, her account never fully transcends its central gimmick. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.