Prozac & Enlightened Mind

Can antidepressants help or hinder waking up?Judith Hooper

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“Terry N.,” another practitioner who did not wish to use her real name, is a driven, successful entrepreneur in upstate New York who is also a long-term Zen student. She was blindsided by depression not long after her fiftieth birthday. “It came on suddenly —a total surprise,” she recalls. “I had always been a totally peppy, upbeat, take-charge person. I was a problem solver. I ran a company. I had little sympathy for people who were depressed.” Her first symptom was crushing fatigue, together with a physical slowness and clumsiness so severe she feared she had a neurological disease. Then her familiar world turned barren, stark and tasteless. “Things turn to ash in your mouth; you feel an exaggerated weltschmertz; nothing gives you pleasure; life seems 'nasty, brutish, and short.' I thought, "How did I get here? What happened to my beautiful life?’”

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