nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Poets on Prozac

Poets on Prozac is a collection of essays by poets with major psychological problems about how treatment has affected them and their poetry.

The consensus is that meds help. A lot. Once the meds are tweaked adequately, almost all the poets find that being able to write more of the time (or in some cases, at all) is better than having an unmedicated illness. The two exceptions are one who had such bad side effects from her meds that she found ways to live with her depression, which is gradually becoming less intense, and another who found that the meds made metaphors less spontaneous but were still worth taking.

However, most of them are still writing, at least as pleased with their poems (or no less distressed at them), and getting published. A number of them find that they have different subject matter, but this isn't a problem. Generally speaking, they think their poems have improved, but I'm not sure how much of this is directly a result of meds and how much is just that they've spent more time writing poems.

None of this proves that meds leave everyone's creativity intact, just that there are quite a few people who've found that meds don't conflict with creative work.

There were at least a few people who found that writing poetry is an essential part of maintaining sanity, and one who became a poet as part of his therapy.

I didn't make a list, but relatively few of the poets were actually on Prozac.

The mental problems included depression, bipolar, bipolar 2 (bipolar that has a very small up phase-- it's apt to be misdiagnosed as depression), bulimia, anorexia, and post-partum psychosis.

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