Prozac is a medication often prescribed for bipolar disorder, bulimia, and anxiety disorders. The medication is highly effective because it acts as a serotonin inhibitor, which means that it helps balance serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin levels are responsible for mood stability, depressive states, and control of anxiety, fears, or phobias.
Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a mental illness that is caused by a combination of biological, neurological, emotional, and situational factors. The true causes of bipolar disorder are not yet fully understood. However, it is understood that imbalances in the neurotransmitters of the brain, such as serotonin, are partially responsible for the predisposition of bipolar disorder in some patients.
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which the patient eats excessively then purges themselves of the food they have eaten through either vomiting or induced bowel movements. Bulimia is caused by a combination of psychological and emotional factors, and in some cases environmental factors. The emotional factors relating to bulimia are very similar if not identical to factors involved with depression and low self worth issues, which are connected to serotonin levels in the brain.
Anxiety disorders are thought to be caused by erratic fluctuations in brain chemistry. Anxiety is defined as the intense somewhat debilitating feeling that something horrible is going to happen. Everyone feels anxiety at some point, but typically the normal person has a logical reason to feel anxious. With anxiety disorders, the reason for the anxiety may not be known, or it may not be logical if it is known.
Prozac is an effective treatment for bipolar disorder, bulimia, and anxiety because it controls and balances the serotonin levels in the brain. In bipolar patients, it is often prescribed in conjunction with other medications. Prozac is an effective treatment for depression, but may cause manic episodes to worsen. For this reason, Prozac is generally prescribed along with an anti-psychotic drug that helps tone down manic episodes. Therapy sessions or counseling is also generally a part of treatment.
In bulimia patients, Prozac is often the only prescription given. However, it is combined with treatment of symptoms via counseling and therapy. The idea behind this counseling is to identify why the patient has developed a sense of self-worth, and to allow the patient to learn that what they perceive is not necessarily reality. This is very helpful in bulimia patients who binge and purge as a result of how they perceive their bodies.
Anxiety patients are often prescribed Prozac with great success. Counseling may also be a part of treatment. In therapy sessions, patients may learn techniques to control their anxiety through rationalization of situations that may not at first appear rational. For example, if a patient feels anxiety over a cigarette burning in an ashtray, they can learn techniques to allow their mind to rationalize the situation and understand that there is no real danger of fire, and therefore no reason for the anxiety. These techniques are very successful in conjunction with Prozac for treating anxiety.
Overall, Prozac is an effective treatment for many mood disorders. Along with Lithium, it is often considered a miracle drug, helping patients gain stability and normal lives while living with an unstable, unrealistic view of themselves or their surroundings.