Prozac. If you just said to yourself, "Really? Hm..." Then we shared the same reaction.
It was almost some sort of joke:
Prozac can reduce the severity of cataplexy!
Prozac can increase the severity of cataplexy.
Prozac can restore a dampened libido!
Prozac can cause a loss of libido.
Prozac can improve depression!
Prozac can increase depression and lead to suicidal thoughts.
"Are you kidding me?" I yelled. Okay, I didn't really yell, but I was baffled. So basically - as with many "solutions" the world has to offer - it was a crapshoot. Either it would help my husband's symptoms... or it wouldn't.
As we researched Prozac, I was shocked at the stigma still attached to it. It's a running joke now of course - want a permanent smile? Pop some Prozac! But, goodness, it's been out for ages - at least since the 80s.
I can see the humor, though. My favorite Prozac joke is a cartoon that I've saved:
The verdict? Well, he has just been taking Prozac for a few weeks now, but my husband is very impressed with the improvement in his mood. It isn't such a significant lift that I've noticed him walking around with a permanent grin (which would be creepy), but he does seem to feel better. More importantly, he is impressed with the effect it's had on his cataplexy! No more extreme weakness after his naps, no more fumbling to turn a doorknob, no nausea or faint-stomach feelings after trying to stand after a nap. So the results have been positive so far. I'm happy for him, of course, and also relieved that it's covered by our insurance. The cataplexy isn't gone, but it's better.
I have a lot more to say about the symptoms of Prozac, but for now, I'm still focusing on the cataplexy information I've discovered. I didn't know anti-depressants can help with cataplexy, and I'm still trying to articulate (for the purposes of this blog & myself) exactly how that works. For those of you who have contributed so much information about cataplexy - thank you so much! It's quite informative and very interesting.
Just when it seems like I couldn't learn anything else about my husband's disease - I do!