Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Leonard Cohen Threw Out His Antidepressants

Here's another reason to love Leonard Cohen.
He has taken antidepressants without success, leading to his unilateral discontinuation of those medications, as noted in this excerpt:

[Leonard Cohen] “… I was taking things like Prozac for depression, but none of those antidepressants worked.”
[Interviewer] Which have you tried?

[Leonard Cohen] “Oh, let’s see. I was involved in early medication, like Desipramine. And the MAOs [monoamine oxidase inhibitors], and the new generation — Paxil, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin. I even tried experimental anti-seizure drugs, ones that had some small successes in treating depression. I was told they all give you a ‘bottom,’ a floor beneath which you are not expected to plunge.”

[Interviewer] And?

[Leonard Cohen] “I plunged. And all were disagreeable, in subtly different ways.”

[Interviewer] How?

[Leonard Cohen] “Well, on Prozac, I thought I had attained some kind of higher plateau because my interest in women had dissolved.” He laughs. “Then I realized it was just a side effect. That stuff crushes your libido.”

[Leonard Cohen] “… So one day, a few years ago, I was in a car, on my way to the airport. I was really, really low, on many medications, and pulled over, I reached behind to my valise, took out the pills, and threw out all the drugs I had. I said, ‘These things really don’t even begin to confront my predicament.” I figured, If I am going to go down I would rather go down with my eyes wide open.”

The page, with footnotes, is here