Jim Carrey Tells Larry King That Prozac Is For Suckers

Jim Carrey is self-aware enough to know that he pulled a Tom Cruise last night by railing against anti-depression meds like Prozac, and yet, he spreads his completely unscientific opinion anyway.

I'm just going to give you the full transcript to highlight the ridiculousness:

KING: Didn't you suffer from depression?
CARREY: Yes, yes. I'm on a manic high right now. Can't you tell?
KING: How did you get through that to this?
CARREY: Well, that's another thing. You know at the risk of like opening up the whole Tom Cruise Prozac argument, you know, I don't disagree in many ways. I think Prozac and things like that are very valuable to people for short periods of time. But I believe if you're on them for an extended period of time, you never get to the problem. You never get to see what the problem is, because everything is just kind of OK. And so, you don't deal. And people deal when they get desperate.
KING: So how did you do it?
CARREY: I take supplements.
KING: Vitamins?
CARREY: Yes — well, it's not — well, it is vitamins. But it's also certain elements of the brain like Tyrosine and hydroxytryptophan that they're treating depression with now. It is a natural substance that's in your brain. Instead of being a Serotonin inhibitor, which just uses the serotonin you have and Prozac and things like that — it just uses the Serotonin you have and it doesn't allow it go back into the receptor. It metabolizes your serotonin after a while and you have to keep taking more and more to feel good. This actually creates dopamine and creates serotonin. It's a wonderful thing. It's amazing. I'm going to talk a lot about it in the near future.
KING: You're going to write about it?
CARREY: Yes.

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Look, these "supplements" seem to have worked for Jim Carrey, and good for him. But Prozac works for other people, and not just for short periods of time. And I'm sure those people don't really want to hear some L.A.-fried new agey bullshit about how they're just not "getting to the problem" or "dealing with their issues." At the beginning of the clip, he babbles on about how getting "mugged in an alleyway [or] hit with a brick in the face" is the best thing that ever happened to you because it's "how the universe works." Pretty easy for someone who gets $20 million a movie to say, right?

CNN Larry King Live Transcript 12/15/08 [CNN]

DISCUSSION

By
Hippopotame is leaked.

He may be overreaching in his statements, but there is certainly room for discussion here.

I've taken anti-depressants and had therapy, and done both simultaneously, so I'm not just all-out against drugs. I do think the long-term benefits of them are to be questioned for those who started due to mild or moderate depression. How long should one stay on them once one is feeling ok? Especially if no talk therapy is being used in conjunction?

I also think the causal relationship should be considered in different ways: everyone says "it's a chemical imbalance causing my suffering", but there's a likelihood it's the other way around—your suffering caused the chemical imbalance in your brain (and creates a really vicious circle). Blains are plastic and emotions/stressors do affect our brains and our bodies... Addressing the imbalance may fix one aspect, but what about the rest? These are just questions — I'm not suggesting anyone follow Carrey's advice or even listen to him.

There is evidence from a meta-analysis study (that can be interpreted in several ways) that antidpressants are no better than placebos for many, many people—those with mild and moderate depression (but not those with severe depression).

[medicine.plosjournals.org]