Shell-shocked-soldier-1916-smallDecember 3, 2015 Brisbane, Australia

Researchers at the University of Queensland have confirmed a rare but increasingly common side-effect among long-term users of the antidepressants Abilify, Cymbalta, Prozac, and other SSRIs and SNRIs. The patients who rely on these drugs are literally going “mad with happiness.”

Doctors during World War I observed a similar phenomenon among shell-shocked soldiers who were treated with Lithium, St. John’s Wort, and roseroot extract. The patients began exhibiting extreme and inappropriate euphoria (laughing during church services, making jokes during bombardments) that soon led them to be called “Giggle Tommies” or “Happy Jocks.” Later the phenomenon was described as occurring in soldiers who consumed large quantities of Coca-Cola and aspirins along with opioids and amphetamines in VA hospitals during and after World War II. The soldiers joked that they didn’t care who won the war, thought Donald Duck would make a great president, believed Eleanor Roosevelt was really General Patton in a dress, and expressed the firm conviction that Hitler only had one ball.

More recently, patients in a clinical trial at the University of New Orleans, who had taken SSRIs and SNRIs for more than two years, were reported as having unusually favorable impressions of Governor Bobby Jindal (“He’s great,” George Yngwie of New Orleans said. “We’ll be sorry to see him go”) and the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles. Other subjects that got high marks were the Louisiana Sheriff’s office, Lucky Dogs, and the quality of room service at the Motel 6 on Chef Menteur Highway.

Dr. Melissa Dodge of the Department of Cognitive Sciences at UNO says one of her subjects expressed the opinion, “I lost my job, but I don’t care. I wrecked my car, my house burned down, but I got me a new love thing.”

“It’s disturbing,” Professor Edward Seneschal of Queensland said. “The disconnect between these patients actual responses to stimuli and the appropriate affect you’d expect is just off the charts. They’re literally happy about everything. If this goes on, we may find ourselves with a whole new population that isn’t concerned with who’s running for office, what candidates say, who really aren’t upset about anything. The bottom line is, they just don’t give a damn.”

Written on November 30th, 2015

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