Leonard Cohen On Depression, Prozac, Paxil, Amphetamines, Zen, & Gas Station Robbery

…when I was trying Prozac, I heard on the radio that some pharma-psychologists were prescribing amphetamines for depression. So I said to my doctor, ‘How about a little speed?’ And he said, ‘Well, it’s addictive.’ I said, ‘So? It’s addictive. Whaddya think I’m gonna do, knock off a gas station?’ [Interviewer: Did you like Prozac?] Prozac seemed to put a floor on how low I could go, but it also put a ceiling on how high I could go. It kept me in a very narrow range. I tried Paxil, and it put me into a terrible funk. Finally I just cheered up on my own. From time to time, I’ll take a little speed, and it makes me feel great. But I think Zen meditation, that kind of intimacy you develop with yourself, has been most effective. I took to it naturally.


Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen by Neva Chonin (Rolling Stone: December 11, 1997)

A thorough summary of Leonard Cohen’s depression, its treatment, and its disappearance is available at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution.


I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Aug 18, 2018.

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