I was just listening to NPR in the car, and Talk of the Nation had a story called “Growing Up on Antidepressants” which interested me greatly and I’ve written on this subject before. There were several callers to the show who had been taking Prozac or similar drugs since they were in their teens, and they commented that when they stop taking the drug they don’t feel like themselves; they don’t feel that they can live a normal life.
Everyone experiences depression to some extent or another, but some people are more naturally prone to chronic depression. The astrology chart of a chronically depressed individual typically involves a strong influence of Saturn, Chiron or Pluto – each of these planets evokes a different brand of depression. A Saturnian depression is classically melancholic – there is a darkness and a heaviness to it. Chironic depression has a sharper and deeper painful quality due to the Chiron’s relentless pressure to bring old painful wounds to the psychological surface. Plutonic depression includes a dark despair and hopelessness; there is a sense of fatefulness and occasionally a longing for death.
Saturn by transit opposes its place in the birthchart at around age 14 and offers challenges to the development of the soul. If this process is interrupted by the ingestion of psychotropic drugs, this individual will not have an opportunity to develop the inner resilience that is the gift of Saturn. There is a saying, “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and this is Saturn’s mode of instruction. Those of us who have Saturn strong in their charts (Saturn is on my Sun) and have lived past the age of 40 recognize the Saturnian gifts: a deep inner strength and resolve that helps us to navigate any storm. It is not surprising that these young people, on Prozac since their mid-teens, cannot survive without it. They have missed the valuable cycles that develop that core internal strength of spirit.
Individuals who have “easy” charts that are full of trines and the lovely blue lines instead of the stressful red ones sometimes have the most difficulty with depression. Never having learned the coping skills that help us to build the inner strength required to fight our demons, those with “easy” charts sometimes suffer the most when hit with a transit of one of these planets. Again, this is an opportunity to build that resilience through contact with adversity and bypassing the process with pharmaceuticals can help us to cope in the short-term, but keeps the planets from doing their job.
I was on Zoloft for about a year and a half when I went through my Uranus opposition which featured the Uranus-Neptune conjunction aspecting a T-square in my natal chart. For those to whom this is gibberish, suffice it to say that my inner and outer worlds were collapsing into each other. It was an intense time of kundalini problems, panic attacks, and a general Spiritual Emergency. I did appreciate the aid that Zoloft gave, and I noticed that it seemed to help alter some habits of behavior that continued once I was off the drug. So for me, pharmaceuticals are a great tools for emergencies but if we keep ourselves from navigating the ongoing unfolding of our soul’s journey because we are afraid to feel, we are skipping some important steps that can aid us in the future.