Even if you are no longer young, It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine being, say, 19 or twenty- two…  or at some other age where you’ve felt you have stalled.

Call it a “gap year” which, by the way, seems like a viable choice these days given our covid challenges.

I went to see a wonderful student production on the UCI campus this week, written by LUCY PREBBLE called “THE EFFECT”.

  It was about LOVE and longing and as you may guess, the reviews got the attention of this LOVE DOCTOR..

So here’s this guy,.. stalled by most measures, needing to make some money to finance his back-packing expedition. Along with others, he agrees to participate, for a fee in an in-hospital, four-week pharmaceutical trial, to test out an anti-depressive drug.

The task for the researchers is to increase the level of dopamine in the volunteers to see if doing so would counter-act the effects of depression,

Our hero, along with the other participants turn over their cell phones… and their freedom for a month,

And here’s this girl, young and beautiful, a psych student in a troubled relationship with an older man, also now, a self-designated captive.

 Being stuck in a cloistered environment, is the perfect set-up for a “cute- meet,” don’t you think?

Alas. The boy and girl become friends, share stories, and as time goes by, with armed with increasing amounts of the anti-depressive drug in their systems, they start believing they have fallen in love.

But have they?

Is falling in love nothing more than a chemical reaction which can be re-created in a lab? That doesn’t sound so romantic.

So, Is depression a disease or a symptom?

Is it dopamine, real or artificial, that makes these two to feel like they are in love? Each of them has good reason to question their own feelings.

Many years ago, Dr. WILLIAM LYON, a colleague, told me about teaching a medical school class, and asking students to diagnose the condition of a young man suffering from the following symptoms.:1.depression 2. Euphoria 3. Loss of appetite 4. Loss of interest in most everything 5. Sexual preoccupation 6. Inability to concentrate 7. anxiety 8.paranoia …

The students were stumped. Not one made a proper diagnosis,

Turns out THE YOUNG MAN WAS IN LOVE. Nothing more.


Which seems to be the theme of this wonderful play.

On another note, taking a gap year to explore the world is one thing, but theLlover in this play seems to have been stuck in in what his new girlfriend was afraid was  “A GAP LIFE.”



Thanks For Visiting,

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