On anxiety and drugs

I’ve been put on antidepressants before and all things considered, they helped in a pretty big way. Not necessarily in the way that I expected, but they definitely helped me overcome some serious anxiety issues. It bugs the hell out of me when people say things like “yeah I took those for a few days and it didn’t do anything but make me tired. I mean if they work for you, great. They just didn’t do anything for me.” Like they’re expecting a fast acting 24-hour anxiety and depression miracle drug, but that’s hogwash.

It’s a pill. Made up of chemicals that affect your brain in a way that allows you to stay a little more calm in situations that pose no real threat. The whole “overcoming your demons” thing is up to you at that point.

I get that different drugs affect different people in different ways but drugs or no drugs, overcoming something like anxiety does in fact require some effort on your end. Drugs like Paxil are supposed to break the cycle of habitual thoughts that might discourage you from saying “fuck it” and trying something new — something that, more times than not, might just turn out to bring you some form of gratification. Who knows.

But when you’re not too terrified to let go and live a little, you (hopefully) begin to realize that people aren’t as shitty and judgmental as you thought they were. Or probably more accurately that everyone’s totally a judgmental asshole, but so are you and it’s nothing personal. It’s kind of hard to come to that realization when you take everything as a personal attack though, and that’s what fuels the fire of low self worth. Thus, allowing your mind to run wild on (usually) false, negative assumptions about yourself.

You don’t recognize and come to terms with that kind of shit after two or three days on an antidepressant. It takes time, lots of time, to work the new and improved formula into your system.

They’re dirt cheap and shut off your ability to worry about stuff you have no business worrying about. But just like every other mind altering substance, there’s a fine line between the benefits and drawbacks. Such as addiction; the fact that you have to ween yourself off of them when you’re ready to fly solo and whatnot.

Granted, cutting an antidepressant out of your routine is nowhere near as horrid and painstaking as getting off something like meth or heroin but it’s still not fun. Especially when the whole reason you started taking them in the first place was to curb your anxiety — then the withdrawals come knocking and bring all of that great stuff back in full force. It’s all about how desperately you want to be rid of the negative circular thinking — do the positives outweigh the negatives or is it the other way around? Are you willing to work for it or are you relying on a placebo effect to set in?

All in all, pharmaceuticals can absolutely be effective, but not without a cost. There’s potential; we’ll leave it at that.

Smoking weed, however, has a slightly different effect. Number one, it makes you completely fucking retarded. But in a good way… and a literal way, but a really good literal way.

You have three priorities at this point: hunger, thirst, and most importantly, entertainment (and I say that loosely.) The anxieties of everyday life disappear for a little bit and the only thing that matters is right now. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I don’t see how there’s still even an argument as to whether or not marijuana has medicinal benefits — namely as an antidepressant.

It’s not a conventional solution, but totally therapeutic to those of us who are into that kind of thing. I don’t think enough people can grasp that concept; the fact that one thing — regardless of what that thing is — is never going to be everyone’s favorite thing. Or even something they like. Hell, they might hate that fucking thing but someone else would kill to have that thing.

It just grinds my gears that a decent amount of people still disregard the fact that a pretty good chunk of the population thoroughly enjoys coming home and taking a load off with a fat joint and a few monster bong rips rather than slamming a 30 case of Keystone and passing out in a pile of piss and puke. Life isn’t always easy and getting addicted to real drugs doesn’t make it any easier. It’s kind of fucked up that one of the few (mostly) harmless sources of artificial happiness is still so frowned upon. It instantly enhances life, man. Come on.

Originally published at atypicalstoner.com on June 28, 2015.

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