This article is presented really well because the writer owns up to her bias on the topic and you can clearly tell she herself does not know how to feel about this topic because there are just so many differing opinions on it. It’s interesting because mental health and taking medications for mental health have such a stigma when really it’s more or less the same thing as physical health. You have a cold you take some Sudafed. You have an episode of anxiety you take a Xanax. Really, considering both things are coming from your body chemistry and you have little control over them, this should be how it works. But maybe because of society or bias or whatever it is, it’s just really hard to think this way.
I thought of this at the point in the article where it reads “The mind is a muscle…with practice you can teach it to handle anxiety.” I found myself initially nodding along and agreeing to the point that dependence on pills was not a good thing. But really maybe this translates back to the very same stigma on mental health which prevents us from accepting that for certain people this really is not something you can control and they really do need that medication.
A heavy topic but one that has been presented very well:
“The real love affair, then, is not with the pills but with the anxiety itself. Anxiety is like the spouse you’re stuck with for better and worse, who makes you nuts but has permeated your cells and without whom you cannot imagine your own heart beating. Anxiety lives with you day and night, holding your hand and nudging you to act, urging you to get up, do more, fix something, make something. Never satisfied, always pressing, it wants you to win, to outlast the others, to impress, excite, excel, astonish. And, as in a marriage, you comply, mostly agreeably, for your anxiety traces the rhythm of your life. Then one morning, it has you by the throat and you find yourself weepy and overwrought, unable to respond to its call. Like a reliable friend, Xanax is there, offering an intermission, the gift of quietude, a break. Because the truth is, and I’ll speak for myself here, I want tranquillity once in a while. But I don’t want a tranquil life.”