Thursday, May 08, 2008

Insane Midnight Blogging

I've been thinking recently about drugs.

I'm not referring to the illegal recreational kind, but rather the mind altering substances that many first worlders are dependent upon simply to keep themselves functional in first world society. I've been thinking about them for a number of reasons, each stemming from the one before it, but ultimately the story starts with Penny-Arcade.

Gabe, the artist of the site, recently went on anti-anxiety medication because he's had serious issues for some time now. The issue of anxiety still feels like a new one to me, but it's really an issue of being aware of it. One of the biggest issues I've had in battling depression is that I had a label for the problem, and from that point on it was a large amorphous monster in my psyche, and I wasn't really examining it in the ways that I needed to be. The issue, as I now know, goes deeper then that, and while I have my theories as to what the core problem is I can't really say for certain.

In a perfect world I would have overcome the problem when I got to the point where I felt I understood the root causes of depression, and I was fighting them, and this was briefly true, but what really happened in the end is that overcoming that problem revealed the fact that it wasn't really the entire problem, and that when the symptoms of the root issue aren't being expressed in the way I'm used to they're expressed in horrifying new ways. I'm trying to fight these as well, but I'm finding this ultimately fruitless ongoing struggle much harder then my old one. I think I had gotten used to the depressive behavior, I had learned ways to mitigate how bad it felt, and in some ways to get around how destructive it was. Fighting this new one is harder, and it's managed to shake the previously rock solid foundations of my bias against mind altering drugs.

I'm fully aware that this bias is hypocritical given that I'm already taking concerta, but concerta and I have an interesting relationship. I understand that one, I know it, and I've experimented with it a lot so I feel that I can trust it. I also know that, when taken properly, it can be helpful.

My views on mind affecting drugs haven't changed that much either. I was, for the most part, opposed to them because I saw them as being a cover up to an actual problem. The basic summary of this is that you won't need anti-depressants if you just address what it is that's making you depressed. However, as I continue learning more about my own psychology and psychology in general I'm coming to understand that some of these things won't be solved by simple cognitive theory methods, but rather would be better addressed by medical and sometimes chemical needs. There are, of course, the extreme cases where someone is just wired wrong, and I've never been opposed to their use, but the majority of these issues arise in everyday people who aren't necessarily broken, but aren't quite what they want to be. Which brings me back to my theory.

Self definition is something I've been thinking a lot about the past several months. The idea of higher self, of true self, and of being in a state of mind wherein you are most the person that you have the capacity to be, and aspire to be. This pursuit is a strange one, but it's fundamental to the issue at hand. At the times where anxiety holds me back I feel a kind of confused outrage at myself. Why am I pathologically unable to do things that I want to do? The short answer, and the much more simple answer, is that I'm chickenshit, a slang term that was never really all that popular, but I feel is quite apt in this circumstance. The much more correct answer is that I have self destructive issues with self imposed unreasonable guilt/shame, and those have lead me to develop unreasonable inhibitions upon everyday activities.

This is what touches back to my theory. At the times when I feel I am most in tune with myself I am quite nearly completely uninhibited. It's a freedom derived of a kind of confidence high, and a casual disregard for the approval and disapproval of my peers.

I apologize, my train of thought has completely derailed. In all honesty I'm actually feel rather anxious about this post itself. I feel like I have some kind of bigger picture lecture that I should be giving, when the salient parts of the post can be summarized as "I'm considering anti-anxiety meds." If I regain a hold on what it is that felt I needed to say I'll try and update this.


Post a Comment

<< Home