The Negative Side Effects of Medicating Mental Illness — A Case Study on Treating Anxiety

The other side effects of SSRIs were:

Lower ambition and energy.

The benefits of the SSRI

Ability to focus clearly.

“DrUgS MaKe Me LeES CrEaTiVe” — Every seemingly annoying person, seemingly selfish and a hurtful presence to their peers and family when they are not medicated.

Something specific got me a bit angry at medication-oriented culture, and it is the fact that I found out how to get over my anxiety through another means where I can still be myself, get easily excited and ambitious towards things, etc. That’s Exposure Therapy.

“Should I check my phone? No, shit, if I obviously shake while reaching for my phone they’re going to know, and it’s going to be worse from there. Should I say what I actually think? Should I let my mean humor show that is actually a defense mechanism about how this person’s outfit/gender/sexuality/economic class/personality/race is scaring me? No, that’s offensive too. Well, I’m stuck here.”

The root is obvious, I associate certain characteristics of people with me being hurt, and this is why my body panics. I anticipate harsh loud judgment, maybe even hitting, maybe them secretly talking to each other about how I am selfish, weak, pathetic, uncooperative, simply a leech, etc. I trust certain characteristics: If I look at a person and they look away, I feel safe. If I see a familiar smile that reminds me of my best friend. If I see someone who has similar anxiety as me, I feel safe, etc. It’s not always good, like being comfortable with people that I relate to about my anxiety, it makes life very dramatic. But, that’s my challenge in life. At least I can see it from above and laugh about it a little.

So, exposure therapy, what’s the secret?

Once you have someone that sees that you have social anxiety and then is still indifferent about it: Ignores you, talks to you normally, etc, you heal from it because it stops the self-feeding spiral. It says: “It’s okay to feel like this, you’re not offending anyone, we’re too “secure” to believe that or shame you for it, don’t worry. You can be your judgmental self, we are judgmental too, we don’t take offense.” Then, you start to heal from it. I can be myself with everyone. Is this a good thing? I don’t know, but that’s how exposure therapy worked for me. I need to show my judgmental selfish self, but not act hurtfully. I guess I can’t be truly egalitarian in my body to how I treat different types of people and classes and I just have to be honest about it to the world. Or maybe there’s a whole other perspective that might be truer and I am ignoring it, I don’t know yet, but I will think about it.

Are people really that different?

I’m not sure if you relate to this with yourself, or if you are a little more on the outside m or if you are in a completely different spectrum of feelings about the world and people. I just hope you get to know people like me, and how we think of ourselves and the world. I’m not sure if people really are different from each other, intrinsically, or if we are all the same and think the same but we just have different levels of understanding and reflection. I don’t know if there are people out there that read this and think I am an alien and I read how they feel and I think they are an alien. I tend to think that people are more or less the same, but I want to believe we are different species of “human” by our personalities, abilities for introception, extroversion or introversion, individualistic or collectivist, tend-to-be-traumatized or tend-to-be-healthy, tend-to-be-sensitive or tend-to-be-methodical. For some reason, I believe that to be sensitive is just a level below being methodical, but, that might not do human society justice. Maybe we are really just different in ways that cannot be bridged and we just have to deal with the fact that it is rare to find someone truly like you. Others aren’t just versions of yourself, but other people that are so different. Maybe that’s freeing to know. Maybe that makes us all very special and worthy for others, even if it is just a perspective.

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Nabil Houari

Nabil Houari

In the lines between fiction and reality. I blog about being both sensitive and evil.