Why Are Anti-Depressants & Anxiety Medication Widely Used?
By Reza Ganjavi
Why do so many people take anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants? These are your "normal" everyday ordinary people. This is especially the case in richer societies. Does it have to do with lifestyle -- too much consumption of anxiety-producing things like caffeine and chocolate -- or not eating a balanced diet to get all the necessary nutrients for the brain -- or thinking too much about things thought wasn't made for which leads to fear and anxiety (since psychological fears are all rooted in time -- about the past of future) -- or because of meat eating which means our bodies inherits the fear of the animal that was killed -- or is it an underlying fear of death knowing existence is temporary despite all the travail -- or lack of love for what we do -- or disconnection from nature in our modern societies -- or ???
Comments by Reza Ganjavi:
Jennifer, I wonder if there is a different way of going about anxiety than with medication. Does an anxious person understand anxiety? If I am anxious the first I do is to want to know why -- and start by writing about it... once truth is revealed it's never the same. What are the ingredients of anxiety beside a general label? Is it physical? Psychological? Both? Is it fear?
Maybe a good starting question is: What does anxiety mean?
Jennifer, sorry to hear that... There are millions of people suffering from anxiety to the point of taking medication. I wonder if there is a way of dealing with the problem that includes fully understanding the roots of anxiety. I don't know if you mind or not talking about it here... but what are some of the roots? I'm also curious if you ever wrote to yourself, like a journal / diary, all about that. I'm hesitant to give it the label because sometimes the label prevents us from seeing the actuality -- you know -- we bundle a bunch of emotions and give it a name -- the name doesn't matter...
Folks, let's slow down a bit... and have some space... it's funny if that is even possible on an internet forum... if we were sitting together the invitation would be to sit silently for a bit. But we are experimenting.
People who are not chronically anxious can talk about anxiety and some people here have read and explored a lot. Let's give some space to others who don't post often. This is a very serious question and would be good to get more feedback about it, especially from those who are suffering from anxiety.
So I invite Jennifer who was brave enough to step up and say, ”Yes, I am anxious”, and others like her, to share about their actual experience. What is it actually to feel anxious? What does it feel like? And so on. How does an anxious person describe it to someone? Let's give them space... thanks...
I feel this is a very deep topic -- and it somehow feels odd to discuss it in an internet forum -- I've discussed this before personally and it's very different -- the tempo is clear-- body language -- voice tone -- caring, etc. which is so much a part of effective communication but here it's just a bunch of typed black-and-white words which seem to go too fast... but can we do it? It's an experiment...
A lot of good points posted here... Irina has a good point -- so does Larry -- with regards to other places in the world. I do think some cultures are much faster in sending trouble to psychiatrist (which often make it worse if the problem is not serious enough) than dealing with it. But in general there's a deprivation of insight everywhere and therefore the worship of booze etc., as all important. It disgusts me to see in places like Northern Europe, the UK, Ireland, etc., alcohol is so cherished.
Jennifer, just curious -- did you ever write about it -- to yourself -- looking at everything that comes up and write it?
It's something you might want to try. It gets easier the more you do it. Just write down whatever comes to your mind. It's very refreshing because eventually the mind gets emptier and emptier and if a thought comes that you've already written then it subsides... b/c you've seen it before... and pay attention to all your thoughts and feelings during the day. And maybe write them as they pop...
Jennifer, you're one of millions who've taken them. Most of us have had loved ones who've taken them. So as a moderator here I can assure you this is a space as safe as an internet forum can get.
Jennifer -- From the world of a child, you had a bright outlook on life...
One thing that's important in this subject is that human brain has a habit of falling into sorrow. That's something to watch for... seeing it one can snap out of it wink emoticon.
Michael, great point. It seems that many people have such low tolerance for discomfort, especially in richer societies -- as soon as going gets tough they escape -- instead of staying with the problem, understanding it and not feeling overwhelmed by it. No problem is too big for the light of insight.
As a side note: at the very least we can artificially smile wink emoticon which actually helps... "This too shall pass" is another great insight just to be strong and not escape... there's no reason to escape... and as you brilliantly explained staying with it means no division and means having energy to deal with it. And in that understanding it changes...
Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Great quote. I guess for me everything is a miracle -- I saw Lena's note - also brilliant. I have limited time so can't respond to everything but the level of this conversation is excellent...
Alice, it's not surprising. Like listening to a happy person can make us happy!