Depressed? There’s a pill for that. Anxious? There’s a pill for that. Erectile dysfunction? There’s a pill for that too. We have become so dependent on these various medications to function, it’s a wonder we’re not all walking zombies. I speak from experience with some of these medications. I have taken more than I can probably even remember.
My initial foray into prescription medications came right after I graduated from high school. I went into my doctor’s office and told him it always felt like my heart wanted to beat out of my chest. He ran some tests and sent me on my way with a prescription for Xanax. In retrospect, starting that medication may have been one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
Benzodiazepines are a class of drug that includes Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and probably at least 50 other medications. They work by calming the body down or sedating it. They are also often used as muscle relaxants, to treat seizures, for insomnia, and occasionally for alcohol withdrawal. And they are handed out like candy to people.
If doctors actually took the time to go over with their patients the dangers of these drugs, I’m convinced they would not be as popular as they are today. Or maybe they still would be. They make you feel invincible. I know that if someone had lectured me about the dangers of Xanax back when I was taking it, I probably would have just tuned them out. Nobody ever did.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I am attempting to blame my poor choices on somebody else. It was my decision to start taking the drug, and I am the one who decided to swallow almost an entire bottle of pills a couple of years ago. But that’s the thing with these drugs. They cloud your judgment. They also cause some pretty hardcore amnesia. Like forgetting how many pills you already took.
I will end this entry with the list of side-effects (many of which I have experienced) and reactions that can occur while taking these drugs. The most common side-effects of benzodiazepines are related to their sedating and muscle-relaxing action. They include drowsiness, dizziness, and decreased alertness and concentration. Lack of coordination may result in falls and injuries, especially in the elderly. Another result is impairment of driving skills and increased likelihood of road traffic accidents. Decreased libido and erection problems are a common side effect. Depression and disinhibition may emerge. Less common side effects include nausea and changes in appetite, blurred vision, confusion, euphoria, depersonalization and nightmares.
Does that sound like something you would want to take?