by Asia Kindred Moore
I kept thinking that the politics and the millionaires were the problem. But really, the problem was the drugs. Not meth or mushrooms. I’m talking prescription anti-self-love anti-depressives, with side-effect-suicidal-tendencies. Those drugs.
Looking back on it, I had a complete lack of emotional stability. Recurring thoughts plagued my mind, like, ‘I will kill myself at any moment.’ ‘The world is a hateful all-time battle.’ ‘My life is not nor ever will be important.’ Those thoughts.
That’s how it was for me. By 14, I had a nasty case of adolescent anger complicated by drugs & alcohol & hanging out at the bus mall with the local transit trash. That got me busted. By 15, these symptoms were being “managed” by mandated pharmaceutical drug use. The dose loads were supposedly dialed in to keep pace with the increasingly suicidal extremes I experienced over the next couple of years.
I do understand that trashing my body to gain that one moment of pleasure, that one drunken adventure, was in complete contradiction to the meds. Drink smoke bash mosh—you can’t expect the medications to actually work under those conditions. So maybe I didn’t give them a proper chance. But on the other hand, I don’t remember actually acting on suicidal thoughts or urges—it wasn’t even a part of the picture . . . until the mandated meds were added to the mix.
Once I started, it was a party. I was zonked with Zoloft, looped on Lexapro, warped with Wellbutrin, zombied by Xyprexia, till my final exit with Effexxor. I was a walking ANTI. Complete with the jitters and paranoia. But still I had that flitting hope that maybe, someday, this bullshit medication that costs too much would help.
What a rich man’s joke. ‘Lets feed those crazy depressed teenagers pills for every mental condition we can make up, then watch the suicide rate rise.’ But it’s not funny. Not funny at all.
I cannot claim that these medications don’t work for anyone, but they certainly did not work for me. It’s an aggravating feeling to think of yourself as a walking talking zombie-core kid. How can you work through it with the help of counselors and psychological advice if you can’t even identify and question your own emotions? I knew they were there, I could feel them, just beneath the surface. But I could not for the life of me get in touch and express them in any satisfying or releasing way.
I believe truly that my experience with so many different anti-depressants and anti-psychotics directly contributed to my anxiety, which got going big-time after a failed attempt at suicide while on Xyprexia, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft. It persists. I’m still plagued with anxiety. It can erupt at any moment, any setting. I was never anxious as a kid. Now I’m a Paranoid.
I cannot advocate for these emotion-strangling drugs that are handed out like candy to kids. I have no respect whatsoever for the pushers of these pills, nor the shareholders who profit from stock market deals of the corporations that manufacture them. Profit from harm is not honorable.
If the purpose of anti-depressants is to dull the pain and accentuate the happiness then they got it all wrong. I think that the reason why I was more suicidal while on them than off was because they numbed the highs and lows of every emotion I had. I couldn’t tell the difference between rational and irrational feelings. It was like, “Oh I should feel happy now but there’s a block,” or, “Wow, I’m really sad but it’s faded and shadowy. Where does it come from?”
I think that authentic depression and anxiety are healthier than all the side effects that come with anti-depressants. At least you have a shot at dealing with what’s causing them. But this—weight loss, weight gain, sleeplessness, sleepiness, paranoia, suicidal act-outs, shakiness, drowsiness—who would sacrifice their own emotional integrity for this collection of physical and mental atrocities?
In a world filled with fear, some will choose to be numb and cut-off, rather than deal with what’s happening inside of their real life. Unfortunately, such people get a lot of support from the politics and the millionaires. Which is why I hate them. But really, the problem is the drugs.
Asia Kindred Moore lives in Salem, Oregon, where she works as a barista at the Coffee House Cafe downtown. Asia can be reached at [email protected].