Battling my adult life long struggle w/anxiety disorders

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A friend writes:

as i find myself AGAIN in therapy battling my adult life long struggle w/anxiety disorders (bet you didnt know that, did ya?), some words of wisdom for the reckoning.
No I didn't.

The officials at my elementary school convinced my parents to send me to child psychologists. I remember the red 'nerve medicine' they had me take. Also the games we played, Rorschach and IQ tests, playing chess and the box of chocolate covered cherries at Christmas.

They never did me a lick of good or harm.

The officials at my high school convinced my parents to send me to a psychiatrist. Dr. Wolfe was urbane, smart, enjoyable. He introduced me to Matthew Arnold. When I realized I liked pretty boys he asked me if it bothered me. Since it didn't we never talked about it. Nothing he did made my life better or worse.

Nowadays, I'd probably be lucky if the last were true. Back then most of the psychoactive drugs were given to middle-aged women in bad marriages. Largely barbiturates to help them sleep at night.

Is your life not peaches and cream? Do you have moments of panic? Don't like to talk to people at parties? Acquire an addiction to Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft. Your lucky psychiatrist isn't legally required to tell you that he or she may get a kickback from the manufacturer. (The only law on the books specifically exempts them from having to be honest.)

Until Charles became my partner I didn't have a clue how large part of the US population were in therapy and hooked on SSRIs and MAOIs. How many become guaranteed source of income for the pharmaceutical industry.

I know most of the people enslaved to these drugs feel their lives are better. I can't help but doubt they've been saved for the looney bin because I don't think they'd've been consigned to one. Most people burdened by quotidian agonies and hurts managed to live with them. And I don't see evidence in their daily lives that having their serotonin metabolism modified makes them happy people. Anymore than their lifetime course of talking and talking to people with no amazing level clarity an insight than but with a diploma.

Parts of my own life have been hellish. There were plenty of days when I thought I was in Hell and my father was the Devil. Long removed from the days when a boy sat at his typewriter typing, "I hate daddy" over and over again I've come to see how my unhappy days with Mack Emory Lee gave my pansexuality its distinct coloration. At this distance I allow myself to feel merely smug that I didn't become a het or routinely queer. There's more than enough of you out there.

I've waged a lifelong fight against the timidity he instilled in me. Does anybody who knows me know that? Victor might have but his corpse can't tell me.

I've fucked my own life up badly. When Siobhan left me I threw away a big hunk of years. I doubt a therapist would've helped. My biggest mistake may have been not talking to Gordon more. A deep withdrawing into myself was possibly one of the biggest hurts I inflicted on myself.

Even without talking Gordon's friendship certainly kept me from sinking deeper. Can't beat shared memories and a gift for clarity. Clarity is certainly what let me finally pull myself out of my self-created self-destructive pit.

Writing about myself on the web may have helped a tad or two. Describing myself, summoning up my past is very clarifying. Really, the recovery was mostly accomplished by then. The online self-exploration was more a matter of refining and confirming.

Another sane friend has a therapist. She regards him as a paid friend she can fit into her schedule. I'll vainly confess that I can't imagine that being better than talking to myself.

Which, of course, is what I'm doing now even though it seems I've typed the words for you.


wondering if it was finally determined what caused the coma?

Charles has almost killed him twice this year. The first time was percocet. He stopped breathing within a minute (literally) of the EMS people arriving. If I’d come home five minutes later that day he might not be here.

The more recent instance was when he was using what I’ll discreetly describe as non-prescription pain medication for his migraines.

In both cases the medications made less aware of what medicine he’d taken. And his other medicines may have either added to the biological impact or the lack of clarity: phenothizine (probably misspelled), Neurontin, Zoloft, Klonaphin (spelling?). Charles is bipolar. Sometimes he’ll hit the bipolar manic/high phase and won’t sleep. The lack of rest leaves him more fuzzy-minded than usual. A night without sleep has preceded both of his near-death experiences.

potentials, as I’m absent minded as well, preferring to skip a dose if I can’t remember it, rather than take again)

The only sane course. Charles, sadly, has been so spaced out he was beyond caution. As tonight’s weblog entry testifies I have something of a grudge at against psychoactive medications. Which isn’t fair to those of you who feel the medications enable you to get through your daily life. Sadly, with only one exception the people I’ve known who’ve had their mind medicated haven’t had their lives enhanced. A couple appear to be worse and now depedent on a chemical that does nothing for them.

I hope things are slowly moving forward

Despite some terrible stumblings, I think Charles is much better off than he was when we came to live together a couple of years ago. Without wishing to seem egocentric I’m glad he met me. The stresses of my own childhood made me the kind of guy that can provide a strong shoulder for someone like Charles. And it isn’t as if in caring for and loving Charles I don’t find rich emotional rewards and some of my own needs met.

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