Phooey…I am still pooped out. Three nights now of less than satisfactory sleep. And my standard for a satisfactory night’s sleep is pretty low. I was insomniac for years. I stopped being insomniac, in an extreme way, when I went on meds. When I was first prescribed Prozac, I don’t know how many years ago, I was at first also given Xanax for anxiety. That stuff was crap. So I got myself switched to clonazepam.
.25 milligrams in the morning, and .50 milligrams at night. If I am able to get to sleep at all, that’s the stuff that does it. Over the years I managed to cut back by .25 because the stuff is an energy drainer, but even cutting back that .25 was rough. Withdrawal produced some really, really dark feelings. Every time I mention cutting back more my psychiatrist gets edgy and starts talking about how I must cut back VERY SLOWLY. Now it seems they have a .25 tab that is water soluble. So you can put the tab in a glass of water and drink a little less of the stuff over time.
The stuff is prescribed for epilepsy, anxiety, panic attacks and the notorious restless leg syndrome. Somehow it makes the brain “less active,” whatever the hell that means. But I guess I know because before I started taking the stuff I would just toss and turn hour after hour chewing on some thought.
I have had only three or four true blue anxiety attacks. Once I was eating and for some reason, my arm starting shaking and I couldn’t get the food to my mouth, and then I felt I couldn’t breathe. I went outside to walk around to calm myself, but that didn’t work. I thought I was having a heart attack. But then my reading in psychology came to my rescue and I concluded that I was having an anxiety attack, so I went back inside and took an extra tab of clonazepam and the attack went away in about half an hour—probably placebo effect plus the drug kicking in.
Damn, I depress myself just by thinking about myself.
Now critics of the consumer society and the drug industry say we take these meds just to take care of ordinary human unhappiness. The implication is that we have lost our souls and want a happy pill for everything, like Huxley’s “soma,” or something. Well, I don’t think not being able to sleep well for years upon years or going around thinking you are having a heart attack when you aren’t is ordinary human unhappiness. And if it is, I think more allowances—in the form of extended vacations, reduced work days, more and more personal days, as well as institutionalized and socially accepted nap time on the job—ought to be made for those suffering from ordinary human unhappiness.