Your Mind

Getting Prescribed Xanax: So Easy, A Caveman Can Do It.

By September 19, 2015 1

This is the second chapter of a series blog post. To read the first part which was published last week, click here

Okay, so now that we’ve squared away the oh-so twisted but true college-wood life story of how I managed to score an adderall prescription without so much as a diagnosis (hell, without even a damn doctor’s visit, really) let’s switch gears and seriously discuss the implications.

Foremost, let me just clarify that the story and the way that I presented it, is entirely true. Indeed, it was actually THAT easy for me to legally get my hands on an amphetamine-loaded, psycho-stimulating, presumably-controlled substance that is used to treat narcolepsy, and my only known symptoms were 3 too many papers I had to write that weekend.

It gets weirder.

That very same year, my boyfriend from high school and I broke up. I was 18 years old, and positively devastated. It tore me a part in a way that only a high school first love can really shred a person. I cried, then I cried some more– and god dammit, I  just couldn’t stop crying and so my doctor, after approximately 47 seconds of hearing about my wounded teenage soul, made the oh-so-necessary decision to prescribe me xanax. I mean, how else was I to cope with such an unspeakable loss.

Thanks doc!

Prescription in hand, I fled back to my pathetic-excuse-of-a-freshman-year-dorm-room and was ready to pop my first magic pill.  But just as I began to fumble with the bottle (hold down, twist, squeeze to open? wtf man– does this come with a locksmith?)  a friend of mine, Zoie, asked me a very important question that would forever change the course of my relationship with medicine. She asked,”why are you going to take that pill”, to which I replied with a whiny common-sense,”I’m literally depressed, I can’t stop crying”. But she was on an investigative warpath and pressed for more answers with a, “but why are you crying?”, and I, willing to play detective obvious stated, “Because Sean and I broke up, of course”. It was then that she let me in on this miraculous life hack:

“If you can identify why you are crying, you do not need a pill. In fact, you probably aren’t even depressed. You’re probably just sad. You’re likely just experiencing human emotion”

Fuck. There it was, folks. A dose of good old-fashioned and at times overwhelming, human emotion & feeling– something that we have been conditioned to think is abstract, foreign, absurd even. Something we’ve begun to treat like a virus.

And so now, we’ve arrived at the point: Parents, doctors, and patients– I am writing this post in an effort to plead with you all to remember this story going forward, and to apply the “zoie-but-why-factor” to every single medicinal scenario. If your 6 year old can’t stop moving and isn’t paying attention in any of his classes, don’t just diagnose him with ADHD. Ask him WHY. He’ll likely offer up some very basic, honest, human excuse. It’s probably “I’m not interested in what the teacher says, mommy”. Chances are, he’s just not that into sitting still for hours in a classroom learning math when there’s a great big world out there that he’s getting a handle on, plus an awesome playground that comes with it just a few yards away.

Yep, he may just be a kid.

The same can be said for your adolescent teenagers who aren’t focusing on their schoolwork. With hormones, iPhones, and our overstimulating society, they likely just have a case of the common “don’t-give-a-fucks”. It’s annoying, yes, but not a life-altering illness. I promise.

Jesus Christ people may we please just try to normalize this human experience? Can we stop trying to transform ourselves and our children into data-receptive, high-functioning robots, and then look for medical solutions when they accidentally slip back into their mortality.

Can we feel sad? Can we feel happy? Can we maybe feel unmotivated and lazy sometimes as our minds and bodies continue to transform like the ever-shifting landscapes that they are?

Do we dare to just.. feel?