May 03, 2014

Slowly weaning off the anti-anxiety meds

My brother is slowly weaning himself off the anti-anxiety meds, and he's relapsing. He should have asked me first. I would have told him to wait for the summer, and I would have explained about withdrawal. Of course, this sent my mother right back on her what did I do wrong? Although, to be fair, they're both getting better at handling the situation, getting some perspective.

My brother said he didn't feel normal, and I almost laughed, which -- thank God -- I didn't. Normal in mental health is only ever defined by the average, the majority, the bell curve, and I have no end of ontological and epistemological problems with that. From a purely subjective point of view, I'd be hard-pressed, looking around, to find someone, anyone, who hasn't been/isn't involved in some form of therapy, or hasn't been prescribed/isn't taking some kind of anti-anxiolytics or other antidepressants. That's when they're not self-medicating with weed. So if normal in Western society is the average, the common behavior, my brother is quite, quite normal.

Strange calluses. I can't look around and not see this. Then again, I'm the girl who goes to the pub and gets drunk by osmosis. I can't walk in the street and not pay attention. The casual hurts are inflicted like papercuts. All the time, everywhere, everyone. It's so stupid, could so easily be avoided, but never is. We are careless with each other.

Ironically enough, mental health professionals would not fit that curve. Not that psychologists and psychiatrists are less messed up than the rest -- quite the contrary, in fact -- but many of them intensely distrust therapy as a means to address their own problems, and so hide in plain sight. I'm spying on the enemy from the inside.

I don't know what it is. Perhaps, again, my Jungian blinders coming to the fore. Depression and anxiety as I observe them feel more like the internalization of an external (societal) malaise, than anything resulting solely from education, or individual stressors. And if some experience this malaise and others don't, it's because some haven't developed calluses, while others have.

You're used to dealing with it, so they can deal too. You ask a friend how his day has gone, because that's the way the conversation starts, but by the time he opens his mouth to give an answer, you've already moved on to something else. You think nothing of the perfunctory nod, the disinterested tilt of the head, but he notices, and it probably doesn't hurt for more than a second, before it's forgotten and swept under the rug. But it did hurt. It's dozens of those papercuts every day -- stupid, stupid thoughtlessness, and everyone knows the rules, and no one remembers how to object. By the end of the day, you're kind of sore. By the end of the week, you're bruised...

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