Do mood-stabilizing drugs take away the very feelings that make us human? Or; The most scari-citing-est feeling in the world

Knowledge is power. When you know something, you have control over it. Not knowing, however, produces quite a different reaction.

The feeling of not knowing is, perhaps, the scariest feeling we as human beings can feel. The feeling that gives us anxiety and keeps us up at night. The feeling we go to the doctor for. The feeling that we fill prescriptions for. Zoloft. Xanax. Those just look like robot names. “I am Zoloft, and this is my battery-life-partner Xanax, welcome to our docking station. Please enjoy this dinner application that we downloaded for you. Oop. You spilled chips in your lap. Ha-ha. Do you understand the joke I just made, human? Because I was referring to the dinner application, I implied the contrast of microchips* , which are components of technology, and potato chips, which are organic components. Such an odd comparison should warrant amusement from you based on the juxtaposition of the items at hand. I believe humans commonly refer to this notion as ‘irony.’”

You’re sad. Or you fear. Or you feel out of place in social situations. Or you have a feeling of impending doom. That’s some serious-ass shit. Impending doom?! Wow. No wonder people have to take this medicine. Can you imagine what feeling doomed feels like? I mean, they make computer games about how destructive this feeling can be.

Robots have really come a long way. We’re all fucking robots. We’re all brainwashed into thinking that feeling, really feeling, anything is a sign of weakness. Sure, if you’re feeling impending doom, by all means, it’s time for a refill; but if you’re feeling sad or awkward or out of place – congratulations, you’re still human. The only reason you’re feeling sad or awkward or out of place is because someone, somewhere told you that those feelings were wrong. Take this pill, human. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-medication. But I also think that it should be up to the individual to decide whether or not she or he wants to take anything that describes itself as a “mood-stabilizer.” Like who died and made you tha mutha fuckin’ Queen of tha Mood? Maybe I want to be in this god damned mood.

I just don’t think “society” should have any control over deciding what is “acceptable.” Or what mood we should be in. Or why we should or shouldn’t be in this mood. Sure, if I’m out raping babies or murdering household pets, medicate me. Lock me up. Send me to an island, whatever. Don’t drug me for asking internal questions and being less-than-thrilled with the outcome. It’s life. I’d rather live it than just go through the motions.

Perhaps not knowing is the most exciting feeling human beings can feel. The feeling that gives us anxiety and keeps us up at night. The feeling we go to the doctor for. The feeling that we fill prescriptions for. Ritalin. Adderall. Those sound like those pesky neighbor kids that always walk through your yard, and normally it wouldn’t bother you, but you specifically asked them not to today because you just re-sodded your lawn. Their mom is always yelling at them, “Ridda-liiiiiiiinnn…Adder-aaaaaawwwwlllll…y’all get y’all’s aysses bayck in heeeeeeere…Tom, Leeeyn-da. I aym so sowwwry. I’ll make the keeeyds help you. Keeeyds, tell the McAdows your sowwwry and you’ll help theym re-sod their lawwwn tomorrow.” “Sorry, Mrs. and Mr. McAdow…”

They really don’t have malicious intent – they’re just forgetful and spontaneous and more of a nuisance than anything. They have good intentions, but sometimes you just want to strangle them. So you install an electric fence around your newly-sodded lawn to keep unwanted trespassers out – I mean, come on, it’s a Kentucky Blue/perennial rye hybrid grass…you had it imported. Little Adderall chased a stray football pass into your yard one day and got caught in the fence. Now he’s paralyzed from the neck down. But your yard – wow. Kudos. By any means necessary, right? You’re definitely gonna get that quarter-page mention in Better Homes & Gardens now.

How dare you think about something other than what I’m asking you to think about. How dare you not consider what I want here. How dare you explore your own brain. You will think what I want you to think, and you will like it. Hello? Ritalin? Are you listening to me? Focus. Jesus, can you stop with the pencil-tapping for two seconds? What are you even looking at? It’s your brother’s fault that he’s here. I asked him – you both – specifically to not walk on my grass. And what did you do? You walked on my grass. There are consequences for your actions. There are punishments for the crimes you commit. I’m sorry, but little Addie just had to learn the hard way. I’d take it as a lesson. And stop tapping that god damn pencil.

If an individual finds this impulsivity to be harmful, or if the disorganization of thoughts is controlling one’s life – again – refill. I’m not promoting the idea that all prescription medications are the devil, and I would definitely encourage anyone who is plagued by any certain feeling to take an active part in balancing oneself out, but again, who’s the boss? (Well, Tony Danza is…but that’s beside the point.) Take this other pill, human. And the humans rejoiced with the introduction of the magic candy. I say think how you want to think – in the fashion or style that works best for you. If it becomes a legitimate problem for you, or for the others around you, then we’ll talk about it.

Perhaps both are wrong and right at the same time. Perhaps not knowing is the most scari-citing-est feeling human beings can feel. Because it’s the same fucking thing. There’s a thin line. Maybe that’s why we’re all medicated in the first place…because we have no idea what the fuck we feel. Maybe we should start allowing ourselves to find out.

*Please note the phrase “Also the butt crack” at the bottom of the Wikipedia link.

[For an added bonus, take Zoloft’s italicized monologue and plug it in here. Hilarious.]

December 18, 2009

[To see the blog at Creative Loafing, click here.]

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