Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We Are All on Drugs

If you take a poll of all the people you know, I guarantee you'll find that the majority of them are on drugs. I'm not talking about the fun stuff like pot, ecstasy, meth, crack, glue, ether, or jenkem (the fermented feces that high school kids are sniffing these days).

I'm talking about the pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors to solve any number of unspecified psychological disorders. I'm talking about Lexapro, Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Ritalin, Welbutrin, Xanax, Valium, or any of the 9 trillion other drugs out there designed to make us feel normal.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, most of us are very sick. We may be depressed or bi-polar or anorexic or schizophrenic or schizophrenic (repetition intended). Or, we may have ADHD or PTSD or OCD or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

If you think nothing's wrong with you, you're probably in denial and I'm sure that's some kind of illness. We're all fucked up and we want to be treated. So, we ingest chemicals. In my humble opinion, mental meds are natural - natural considering the world we live in.

We eat food with preservatives. Crops are sprayed with insecticides. Cattle is fed hormones. Cows are mad. The skies are filled with smog. The walls are covered in lead paint. Who knows what this shit has done to us?

We use cell phones and hold them directly up to our brains. We sit three inches away from radiating computer screens for 8 hours a day. We cook our dinners in microwaves and stare through the radioactive window as our mac and cheese literally gets nuked. We go outside and expose ourselves to sunlight without an ozone layer. Gotta affect us somehow!

For fun, we take chemicals that are, by design, supposed to make us crazy. MDMA, LSD, psylocybin, cannibis - they've all been proven to cause "unknown psychosis". I'm very much pro-recreational drug. However, I can't deny that they've done us some damage.

Then, we got the media, which endlessly spews this idealized vision of how we should be, how we should look, and how much happiness we should have. If you watch MTV for an hour, you think you should be a roided-up douchebag. If you watch Bravo, you think you should be an effeminate fashion junkie. If you watch Fox News, you think you should be a masochistic religious zealot. It's all so confusing.

And, we have a tremendous amount of crap to deal with on a daily basis - the economy, the gas crisis, the declining quality of indie rock, the lack of good delis in Denver, the staggering proliferation of those Tyler Perry movies, and the inexplicable return of fluourescent Ray-Ban Wayfarers. It's enough to drive even a sane person nuts!

I gotta say it though, we're all a bunch of pussies! Because our parents coddled us, we have an inability to cope. We cry about everything. We were never taught that suffering is good. If something doesn't feel right, we want to fix it. We were raised to believe that if we're sad or ugly or unhappy or unsuccessful, we're sick. When we're sick, we want pills.

The pills do work.

Believe it or not, I was going to be a psychologist, but I quit grad school when I found out that I wouldn't be able to prescribe drugs. Fixing mental illness without drugs is like eating an apple without teeth. It's fruitless. Now hand me my happy pills!

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