"My primary concern over use of benzodiazepines is that when used to treat anxiety, they are more likely to aggravate than improve a patient’s symptoms, especially if taken regularly. Patients develop physical and psychological dependence to benzodiazepines very quickly. Once physically tolerant, patients experience withdrawal symptoms if doses are missed, and generally interpret the withdrawal symptoms as manifestations of their own anxiety disorder. The progression from taking alprazolam or clonazepam ‘as needed’ to taking them regularly is as predictable as any other biological process. And after physical tolerance has developed, symptoms that were once considered manageable become part of an unmanageable ‘anxiety disorder.’" —[...]
Are you taking Xanax or some other benzodiazepine for anxiety or insomnia? Well, given the condition you are in, I don't want to alarm you about your pills, but, "there is growing evidence that they have serious side effects and a number of studies have linked them to falls, memory problems, panic attacks and early death."
Lately when I have been laying awake in bed as dawn comes on and wishing there were some way it would all simply cease I have shifted my final fantasy from a giant sheet of ice that freezes me forever to an asteroid that appears without warning and suddenly puts an end to everything (I blame Elizabeth Kolbert for putting this beautiful dream in my head). Unfortunately, one cannot sustain thoughts of personal extinction forever; the mind tends to drift, and this morning my reverie of eradication was interrupted by my [...]
Nostalgia for the cultural touchstones of the 1990s, according to the Times, is a real-life, actual thing. Of course, they’re thinking in terms of Nickelodeon programs like "Doug" and "All That." I would hasten to add that any good reminiscence of the pre-Lewinsky Clinton years requires a recognition that Columbia House Music Club was both a blessing and a curse for many a nascent music fan. It was for me. My membership fell somewhere between 1993 and 1996, pre-high school, pre-love of record stores. It was through Columbia House’s mail-order catalogs that I received all the Nirvana, Soundgarden and Belly albums I could get my hands on.
Somehow Still-Alive Guy is not a doctor, and he does not provide medical advice. But he has seen all the doctors! And is currently still alive, and here to answer questions from you. Remember, there are no stupid medical questions—only answers that can get you killed.
Dear Somehow Still-Alive Guy, I tend to worry a lot. But then sometimes I notice that I haven't been worried for a while. And then I get worried that there must be something wrong with me if I'm not worried—perhaps a tumor on the part of the brain that usually causes me to worry? Now, you might think that the fact that [...]