Today I’m going on a half-dose of the anti-anxiety/depression medication, Celexa. I started taking it last July after having a remarkable panic attack in the Byways cafe on NW Glisan, when they failed to bring me my poached eggs on time. This made me angry, which on low blood sugar associated with a hangover, triggered the beast. I was shit-scared of having another one, and my doctor said: “Take the pills.” So I did. You can’t really drink on them either, so I quit. I’d never really had a panic attack before, but in a nutshell, I don’t recommend them.
Celexa has been associated with suicide in some patients, and there’s the odd fanatic online who’ll tell you it “Celexa ate my baby.” But for the most part, it’s been pretty benign. I yawned a lot when I first started taking it, and noticed it made me stop staring, goggle-eyed, at attractive women in the street, but both symptoms died away after a few weeks. Now, all I notice is an absence of really strong emotions. Like, when I get really frustrated, I’m only 80% as frustrated as I would be, otherwise. That’s why I decided to come off the pills. I like feeling strong emotions and I don’t really feel like myself when I’m doped up all the time. I’m looking forward to being my old self again, and to making a few clear-headed decisions.
Since I started taking this stuff I’ve been amazed at how many other people are on it, too. I think it’s part of the drug companies’ evil agenda [adopts melodramatic tone] to keep these things under the rug—it’s more addictive if it’s a secret, or something—but I don’t see any shame in admitting to taking psychiatric meds. In fact, I think it’s kind of glamorous. I’m so troubled…etcetera. Either way, it’s important to me to be up front about these things, because if there is a stigma, there shouldn’t be. And I don’t want to contribute to it.