Xanex & Your Love-Life


A patient told me the other day that she was at a party and a lot of the party goers were asking each other whether or not they had any Xanex. Apparently this is the new fad party drug.

For those of you that don’t know what this is, I’ll fill you in. Xanex is a pycho-tropic medication whose generic name is Alprazolam. Xanex is a benzodiazepine tranquilizer commonly proscribed for anxiety and/or panic disorders.

This drug relaxes, making the user more ‘tranquil.’ It’s considered a narcotic and with frequent use can be addictive.

It seems that a growing number of people in the younger generation are adverse to anxiety. Granted, in a higher enough intensity, anxiety and its severe first cousin panic are intolerable. The problem is what to do with anxiety at lower intensities.

Despite the overwhelming or paralyzing quality of high anxiety and panic, everyday experiences of anxiety are an important part of living and changing. I say an important part because mild anxiety is what we’re supposed to feel as a precursor and sometimes accompaniment to life’s most important events.

Lower levels of anxiety motivate a person to be more aware of his or her environment than usual. At the same level, anxiety is the feeling that usually accompanies change and drives performance.

Generally speaking, nobody changes without nervousness (the generic name for anxiety). Without it we would be a half step from not caring much about what is happening to us. In fact, this ‘turned-off,’ no worries, no fears, no anxiety state is precisely what the Xanex crowd seems to be looking for.

My fear is that without something to propel us forward, the majority of us would prefer to feel less and keep a permanent tranquility in the place of feeling life’s challenges. Learning how to master anxiety is the desired outcome of living through difficult life experiences. This matures us.

How does the saying go? What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Looks like the new ‘normal,’ with a little help from our friendly pharmaceuticals, is artificially cool and zombified (deadened on the inside).

Here’s my particular concern, love is the emotion that makes us all anxious. And that happens for a good reason. You see, anyone who has ever fallen in love will tell you that something happens to alter the way they think and feel about life.

As this change is happening you feel like something is going on inside of you that is beyond your control. That should be enough to scare the bejesus out of any living human being.

Stay with me now, this is precisely where the problem lies. Ordinarily, love is naturally overwhelming, it changes everything, sometimes in one big swoop. That is supposed to scare you and make you contemplate your life in response to the feelings you are having.

Your ‘love anxiety’ tells you, you’ve just fallen in love, meaning you now know someone you just can’t live without. At first, that’s wonderful and scary at the same time. Wonderful because you’ve been transformed into something bigger than just yourself. Scary because you’ve left that familiar loneliness and now you need someone as dear to you as life itself.

In order for all of this to run smoothly you obviously have to feel it. Sometimes it feels like anxiety. You’ll get used to it. You’re not supposed to do mother nature medicated.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan


Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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