DOCUMENTARY; TAKE YOUR PILLS: XANAX; 

Trigger Warning ⚠️ talk of anti-anxiety medications, addiction 

I recently watched the new Netflix Documentary called “Take Your Pills: Xanax”. 

Boy did it ever resonate with me and boy did I ever see a piece of myself in every single personal account given by the very diverse group of individuals being interviewed throughout the Documentary who are either currently using Xanax to treat their anxiety and/or panic disorders or have used it in the past (there were several mental health experts featured throughout the film as well). 

I should probably start off by saying that I have never actually been prescribed Xanax before; but it hasn’t been for a lack of not trying though. 

Xanax is a fast acting anti-anxiety medication and falls under the category of Benzodiazepine drugs, which is the same category you will find Ativan and Valium in; both of which I have a long history with. All of which are only meant to be used on a short term basis and are known to be highly addictive and very dangerous if misused (Ativan and Valium are considered to be slower releasing drugs than Xanax but last longer in your system). 

I know first hand how dangerous and addictive these drugs can be.

Although Xanax is considered to be the most popular of all the anti-anxiety medications prescribed because of it’s fast acting release (I’m pretty certain that every “Real Housewife” and Reality TV star takes it!), it is not so commonly prescribed in Canada and by the time I started asking about it for myself, I’d already been banned by every Doctor, Psychiatrist and Hospital in Ontario from being prescribed Benzodiazepines after I had become highly addicted to Ativan several years ago. 

Unfortunately with many of these types of drugs in particular it is very easy for an individual to build up a quick tolerance to them which seems to be a common theme for me when taking Benzodiazepines as well as sleeping pills. So what happens next is that within days of taking them I stop feeling its effects and my body begins to crave more and more in order for them to take affect which is exactly how I easily became addicted to Ativan; something I have spoken very openly about before. 

It started slowly, I’d take two, instead of one before bed but by the time I fessed up to why I was completely numb to the world around me, slurring my speech or unable to complete my thoughts and that my kids had begun complaining to Rich about my ability to drive I was now taking about 10 pills at once, all during the day by now. I’d been hoarding bottles of Ativan from my Doctor, my Psychiatrist at the time and other inpatient treatment facilities and emergency room visits. I had 100’s of them in my possession and nobody knew, not even Rich. It was being handed out to me like candy, like my own personal stash of Halloween candy; you know, like the ones you keep in a secret drawer, out of reach from the kids and eat when no one is watching; but that was the problem, no one was watching. 

And then the fun really started when my Psychiatrist had to wean me off it. No one tells you about that part and the dangers that can be associated with tapering off these types of drugs which is shown in detail throughout the Documentary. It must be done very slowly and with extreme caution. It was fucking hell. The withdrawal is brutal. 

A few months ago my Psychiatrist decided to let me try taking Ativan again to see if it could help curb some of my symptoms I’ve been dealing with, ya know, since the clinical trial. Rich has been the keeper of any meds that come into our home since the whole Ativan debacle. He hides them, and gives them to me when needed, but the thing is, I quickly built up that tolerance once again where one pill does literally nothing for me. I felt that craving for more come over me again about a month or so ago, I started to have flashbacks to that time I began consuming 10 or more a day and how great that numbness felt to me and so I made the decision to stop taking them anymore because I know if there’s a will, there’s a way and I don’t want to go down that road ever again; like I don’t already have enough issues to contend with in my life right now!

The Documentary was really informative and as I mentioned above, it really resonated with me. It reiterated to me just how easily attainable these drugs are to the general population by healthcare providers and how dangerous taking Benzodiazepines can be if not monitored properly. I’m glad I watched it knowing that I’m not alone.

#antianxiety #Benzodiazepines #Ativan #Xanax #Valium #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #anxiety #youarenotalone #itsoktonitbeok #itsoktoaskforhelp #documentary #takeyourpillsxanax #youareenough 

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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