Do you blush while you are talking to a girl/guy you are attracted to? Or feel jitters before making a public performance? Do you feel edgy when going to an interview? Or maybe have palpitations because you will soon be married or starting a new job? Then, you are sick.

In reality, these are nothing but absolutely normal reactions we inherited from the monkeys. When under threat, the adrenaline kicks in so that you either fight of flee away from the dangerous situation. Without it monkeys would be extinct, and we would have never existed in the first place.

Yet the pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe you are crazy, and above all they have the right cure for you. They have eliminated the word shyness from their vocabulary. Now it Agarophobia. Anxiety and jitters? Now it’s Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Oh and that horrible jealous feeling people sometimes get, even if their partner is a very loyal person – Paranoid Personality Disorder. Quite scary, no? Don’t worry, all you need is a little innocuous pill to fix you.

These pills come at a price, not only financially (most of these medications are extremely expensive). The other price however, is your health. First of all the side effects. Sure, you will have these spelt out on a microscopic piece of paper inside the packet. However, for most people in the beginning the benefits make it all worth it. The shyness does lessen, so do the palpitations. And if you are convinced you have a disorder that will only get worse by time, even the dizziness, nausea and putting on weight might seem worth it. Most often these become worse by time. The ‘putting on weight’ will end up in being fat and without shape; the ‘dizziness’ will turn in not being able to concentrate on even simple things, and so on. (These are just generalisations. They vary from person to person and from medicine to medicine).

Unfortunately, there’s more: Addiction

Many users of these psychotropic drugs seriously underrate the little comment on the instructions paper ‘do not stop this medicine abruptly’. What that really means is: These pills are goddamn addictive and may have serious withdrawal symptoms not far away from those of heroin. Obviously they never emphasised that. They didn’t want to scare you from buying their products.

Most people realise they are hooked when the pills are not available. Either they have become unaffordable or happen to be out of stock. Others may want to stop them because they are unhappy with the side effects. Many believe that stopping them will bring them back to the state they were before they starting using these drugs. Just a little shy and anxious. Most of the time they are wrong. Withdrawals kick in: sweating, shortness of breath, extreme fear, paranoia (the real one now), spasms… the list is endless. They end up running to pharmacy like a junkie runs to his dealer. All of this because they tried to cure a disease they didn’t have in the first place.

And that brings me to the final question: What worse sickness there is than convincing innocent people they have a malady they don’t have, just to make more profit?

PS: I am not excluding that there are people who do need such medications. I’m referring to those few who can’t function in society at all, have become dangerous and/or have lost contact with reality. This article is about the rest – the majority.

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