George Zimmerman’s psych meds: no there, there
A number of folks on Team T (mainly in the form of blog comments) have been trying to make a big deal of the fact George Zimmerman’s medical records show he has prescriptions for the benzodiazapene Temazepam and the stimulant Adderall. This is like the reflection of the Team Z BS that asserts Trayvon Martin was some kind of crazed junkie because there were traces of THC metabolates in his system. I.e. its just BS. Adderall is typically prescribed for ADHD, and Temazepam as a sleeping aid or anti-anxiety med. (Insomnia is not a ‘nothing’ in psych terms, there are reasons perople can’t get to sleep). Adderal is in the same family as Ritalin, and Temazepam is in the same family as Valium (Diazepam), Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Xanax. All of these drugs have been stigmatized because some people use them recreationally or too excess. However, they are very commonly prescribed, the minor mental health issues they treat are very common, and the vast vast majority of people who receive prescriptions for these meds do not abuse them. The stigmatization of pysch meds (including SSRI antdepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro) is part and parcel of the stigmatization of minor mental illnesses: ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression. In calling these minor I don’t mean to belittle them. Depression can be fatal, of course. I happen to suffer from a persistent chronic generalized anxiety disorder and I can report that it’s a real bitch, and I’d one of my left limbs to get rid of it forever if I could. But people who suffer these afflictions can function pretty well in the world, and more importantly pose no danger to anyone but themselves, at least as far as their mental health issues or their meds are concerned. Yeah, you’ve heard the horror stories about someone who started taking this or that med and went barking mad, but those are like one-in-a-million occurances, and even then they’re pretty much restricted to teenage patients, not 28 year olds like Mr. Zimmerman.
The fact that Mr. Zimmerman was on both an upper (Adderal) and a downer (Temazepam) makes me think his psych issues are something more than trivial, because I am on a similar cocktail, with Ritalin as my upper and Clonazepam as my downer, and my doctors wouldn’t have me on that mix if could be functional without it. But there’s nothing, Nothing NOTHING in this combo that has any connection in and of itself to violence or aggression. In fact, given the background on Zimmerman that suggests he’s shown a short fuse in the past, I’d be more worried about him if he wasn’t on meds like these than hearing that he takes them. No, I’m not a psychiatrist. I just have a 20 year plus history with depression and anxiety, and the curiosity to ask my doctors what’s going on in my head, and do independent research into reliable sources on the effects of the meds I’ve been prescribed.
Trust me. There are plenty of real issues in this case. George Zimmerman’s psych meds is NOT one of them.