■One that serves to tranquilize, as soothing
■Any of various drugs used to reduce tension or anxiety; an anti-anxiety agent.
■Any of various drugs used to treat psychotic states; an antipsychotic drug.
I am sure you know people who take tranquilizers; perhaps you have taken them to treat depression or anxiety. I have had to take these pills several times in my life for short periods of time to deal with overwhelming stress. Sometimes these medications are needed as a part of therapy. However, you and I also know that these medicines can have side-effects.
Even taking daily minor dosages of tranquilizers can make a person dependent on them which can then lead to addiction. And forceful cessation of the drugs can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, sometimes as serious as that of alcohol withdrawal.
According to research from a web search on withdrawal symptoms -- even minor some tranquilizers cause severe state of hyper excitability, uncommonly aggressive behavior, feeling of agitation, agranulocytosis (when white blood cells are more susceptible to infection), partial amnesia, anxiety, comatose, inability to decide or confusion, depression,
disorientation, drowsiness, epileptic seizures, excitability, severe restlessness, unnecessary fear, hallucinations, untoward hostility, hysteria, insomnia, irritability, jaundice, weariness, dizziness, problems with the liver, impairment of the memory, trembling, nausea, feeling of nervousness, uneasy sleep and nightmares, psychosis, extreme rage, sedation, changes in sexual urges and other related problems, slurred speech and suicidal tendencies.
I know the later withdrawal symptom: attempted suicide. So I take it very seriously these days what medicines I ingest. If I have to take something, I make sure my physician and I have carefully laid out a plan to start and stop without sudden withdrawal. We also know that I should contact her if any strange side effects should present themselves.
However, I am so grateful to have discovered other "medicines" that work in dealing with anxiety and stress. One is meditation; the other, laughter. Laughter has so many benefits. It releases blood flow instead of constricting it. Humor may also raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body. Watching a comedy lowers blood sugar levels; and laughter helps with relaxation and sleep. Norman Cousin's memoir, Anatomy of an Illness (Norman was diagnosed with a painful spine condition) focuses on the benefits of laughter. After a diet of comedies, like the Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid-Camera, he felt better. And ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free sleep.
So, I don’t know about you, but I am determined to add a dose of laughter to my medicine chest. How about you?