The Generation Of Xanax In The Years Of Greek Financial Crisis

A photo i took last month in the center of Athens. It means “I suffer” and you can see it written on many building walls arou
A photo i took last month in the center of Athens. It means “I suffer” and you can see it written on many building walls around the city.

When I was 26 years old I’ve heard for the first time the word “Xanax”. Until recently I knew that those pills are only for people who are scared of planes or for artists before a very important performance in order to fight anxiety and become more confident on stage. Maybe my thought about Xanax sounds too stupid or innocent but no one in my close environment has taken something like that so my knowledge was extremely limited.

However, the austerity measures and the consequences they still have in our everyday life make words like “Xanax” and “panic disorder” very popular in Greece and now I know that those pills are not intended for stressed artists but are widely consumed by people of all ages and professions. Colleagues, friends and relatives started to talk about anxiolytics as if they are pills of happiness which have the ability to calm you down and make you a ‘normal ‘person for a few hours. Unfortunately, I know people that make tranquilities an inseparable part of their life and are scared to go out of house without them in their pocket. But the worst of all is that benzodiazepine medication is mostly used by young people, individuals who are in the most productive time of their life.

What was the fault and suddenly the subject of anxiety, pills and psychosomatic symptomsin monopolized the conversations among young people ? What went wrong and the new generation, the hope of every civilized state, started taking anxiolytics to endure the reality? Someone who lives outside of our small country’s borders probably would say that this is a first world problem and I think that I would say the same if I weren’t greek.

However, living in Greece of 2016 which really destroys young people, I can understand the reasons that make a 20 or 30 year old individual so stressed. It is about situations I’ve mentioned on previous posts and have to do with unpaid jobs, violation of labor rights, psychological exhaustion and of course, unemployment. Just try to imagine how difficult it is to dream of your future and make plans about your life when you live in a country where the potential of being independent and creating a career or a family looks distant. Such a situation results inevitably into anxiety.

When I first heard a friend of mine with two bachelors to say that he feels like there is no potential for him in the working place and he wasted the best years in universities and books, I was shocked. Then he explained me that those feelings originated from the fact that he wants to do things, create, be productive, but unfortunately he has to do a job just to survive.

Of course there are brilliant examples of young people who have achieved extraordinary things in the years of financial crisis and I try to pop out their stories in greek media in order to inspire others but the problem exists. And this is the reason I started to blog here last January · i want to make the voice of ‘lost generation’ heard.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS