Drugs and anxiety

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Sigmund Freud relied heavily on drugs to manage his anxiety. Six of his earliest scientific papers described the benefits of cocaine, which he used regularly for at least a decade, beginning in the 1880s. Only after he prescribed the stimulant to a close friend who became fatally addicted did Freud’s enthusiasm wane. Much of the history of modern psychopharmacology has the same ad hoc quality as Freud’s experimentation with cocaine. Every one of the most commercially significant classes of antianxiety and antidepressant drugs of the past 60 years was discovered by accident or was originally developed for something completely unrelated to anxiety or depression: to treat tuberculosis, surgical shock, allergies; to use as an insecticide, a penicillin preservative, an industrial dye, a disinfectant, rocket fuel.

- Scott Stossel, Surviving Anxiety

Really one of the more depressing things I've ever read, the ending notwithstanding.