Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Better Living Through Medication ;-)

Aaarrghhhhhhhhh ANXIETY!!!!!!!

About me:

About 9-10 yrs ago, I had a horrible episode which required a trip to the er, ultimately ending in a diagnosis of untreated hypothyroidism. My blood pressure, blood sugar and pulse dropped so low, it was like a diabetic coma. Ok not QUITE that severe, but I was unable to talk, walk, swallow, etc.

Anyways, within a year of that episode, I began to have issues of anxiety. Feeling nervous about going out to the store, tense in the shoulders when I had to wait in line...things of that nature. I studied and got one of my BA's in psychology, so I knew how to handle these episodes: breathe, relax, and understand that my anxiety was unfounded. While I knew all of this, and physically made myself deal with it, my brain chemistry continued to get worse. I began avoiding the grocery store, the bank, the movie theater.  

OH the movie theater...I don't know that I can EVER step foot in one again. I had such a sever anxiety attack, I passed out on my way up the aisle while rushing out, and collapsed on the floor. I was horrified to wake up with the lights on and people staring at me.

These little things only compounded my anxiety, and after it growing for years, I finally realized that I needed help. I NEVER EVER wanted to go on meds. I KNEW that I would never need them, and I was almost too stubborn to take them. Why? Because my (estranged) mother is bipolar and really effed with my childhood b/c of her untreated mental illness. I promised myself that I would be as unlike her as one possibly could, which would ultimately mean that I was normal. Well, I had to eventually face those fears and go see a doctor about my anxiety b/c my entire quality of life had been compromised.

I wouldn't go out of my apt. if people were around to see me. I couldn't wait in ANY line (at a store) w/ out feeling like I would pass out again or throw up. And I felt that if I passed out, I would surely die. So, before I went out to do ANYTHING, I would have a drink or two to take the edge off. Not a good thing. And not possible when going to job interviews.  

So yes, finally after 6 YEARS of trying to do it on my own, I was prescribed meds, and haven't looked back since. I don't have any anxiety about parenting, funny enough. But I do have diagnosed General Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder. And this is the agreed upon diagnosis of 4 different doctors that I have seen; psychologists, psychiatrists, and MDs combined.  

Needless to say, as the past few years have gone on, my levels of medication have increased to the highest doses possible, at which time I have to get a supplement and then switch to another drug. Right now I am on 200 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Klonapin twice daily, and have Ambien for my constant insomnia.  

I never thought I would be so reliant upon medication, but I know what it is like to live w/out them, and that is a future I don't think that I can face. I know w/o a doubt that if I were not on medication, I would not have my child, job, friends, or health. I'd probably have a very damaged liver and cobwebs in my hair. lol

I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that I cannot "work through", and I have made my peace with this. As others have commented, "if I was diabetic, I would be taking insulin." Same difference. =)

For a continued discussion of anxiety, medication, and depression, please visit Nic's Blog (she is one badass chica).


  1. I too have dealt and continue to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. Not anywhere close to what you are dealing with, though. Knowing how my mild ones make me feel, I can't imagine how you managed 6 years with out meds. You are one strong chicky and Chole is lucky to have you as her mama

  2. You are awesome for sharing this.

    I deal with anxiety daily and have yet to get on something for it. I guess my thinking is, I will never get off of it once I go on. So I just try and deal. But mine isn't nearly as bad as you are describing yours. Not yet at least.

    Now that being said, I've been on meds for depression for two years now and I can't see that's it's that big of a deal. If it helps, it shouldn't be any big deal to take them.

    So, basically I am my own oxymoron. :)

  3. While I was reading through your post, I was thinking, "Wow, that sounds like a pretty severe case of agoraphobia." I'm glad they didnt let that one slip by.

    Can I just say I'm proud of you for taking care of yourself? It's not an easy thing to do. We accept when our bodies aren't working correctly, but when it comes to our brain - which is just a part of our body - we let it make us feel as though we are subpar or weak. It's very brave to accept that you need help. It takes courage to face that part of yourself. You rock.

    I have a very very very mild case of something similar to anxiety. I basically take a quarter of a tablet of a very low dose of celexa every day. And I know how difficult my own extremely mild problems have been sometimes. I can only imagine the difficulties you were facing.

    You are so awesome, I'm glad you chose to take care of yourself. *hug*

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