As you may know, in our society there is a stigma attached to mental health and the medications provided to help. Because of this stigma, it’s difficult for people to speak of their anxieties, depressions, etc. They feel embarrassed to be open and forthcoming to family & friends. Now, I’m not saying this is true for everyone. For those of you who aren’t afraid or embarrassed, kudos to you! For me, I still get a bit embarrassed to speak of my anxieties, but I’ve decided to tough it out and share with everyone, what I’ve been suffering with. So here goes…
For those of you who don’t know me, I have suffered from anxiety for close to 15 years. In the past I suffered more from social anxiety. I had difficulty going to crowded places, participating in class speeches or projects or just meeting new people. I was always placed in the “shy” category. Family would think I’d grow out of it, while my friends thought I wasn’t shy at all and just acting it. Unfortunately it isn’t something I have really out-grown and no, I was not acting! Haha. I still get anxious and nervous in new situations, around crowds and new people. However, I have learned to deal with stressful situations. I have been aware of my anxiety for so many years that I did research in how I can control it. It doesn’t always work though. I have my days where my heart feels like it’s pounding 100 mph and my hands shake and I just want to cry. Sometimes, there is no real reason why I feel the way I do. Eventually the anxiety passes and I feel fine. At one point in my life, my anxiety got to the point where it was effecting my sleeping patters and my appetite. I was feeling tired and always had a headache. I decided enough was enough, and I finally spoke to my primary doctor about my anxiety.
When I spoke to my doctor, he decided to put me on a very small dosage of Zoloft. Being that my anxiety was interfering with my every day life and my health, he wanted to get in under control as soon as possible. After asking questions such as: Are these pills habit forming? Are they safe if I plan to get pregnant? What are the side effects? I decided to give it a go. The first week was an emotional roller coaster! I went from happy, to down, to sleepy, to energetic. By week two however, I was feeling much better. I wasn’t shaking as much and I felt calmer. My head didn’t feel stressed out. I felt a lot more relieved! It was great.
After being on the zoloft for four months, I decided I no longer wanted to be on it. I told my doctor that I was still feeling anxious from time to time and the side effects I was having, just weren’t worth it. I was having trouble sleeping at night. I would fall asleep around 2am or 3am. I would wake up exhausted at 8am, because I have a 3 year old son. I have become incredibly forgetful. I can walk into a store and stand in an aisle for 2-3 minutes trying to figure out what I went int there to buy. I’ll walk into a room in my apartment and walk back out in frustration because I can’t remember what i was going to do. I told my doctor that I decided it was best to speak to a psychologist instead of taking medication, because I want to learn to DEAL and COPE with my stresses and anxieties. We all go through things in life. I feel its best I learn coping techniques when I’m feeling down or anxious, because it will teach me that I am in control of my emotions. I am in control of my life. I don’t want to medicate myself when stresses happen every single day of my life. So with that, my doctor agreed with me. I have been weening off the zoloft for 3 weeks now. It’s doing a number on me emotionally, but I know in the end, it is best. I just really hope I learn enough in therapy to where I never have to go on a pill again.
In this blog, I will keep you updated on my progress and share things that I am learning. I will talk about past situations, past anxieties that have kept me from doing things. I hope to continue growing and learning, and I hope I can help anyone else out there, suffering from the same thing. Let’s grow together!
Love & Peace of mind,