The Anxiety Chronicles Part 2
Okay, so I’m about three weeks in from my doctor’s appointment. If you haven’t, you can read about why I decided to return to a doctor to manage my anxiety here at part 1. I went and decided to see a new doctor that hadn’t treated me before since my last few experiences with my previous primary doctor weren’t the greatest. Nothing against my previous doctor, but I could tell that we did not click as well, and I wanted a fresh look at what my symptoms were. I was SO nervous about this appointment; anxiety was in full swing. Even though I know it IS anxiety, I was still worried that maybe they would find something more troubling (ah, the significant effects of anxiety really at play here). At times I thought about not going and that I would figure out how to get through this on my own, which then only amplified the anxiousness, so I realized that that was not the best course of action.
As I waited for the doctor to arrive, I walked through everything I was going to say, what I was not okay with, and what I wanted to try. I was quickly relieved when the doctor arrived. He was calm and gentle with everything he was asking about and explaining to me. It was such a relief, to say the least. We took the time to note in my records what medications didn’t work in the past. We also looked back at my medical records to see what else I had been prescribed to that worked at some point for me. He managed to find records from almost 20 years ago! I was amazed that he took the time to look into my history. We talked about what I was taking at each time and how I remember feeling at that time. We eventually found one medication to try based on what I had explained was happening daily.
So, we decided to try a medication I had been on when I was in my teens that I had remembered helping manage my then depression. Most anti-anxiety medication do also help alleviate depression since both target to rebalance SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Of course, your other option to treat anxiety can be a benzodiazepine, which would be medications such as Xanax or Valium. These are more or less a tranquilizer, and you have the potential to become very dependent on if you start to use long term. I knew that I wanted to get to a place where medication wasn’t needed eventually, so I started on a low dose of a generic version of Prozac, fluoxetine.
Now, my last round of taking any medication for my anxiety did not go well. Hence, as expected, I was scared and nervous that the same would ensue this go around, but I knew I had to put this worry aside if I wanted not to have this take over my life. The first week I was feeling pretty good, looking back I’m not sure if it was the medication or a placebo effect taking place. I was feeling like, “Yes! This is what I needed; I feel like I can start to relax a bit”. Well, a week and a half into it, the side effects started to hit full force. The nausea was unbearable, headaches started to come almost daily, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Thankfully the experience I had with my doctor made me comfortable to call and explain to them what was happening. They quickly changed my medication to a very low dose of a generic version of Lexapro, Escitalopram. I was still a bit nauseous a couple of following days, and I’m sure it was the other medication slowly depleting from my body. Now, I’m feeling so much better! Still a little tired, and my appetite is a bit down, but each day gets better. I am starting to notice I’m not constantly worrying about EVERYTHING, and I feel overall more relaxed.
The road to re-balancing your mental state is often not easy. Still, the growth that happens is absolutely needed to come into a better, more enlightened space. There were times through these last few months where I didn’t think it was going to get better, and I just couldn’t imagine living in this state of fear forever. We all deserve to be happy. Of course, it won’t be all of the time, but when you are immersed in the lovely events unfolding right in front of you, you should be able to truly enjoy each of those moments. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help; I had to conquer my fear of asking for help to begin down the path towards the light. Just know that you have had the strength to make it this far, and you do have the power to keep going and fight your way through. I hope that if you are reading this and also struggling with your mental health that you remember to be kind to yourself, allow for days of sadness. The change will not happen overnight, start to create that new you in your mind, knowing you will be there soon. I hope each day you find a little bit of light and inner peace, namaste…
It is amazing what a difference the right doctor can make.
Great advice for those who need assistance with Anxiety and Mental Health concerns.
This is wonderful that you asked for help and were able to find something that worked for you. I hope that your days continue to get better.
That is great that you are feeling better. It is not an easy road and the pandemic doesn’t make it easier. But it can be done. You got this!
heather J jandrue
Thank you for sharing your story. You are certainly not alone. By sharing, you are helping others reach out and ask for the help they need. Take care.
Anxiety is the worst because it’s so hard to rationalize. Sometimes mine just hits me out of nowhere!
thank you for your continued dialogue on anxiety.
Super encouraging to hear of your personal experiences with this!
Thank you for sharing your story. It will help those that struggle with you to know they are not alone.