Anxiety and Depression
The last year I have considered myself an expert on the topic of anxiety and depression. My goal has been to help people suffering with the crippling illness. Since I have experienced years of debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, and haven’t had any major symptoms for years, I beat it. My focus was to teach others that their symptoms were normal and once they realized that what they are going through is so common, they would not be afraid any more.
I was so confident that I “beat” my anxiety and panic disorder. I even told my doctor I wanted to decrease my dosage of Lexapro. I went from 20 mg down to 10 mg approximately one month ago. I thought I was doing great and couldn’t wait to be off it completely.
Then it Hit Me
I had a very busy day yesterday helping my family paint and pack for a move. I was exhausted when I got home. I was in bed by 9:00, which is very early for me. I started thinking about this little lump that is on my shin that I was going to have the doctor check out next month at my appointment. I convinced myself last night that it was a cancerous lump and it probably spread from another cancer in my body. I came to the conclusion that my body is full of cancer and I was probably not going to live much longer. Then I started thinking about my 9 year old daughter and how she would take it, because we have such a close relationship, and she relies on me for everything. At that point, I started feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath – almost like I just ran a mile. My whole body was getting tingly. I went in to get help from my husband but he was sound asleep and I knew he had to get up early. I took some xanax and sat back down. If that all wasn’t scary enough, I had a little pain in my chest. Now I knew I was having a heart attack. My teenage son was still up so I texted him. By the time he texted me back, the xanax was starting to kick in so I told him never mind. I went and took some tums, because I figured that was why I felt some heartburn, and that it was probably not a heart attack. I finally fell asleep.
The Next Morning
I slept pretty good, probably because of the xanax. When I woke up, I paused to see how I was breathing. My chest was feeling tight again and then I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. Here we go again….it was a repeat of the night before. My mom, who is my main support person, came over and we talked. She said she has done this same thing, so after taking some more xanax, and having a nice talk with her, I settled down once again. I sent a message to my physician asking to increase my medicine to my original dose.
I was wrong. I have not beaten anxiety. My medication has masked my symptoms and I now realize I will probably be on anxiety meds the rest of my life. The unpleasant symptoms, mainly weight gain, is better than not being able to function.
I am Here for You!
Although I am not as confident in saying this, I am an expert on anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. I have years of experience with these illnesses and I am someone that would be great at answering your questions. I have an amazing support system in place which is the best thing you can establish. Never hesitate to message me. I am here for you as so many others have been there for me.