Monday, May 12, 2014

Dealing With Anxiety~ My Story


I've been wanting to do this post for a while now, I just haven't known quite how to approach it. Everyone's situation is different, but this is my experience.

I have anxiety. Anxiety is something that I've dealt with for almost my entire life, yet somehow I let it go unnoticed. That doesn't even make sense right? I'll explain.


I've always been high-strung. I lean towards perfectionism, and I worry about the tiniest little things. They used to even keep me up at night. When I was younger, I would get random panic attacks, but I could always control my breathing and work thought it, so after a little counseling, it was decided that medication wasn't necessary to keep it all at bay. Compared to my Mom's anxiety, I thought I was perfectly fine and normal.


This year has been an amazing year for me, but there's been so many changes. I noticed I was starting to get random panic attacks where I would get incredibly dizzy and have an overwhelming sense of dread, and occasionally I would feel like I was going to pass out. I have to admit, it terrified me. I tried to figure out what could be triggering the attacks, but they were too random. When I noticed it started to affect my schooling and everyday life, I had a little talk with my mom. I asked her for her opinion on what I should do, and took a trip to the doctors.

I've always been skeptical about medications. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the stigma that surrounds them, but I've never wanted to go on any type of anxiety medication because I knew I could control it on my own. This year scared me because my anxiety was out of my control.


After deciding that my anxiety was "free-floating," meaning there isn't necessarily a trigger to set off an anxiety attack, it has more to do with serotonin levels, my doctor talked to me about trying a very low dose of an anti-anxiety medication. To say I was skeptical, reluctant, and downright unhappy about it would be an understatement. It felt like I was admitting some type of defeat. However, random panic attacks while driving are a bit too scary for me, so I agreed to try it.

It's life changing. I mean that in every sense of the way. With the tiny dose that I was given, I started noticing that I was a lot less high strung. Little things that most people would ignore, no longer kept me up at night. I actually got some sleep! I no longer had random panic attacks, and my stress level went down because I wasn't constantly trying to change the past and fix everything.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a la-di-da flake by any means. I still like to do my best, be the best I can be, and fix what I can. The difference is it doesn't haunt me anymore. 

I'm happy. Now that I'm not constantly focused on worrying about things or being perfect, I find happiness in little places. I don't feel a sense of overwhelming dread if I'm going to not be the first person in the classroom. When things don't go my way, I work through them instead of letting it all add up into stress.


I wanted to do this post because I know there are people out there like me. People who have anxiety, but don't realize what they're really missing in life. Maybe someone just needs a little anxiety counseling, or maybe it's bad enough to take the next step into medication options but you're skeptical. I just hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire or help even just one person, in some way.

As I last note, I want to say that I'm absolutely not saying that if you have anxiety you should go on medication. It's a very personal decision that a doctor should help you make. It's not the only option, and there are so many degrees of anxiety that it's best to do what works for you. This is just what has worked for me. 


13 comments:

  1. Great post! I too suffer from anxiety, after deciding that medication wasn't what was best for me I went the non-medicated route and found coping mechanisms but like you said its all what works for you! The best thing I found to help was blogging and sharing my thoughts and stories. Have you found blogging to help?
    xoxo,
    Emma

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    1. Blogging totally helps! My anxiety was one of the reason's I decided to finally start a blog :) So glad I'm not the only one!

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  2. I'm definitely a believer that medication can make a big difference- it has helped me and many of my loved ones. So glad you figured out what works for you!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have anxiety as well and while I'd rather not take a medicated route, I have been on medication before for it. These panic spells come and go and are so hard to deal with at times, but I'm learning how to deal. I hope you continue to feel well!

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    1. Thank you! Panic is always the worst! And definitely scary :/

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  4. Great post! Thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes I think I may have anxiety problems, but it never gets out of control. I'm so happy that you have found a solution!!

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

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  5. Thank you for sharing this! I have major anxiety, too, and Wellbutrin has worked great for me. Anxiety can be so scary when you don't know what it is or where it's coming from. Glad you're doing better! :)

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    1. I'm so glad you found something that works well for you!

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  6. Great Post! I deal with Anxiety as well so it's nice to find someone who knows what your going through.

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    1. It's always nice to be able to connect with others!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for making my day :)