Disclaimer: The following post is a recount of my own experience with anxiety medication. It’s not intended to give the readers advice on anxiety medication but to tell my story and my path to recovery. Maybe you can relate, or you are just intrigued, or know someone that is going through something similar and this story can give you some perspective. If you are concerned or have questions about anxiety medication consult your doctor.
I am usually in favor of medicine to get well. When I have a cold for example, I don’t try the million kinds of different teas and weird herbs first. I go straight to the over the counter medicine. Also, I have the fortune of having a brother who is a doctor so I can consult him at anytime about any prescription, if that is the case. But for some reason, I can’t do the same when it comes to anxiety.
A few years ago I was on Zoloft. It worked pretty well and I don’t recall having any problems with it. So I was not scared initially about having some kind of anxiety medication now that my panic attacks came back. The doctor prescribed me Celexa and I decided to give it a try. Two days after I started the medicine, I got a massive panic attack in the middle of the night. I was sleeping peacefully when BOOM. Out of the blue the hot flashes and then the dizziness. And It was so hard and sudden that I immediately thought it was related to the medicine and not to the anxiety. I thought that I was having one of those side effects that you never think they will happen to you, and that I was somehow poisoned with just a few minutes to live. YES is that dramatic for us the anxious ones… My husband called 911 and I ended up in the ER, alone because hubby had to stay with kids, and also confused and terrified.
After some tests it turns out I was fine. It was just anxiety. The doctor couldn’t tell me if the Celexa was to blame or not. I remember he said he wouldn’t think so because those medicines build up in your system and it takes several days to start feeling some kind of effect, but anyhow he recommended to suspend it until I could see my regular doctor to make sure. So I did. Everything came back just normal. However, I got completely terrified of the medicine for anxiety. And listen, if the anxiety medication causes you anxiety, then what’s the freaking point? He told me to take Citalopram in case of emergency only.
I was carrying those pills always in my purse but maybe Triggerion itself was just putting questions in my head: What if I get dizzy and sick again? What if I feel so good with the pill that I get addicted to it? After a few “what ifs” later, I was still not able to swallow a pill. Not even on thanksgiving night when I got another massive panic attack quite similar to the one I had when I started taking Celexa.
My doctor concluded that no matter what, I was not going to give it a try but he let me know that if I needed to, I could have the prescription right away. It has been a couple of months trying different non-medication anxiety treatments. I can tell you, I have good and bad days, and I don’t know if something of all what I am doing will help me. But I am in peace with the decision I made for not taking pills for anxiety.
We’ll see, I know I can change my mind, I am not closing the window just yet, but I need to give this non-medication a try. But hey, stay tuned, because in the next chapter, I will tell you what are all of those other things that are keeping Triggerion entertained… at least for most parts of the week. And I will share one of the most personal experiences with anxiety up to date…