Towards the end of 2017 I was suffering from severe anxiety and depression. I began therapy as a remedy and with it came drugs... As a disclaimer, this is regarding my personal experience with medication. Everyones body and mind react differently and I acknowledge that medication that may or may not work for me could be a completely different experience for someone else. With that being said, medication has played a huge role in what I consider my recovery and I’m an advocate for trying meds if you are facing similar depression and anxiety difficulties and it is recommended to you by your doctor…
My therapist and I had discussed my history with medication and why I felt it wasn’t for me. As a kid, I was all over the place in therapy. One day I would come in crying about a break up, the next I was there to discuss my hopes and dreams, then it was what was going on at home. Nothing wrong sharing everything with your therapist but as a teenager some problems just seem huge one day and little the next. Being a teenage girl is hard to follow, even for a therapist or psychiatrist. They diagnosed me with Bipolar 2 when I was a Sophomore in high school and I was given Lithium. It fucked me up man.. Crazy mood swings, many tears and heightened anxiety. I became socially awkward and picked up the habit of over analyzing everything which only fueled the depression that had been getting worse. Ultimately I chose to walk away from that therapist, psychiatrist and lithium and just live in minor constant anxiety. I shut down and was unwilling to attempt another round of therapists, diagnosis’s and medication trial and error.
I was an adult now with new problems, the same anxieties and bottom line was I just wanted to feel better. I felt comfortable exploring medication because I trusted my therapist and felt he understood my mental health struggles. And I trusted myself. I knew why I was there. I had a plan on where I wanted this journey to take me and I was pretty desperate to find a solution to the pain I was in. When I say I was in pain.. these months were the worst of my life thus far. So I started trying medications again..
I started taking 50mg of Zoloft a day mainly for anxiety. It took around 5 weeks for me to start to notice a difference. In the mean time I was given as needed medication for panic attacks and insomnia, none of which I found helpful. I wasn’t sleeping even with the sleeping pills. I just felt groggy the next day so I stopped taking them. Finally I was given the good stuff…Xanax. I understand why doctors are so hesitant to give this stuff out. It basically fixes everything. I kid. It numbs everything. Highly addictive and fatal when misused. I loved it honestly but with my family history of addiction, I was aware of the risk I was taking by even trying it. I made an effort to only use Xanax when needed but the term “when needed” got looser as time went on. As I learned more in therapy about myself and the Zoloft started kicking in I felt my emotions leveling out and I quit using the as needed medications.
Medication did not erase or solve any of my problems. Medication did not cure my clinical depression and anxiety. I was still battling with my thoughts and feeling emotionally distressed, but medication made it manageable. It made it easier for me to think instead of just being overwhelmed by my feelings. And once I found an aid in reducing my anxiety I felt capable of taking on life again. Helping myself was a collaborative effort but medication played a major role in helping me find my way.