So I cut out all meds and alcohol and started CBT (5 months ago, CBT 2 mo). Those methods were just not cutting it health wise, as effective as they were! I had no withdrawals, and after I was clear of all substance my anxiety literally disappeared. Keep in mind, I was coddling myself heavily from any sort of responsibility or real challenge except for making the massive life change of facing my anxiety: ditching the friends who only wanted to club their issues away, moving to a calmer and healthier place, challenging myself with new activities/healthy distractions, and moving on without substances. That was 5 months ago.

I really felt like I was anxiety free, cured, but once I really began getting my hands dirty with applying for my first job, started questioning my relationship and started the process of moving out on my own again my anxiety came back 10 fold. This is a place I have been working to get to for years where I am making real steps confidently forward. The anxiety lasted about a week then disappeared.

So heres where my questions come in… People always say it gets worse before it gets better, is that what I am experiencing or is this just proof my anxiety never really went away? Could this be real CBT progress in action?  For those of you have gone through a switch in life styles, giving up a drug, or done CBT, did it get worse before it got better? Am I really reframing my mind, which can be a painful adjustment, or is this just part of the cycle?

I guess I will just have to continue experiencing life and find out. Its hard though, I very much want to know RIGHT NOW weather this CBT will work for me in the long run or if I need to cut my losses and get on ADHD or SSRI meds. I feel like I have wasted so much time in life crippled by anxiety, trying the wrong coping methods, that I don\'t want to wait around a year and have to try something new. I just want to start my (effectively anxiety managed) life already! 

1 Comment
  1. Busyhermit 9 years ago

    Hi girl. I can only share from my own personal experience, because everyone really is different. For me, it seems that meds have never worked well at all. I\'ve been on up to 5 pills at a time. I dropped it all about 8 months ago, but have recently started taking an occasional Klonopin when the anxiety becomes unbearable.

    The times in my life when I felt the best were when I was actively working at a CBT program of some sort. However, in my case, if I discontinue actively working the program, I eventually slide back to where I began.

    This is a roller coaster I have ridden several times, and if there is anything to be learned from it, it\'s this: I have a \”default\” state of mind that is negative, anxious and depressed. It is the way I am wired to work. CBT or DBT or 12 steps (these are all therapeutic programs of ACTION)… force my mind to work in ways that are against it\'s nature. All of these programs have worked wonders for me, while I worked them, that is. Unfortunately, if I stop working at it, I will slowly but surely slide back to my default state of mind.

    Unfortunately, that\'s where I\'m at now. I quit my behavioral therapy program and meds about 8 months ago. Felt fine for a few months. Went into workaholic avoidance for the next few months. Felt like crap the last month or so. Downhill slide.

    I recommend you stick with your CBT. Learn everything you can and keep using the tools every day.

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