Good evening to anyone reading my first (and hopefully not my last) blog post.
I figured it would be plausible to start out with a bit of an introduction and a back story into my life as it is, living with two anxiety disorders and depression, whilst remaining a full time student at one of the most difficult universities in the world for my major (Animal Science, just to be clear).
In 2012, my 14 year old self began to get these extreme fears for things like going out to restaurants, doing a presentation in front of class, and even just going out to run errands. My parents realized after a few months into my freshman year of high school that it wasn’t something that I would get over and move on from, it was something a bit more serious. It wasn’t until these fears started to interfere with my grades (I kept a solid 4.3 GPA throughout middle school, and it dropped to a 3.8) that they realized I should go see a specialist because they were concerned. Low and behold, after one session with the psychiatrist in my area, I walked out of the office with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, and Depression. Now keep in mind, my parents had me try therapy for 3 months before deciding to bring me to a psychiatrist. The therapy did nothing for me, and the techniques she was suggesting I use for these fears just would not help in the slightest.
This is the exact moment when, after leaving the psychiatrist, I knew that these disorders were going to severely kick my ass and I would have no one around to help me as it happens. I was prescribed 2 separate medications for anxiety: Lexapro and Xanax; however, Xanax was taken on an as needed basis, so I very rarely took it during my high school years. Lexapro, on the other hand, was a daily medication, and being the young teen that I was, I did not understand the ramifications of not taking it at the same time every day. I would go three days straight without taking Lexapro, and I took a sharp turn for the worst. I remember talking to my best friend at the time (and this is all in my psychiatry records) and telling her that I needed to be admitted to a psych ward because I was so depressed and didn’t know what to do with myself. I remember sitting in my bedroom all alone with the entire bottle of Lexapro poured out into my hand, contemplating taking them all at once and committing suicide so I would no longer have to deal with anxiety pushing down on me and restricting me every day. I remember having nightmares about stabbing myself, and my parents watching without a care in the world, happy to see me gone.
Of course, none of this was the real me. It was all a side effect of not taking the Lexapro on time, and from that point on, I had always taken my Lexapro at 6 PM, keeping each pill in the little weekly pill holder with Sunday – Saturday labelled on each container.
I would say that taking medication ruined my life but, I can’t remember a time while I was on it where I had an anxiety attack so bad that it instilled fear in me to avoid anything that would cause it. These days were the better portion of my life, in my opinion.
I spent 4 years taking medications, soon weaning off of Lexapro and taking Clonazepam instead. Once my senior year of high school began, I had weaned myself off of all medications, thinking that would be the best thing for me to do to feel happy again.
While this may have seemed like a good idea at the time, I now realize it was the biggest mistake I could’ve made.
Fast forward to the present, where I’m a sophomore in college majoring in Animal Science, struggling day by day to control my anxiety and keep myself from having an anxiety attack in situations where I wish they wouldn’t happen (in the middle of class, for instance). I often feel that, if maybe I had stayed on those medications back in high school, I wouldn’t have as much trouble as I do today trying to control my anxiety and not let it control my life.
Unfortunately, that second part has already happened. Anxiety has taken control of my life, and I merely follow its wishes to 1) stay at home, 2) push my friends away, and 3) develop fears I never wish I had.
Until next time ~