I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little about the different treatments I've tried through the years for my anxiety and OCD.
First off, I've been in and out of talk therapy since the 3rd grade. It started up when my parents dirvorced and then I was in and out through school and then in college. I started therapy again once I left college and was facing anxiety attacks and my OCD compulsions were high. I got the official diagnosis of anxiety and OCD after college but I already knew. I've since left talk therapy but I will get more into what I "replaced" it with later.
From there I was prescribed different medications. I can't remember all of them but my last 2 were a generic brand of prozac and then I was taking trazadone sometimes for sleep. Overall, the meds made me gain weight and I put on about 50 lbs. I've always been thin and so this was very hard on me. I think part of the weight gain was the fact the meds made me HUNGRY for carbs. I would crave donuts and well…where I live there are dunkin donuts on every other corner…..
Medication also made me very tired and made me numb to most feelings. I guess that translates to not caring about much. My OCD calmed down but I didn't care about much else either. I continued working but my personal life and relationship with my significant other suffered. I made poor choices and knew they were risking everything but I just didn't care. It was strange for me.
I think that's when I hit bottom. I stopped therapy because my therapist was moving and she suggested Al-Anon. I started attending Al-Anon but continued meds. I worked things out with my significant other but life felt rocky and unsure. I left my job and started a new job.
Then I found out I had a tumor on one of my parathyroid glands. This is basically hyperparathyroidism. Please check it out if you haven't heard of it. One of the symptoms is major anxiety and I was having panic attacks and the OCD stuff of course. Luckily, my doctor didn't want to watch and wait, she knew the tumor HAD to come out. Shortly after that surgery (removed a decent sized tumor that may have been growing for years–it is under-diagnosed in most people and is serious!), I stopped my medications.
Fast forward in time….I've lost the 50 lbs I gained and I no longer have panic attacks. Hell, of course I still have anxiety but not like before and I still have OCD but overall I think I am way more laid back but I actually still care about life. I feel better than I have in years.
The OCD has increased in recent times but I think that may be my response to stress. I don't know if I am going to try therapy again but its always on the table. I just started back at Al-Anon (meetings for people who are affected by someone else's drinking/addictions) meetings and discovered ACOA (adult children of alcoholics) meetings as well. I try to share at each meeting and help chair them on occasion. Its like talk therapy but different.
I don't want to ever try medications again. I know they work for some people and yes, they "worked" for me but overall…the side effects were just too much. The scary part is sometimes you don't know they are happening until after the fact. I tried many different meds mainly hoping to stop picking and biting my cuticles. but nothing really helped and I still do it today but I will take that over the numbness I felt while taking medications.
I always feel better after talking to someone and so I think thats what works best for me.