I have suffered from anxiety for the past 10 years. It has played a huge role in my life. Included in my anxiety I have panic attacks, this lead to my diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Thanks to these disorders I’ve skipped interviews, passed on hanging out with friends, missed classes, blanked out during class presentations, and performed poorly in school.
To me anxiety feels like this lingering feeling of uneasiness. I sweat, my legs shake,my heart races, and I often feel faint. Honestly it’s a bit embarrassing when other’s notice me in this “state”, I usually try to play it off as me just having a bad stomach ache.
I began taking anti-depressants, more specifically Prozac (fluoxetine) about two years ago. It took about six weeks to kick in but it definitely helped. I felt normal, or at least what normal felt like to me. I was able to go with friends, road trip, travel across the world on my own. These are things I always wanted to do but never thought I would have the courage to overcome. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep up well with the medication and started to take it intermittently. I eventually quit cold turkey. (WARNING: Do NOT do this. Left me incredibly sick).
I have just started Celexa (Citalopram) about 14 days ago. I feel a slight sense of relief, but I know it has a while to really build up in my system. I also have an emergency stash of Ativan which is an anti-anxiety drug that quickly calms you during states of extreme anxiety. Other than simply taking medication I do cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which basically focuses on re-framing your thoughts in your head. Instead of letting yourself panic you can talk yourself into calming down and viewing the situation differently.
My struggle has been hard but I don’t want to bore you with my stories. Instead I wish to let others know about this mental disorder. Mental illnesses are looked over so frequently, and in many places it’s still taboo. I think it’s time that we open our eyes and be more willing to discuss the difficulties. No one should have to suffer in silence.