I haven’t written a blog for a long time for my own website. But several people have asked me to write this one.
Last week, was Bell’s #LetsTalk mental health awareness campaign. I meant to have this written well before then. But writing about your own personal issues is hard. Especially ones that come with a stigma.
I have anxiety- and I’ve been taking medication to help control it for years. I’m not ashamed I take medication, it was either take pills, or feel panicked all the time.
I still have anxious times, but nowhere the level it used to be. Some things, like large crowds still trigger me. Especially if I feel closed in amungst a bunch of strangers. I don’t go near malls in December, and I go to places like Disney in off seasons.
I was originally put on medication because I have an irregular and rapid heart beat- and my anxiety makes my heart act up even more. Feeling my heart race like that made me even more anxious. A vicious circle.
I’ve been coping much better over the last year or so. I’m down to the lowest dosage of my medication at last. The hardest part is getting fully OFF anxiety medications. I tried to go too far in between doses too fast, and I ended up having withdrawals. (Yes, I’m under care of a doctor, along with advice from a pharmacist- I’m in no way suggesting anyone attempt to go off long-term medication on their own.)
After a week of attempting to go forty-eight hours in between doses, and having terrible headache, dizziness, and mood swings I opted to try every thirty-six hours instead. I’m feeling like my head is much less foggy this week, although I’m still having some ups and downs. I know it will take several weeks, if not months to completly wean off of my medications- and that’s okay.
However, the part about all of this that’s not okay, and I’ve dealt with first hand is the main reason I had to write this. Mental illness of any kind is not in our head, and we can’t “just get over it.” Or how about “What do you have to be anxious about anyway?” Saying so to a person suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness makes them feel like shit. If we could stop feeling this way on our own, we would.
When my anxiety is at it’s worse I feel like I’m drowning, but only I can feel the water fill my lungs. I’m learning to cope, but others aren’t so lucky. I know many who suffer from various forms of mental illness. It took me a lot to write this and put myself out there like this. All I ask is for a little more understanding. You have no idea what another person may be going though, so don’t be so quick to judge.