First of all, I think its important to talk about mental health in a very transparent way.
Second of all, therapy is great.
Third of all, antidepressants and anti anxiety medications changed my life. If this were Yelp: 5/5 would recommend.
I spent years trying to get other people to agree that I should be on an anxiety medication. I sought the approval from my parents, my boyfriend and friends. Everyone in my life gave a hard “No” and I felt defeated, practically miserable. I knew that my symptoms weren’t normal. I spent hours obsessing over situations and Googling symptoms of illnesses I didn’t have. I had a racing heart beat and clammy hands. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’ve always said that the physical symptoms of my anxiety were worse than the mental symptoms. It’s like you just ran a marathon and can’t catch your breath but you’re just sitting on the couch.
When I got into therapy, it changed my life. My therapist is absolutely wonderful, relatable and relevant. I looked forward to the sessions because it didn’t feel like therapy.
“My approach is informal and mixed. If it isn’t working for you, just tell me.”
Here is a list of things we decided I could do when I felt anxious. Bottom line, if my house is spotless, I was probably panicking the day before. Maybe a few of these will work for you too!
- Clean your damn house! Mess creates anxiety for me. I love clutter free spaces.
- Go on a walk
- Meditate (this never worked for me but maybe it will work for you)
- Listen to a podcast (Favorites: My Favorite Murder, This American Life, Up & Vanished)
- Take a shower
She had me create three goals for the therapy. To be quite honest, I only remember one of them because it had the biggest impact on my life. So it went like this, stop using romantic relationships as the only happiness indicator in my life.
Basically, in so many words, my therapist told me I had no life and to get some hobbies that don’t include inviting Tinder matches to my house to watch a movie. After laughing, because that is what I do, I agreed with her.
It has been lame and annoying but I did end up getting a life. I decided to spend more time doing things I want to do like reading murder mysteries, watching murder mysteries, aiding in murders. Just kidding. But I do love all things murder. I kick-box, I go on walks in the woods, I spend more time with friends.
Anyway, after I went to therapy for a while, my therapist recommended going to see a psychiatrist. The person she recommended was basically her, just able to prescribe meds. She is very informal, listens to me like a friend and sometimes has a dog in her office. She laughs at my jokes, which is my only real requirement for a doctor. She didn’t pressure me to get on antidepressant, she basically led me to the solution on my own.
I felt the effects of Pristiq after only taking it for a week. I had more energy than ever, I didn’t have a racing heartbeat and I was able to see logical solutions to my anxiety vs. obsessing over making a choice. I feel like Pristiq gave me my life back. It’s almost like I was depleted and Pristiq brought me up to a baseline level of normal. I have been on Pristiq for a few months and I LOVE IT.
Ativan is great too and if you don’t know why it’s great, look it up. #CalmAF
If you have anxiety, panic disorder, depression or PTSD (or other mental illnesses that I can’t spell or think of right now), I highly recommend talking with a therapist and a psychiatrist. Find one that you click with or if you’re in the Raleigh area, check out my recommendations below but please don’t book at 4pm because that is MY slot.
Wondering why I need therapy? Check out my previous post about boarding school. #Trauma Me. A Microphone. 12 minutes and 300 strangers.
Need more convincing about therapy? Here is a list of other reasons why you should go.