Several readers asked me to talk about meds, and I have mentioned the subject many times without entering the specifics, so I guess the time has come. Today, let’s talk meds.
Anxiety medication is a very delicate topic. Not only has everyone a different and personal opinion about meds itself, but no one can measure another person’s pain or anxiety. Who is to decide if you need medication or not?
Don’t be fooled: The answer is not “Only I can!”. Actually, you might be the least appropriate person to figure out if you need medication yourself. You are too involved, you are too anxious, you have too rigid a position against drugs in general, or you have the opposite extreme position, you are already enough stressed without such a big decision to take…
The only thing you can do is drop your control mania and leave the driver’s wheel to a good specialist. I’m not saying this will be easy, I’m just saying this has to be done.
This said, here’s my opinion.
Medication is not a cure. Who follows this blog already read this statement many times, and many and many times they will read it again. Medication will not get rid of your anxiety disorder/panic attack disorder/OCD etc. Medication will merely alleviate the symptoms for as long as you take it.
In the same way, listening to music, calling a friend, running, distracting yourself in any way might help you calm down, but will not solve the problem. It will only alleviate the symptoms.
Even if you don’t realize it, though, each and every one of us has much deeper reasons for the disorder(s) we are suffering from. These reasons are psychological – it can be some grief that we haven’t properly elaborated, some experience from our past that left a sign, it can be the poisoning nature of some relationship in our life.
Sure, some recent event might have triggered our disorder to suddenly appear and completely mess up our existance – we might be stressed because of our job, nervous for a big deadline coming up, a huge arguement. Maybe it came up after we used drugs such as marijuana or others. But these are triggers, not reasons.
Once cleared these things out, I’m not going to say that there is only one path to take. You can decide to live with your disorder, turning on your stereo every time you feel anxious and waiting for it to pass, or trying to get your mind off it. You can decide to take medications and be fine for a while, until the disorder hits again and you take up medications again, in an endless circle.
However, you can do better. A better quality of life is possible, and you must know it. You can get out of this, just as I did. It will take good will and a lot of work, but you will get out of it.
As for every problem, the solution is hitting it right at its source. Once established that the source is hidden deep inside of you, you just need the right help to dig deep. The only person who can help you with this is a psychologist. They are not all the same and some of them won’t be right for you, but if the first one you try doesn’t suit you, don’t stop looking until you find the one that does! It will be worth all the effort.
Now, what about the meds? Well, meds can be a huge support while starting your psychotherapy – and even after that. You might need to alleviate the symptoms of your disorder in order to fully profit of your psychology appointments, for example. Or you might just want to feel a little safer because the situation gets out of control a bit too often outside that office.
That’s totally ok, and more than ok, it might be necessary in some cases. In my case, last year my panic attacks were so strong that I spent the appointments with my psychologist crying and begging her to put me in a mental hospital. I needed the help of the meds on the side to get things going. Ya know what I mean?
So, in conclusion, meds are not good if used as the only attempt to healing, but meds are not bad if used as support to the psychotherapy.
Please, keep in mind: do NOT turn to self-medication, do NOT delude yourself with the hope that meds might heal you, and do NOT be afraid to ask for help – even when you think you don’t need it so much.
Also keep in mind that I’m no doctor, and what I write is based on research and personal experience.
If you want to add or ask something, don’t forget to leave a comment or contact me privately through my Contact page!
If you are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks or any other kind of mental disorder, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Contact me in private for advice or warm virtual hug, and seek a psychologist’s professional help! Remember, we are all in this together!