Friday, March 29, 2013

Worrywart

Telling someone with anxiety not to worry is like telling them not to breathe.  It's not possible.  Our brains don't all work the same.  It makes me crazy when someone who hasn't walked in my shoes tells me how simply I can do this or that to change my life.  Well, maybe that works for THAT person but it isn't necessarily going to work for me.

A little over a year ago, I wrote about my battle with depression.  I think it surprises a lot of people that the outgoing girl they see in person and/or on Facebook deals with these kinds of issues.  But we are all fighting our own battles and we are each on our own journey.  I haven't walked in your shoes, so I don't know what it's like to be you.  And vice versa. 

Anxiety and depression sometimes go hand in hand.  Sometimes not.  I've never felt like I was a high-anxiety person but I have definitely noticed an increase in the last six months since starting this new job.  I went from working from home two days a week and being able to wear flip flops and yoga pants everyday, supporting only one attorney in a non-litigation firm, to commuting daily on a dirty BART train and supporting three very, very busy litigation attorneys. 

I recently decided to start seeing a psychiatrist again (as opposed to a counselor/therapist, or a psychologist).  A psychiatrist can prescribe medication.  On our first visit, he gave me a klonopin prescription.  This is a pretty strong drug and I only take half a pill at a time.  I saw this guy three times and by our third visit, he was offering me another prescription (I hadn't even used 1/4 of what he'd given me).  I decided to stop seeing this doctor for other reasons, but still have my "chill pill," as he liked to call them, in case I need them. 

For some people, life can be too much and there is nothing wrong with deciding to take medication. If you had a heart condition, you'd take your heart pill. If you had diabetes, you'd give yourself an insulin shot.   So if your brain needs help, why wouldn't you find a medication that works for you?  Unfortunately, there are so many different medications, and not everyone reacts the same. The side effects might make it not worth it. So that's only a decision you and your doctor should make together. 

Anyway, I write about issues like this so you know you aren't alone.  We all have our issues and hopefully we have a supportive network of friends and family who can help us through it.  I encourage those of you who need help to go find it.  Sometimes it can be scary to share your problems with a stranger, but I feel like (once you find the right doctor or therapist), it can change your life for the better. 

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