Long story short, I’ve been experimenting with a bit of self-care these last few months because my depression and anxiety were getting a bit out of control. The good news is, the depression has lifted. Now this could just be the passage of time and the arrival of Spring or I could be as a direct result of some the things I’ve been doing to help myself. These include: making sleep a priority, not taking work on that will be stressful, eating better, running, yoga and meditation. Now for the bad news, my anxiety is still hanging around like a stubborn S.O.B.
My anxiety is very much of the general sort ( hence my diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder) and has come and gone, along with depression, since I was fifteen years old. It’s been a subtle drone under some days, and a screaming chaotic mess over others. Sometimes I can shut it out or sit with it and get on with things but recently it’s been building and becoming more and more difficult to overcome so I made the decision today to ask my doctor about anxiety medication.* I was relieved to learn that it’s not all about tranquillisers ( I could do without being any more useless right now! ) or anti-depressants (they’ve never really had much effect on me). We whittled it down to two contenders: Propranalol (a beta-blocker) and Buspirone (a specific anti-anxiety med). Both of these can either be taken regularly as a preventative or as-and-when needed, short term. Neither are addictive, neither are tranquillisers and both can act pretty quickly. Beta Blockers have been know to aggravate asthma and although mine is very well controlled, we decided to start with the Buspirone and see how I get on. I’ve been given the lowest dose possible and told I can take one or two tablets, either regularly or as when, it’s my choice. I really appreciate the autonomy that my GP has given me, allowing me to judge what I need and when. When you have a condition that seems to take away all of your control, it’s important to be believed and be made to feel like you have a say in your own well-being.
Yes, I do still feel like a bit of failure, like I should be able to cope better but the reality is that, right now, I can’t and denying myself treatment that cold potentially help really would be madness (more so than my usual brand of crazy!)
I took my first tablet, just over an hour ago. There can be side effects, of course ( dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea) but they are far less than those of other meds I’ve tried before. So far, my head hasn’t explode, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
*I am NOT a medical profession. I am NOT recommending any treatment or medication. I am giving MY opinion and MY experience, only. Please see you your GP if you think anti-anxiety meds might help you.