December 22 2008

Anxiety is Ruining My Life

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Oh, if I had a dollar for each time I thought to myself, “Anxiety is ruining my life.” For I can not recount how many times those words ran through my brain or escaped from my lips. In fact, it even got to the point that I believed I would just have to accept my misery, my glum lot in life, and play out my hand.

Is that you? I bet it is. And you probably want me to tell you that you CAN overcome your anxiety and that overcoming anxiety is easy and, even better, that I can sell you a program or book that will show you exactly how to do it. Boy, you are bound to be disappointed. You know why? Because I can’t cure your anxiety! But there are things that YOU can do to cure your anxiety but they are not easy. Working on yourself is hard. It is hard like coal mining is hard and everyday you have to hit the mines. There is no break, there is no reprieve. I know that my health is entirely contingent on the fact that I do the things it takes to maintain my mental compentency.

So, who am I? Good question. I am a fellow sufferer of anxiety. Only I had it worse than you do. After my first hospitalization my doctor remarked that I might have the most severe case of anxiety he had ever seen. I had been a wreck for sometime, though it was my social anxiety that was especially debilitating. I had taken all the normal steps, and luckily why parents had been pretty financially successful so I had access to many options and therapies that many people do not.

I saw a psychiatrist. He prescribed some benzodiazepines for my symptoms. The first few days were nothing but pleasant. My anxiety symptoms lessened. I even enjoyed the easy, relaxed feeling that the drug provided. However, it did not last. Soon my anxiety came back, first in social situations and then later full blown, and I found I had developed a new problem. Along with my anxiety, I had developed a powerful dependence on the clonazepam.

I thought that just having an anxiety disorder was unpleasant enough. It became a whole new ball game when I found myself completely addicted to benzodiazepines. This was a whole new hell, believe me. Words simply can not explain the misery brought on by benzo withdrawal symptoms. And this wasn’t a passing phenomenon. I suffered from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome for more than two years. It was beyond awful. It was worse, in fact, than my anxiety disorder in the first place.

Quick aside: If you doctor is putting you a regular dosing of benzos — klonopin, xanax, valium, whatever — do the research before you do damage to your body that you will have difficulty coming back from.

So anyway, I started to see a psychiatrist and my condition improved somewhat with medication. So I started to see a therapist to work on “core issues” and really get to the bottom of it. But that was a joke. Sure, my therapist was a nice guy. He had an interesting world view and he took an active interest in me. But what he did not do was help. Finally, I stopped seeing him.

Today I do not see therapists. I do not pay people to have them share their world view with me. Instead I decided to take matters into my own hands. And if I didn’t make that decision I would still be suffering from my anxiety disorder in full force. For, I discovered that therapists and doctors they can only help so much. Most of the work you have to do yourself. If you want to overcome your anxiety, you are going to have to take action.

The question I get is how do I do that. Well, let me ask, have you even looked for an answer to your solution or are you waiting for someone to solve it for you? Because there are plenty of people who will trade you false hopes for cash. Your cash. But if you take action and find the answers yourself, you will be so-much-the-better.

You see, there are sites like this and countless others where people share the exact steps that they took to overcome their anxiety disorders. Oh sure they had some help from professionals, but they learned the majority of the techniques from other anxiety sufferers. We are a great community, these people who used to suffer from anxiety disorders, and we work together to help others out of their own situation. But, the thing is, you have to be willing to do the work. You can’t be closed off. You have to devour every website on anxiety and every blog and start learning. The internet is the best source of information since the dawn of man and you can take advantage of it.

So, read this site and read other sites like it. Learn from those among us who have re-taken their lives. And, with work you can join us.

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