Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today’s Thanksvember entry is sponsored by antidepressants!

I have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which means that I have uncontrollable and sometimes irrational anxiety about things (ranging from individual issues to a big-picture type of anxiety that I can’t pinpoint). It's also usually long-term. I have probably had this for a good portion of my life, and most likely will be medicated for the rest of my life for it. In my case, I tend to obsess over minute details. For instance, I may say something to a co-worker while joking around. The other person may forget that we have even done this and just writes it off as part of their day, but I will obsess over this instance - maybe something particular that I said – replaying it for weeks in my mind. I’ll think of every way that my comment may have been interpreted, which would then lead me to worry over hurting someone’s feelings or offending them. I’ll think of every possible way that the situation could have or should have gone and then every reaction to every scenario in each instance. It’s dizzying, isn’t it?

This anxiety also tends to disrupt daily life. A lot of people know that I didn’t start driving until well into my 20s (actually nearing my 30s). What most people don’t know is that crippling anxiety prevented me from ever getting my license. I could never even figure out what it was that I was nervous about, but I was terrified to take the test, buy a car and to drive every day. Even today, I don’t love to drive.

Once I decided to get help (I don’t even really know what prompted me to do so), I felt the difference very quickly. While I still occasionally have generalized anxiety and anxiety attacks, they happen at a very low frequency and aren’t as devastating.

I’ve been off of Lexapro for about two weeks, inadvertently, while my mail-order medication place coordinates with my doctor’s office. Man can I tell the difference. I’m irritable, weepy, unhappy, anxious and restless. I formally apologize to my family, friends and co-workers for my weakened emotional state! ;)

I’m not embarrassed that I have to take anti-anxiety medication. I’m thankful every day for this wonderful medicine that lets me navigate my life without feeling on edge.

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