I have a cautionary tale. I come from a long line of folks with mental health issues. Some diagnosed, some not; many diagnosed long before it was cool to have a diagnoses. I was “lucky” enough to have generalized anxiety. At least it isn’t a bad one, many of my relatives have bi-polar so I do count my blessings.
I grew up in a house that thought doctors knew everything and the pharmaceutical world was where it was at! You of course need to take a pill if something is wrong, right??? And of course you just need to put a band-aid on symptoms, right??? Well, that is what I thought until a couple years ago. Unfortunately by then, I was already quite entangled in the grips of the medical and phrama world. Though I was blessed to not have a lot wrong with me so I was only on a generic form of Paxil for my anxiety.
Most folks would say “Yeah, so what?” I half agree but then I missed a pill. You know, sometimes life happens and you miss a pill. Or you forgot your medicine along on an overnight or something and two pills are missed. Boy howdy, that’s some awful withdrawal symptoms right there! And they began after 1 day of missing the pill. I went to Goggle and did a super quick search and one site had the following list: (from Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/paxil-withdrawal-symptoms.html)
› Dizziness or lightheadedness
› Crying spells
› Bloating, belching and flatulence
› Diarrhea or constipation
› Loss of appetite
› Abdominal cramping
› Numbness in hands
› Fever and chill
› Flu-like symptoms
› Feeling of ‘electric zap’
› Panic attacks
› Vivid and frightening nightmares
› Pounding or irregular heartbeat
› Suicidal thoughts
› Anxiety and irritability
› Gastrointestinal distress
› Tintinnabulations in the ears
› Blurred vision
So this is some nasty stuff…
Then let’s not even begin to talk about the side effects ON the drug. I gained 50 lbs the first 4 years on the lovely prescription. And I could go on with all the other problems I have. YUCK! YUCK! YUCK! But in all honestly, I do think that these problems are easier to deal with than the anxiety.
I have learned in recent years that I should be able to control the anxiety with nutrition, supplements, herbs, and essential oils. All of which have no side effects and are healthy for me and my body. Another WIN-WIN! However, with this knowledge, I have been fearful of going off my medication. I really don’t like having the anxiety but most of all, I am super afraid of withdrawal.
Well, this year has been hard for me. In January I lost my dad and in February my husband had a major knee injury. I needed to get to the doctor to get refills. I am unable to do that so I figured, now is as good of time as any to wean myself off my meds. Boy, this is bad news! I don’t wish this on anyone. This is probably one of the most difficult times, emotionally, for me to go off but I think in the end I will feel so much better.
My new “prescription” is to eat balanced and often. That means 5-6 meals a day all containing a protein, healthy fat, and healthy carbohydrate. An example of this is for breakfast I have 2 eggs, fried/scrambled in butter, and a lot of vegetables. Or for lunch I have a huge salad, some nitrate free lunch mean and an organic salad dressing. And for dessert I have berries, real whipping cream and 1 oz of dark chocolate. When I eat like this, I feel great and have no cravings and no spikes in blood sugar which means no crashes. Also, while I am eating all this yummy real food my gut is making amazing neurotransmitters to keep my brain HAPPY! (and anxiety free) I also take pharmaceutical grade pro-biotoics and omega-3 to keep my gut healthy and all that luscious fats in my brain (did you know your brain is made up of mostly fat). Then I will be slathering essential oils over my wrists and curated artery in my neck, oils like lavender, Peace and Calming, and Joy. I will also be defusing those oils in my house. Finally, my friend is a herbalist (I think that’s what it’s called) and she will support me with herbs where I need those extra boots. And most importantly, I will go to my Heavenly Father in Prayer.
This is a heck of a lot more difficult than popping a pill, or at least it seems so but it is so much better for longevity. It I miss a dose of something it will be “no big deal” as in I won’t be going through painful withdrawals. I won’t need to get my levels checked by a doctor once a year or have the doctor tell me I can’t get my prescriptions refilled. And all my side effects will be positive and healthy (i.e. I will lose those 50lbs I gained). And really, this becomes a way of life so it really just becomes second nature and is really not more difficult, AT ALL.
I will end as I started… be cautious of doctors and pharmaceuticals. They are not the enemy but they don’t always know everything or have your best interest in mind. Be educated and informed and don’t allow yourself to be bullied into ANYONE’S’ way of thinking. You do what you know is right for you and your body.
I’ll keep you posted on my journey to wellness. I pray for wellness for you too.
ETA: Sorry about the formatting, something happened. I’ll look at it in the morning but for now it will just have to look goofy.