Better living through chemistry…or something like that.

A bit of history for my new readers. I started this blog back in 2009 in the middle of a pretty serious bout of anxiety and depression. I was, for all intents and purposes, housebound for a couple of months. The blog started as my way of recording my thoughts and feelings about everything that was going on and ended up being a therapeutic narrative which I shared with the world. It kept me connected to reality and allowed me to hear from people who made me realize I wasn’t alone.

I haven’t had a lot of issues with anxiety for the last few years other than an occasional attack here and there. That is until a few weeks ago. Due to a combination of several things, my anxiety really ramped up around the first of February. At first the attacks were pretty minor, but last week was really dreadful. I was in a state of panic really for the entire week. Just as I was coming down from one attach, something would happen which would trigger another one. It was a mess–I was a mess! Something had to be done.

I’ve had a prescription for Xanax for almost a year now, but until last Saturday I’d never taken one. I’m not really big on taking medication, and in the past I’d been able to get through my anxiety issues without it. But, last week was starting to make me physically ill, so I broke down and started taking it. Contrary to what I expected, it really did help. I didn’t get “high” or anything like that. The medicine just took the edge off my anxiety and made me not feel so bad. I knew I had a doctor’s appointment for today–nothing serious, just a physical–so I figured I’d talk to him about it.

As much as I don’t like taking medicine, I don’t like going to see the doctor even more. This is not new. I got nervous going to the doctor when I was a little kid. I fully expected to have an anxiety attack while I was there, and boy, did I ever! Blood pressure upon first exam– 180/120. Thank God for a calm nurse and an understanding doctor. Neither of them got overly excited. Both of them kept telling me that everything was going to be okay. The doctor did the exam as normal. He didn’t find anything wrong. My heart sounded good (even though it was beating too fast), my lungs sounded good, my gut sounded good. No masses or swollen glands…you know the drill. Basically, from what he could see on his exam, I’m fine physically. But, he wants to help with my anxiety.

Let me say that again, because it’s new for a doctor…he wants to HELP with my anxiety. He prescribed Zoloft. He wants me to take it for two weeks and then come back to see him. He kept telling me that we’d get this figured out and that everything would bezoloft okay. I can’t tell you how much that helped. I’ve had bad experiences with doctors in the past, but I trust him. I believed him. He wasn’t condescending or dismissive. He listened to me and let me listen to him. He didn’t talk fast or over my head. He told me exactly what the plan is, and even though I’m still really nervous about taking a new medicine, I’m going to do it because I believe him.

So, here we go! Better living through chemistry, or so they say. I guess we’re about to find out. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, to lighten the mood a bit, take a look at the video below–the great Cheri Oteri playing Colette Reardon, the drug lady. Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Better living through chemistry…or something like that.

  1. For years I didn’t know that what I had was anxiety with a hint of depression. I thought I was weak, stupid, and inferior. Over the years I have coped with unhealthy methods because I had not identified what I was experiencing. I was a champion at masking all of my symptoms. While raising 3 children and working my way through a complicated labyrinth of career and parenting anxiety became my nemesis daily. For the last two years my tools to combat anxiety and depression have included praying, being grateful and Firming up boundaries. I stopped my medication and at times I regret it. There are a few things that had to happen in order for me to do that. For one I TRY not to own other people’s problems. That was a big one especially in marriage. Just because someone doesn’t like something doesn’t mean that’s my problem. Well the list goes on. I fight the feeling each day that I’m going to lose it and not come back from being “nuts”. Daily struggles are exhausting for sure. Anxiety and depression come in different shapes and sizes. People generally have little compassion or understanding for sufferers. I hope this new path you are taking will bring you some relief. Thank you for sharing your experience.


    • Thanks so much Crystal. It always helps hearing of other people’s struggled. As you know, anxiety and depression can make for a lonely island. I appreciate your encouragement.


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