Anxiety

Anxiety

Anxious

medication

It's been awhile since I published my post Someone With Problems, about my decade-long struggle with anxiety and my decision to finally, despite a deep-rooted discomfort with the idea of seeking outside help, try medication (Zoloft, if you're wondering).

Now it's a year later, and so I wanted to talk about how it's going.

It's better. So much better, most of the time. But not always.

Anxiety

The Reader

truth or consequences new mexico family vacation

Late night lights in Truth Or Consequences, NM

We needed this trip. So, so badly.

I knew it when we decided to drive out here, how good it would be for us to just spend time together, as a couple and as a family, in a way we haven't in a really, really long time. It's mostly the hours in the car that have done it: we talk, sing along to music, run around gas station convenience stores picking out terrible, horrible things to eat, and mostly just hang out together.

Anxiety

Someone With Problems

I wrote a few weeks ago how, in the days following Goldie's birth - when I feared a relapse of the postpartum depression that I'd suffered from after Indy arrived - I was prescribed a low-dose medication to combat the chronic insomnia and anxiety that I've been dealing with for a good decade (and hopefully make PPD more unlikely). It's been two months, and I figure now is as good of a time as any to write about how it's been going.

*     *     *

Growing up, my parents taught me that no one would handle my problems for me; it was on me to face them, and then fix them. If I had an issue with a teacher, a fight with a friend, an essay that I just couldn't seem to get right, they were there to listen and offer suggestions, of course, but they were not going to storm the gates and take over; finding a solution was my job. And I'm grateful for that.

Anxiety

If You Only Ask

I went into the birth of my second child absolutely convinced I'd experience at least some degree of the postpartum depression I dealt with after Indy was born. It was something I brought up at my very first appointment after finding out we were expecting, and something that I touched base with my doctors about over the course of the next few months. I didn't want it to catch me unguarded and without a plan in place, because with a toddler and an infant to think about, being that emotionally out of sorts even for even a day didn't feel like an option.

My primary concern: you know how I've written extensively about my insomnia (which is largely related to my anxiety)? Well, when you have a newborn, you sleep even less. And less sleep = a greater chance of suffering from PPD.

At the mid-point in my pregnancy, I went to meet with a psychiatrist (which I should have done a long, long time ago), because even though I didn't want to start any new medications while expecting, I figured you know what? I've been dealing with this problem long enough. I've tried lots of different things - some that have worked for a time, and some that haven't worked at all - and if there's a longer-term, more stable solution, I'd like to find it. What we decided: that I'd start on an extremely low-dose daily antidepressant immediately following the birth. I don't suffer from depression, but apparently this kind of medication can help to shut off the sort of ruminative thinking that characterizes my particular type of anxiety.

(As a side note, this decision to try medication wasn't something I was going to talk about here - it feels so, so personal - but then I realized: am I ashamed that I suffer from insomnia and anxiety? No. Am I ashamed that I've tried lots of different things over the years, and that now I'm going to try this? No. And I know that these are issues that a lot of people suffer from, and that a lot of people feel ashamed about, and I believe with all my heart that there is no shame in being open about your struggles and seeking out help wherever you can find it.)


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