March 21, 2009

Two Weeks

Two weeks is how long I lasted without anxiety meds.

Last night, after my third day in a row of crying/not being able to breathe/function/parent, we made an emergency pharmacy run.

This was the second time I tried to stop taking medications. The first time, my doctor wanted to see if I could handle reality again on my own. I hadn't had an episode in over a year, and he thought I might be able to handle it on my own... I couldn't.

This time, I was going to do it on my own. I haven't been able to find a doctor here, and since it had been so long since I'd had any problems, I thought I would be able to beat this.

The thing is, there's nothing to beat. I don't have an infection, there is nothing physically wrong with me. I have anxiety attacks because certain brain functions just don't happen. I can't connect the dots on my own. I had anxiety issues growing up, but on a much smaller scale.

The stress of my first labor and delivery caused a part of my brain to shut down. Severe stress and trauma on the body makes some parts stop working, and put other parts to work harder. Your body tries to find it's own balance. I never found it, and that particular "switch" in my brain has never been turned back on.

Shortly thereafter, we discovered I had Hashimoto's Disease, which increases your chances of developing mental illness. And if you already have a problem with mental illness, it will get worse.

I'm not going off anxiety medications again. It's just not worth it.

A friend helped put it into perspective for me. She said:

"You know, if you had a heart attack, and they put you on medicine, they wouldn't take it away three years later just because you hadn't had another heart attack. They would just assume that it's working."

And it is... It. Is. Working.