…And You Thought I Was Anxious Before??

Dear Psychiatrists,

Telling anxious patients that their anti anxiety meds are going to probably give them Alzheimers disease in the future is really not the way to go. I mean it, I should know, I am a patient that suffers from anxiety and I really don’t want to hear this, it’s making me even MORE anxious.  Now I can’t use my medication? What’s the point? You can’t take away medication without substitution? Don’t tell us this without coming up with a different plan at the same time.

Don’t tell me there is a link and then say good-bye, see you in two weeks. That is all sorts of wrong. Telling us that anti anxiety meds are going to give us Alzheimer’s disease in the future is like handing over loaded guns and hundreds of dangerous pills to someone threatening suicide.

Apparently, there’s this new article out that people are getting anxious about, you can feel the tremors in the air, a cup of wiggling orange jello in a steel cup.

The psychiatrists, all over, are desperately copying the article that says the anti-anxiety medicines are strongly linked to gettng Alzheimers disease. Do you think that information is something that we need to hear without a …But…Or  we will try…..? We  come to you, worried and afraid and we fear pain, illness, madness, flying on planes or driving and getting lost and…the list continues and is different for everyone.

Of course I told this to my friend who suffers from anxiety and much more and then he got anxious (but he wouldn’t admit it) and he asked

a professor at college and sent me some research that the study is completely inconclusive. Hmmm. That sounds good but should I believe him? Not yet. Only when I hear it from MY doctor will I feel more relaxed.By the way, I think my psychiatrist was anxious about this study as well, I thought of that today. I did not get a sense of calmness from her at all. I am going to ask her some day.

As usual, I’ve decided to cut my prescription in half (my doctors are not fond of me self-prescribing) but hey, in this case I think it’s perfectly reasonable. I didn’t go cold turkey and I added a Benadryl. In good faith I sent all this information in an email to my lovely psychiatrist. She is a goddess.

The other medicine is only use as needed

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets

and I haven’t needed it for a while. However, I have been practicing mindful meditation and now I will commit to doing it twice a day.

So, before we all panic, let’s think of this as a new beginning. I’m not going to lie I feel the first rumblings in my stomach, that’s where it starts for me. I stop typing, I take three deep, long breaths to calm myself down. I didn’t open a prescription bottle that has little orange pills in it. I am trying to say good-bye to you, Xanax, even though I will probably will miss you but I will feel cleaner and stronger without you. I hope.

*Alzheimers/Dementia is a very serious disease.For information:

24/7 Helpline | Alzheimer’s Association

http://www.alz.orgWe Can Help

Alzheimer’s Association
 

Call us tollfree anytime day or night at 1.800.272.3900.

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Dear Body,

I know you have been trying to listen to me and I appreciate the effort but now, finally I think you have seen the light, pardon the pun. You have known what to do all along but with your being stubborn (and not letting your sister be right) you have negated every suggestion from everyone else. That’s not bad, you need to listen to yourself.

At the same time, I am proud of you, so very proud that you have decided NOW to,( on your own ), to do something entirely different. You went into a bad slump for a day and a half the “I can’t do this anymore” cry

but you realized you really don’t have to give up. What a mood elevator that was!

Suddenly and slowly like each ray of a sunshine blooming like a petal you decided to do completely different. Instead of adding another med, you were going to stop them all. Yup, each and every one except for Synthroid which is medically warranted for your health. The others, well, you’re not stupid, you won’t go cold turkey, but you can talk (if you want) with each medical doctor and believe me there are way too many and discuss getting off the meds with ease. You are not asking IF you can do it but HOW. Hear that Doc? I am not asking your permission, this is my body and I’m taking it back.

You’ve had it in your germ-filled hands for exactly seven minutes each time. SEVEN MINUTES !!! I have (barely) seen you. My body, outside and inside deserves more than seven minutes. I need love, I need  respect and I deserve it. I know my body much better than you do. My instincts have never steered me wrong. Never. Can you say the same, that you have never given me the wrong diagnosis or the incorrect prescription. I thought not.

The other thing I will do and believe this is harder for me than the above is try to eat healthier foods and that means less processed foods. I can’t promise to throw my Kraft American Cheese Slices, individually wrapped, away, just yet, but I will only eat them when all other comfort foods are exhausted. I do make a mean chicken soup, all natural.

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food ...

But, again, I’m not going to make myself feel bad if I go slowly in my process. And, I refuse to make quinoa on principle, kale too just because they are “popular.” I’ll wait six months to see what the new food trend is.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t order it for lunch at a cute local farm- to- land sweet restaurant my friend Sarah and I go to but I’m going to take just one step at a time.

There you have it, my intentions, to be healthier, naturally and stop throwing back these ridiculous pills the doctors have given me because that’s what they do. Maybe I’ll send this to Michael Finkelstein at the Sunraven Center and we will go full circle. Meditation instead of medication. (Love that !) At least when Danny finds a job or if he has a sliding scale. It’s worth a shot. ANYTHING is worth a shot. Be Grateful, Be Kind even more than you have been. Heal Yourself. The time is now.

Love,

Soul

ps: Dedicated to my new friend, Ken

There’s A Wonderful Advantage To Getting Older That, I Bet, You Don’t Know

English: An anxious person

English: An anxious person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March 2013

I thought I was having a psychotic episode, the mere word itself terrifies me. Random words kept popping into my head like kernels of corn and it made me more nervous than I already was (if that was at all possible.). I took a low dose of  Xanax, a prescribed anti-anxiety medicine and waited, it didn’t help. It had always worked before, why not now?  That freaked me out too. I thought for sure, I was going out of my mind and it terrified me.

My husband was away on a business trip and I was home alone with our dog, Jax, during one of the worst blizzards; they were forecasting winds up to 60 miles per hour, major power outages and two feet of snow. I have been alone plenty of times before and have enjoyed it tremendously, but this time felt like one continuous nightmare, that lasted five days and nights. Jax stayed close to me and if the heat went out I could always cuddle with him, luckily when you have a dog you really don’t feel as alone.

Since I couldn’t calm myself down, I was sure I was having a psychotic episode and my huge fear of being restrained in a mental hospital/jail loomed in front of me. I’m not sure if I could have made myself any more anxious if I tried. I stayed up late, reading and listening to calming music, trying to take deep breaths until I was so tired that I fell asleep.

I had a planned appointment with my therapist a few days later and I couldn’t wait to get there. I told her my anxiety medicine didn’t work. She calmly said; “You should have taken two.” Her answer to my question about it being a psychotic state was ” “you are too old to start having a psychotic episode now.” For once, being older had a huge advantage. The one thing I could be thrilled about getting older. We had an advantage, who knew? That DID make me happy. Rejoice, older men and women!

She said it was just anxiety and “why wouldn’t you be anxious, alone, with a huge storm coming with howling winds that frightened many people?  The power could have gone out and instead of struggling with the ten page detailed instruction manual that I was obsessing about I should have just shoveled on more blankets and waited until the morning. Then, I could beg a neighbor to help me or as my shrink suggested “go to a hotel.”

I owe this woman a great deal of thanks, she is an incredibly smart and wonderful person. I like her and I trust her and if there is something serious we stop our talking and kidding around immediately and she has solid advice. Some people, even now, in the year 2013, still have a stigma about seeing a psychiatrist to  work out a problem. I just don’t get that, if you had trouble with your car, would you hesitate taking it to the mechanic? You just need to make sure, in both cases, that you go to the RIGHT person, the right match. I’ve met many frogs who called themselves therapists, this woman is a gem. A natural gem.

PS How many people are getting anxious just watching this dude?