An Open Letter To The World Via The New York TImes

Dear World,

Manufacturers, Researchers, FDA, DNA, NPR, and ABC,

I am speaking on behalf of many people who think the same way I do. No, I do not have empirical evidence or research to back my claim but guess what? I don’t need it. Apparently all the studies that have been done in the past by your researches are, to be delicate, for shit.( Sorry, are not substantiated)

One day you tell us to drink milk, lots of milk so that are bones are strong and healthy. I’m sorry I believe I heard something about “drinking too much milk is bad for our bones?” What?  This type of stuff goes on and on and I for one am sick of it.

I already wrote an essay in my blog about anti-anxiety pills for anxious people are going to give us, most probably, Alzheimer’s disease. What a great idea to tell someone who is anxious to begin with, without alternative ideas. I have anxiety issues, I have no problem revealing that and when my psychiatrist told me, albeit rather nervously, about this new study, she gave me a handout of a copy of the study.

Maybe that would have been handled better if this had begun in the beginning of the session and discussed with alternatives. What happened after being told? Major anxiety. After processing this new information, if indeed it is true, I need to think of quality of life and choices. But, that is something we should have talked about BEFORE those five sheets of paper were handed to my sweaty palms.

I find it wrong that open communication is allowed OUT so very cavalierly and THEN retracted months or years later with the opposite findings. Basically, all this media is making us crazy. Would it be so wrong to ask all of you to “shut the blank up?”

Do we need to know every simple thing at every minute of every hour of every day? Some of you want to know, some of us don’t. Yes, I know freedom of speech but what about something in the middle? I don’t want to know everything, every minute in every detail. Plus, the media exploits serious events, I truly can’t handle it. That is why I choose NOT to watch the news at night because there is enough madness, violence, gore and blood in the world that I don’t want to be reminded of it before I TRY to go to sleep. Do you understand?

All I’m asking is for is for you to think and be considerate. Think before you speak? Do complete research before you announce news like its one of the Entertainment Shows on television. At least they are honest, their intent is to entertain.

What you are doing is tormenting people. Do this, no do that. So now, when we get anxious, we have to think twice before we take an anti-anxiety pill because for years it has been the solution to so many of our problems, now we live in fear, choosing quality of life vs. quantity of life. Please, just think about it.

Sincerely yours,

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…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.

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?

Always Elizabeth

Deer

I associate french fries with Elizabeth. Still, to this day, I can picture her face when the french fries that she DID NOT WANT appeared on her plate. I can’t forget her face. She looked like a deer, with white, almost translucent skin and dark, dark eyebrows and eyes.

When I was in High School, a long, long time ago, in Jamaica, NY, in the early seventies, I was good friends with a girl named Elizabeth W. I don’t want to give her last name since she seemed to disappear and maybe she wanted it that way; I hope that’s the reason.  This was a friend, a dear, enormously talented friend that wrote amazing stories, poetry; I think she was an artist too.

I remember we cut class together and would go to a pond or grassy area right near the school and talk about writing and life and everything esoteric. What sticks in my mind the most is that this was one tragic, sad girl. I cannot call her “young woman” because nothing about her wanted to grow up or change. She was the daughter of one Child Psychiatrist and another Psychiatrist or Psychologist. Elizabeth was one very sick girl. I am not sure if her parents knew how sick she was.

Back then, as my daughter would say, in the land of dinosaurs, no-one knew what Anorexia was but certainly that is what Elizabeth had. I remember vividly going to a restaurant and Elizabeth told the waitress at least twenty times that she did not want french fries with her sandwich. She said it over and over and I also told the waitress to make sure they didn’t bring french fries because I knew how Elizabeth would react, badly, of course. Sure enough, Elizabeth, never Liz or Lizzy or Betsy or Beth freaked out. Deep down in my stomach I sensed that would happen and I swept the offending french fries away and started to try to talk her down. She was inconsolable, she cried and trembled and cursed; we left immediately. I want to say we went to a show or a movie after that but I don’t know what we saw. I think there were kids throwing candy and that upset you, and me, too.  Poor Elizabeth, no one knew much about your illness back then.

I remember your very pale, very skinny body that seemed to shed it’s own skin. The hair on your arms were black or maybe that’s just how I remember them. We took a trip to Philadelphia once, I don’t know why, but we did. We took the train together for a day trip, did we visit a museum? I remember nothing about what we did there or where we went or even why. I had an aunt and uncle that lived there but I am not sure if we saw them. I remember nothing but your face, dear Elizabeth and the photo in our yearbook; etched in my brain.

Rumor had it that you went to a small all-girls college, Smith maybe? I tried to track you down but never found you. I was your friend and then you were gone. Nobody knew anything about you, it’s as if you were a dream of mine, that you existed only in my imagination.

I just wanted you to know, if you are still out there in this enormous world, that someone has not forgotten you, that I remember your big dark eyes, and your wistful little smile, like that of a tiny kitten. I hope you are well, I hope more that you are still alive.