method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Recovering from Anxiety

Since I have written so much about the experience of anxiety and my road to recovery, I thought it would only be fair to write about what it is like to be 99% recovered from the experience. First, a quick recap:

  • January 2005 – I experience my first anxiety attack.
  • Throughout 2005,  I continue to do too much: I work too much, I take several graduate courses, and I study for the CPA exam. My husband and I sell our house in Tampa and move back to Atlanta.
  • December 2005 – I have finished graduate school, I have passed the CPA exam, I am where I want to be in life. But the anxiety is still there.
  • Early 2006 – I begin to realize that there is a name for what I am experiencing, that it is a real condition and that I should see a doctor. Sometime thereafter I begin taking anti-depressants. (Note: I was never depressed, just anxious – though ever-present anxiety will certainly make a person feel down at times).
  • I experienced some ups and downs while on the medication – weight gain and towards the end, night sweats. But I remained on Zoloft until June 2007, per my doctor’s advice.
  • Throughout two weeks in mid-June, I very slowly weaned myself from Zoloft. I do not recommend stopping the drugs cold-turkey. I can’t remember my exact schedule, but I took progressively smaller doses. Towards the end I think I took a very small dose every other day. My only side-effect from this experience was a sense of dizziness that lasted several weeks. This is a normal side effect.

Once weaned from Zoloft, I did not experience any increase in anxiety. I felt much the same as I had while on the medication (minus the night sweats!) In December 2007 I became pregnant. I never felt anxiety while pregnant, which is rather amazing considering that “worry is the work of pregnancy.” Almost two years later and I find that I very rarely experience anxiety. I won’t lie – it does happen sometimes. Sometimes I can trace it to a trigger and sometimes it comes out of the blue. But it is infrequent and it doesn’t last long. I can usually quickly deal with it and then I move on.

If you’re battling anxiety, I hope that my experience gives you some hope. Identify the root causes. Change your lifestyle. Take drugs if you need them. Don’t stay on the drugs too long, though. Grow and learn from the experience.

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September 3, 2009 - Posted by | anti-depressants, anxiety, health

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