By Karlie Mickanuik
This article contains no medical information. It is a look at my personal experience dealing with an anxiety disorder.
After years of living with undiagnosed anxiety I have recently been diagnosed and began treatment.
Starting treatment for my anxiety that has controlled my life is a relief, but I’ll be honest, it’s been anything but a dream. I’ve only been diagnosed for a few weeks and have already learnt a lot about myself and my mind.
Meds don’t make everything better
I took my first dose and didn’t immediately feel a weight lift off my shoulders. I wasn’t expecting the medication to work like that, but I didn’t think it would take weeks for me to feel an improvement.
I also feel a lot different than I thought I would. I am definitely a lot less anxious than I used to be, but now I don’t feel a lot of anything. In a happy moment I feel happy and in an anxiety inducing moment I feel anxious, but now I also feel numb. My mind got so used to feeling anxious at all times that I feel weird without my anxiety. I feel like something is missing.
There are still bad days
My anxiety isn’t gone and I don’t think it ever will be. I am trying to learn that this is something that I am going to have to deal with for the rest of my life no matter what meds I’m on or what therapist I have.
I still have anxiety attacks and I still have my nervous tics. However, from starting treatment I have learned to recognize my symptoms more, and that in itself has helped. The medication has also limited the severity of my attacks…but they’re still there.
Side effects are real
When I was reading the possible side effects of the medication I’m on I didn’t think too much about it. I thought, if I don’t see side effects, they wouldn’t be too bad. Boy, was I wrong. The nausea is the worst and I hate that I have to choose between my physical and mental health.
I finally feel validated
I didn’t need a diagnosis from a doctor to know I have an anxiety disorder. But there was always a part of me that felt like I could be faking my disorder or worried that my peers thought I was being dramatic. I always thought I was selfish for letting my anxiety control my life when there are people who have it much worse than me. Only recently have I finally felt validated in my emotions, which is a feeling I craved for years.
Going on medication might look different to how I thought it would but I am ready to grow and learn more about myself.