#thepersonalside: The Serenity Pill

I am appropriating my second post of the month to the hashtag, #thepersonalside. I checked Twitter to see if the hashtag has been used at all. Curiously, it has not, even without ‘the’ at the beginning.

§

image by Michael Nutt https://www.flickr.com/photos/nutt/
image by Michael Nutt
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nutt/

The Serenity Pill

General Anxiety Disorder [GAD] is a permanent sideshow in my life, brought on by the stroke I had and intensified by the change of life that growing older brings. Do not get me wrong. I do not mind growing old. The GAD is just a hurdle for me to contend with is all.

My grandparents gave me an affirmative attitude about the later years of life by example. They were grateful for all they had and made light of the disappointments, aggravations, and pain they endured. In addition, none of them seem to be afraid of death. They looked at all of their existences as being part of life.

Anxiety can impoverish that forward-looking attitude to the point where one can only worry about what is coming next, what can befall him/her, the unknown, and even aspects that are trivial. It can do it without the person being aware, causing dreadful tension, atrocious headaches, and sometimes nausea. That is General Anxiety Disorder.

Some people have trouble functioning at all when this disorder hits. I am sure my husband might have liked it better, although not by much if I had reacted by hiding out in the bedroom not participating in life. With me, irritation, oversensitivity, and provocation set into my head. I was not a happy person and I was making my husband’s life wretched. Why did he stay with me? I cannot figure out why. He told me he knew something was wrong and we just had to find a way to deal with it. My opinion is he is a soul who is always duty-bound and I am grateful for this.

The doctor prescribed one antidepressant after another when I finally decided I needed more that just dairy products to keep me calm. I had gotten to the point where I did not like the taste of milk anymore. The thought of having the same reaction to ice cream was appalling to me. Whenever I feel the need for an attitude pick-me-up or want to give myself a special treat, I head over to Dairy Queen for a small Blizzard. There was not any way I wanted to give that up.

Eventually, the doctor found the medication that I, now, call my Serenity Pill. Lexapro is in the category of antidepressants but is used more for anxiety than most of the other ones. It acts on the brain chemicals serotonin and norephinephrine[1] to balance what is out of whack. It allows me to feel sad, anger, annoyance, and even minor depression but without that feeling of forebodingness that cause my mood to be so desperate.

Lexapro is not a cure-all. I still worry about those things I don’t have control over but it is in perspective now. These things are not haunting me daily anymore. Only when I read something, see something, or hear something pertaining to these matters, I will worry. I adjust my thinking using cognitive techniques[2] to put myself in that calm frame of mind again.

Brain injuries, such as the stroke, can play havoc with emotions. I can only be thankful that I live in a time when there are medications to help me deal with this adversity.

[1] Treating Generalized Anxiety

[2] Stress Management – Ways to Relieve Stress

§

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” ― Anaïs Nin

 

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “#thepersonalside: The Serenity Pill

    1. Shari, the peculiar thing is generally I am in good health. I know people who have more health problems than I will probably ever have. Do not feel sorry for me anymore, okay? My life is what it is. I deal with the bad and enjoy the good.

      I just thought I should be sharing more of myself on my blog. Maybe, if I am lucky, it will bring readers in who are willing to comment. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Must be a b*t*h keeping it together when anxiety or depression of this caliber hit. Heartwarming to hear you’ve found a medication that works. I have a sister on the same one. Wish you peaceful days and less anxiety, Glynis. ❤ ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tess, it is so nice to know you understand from a personal point of view. Many people have a hard time understanding what these episodes are like. You know because you have probably seen it or, at least, have discussed it, in length, over the phone.

      Like

    1. It would be manageable without medication if I knew when my perceptive was out of wack but I do not see that until after the fact. With one little pill twice a day, I know what I am saying or doing is what I want to convey. I like myself so much better with it.

      Like

  2. I appreciate your open sharing of your anxiety disorder with us. It builds our understanding of others who suffer from the same thing and a feeling that we know you better because you have shared a bit of your personal life with us — you’ve given us a gift. I’m glad the pills help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Janet. Someone out here in the blogosphere had told me sharing more of myself would be a good idea for my blog and would probably by healthy for me. A lot of people have problems with anxiety and don’t even admit it to themselves because of the so-called stigma it may give them and the lack of information about medications. I am hoping I am giving some education to these folks.

      Like

  3. Hi Glynis, This is a truly honest and helpful share for everyone. Medication is something we don’t often talk about let alone anxieties. I understand that through menopause (which is where i’m at) anxieties can increase ugh. I’m glad that you’ve found your ‘serenity pill’. Your hubs is a wise man 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I am over the hump of menopause when the GAD began to affect me, the disorder continues. Many people are afraid or ashamed to discuss their emotional struggles and let us face the fact that society does put a stigma on such things. I do not, however, mean we should all communicate about every little thing that goes wrong in our lives but it would be better if we felt comfortable speaking to our doctors who can help with these issues.

      I am not so sure about my husband being wise but he is a kind man.

      Thank you for stopping by, Lisa. I hope you come by again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Glynis,
    It’s been a while, but when I saw this post I wanted to stop and say hello. I can appreciate the incredible challenge of living with anxiety and I congratulate you on your courage in talking about it and success in finding some relief. My 16 year-old daughter has both social and generalized anxiety. It can make even simple task insurmountable. She too has gone through a trial and error process and has other ailments that contribute to the challenge. She’s not out of the woods yet, but she has a path. Take care.

    Like

    1. Hi, Debra. I cannot imagine your daughter’s difficulties with these two disorders. I understand, of course, about the GAD and know how it could get in the way of being a teenager. The social anxiety is something I have not had to wrestle with and I image as a teenager, it is devastating. Tell her to keep on pushing forward.

      Like

Please comment on this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s