I was 16-years old when I had my first panic attack. My body experiences a fight or flight mode, and it was a sad day because I was literally on a plane at that time. I thought “am I experiencing claustrophobia?” “Was it due to a subconscious trauma” or “was it bad timing?” I don’t know. I have so many questions as to why I am in a psychological dilemma that I don’t know anything about at that moment. From that instance, my mom gave me my first 10 mg valium that somehow made me feel better.
My journey of knowing the feelings I can’t understand almost took me some time. I had to make use of the little information I know to balance the chemicals in my brain. All those details about mental health problems took me by surprise because I desperately want to figure my condition and I don’t care whether people knew it or not. But perhaps I do care because I was afraid to tell anyone that I’m currently having a mental problem.
The Transitions Of Medication
“It’s important to underscore here the importance of monitoring your mental health and knowing how different medications and lifestyle changes can impact your mental health.” –Julia Hogan, LCPC
There’s this time that I feel like dying in both physical and emotional aspects due to anxiety and depression. With my psychological and emotional struggle, I raised my 10 mg to 20 mg of Lexapro along with a 0.5 mg of Xanax only to feel better. I want to stay in that particular state but who am I kidding? When my medication starts to feel like it’s not working anymore, I went to see a health professional. I began attending a therapy session. Well, there are some good days and bad days as well as the “nothing day.” With all the events going on in my life, my panic attacks become so persistent that regular medication can no longer address. So I was prescribed with a higher dose of pills. From Lexapro and Xanax, I proceeded to Atican and Mirtazapine.
I learn that medication can eventually have dangerous side effects, but I never really focused on apparent signs. Again, my prescription didn’t work for some reasons, so my therapist introduced me into another kind of pill called Lamictal. It is an anti-seizure pill that also controls bipolar disorder. But even so, I still feel the same. My brain is still dysfunctional, and I still can’t get rid of it. When my mood goes out of control, I only think about taking my safety medication. Perhaps that’s all I can do.
“Research has also demonstrated that medication in conjunction with ongoing psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for depression and/or anxiety.” –Dr. Karen Wolman, Licensed Psychologist
A lot of people fight with their mental health. However, not all of them are taking medication. That’s because only a small percentage of people seek advice and treatment. Some of their reasons could be because they are ashamed of their condition? They don’t want others to judge them? Or maybe they don’t like to feel different.
I thought getting a diagnosis can cure and help me with my situation, but I guess I was wrong. According to Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center explains that “Some people who are diagnosed with depression do not report feeling depressed, sad or low, but rather, they report experiencing significantly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day” That makes everything about mental illness is frustrating, devastating, exhausting, and depressing. Until now, I see myself suffering from it, and all I can do is depend on my therapist and hold on to his prescribed medications.