Posted by: counselorcarmella | August 16, 2011

My Personal Experience With Anxiety, Part Four

Fortunately, this time, I decided I was going to see a doctor.  I knew that anxiety had to do with  brain chemicals and that the right medication really could help. My Mom had started seeing a young female GP and said she was really easy to talk to and all that so I decided to go see her. I told her I was studying to be a counselor, that I knew I had GAD, and that no one in the past had listened. I told her that I wanted to manage it and that sometimes, when it was bad, I couldn’t  use the coping strategies like deep breathing and muscle relaxation and such because I was way too keyed up. She asked me some questions and I gave her some background.


She said, “Carmella, I think you’re right. Let’s get you on something for it.” I  was so relieved that she listened and took me seriously. She put me on a standard antidepressant.  These are also used to treat anxiety, since the brain chemicals involved are the same. Sometimes, the first medication  isn’t the right one either because of side effects or simply because it doesn’t adequately  address the symptoms.  In my case, though, the first medication worked fine. I  eventually switched to a different SSRI that was similar, simply because it became  available in generic form. I also was prescribed a medication to help calm me down when I was particularly anxious.  Once the SSRI got built up in my system, I  wouldn’t need this medication as much.   


It hasn’t gone away, but more than ten years later, my anxiety is much easier to handle now. I am still on  those two medications. There are still times when I know why I’m anxious and times when I can’t pinpoint a reason.  Insomnia is still a frequent problem that medications haven’t been able to help  too much with. Chronic low energy and concentration difficulties have been issues for me too; I have found that medications can help with these symptoms, as well. I know it is never going to go away completely, but I feel much better able to handle my anxiety symptoms now. Its never gotten as bad as it was before I began taking medication for it. I also am able to use more other ways of coping now.


I had to become an expert on the subject of anxiety to help myself. Now, I can use what I know and my own experiences to help clients who also have anxiety problems and that is such a great feeling for me.  When I tried to get counseling help, it took several counselors before anyone would listen to me. Most people wouldn’t keep trying and they shouldn’t have to.  I want to be the person who does listen and care and who says, “I can help you learn about this and I can teach you some coping strategies you can use to prevent some of your anxiety, to make it less intense, or to get through it when it is bad.  I can also recommend that you try medications. If we use both meds and counseling, you’ll probably get the most help for this.” I tell clients that struggle with anxiety that I do, too, and that I’d like to help them learn about what I’ve found helpful and what the literature says is helpful. If it seems appropriate, or if they ask, I also tell them I take meds for it and that they really do help.



  1. […] forward For People Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ( Personal Experience With Anxiety, Part Four ( Connections Break Down as We Age ( […]

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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


%d bloggers like this: