Avatar universal

Anxiety, an unpredictable amount, and alot of it

I've got anxiety.  I don't have a job.  I need things to do, and I get anxiety without stuff to do.  I'm 35 male.  I've been on Abilify before about 6 times.  I stopped on my own the same amount of times.  All I've got is anxiety.  I don't have psychiatric issues.  Prior issues were due to an unstructured lifestyle (as i've painfully deduced over the years).  Contributing factors to psychiatric instability were lying to my parents, lying to myself, drinking, unemployment, and thus... uncertainty.  I'm just a guy that needs things to do, like a hobby. (and a job).  I used to drink too much and i unwillingly/unwittingly learned of the dangers of alcohol.  I got a DUI a while back and am only now fulfilling the New Jersey requirements.  One of these requirements is taking an anti-alcohol group counseling course (over the course of 1 month).  I don't need it and it's an unfortunate constant reminder of what it means (how to be) an alcoholic.  It drives me nuts, alcohol this, alcohol that, and people constantly think they know how to give advice... but it was a personal battle, as I've learned.  Let me just say this: Alcohol can be a very dangerous substance.  & just like me in the meeting, I'm positive you wouldn't want to hear any "war stories". (thats another part of the thing that drives me nuts).

Back to my point about anxiety.  I need to be in a relationship.  I know what's involved with that and I just can't get a job.  So there's my problem in 1 sentence.  I've been having heart pain AND chest pain.  I ceased taking Abilify prior to me finding out that I had to take this alcohol training couseling bid (2 weeks ago).
There's 2 things I'm concerned about here.  I have been smoking marijuana, and it has been a VERY positive thing for me.  I would regularly do a tiny bit at night and a tiny bit in the morning.  However, now with this 'counseling course' which I'm required to take part in, I am getting drug tested.  I do not have a Medicinal Marijuana card at the moment.  I'm expecting to pass the drug screen, but without a medicinal marijuana card, and WITH the drug tests... im now unable to have any.... (weed).
So the 2nd part to my issue (while i may still be objective about it) is that I've been on Abilify at least 6 times in the past.  I have a back-up supply here with me.  I realize that to some immeasurable degree, the drug affects my mind.  AND in getting off it, my mind must reestablish itself.  So now, I'm facing myself with "Will getting on abilify again (knowing that I will stop taking it in 1 month) be an unsafe choice."
The pros here are:   I know how it affects me, so I know that it will increase my happiness by decreasing my worry.
The cons:  What the hell will I be doing to my mind, and What the hell have I already done to it.

I'm not asking for professional advice.  But, I would like to know what you think.  I WILL be getting a marijuana prescription (and i can't afford it until probably after the counseling is done with).  I know it's dangerous to put myself through cycles of ON/OFF Aripriprizole, but I also have to consider my chest pain and real-life due frustration.
What are some things that I should tell my family about my future (the next 10 years) on how to expect me to act, given what I 'had' to do (taking Abilify) and given my 'choice' to stop taking Abilify.
Should I take it, knowing it will pacify me physically/mentally, when I'll have to go through the equalizing of being off it also?  I mean, which one is 'less evil', if u know what i mean.
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Avatar universal
Well, I'm known here for giving the hard things a try, but I'm also known for thinking things through a bit differently, so here goes.  Abilify was approved only if all other antidepressants had failed.  It's isn't an anti-anxiety med, so I'm guessing wasn't given to you for anxiety.  If that was the first med tried with you, that would be very very odd, as it's a last-resort med due to bad clinical trials and lots of unpleasant side effects.  Thus, the limited initial FDA approval.  Now, the alcoholism.  Most experts believe alcoholism is generally driven by depression.  I suppose it could also be used for anxiety, but a lot of people actually get worse anxiety when they drink because drinking affects equilibrium and those with bad anxiety often feel disoriented when sober.  But some do use it for that.  Marijuana also causes anxiety in a lot of people, or at least brings it out, but for others it does the opposite -- at least while you're young.  Now they have strains that are supposed to have been bred to be calming.  The dangers of pot are a whole lot less than any med for mental illness, and my friend, anxiety is a psychiatric illness.  Sorry.  It is.  But for safety, it's a lot safer than Abilify.  When you take any med for mental illness regularly for a long time, it becomes very hard to stop taking and the side effects build up.  When you need it, that makes little difference to you, but if you don't, it's a needless risk.  What I haven't seen in your post is whether you're in therapy with a psychologist to try to fix all this stuff instead of medicating it.  I also hear you blaming all sorts of things on all sorts of other things.  At some point, when you get healthy, you'll take responsibility for getting yourself into a lifestyle that is healthier for you.  Lots of people have unstructured lifestyles and do not get mental problems from that.  Some others do.  We have to go by who we are.  But you shouldn't really look at life as something where you have to do this, you have to do that, or something terrible happens.  That puts a lot of pressure on you and life is hard enough without adding to it.  So if I were you I'd get into therapy for the thing that underlies the alcohol abuse, which again is usually depression but maybe it is anxiety.  You're right, the alcoholic thing can be very helpful to stay off the stuff but doesn't address the reason one turns to self-medicating in the first place, which is something inside them or about their life they're upset by.  That's ultimately the thing to fix when you're able.  So in sum, it sounds like you're on an odd med for what you're describing.  Pot might help, but it also gets you stoned so you're still in a way hiding.  It's okay to use meds when things are way off kilter, but in the end we all want to end the illness and the meds don't do that so whatever you decide to do about medication, and if you really want that, see a psychiatrist and ask, why Abilify?  I've suffered with anxiety for a very long time and have been on several meds but Abilify has never ever come up for that.  Best of luck figuring this out.  Peace.
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And let me add, getting a good job takes preparation and work.  Relationships, on the other hand, just kind of happen.  Poor people have them.  Alcoholics have them.  Rich people have them.  No requirements for someone to like you, for awhile.  Now, these problems can make them not last.  But it doesn't stop people from starting them.
And third, there's a ton of jobs out there right now.  They might not be the highest paying, but they also don't drug test.  Retail and restaurants are begging for people.  It would give you something to do.
You're correct about everything.  Thank you for being honest, rather than criticizing me.  Criticism would only be harmful for me.  I intend to seek therapy.  However, nowadays, we have therapists that are fresh out of college and are HORRENDOUS at their jobs.  Demand increased after COVID hit.  I've spoken with 4, but none of them could be genuine.  I am one of 'those people', so when I get a job things will equalize for me.  I appreciate the time you took with reading my entire post, and also replying.  Good point about the food industry.  I will look into it.  The Abilify I was prescribed wasn't a first medication, as you suspected.  However, it's linked to a very confusing time in my life.  I wish I could do something else at the moment, but I've not no other option.  So I'm getting back on it, until I get a job, money, and weed.
The relationship thing will develop soon, so thanks for reminding me of that. Appreciate your input.
Just to say, being a therapist isn't one of those many things for which experience is all that important.  Frankly, older therapists are often so burned out by listening to other people's problems they're on auto pilot.  And no therapist should be "genuine."  They should be artificial, because it's not the therapist's personality you're seeing them for but the manipulation they do on us that gets us to see how we're harming ourselves.  It's more an art form than a science, and so you just have to find one and try it out for awhile and if it doesn't click, try a different one.  It is true, most humans find themselves in a job they're not really suited for, but that's the life we live.  Keep trying, but you have to give it a chance and you don't actually want a "genuine" therapist, again, you want one who messes with you.  I know that sounds peculiar, but when you have a therapist who just chats, you can waste years of your life chatting.  Peace.
Avatar universal
I have a jarring feeling that nobody will be able to 'answer this' or help me out.  This is probably unheard of.  Although, I would appreciate that anybody would take time to supply a response.
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