May 21, 2008
I often get messages and questions about my opinions of seeking help through medication and the social ramifications of doing so. While everyone is different and there is no unique way to beat anxiety and panic, in my personal experience, there are different ways to confront this. Let me stress, I am not a doctor and I applaud people who choose not to use medication in dealing with this; that is a personal choice and I commend people for making a decision to do so.
When I first had a panic attack three years ago and realized that this was becoming a problem, I was VEHEMENTLY against any forms of medication to deal with this. I was concerned about the social ramifications and the fact that I may need help from meds to help me through this. Obviously, I had a change of heart and as many know, I am a proponent of medication COMBINED with talk therapy.
This combination, in my experience, is the most important point. Without confronting why this pattern of behavior exists, it is much harder to break through this cycle. Talk therapy is the most important step in beating this; not medication. But, as a tool, it has and does help me through all of this. I think of it this way; if I had high blood pressure, I would take medication; however, there are also many steps that I must take along this road to managing it. I would change my diet, get regular exercise, and lose weight if I needed to. Would I necessarily like doing all of this? Nope, I would wish I could just take a pill and let it be over with, but that is not how life works. There are many things we can do to control it, just like with anxiety and panic.
The social ramifications about Antidepressants and benzos really do not concern me any more. If you take them, you have basically accepted there is a problem that must be confronted. For me, that takes much more courage than pretending a problem does not exist. During this process, I had also found that my boss was on an SSRI along with many of my coworkers; when I opened up about it, it also relieved a lot of stress that I had been carrying on my shoulders.
Again, this is just my opinion and everyone deals with problems in their own unique ways, but I just want to say that just by being in this forum and sharing your fears and concerns, shows me every member in here has nothing to be ashamed about.