I’ve been struggling with anxiety for decades. It’s painful. It affects my mood. It’s probably one of the main factors that ended my first marriage in hindsight. It’s very likely it’s what caused me to drink heavily, resulting in horrible liver factors and possibly the cause of my diabetes.
What is Anxiety For Me?
For me, anxiety has me on edge 24/7. There appears to be no root cause for me. I just have it. It starts in the stomach. It’s a constant churning. If it’s bad enough, it moves up to my shoulders and gives me a slightly annoying headache.
My savior at first seemed to be anti-depressants. I was put on Lexapro by my general practitioner to help with my anxiety problems. Lexapro helped some, but the anxiety was always just churning in the background.
Anxiety is a new level of pain. It made me short with people. I was suffering and nobody could see it. My coping mechanism was to try to ignore it with self-medication. I tried everything it seems: NyQuil, sleeping meds, alcohol, Xanax, weed, and anything else that is a depressant.
Marijuana honestly did help the anxiety I had. The bad thing about weed is that it demotivated me from wanting to do anything else and it made me sleepy. My girlfriend at the time recommended I go off pot and get a script for a sleeping med. That sleeping med was Ambien. Trading a non-addictive drug (weed) to a highly addictive pill caused me serious issues. I had a mental breakdown when I ran out of the pill and it resulted in me resigning from my lucrative job with the Department of Defense. It was around this time that I found out I had undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
The solution that worked well for me long-term was Xanax. It’s another highly addictive benzo, and I would take it at bedtime before I went to sleep. It honestly helped. My psychiatrist said I shouldn’t take it for sleep, but what the hell did he know?
Eventually, he took me off Xanax because he prescribed me Ritalin to help wake up in the mornings and he felt that mixing Xanax and Ritalin is a bad combination. What resulted was horrible withdrawal symptoms from quitting Xanax.
I made it two months without Xanax and nothing seemed to help. I went back to drinking, which is a huge no-no. I again tried sleeping pills. I’d have the occasional dab of weed to temporarily relieve myself of the anxiety. I didn’t want to be a 24/7 marijuana junky to be free of anxiety.
Finally, my friend came with me to the visit with my psychiatrist. We all agreed that going back on Xanax was the lesser of all evils, even though I knew I’d get addicted to it again. So for me, my solution was going back on Xanax.
How’s It Going So Far?
Since I’ve been back on Xanax I’ve had zero anxiety so far. It seems to be working and I’m productive again during the day without having to self-medicate.
Should I use Xanax For My Anxiety?
I believe it’s up to you and your psychiatrist/doctor. Just know that the drug is highly addictive and you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you go off of it. Do not let the doctor take you off cold-turkey. Taper down.
For someone who has/had daily anxiety, Xanax is a godsend of a pill. However, if you only have anxiety occasionally, Xanax may not be right for you. Again, talk to your doctor. A simple anti-depressant may help.
Do you have daily anxiety? What do you do to help with it? Thanks for reading.