I have been antidepressant free for 2 years this week.
I share this with you to inspire you and to offer hope to anyone dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. God has given me this amazing social media tool as my voice to use my experiences to help someone else and I am so thankful for that!
The decision to remove prescription medications from my life was very difficult. I have dealt with paralyzing anxiety and panic attacks for most of my adult life. I had my first panic attack in college. It was one of the scariest feelings I have ever had. It is something that is hard to admit as I used to feel that it showed my weakness. Now that I feel like I have over come it, I feel that is shows my strength.
Anxiety is a combination of many things: self doubt, personality type, mindset, chemical balance, the way you take care yourself, and mostly what you put into your body and mind daily (thoughts, foods, drink, images). There is not one source for why someone deals with panic and anxiety. I was so enthralled by my own anxiety and my Fathers anxiety and depression that I went to college and got a Bachelors of Science in Psychology lol!! The day I decided to remove antidepressants was when I held my daughter in my arms for the very first time. I was so happy in my mind, but I could not feel the emotions. My mind said “wow this is incredible.” My heart said “are you in there?” I felt so robbed of that precious moment with my daughter. I felt trapped! If I get off the medication I end up with panic and anxiety again. I stay on the medication and I stay a numbed out version of myself. I felt no anxiety or panic, but I felt no happiness or emotion tied to happiness.
I slowly tapered off of antidepressants and anti anxiety medication for 2 months. I felt sick, tired, head tremors, extreme flu like symptoms. Many people would liken it to a heroin with drawl. As a Mother with a new Baby… I was in extreme fear of how I would behave during this transition. I started to pay serious attention to all of the foods that went into my body. I began to eat clean 90% of the time. I began to drink a gallon of water a day, and I put a major focus on fitness. I put in 30 minutes a day no matter what. As my body became cleaned out of the medication, I started to feel better. It was a work in progress. It was not an over night success. I did suffer from bouts of anxiety here and there, but as my dedication to the right foods, and fitness became stronger and stronger, so did I! I started to dive into personal development and Bible study rather than watching endless hours of garbage television! I became stronger mentally, and physically and within a year I started to notice that I was no longer seeing panic attacks. I would feel a little panic here and there, and I would just get outside and do yoga, switch my mind set and bam, I had it under control.
I am still a work in progress every single day. I do find myself experiencing some anxiety, but for the most part… its under control and I feel so liberated. To this day I still feel that my emotions and my mind took a major hit from being on antidepressants for 5 years. Antidepressant can actually damage nerve receptors in your mind that help you to feel emotions. I am working daily to bring on the healing!
You see I had no idea that the one true medicine for our minds is our nutrition and fitness. I am not a fitness freak because I want to look good. I am a fitness freak because it is my medicine. For some medication is absolutely necessary, but here is my final point! Ask yourself do you really need it or can you try to work on it in a natural way first? Antidepressants are often mis prescribed and overly prescribed to the wrong people. They can cause extreme damage and are addicting.
I hope I helped someone with my experience heart emoticon much love!