8 June 2016

The drugs don't work...

...they just make you worse? Or do they?

Do they or don't they? Well, I've harked on about them not working for the last two decades. Adamant that I'd never pop a pill for helping take the edge off anxiety. That there was nothing I couldn't face with a positive mind and pushed on by a fear of failing. No, the latter isn't the most constructive coping strategy. 

But more recently I'm spending more time contemplating reaching for the medicine cabinet.

What I've started to realise in the year since leaving specialist treatment for anorexia is just how much anxiety still affects me. Even when I am in a great mood and things are going well, I worry, a lot. Whether it's about little things I've said or done at work, who I might have upset at home, whether I am a good enough girlfriend, sister, daughter. I get anxious at the thought of being 'too busy' and worry about wasting days and feeling lazy. Or more generally, I just worry about the future. The 'Big Picture'. 

It's not an unwillingness to change my mindset or embrace talking therapies, embracing EDU-specific CBT and Mindfulness saved my life after all. I understand my mental heath issues, the triggers and thanks to the said therapy,  I have the tools to get through life on a day-to-day basis. I've overcome the worse anorexia could throw at me. 

Sometimes though, it all still ticks away in my mind. Overthinking, worrying, stress, doubt, fear. About nothing and everything at the same time. Not in an overwhelming way, I don't have panic attacks anymore. I can control the waves of worry. But it's really fucking hard sometimes. Mrs W. used to say to me that some of my core beliefs are so tangled up and deep-rooted that she was worried about my ability to beat anorexia at all.

On the flip-side, I do worry that by going to the GP and talking through medication, I've somehow failed at therapy, that my therapists failed me, that it means I haven't tried enough to change. I also worry about a certain 'weight gain' side effect. But also more messed up. I am BAD at taking medication generally, like not starting a medication to help my period return that was given six (maybe nine) months ago. So will I ever actually take it? 

I just feel I am all-therapied-out through if I am honest. Like a friend who's going through something similar said to me, maybe it is down to chemistry now. So maybe accepting I need to pop a pill is worth a try? To take the edge off the anxiety - and maybe it's what's holding me back in full recovery?


  1. I hope that whatever you decide you stay strong and hopeful in your recovery x

  2. Just some (more!) thoughts. The worry sounds very much like generalised anxiety and there is a CBT model for working specifically with that. It is different to CBT for anorexia or panic. And there is nothing to stop you having therapy for that, you should be able to access it through your GP or other MH service. Also, medication and therapy can work in tandem, it doesn't have to be one or the other. No good therapist would think you've failed because you're trying medication, and the recommended 'treatment' (hate that word) for many MH issues is therapy plus medication.

    I also agree with Sam - it might be worth a try. You can experiment with it. You don't have to see it as an all or nothing thing. What I would say is to read up on the side effects and prepare yourself if you do decide to take something. Some people have almost none and other people have a difficult time at first. This leaflet is titled 'antidepressants' but it's about SSRI's which are the most commonly prescribed drug for anxiety http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/antidepressants/antidepressantskeyfacts.aspx