Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How I Finally Eliminated My Anxiety After 5 Years!

How I Finally Eliminated My Anxiety After 5 Years!

Nail Biting, a common symptom of anxiety

As a child everyone around me seemed to think I was a little strange, it's one of those things you don't really notice until high school because until them people didn't really tell you what they really thought of you, I lacked social skills and wanted nothing more than to be as far away from other kids as possible. No matter where I looked there were just too many things going on, unpredictable things and people are the most unpredictable things of them all. I wanted nothing to do with it, so I spent my days of school alone, friendless.

When I started high school that was when I started wanting social interaction, the only problem was I was about as socially adept as a spastic seal... well.. maybe a little less than the seal.
This became problematic for me, I did make some friends but they mostly saw me as a liability to be around, sort of like something you do because it makes you feel better about yourself as a person.

When I finished my education as a whole I realized that over time I was becoming more and more scared of the world around me, I had an especially strong disliking for being driven around somewhere in a car or being in any situation that was out of my control like going to buy groceries.

Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and decided to stay home all day and night, occasionally friends would come visit but I was a mess.. I shook, wobbled, couldn't communicate properly and quite frankly just wanted to be left alone in the safety of my solitude.

At the age of 19 I had enough of it, I wanted to be popular!
I wanted to have a boyfriend, have a social life, go out drinking with friends and maybe even one day drive a car. So I started researching for ways to get rid of my anxiety.

There wasn't much online support for people with anxiety back then, no forums, no Youtube, heck we didn't even have Facebook. All I had for a social life was IRC and my only source of information was Google.

Not wanting to take the standard medical route I tried many remedies which were recommended by the local health shop.

The following did absolutely nothing beyond placebo.

  • St Johns Wort
  • Valerian Root
  • Passionflower
  • Sutherlandia
  • Ginseng
  • Milkthistle
If you know anything about herbal medicine you should know by now that the last three items on that list were bought out of desperation, just to find something that would help.

What I couldn't understand was why did Valerian Root fail me?
It was touted as the best natural thing, yes it did nothing.
From what I know today, Valerian Root is nothing but an overpriced placebo, not a single study has shown it to be effective against anxiety. NONE!

But then why would the health shop sell it to me?
I was under the impression that herbal medicine was a bunch of boloney.

I was discouraged and decided to try the orthodox thing, I booked an appointment with a Doctor and had to swallow the bitter truth that I had failed to treat myself, maybe a doctor could help me.

I spent about 3 years trying different medications from over 6 different types of anti-depressants, one drug which was a sedative (which made me sleepy but didn't help my anxiety) and two different anti-psychotics. I wasted so much money, I was beginning to think there was no hope.

To make matters worse I started getting panic attacks, they are absolutely horrible and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. They would usually happen when I went to the mall or if there were a lot of people around me, later on it developed into panic attacks just by being driven to the mall.

I went back to the drawing board; or the internet board should I say.
I learned about the different classes of drugs and medications used for anxiety and discovered that one class of drug was always being left out. Out of the 9 different medications I'd tried over 3 years none of them were of this class.

This class being called Benzodiazepines or commonly called Tranquilizers.
I quickly found out that my grandmother was being prescribed Xanax, a drug in the same class and decided to try one for myself.

The following two hours of my life were amazing, I went to the shop: Zero Anxiety, No Panic Attacks. For the first time in years I felt like a normal person.
I felt so good I thought maybe this Xanax was addictive.

After my amazing two hours on Xanax I did some research, I discovered Wikipedia at this point and learned that they are habit forming.

I honestly didn't care if they were habit forming or not, I just wanted to live a normal life so I did more research and discovered an ancient drug called Valium that has a much long half life, meaning you only have to dose once a day.

It would seem that the longer the half life of a tranquilizer the less addictive they seem to be and xanax's 1 hour vs valium's 24-72 hour definitely seemed great!

I set up an appointment with my doctor.

He refused to give me a script, saying they are addictive, damage the brain and he would never prescribe it long term or even short term to someone at my young age. He gave me another useless prescription for a new antidepressant. I threw it in the bin on my way out the door.

I decided that tranquilizers, although they work very well was not going to be easy to get a hold of, it seemed all over the internet reports were the same. Many people from older generations who were complaining how their doctors took their scripts away after 10+ anxiety free years on Valium who were now looking for other options. People in my age group were frequently given low doses of xanax but not on repeat. Xanax being the most addictive of the tranquilizers because of its very short half life. The worst of all were those who's scripts were being taken away were going through hell, tranquilizer withdrawal is heavy and can even cause seizures - Yikes!

I then wondered if any natural herbs posesed similar properties of Valium and I discovered Kava Kava, from a scientific point it works almost exactly the same way binding to the GABA receptors.
I ordered a batch from Vanuatu which never arrived, I soon found out it was banned in my country, my local post office didn't even bother to tell me that my parcel was seized at customs.

I was outraged..... I had enough of this medical jargon and denial of access to proper health care.
I decided that I would try a brute force method of trying to get some valium, I saw 4 different doctors, all who refused to give me a script and on my 5th try I was successful! Yes!!!!!

I had a strategy, I would walk into the doctors office and say I have tried all the drugs and the only one that works for me is Valium, you also need to explain that if you have depression it's only because you can't do the things in your life that you want to do because of your disorder, my doctor agreed to it as long as I took something for depression at the same time, I decided to take fluanxol because it also helps with anxiety.

I started Valium treatment 1 year ago 5mg, 2x a day and everyone on the online forums told me that I would become resistant to its effects in weeks, that I would need to keep increasing my dose until eventually no dose would work for me. Which was funny because the studies I read up showed that tolerance to the anxiolytic effects of valium does not occur, only resistance to the "high", the sedation and muscle relaxation.

From the article from Wikipedia on Valium
"During the course of therapy, tolerance to the sedative effects usually develops, but not to the anxiolytic and myorelaxant effects"
You can read the study here

It's been a year on Valium, my anxiety is still gone. I have decided to augment it with Ashwagandha and I just feel better with the combination, since valium can mess a little with your memory and Ashwagandha helps with memory. The combination of the two makes them work very well together.

In addition to this I do Acem meditation when I am overly stressed and have learned mindfulness meditation which also helps somewhat.

I also take Ashwagandha, it really takes the edge off.

This stuff really works, if you can't get a hold of Valium then give it a try.
When I ran out of Valium for a couple of days earlier this year it kept me from going through withdrawals for 4 whole days.

I recommend Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha that you can buy from Amazon or Ebay.

So to sum up how I got over my anxiety disorder:

  1. Started taking Valium 5mg x2 per day to manage my Generalized Anxiety
  2. Started doing Acem Meditation to manage regular stress
  3. Started taking Fluanxol 1mg 1x per day to manage depressive symptoms caused by Valium
  4. Started taking Ashwagandha Extract to augment Valium
I hope this post will help many of you out there suffering from Anxiety disorders.
If I had known this 6 years ago, I wouldn't have wasted 5 years of my life hiding in my room and neither should you!

Just a special word of advice, if you are on tranquilizers and you stop feeling sedated; that doesn't mean that the drug is not working for your anxiety and you must never increase your dose over something so silly and especially without your doctors permission. You can judge whether or not the drug is working by noticing a lack of anxiety symptoms, not an excess of any other symptoms.
You just want to feel normal, not drugged, if you are looking to feel drugged then you will find yourself constantly increasing your doses until you are forced to withdraw.

Peace out :)

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