Telling people you have OCD is frustrating. I’ve had boyfriends, friends, and family members tell me to wolf up and get over it. It doesn’t work. Mental illness is tricky. You tell someone to resist something, they do the opposite. You have anxiety, people don’t trust you and think you won’t be productive. It’s lose a promotion because of one’s anxiety.
Here’s a video explaining why you shouldn’t be ashamed of taking medication!
I’ve scared people off telling them about my anxiety. I felt ostracized and depressed. Why did I have severe anxiety? Why can’t I be like others who didn’t have it? There is a generalized idea that anxious people are people who choose not to control their emotions. It’s not true. I want to control my anxiety, but it’s like a tape that I am unable to turn off. I felt awkward telling people the same fears repeatedly. My parents told me I was needy, my friends got annoyed. I wanted the anxiety to go away.
Medication is what helped me, specifically Escitalopram (Lexapro). Escitalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). I take 10 mg, the smallest amount given. My obsessions have decreased and I’ve had clearer thoughts after taking medication. I wish I was given medication in high school. It would have decreased my anxiety over farting in class. But I’m glad I didn’t because the downside of taking medication is that I get sleepy, especially in the afternoon. If I did take medication in high school, I would have always fallen asleep in my afternoon classes. The other downside I have is that if I skip my medication I get nauseous, headaches, and mood swings. It’s awful. I skipped medications out of busyness, laziness, and being influenced by boyfriends who told me anti-depressants are bad. Not good excuses.
Therapy also helped me as well. I learned tools to handle my anxiety such as writing my thoughts down, changing my thoughts about the past, and accepting my anxiety as a neutral emotional rather than a negative emotion. My favorite type of therapy was group therapy because I liked hearing other people’s troubles since it made me feel less alone. Also, I learned how to solve my own problems by listening to other people rather than having a therapist guide me.
I sometimes am envious of people who don’t have to take medication or go to therapy for anxiety. Did they get a guidebook on how to handle their motions? Were they blessed with the talent? But I am fortunate to have access to tools which make my anxiety bearable since many people do not.