The number of different SSRI & SNRI’s I’ve been on since age 20.
Also known as anti-depressants.
My diagnosis: MDD (major depressive disorder) and generalized anxiety.
My anxiety and depression can get the best of me, but I actively take steps to make myself take care of my mental health and well being. Not just for myself, but for those around me, too.
Anxiety isn’t always a pounding heart, shortness of breath, clammy skin, and racing thoughts. It can also present itself in more subtle ways such as anger or frustration.
The link between anger and anxiety is often missed or overlooked. Anxiety is generally connected to overstimulation from a stressful environment or threat, added with the thought to be unable to deal with that threat. At the other end of the spectrum, anger is generally tied to frustration. When anxiety is left unacknowledged it turns into frustration that can then lead to anger. When anxiety turns to anger, the expressed anger comes from an underlying fear of something in someones immediate surroundings. When someone is scared or worried about something, they often choose anger, unconsciously, as a way to feel like they are in control of their anxiety.
Undiagnosed anxiety can also look like lashing out and becoming frustrated over everyday occurrences that wouldn’t usually require an emotional reaction. Even after diagnosing my anxiety, I cannot always control the anger that comes with it. It takes a lot of work and self awareness. I have to stay consciously aware of myself and my surroundings, my actions, and doing what I can to limit stressors in my life to keep myself steady.
I’ve struggled since I was roughly 8 years old, and it took until about age 17 to connect the dots. It was awful to be so angry all the time and not have a genuine reason. It hurt my heart to be so snappy and unhappy with people, angry and frustrated, but I truly could not gain control of it and not for lack of trying. I did everything in my power to change my mindset and be positive and upbeat, sing a different tune, but nothing worked.
It wasn’t until I was roughly 20 I got serious about making sure I took my medicine and stayed on top of it. But, even now, my anxiety and the frustration that comes with it is a never ending battle.
If I don’t stay on top of it, the people around me suffer. My children, my spouse, friends, and my family all deal with the repercussions of my chemical imbalance. There are times it takes longer than it should to realize I’m off and something needs to change, and this is one of those times. I’m thankful to have a psychiatrist that works so well with me, and takes into account the different stressors that come at different stages in life.
But, because I’ve taken so many different kinds already, he wants to try something different and insurance is likely to not want to pay for it. When he told me out of pocket cost without insurance runs $350 I nearly fainted. Why should it cost so much to maintain my mental health? Obviously the answer comes from things we have virtually no control over, but I’m strong enough as a person to admit I need help maintaining myself, and with that comes a price. This time, a very steep price.
We’re hopeful and praying that insurance doesn’t fight it, but if they won’t help we will find a way to make it work. God always has a way of working everything out for good. Always.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
We have to remain strong in our faith, and keep moving forward trusting that God is in control. He will not let any harm come to those who trust and follow Him. The faith of a mustard seed is all it takes.