We knew I had anxiety when I was in third grade. Although I was officially diagnosed with depression, I had signs of OCD. I would lock and unlock the doors every night to keep us safe. I had to see my dad before he left for work in the morning, because I was convinced that he would die in a fiery car crash if I didn’t. Not being able to complete my rituals sent me into a spiraling panic.
This was complicated as I got older and developed POTS. When your heart races every time you stand up, it’s hard to tell what’s anxiety and what’s tachycardia. I was prescribed Xanax as a teenager, but never took it because it didn’t help with my symptoms.
As an adult, I struggled with “obsessive compulsive tendendcies,” which developed into full blown OCD after an extremely rough pregnancy. I cycled through medications for a while, trying to find one that worked without too many side effects. Through the process of trial and error (and a stomach very sensitive to SSRIs), I found myself in the world of atypical antidepressants. First I tried Abilify, which seemed to help at first, but didn’t really stick. Trial and error involves a lot of error, and I found myself on Remeron.