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.
Remeron is a really strange medication. It’s used as an appetite stimulant, anti-nause medication, and to help people sleep. It has also been used to treat headaches and migraine. Despite that, its main use is as an antidepressant. Some people reach remission from depression (and anxiety) in two weeks. Studies have also found Remeron to be a well-tolerated drug.
I didn’t have much to lose, and I had a lot to gain, so I started Remeron.
I started seeing benefits within the first week. Although I don’t take a high enough dose to make me go to sleep, it does seem to help me sleep better.
And you know what? I haven’t done a ritual at all today.
I spent all day at the farmer’s market talking to customers. I saw a friend and talked to her. I bought tomatoes. I went to Whole Foods. I came home and made some goat cheese pasta.
Although my POTS is acting up after spending all day in the heat, I feel…good.
We’ve got plans with friends this week. We’ve got plans with friends this weekend. I spoke Spanish to the intimidating meat man at the carniceria, and I didn’t even cry.
Although I have experienced increased appetite, I’ve noticed that without having to constantly check the locks, I’m spending more time doing things. The increased appetite is definitely outweighed by no longer having anxiety paralyzing me.
I don’t know if Remeron will work forever. I don’t know if the effects will increase some more, or if this is as good as it’s gonna get.
I do know that while it lasts, I’m going to be enjoying myself. Without worrying about it!