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Anxiety is for all ages- Personal Experience

Posted by Karsen VanAuker on

      "Its not my problem until it happens to me." My eighteen year old mind said back to my health teacher as she discussed a chapter in our health book about depression. That was my thought about depression throughout high school and depressed wasn't what I was feeling at all. Fast forward to college, I began to understand that lesson about depression that I learned years ago in health class.  I was shrinking in my new environment.I couldn't made new friends or experience the college events. I isolated myself from going out or talking to my family. I was sleeping up to 16 hours a day without noticing that I was missing most of my first semester of college. I had to seek help, because I knew that I wasn't who I was at the beginning my college experience. I reached out to the university services for metal health. My doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. I was only knowledgeable about depression not anxiety.

(Photo by <a href="/photographer/jfg-44065">Katherine Evans</a> from <a href="https://freeimages.com/">FreeImages</a>)

       The Mayo Clinic defines anxiety as intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday stations. It made sense now. My depression steams from anxiety. The world was crippling me and my powers were no match against my mental battles going on in my mind.

       At this point, I was willing to try anything to help my anxiety and depression. I was prescribed Lexapro. The medication was explained to take up to four to six weeks to see if it was going to help me or not. It wasn't what I expected at all. The feelings were non-human like to me. I stopped eating because I felt like my stomach was being repeatedly punched by a professional boxer. My mind began to become cloudy. The side effects were immediate and very debilitating for my body. After about one year, I stopped taking my Lexapro. I felt like I could control my anxiety all by myself. Bad Idea. You should always consult your doctor or medical professional before skipping or stopping  a medication without their recommendations. The one thing I would change, if I could go back, is being more honest to my doctors about my symptoms and emotions. I should of expressed my thoughts and struggles with the medication. The consequences of my action caught up with me.

      In 2010, I was in a car accident with another vehicle and it was my fault. I ran through a red light and she hit my car so hard that it flipped over on the top. I was rushed to the hospital and received 20 stitches in my left arm. Now, I can't say that this accident was caused by not being medicated for my depression or not. I wasn't in the right state of mind, because I didn't care that I was in an accident. Or that my truck was totaled and all my belongings in the car were ruined, no emotions or feelings. The doctors didn't question me about my mental health but instead told the police that I was on my cell phone not paying attention. I was discharged with a ticket from the police and Tylenol for my arm. I was in so much pain physically and mentally. The Tylenol wasn't enough medicine for my arm let alone my anxiety about it.

      This accident lead me to try marijuana for the first time at 22 years old. My pain was so bad that I was willing to try smoking it to see if it would help with my pain, not just physical but mental as well. I was trying something new and different again and that scared me. The way Lexapro made me feel left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt that I was just going to have to live with this condition for the rest of my life. I was wrong about that statement. Since the accident, I haven't stopped smoking marijuana. It was not an easy task to find it where I was living at the time because it was not legal. Also I didn't like getting in illegally substance, never knew what strain I was getting or if is was laced with chemicals. I decided to move to an area that had access to it. In 2016, I moved to Colorado with intentions of starting over in life. I've had time to become more educated about the marijuana and THC. I had more to learn than I expected before moving to Colorado Springs.  

     During my years, I have been in therapy with a social worker for my depression and anxiety. I expressed to my therapist that THC was the only remedy for my constant worry and panic in my life. She recommended that I start exercising and taking multi-vitamins to help balance my serotonin levels. I didn't say no to those tips, because I needed to lose some weight. She was open to using CBD with my vitamins as well which I didn't think it would help anything but ruin my THC dosage. With some simple google searches I researched CBD and how it worked with our bodies. The Farm Bill of 2018 hadn't passed yet so buying CBD was harder to find than THC. I started taking a CBD oil from a family friend that worked for a CBD company. I was hesitant to try yet another new medication supposedly helped with getting my mind and life back. I start dosing at 5 mg twice a day and I would put it under my tongue for about a minute. I thought CBD was helping with my anxiety, but very minimal from what others were telling me. I didn't continue using CBD after my products were gone, because I was very discouraged about my results. It wasn't until I started using Active CBD Oil that I feeling different then before when I was using a different product. I didn't know that difference between the products and was nervous to try CBD again. I did research more about CBD when hemp was made federally legal in 2018. I felt comfortable enough to try a tincture and decided on the 300 mg Extra Strength Tincture from Discover CBD. It took me trying different doses and how I took it too. There is a great article that I found about dosage and how did works with CBD. It was a trial and error process for me like it is for most people. As I kept failing with my dosage, I became discourage with the thought that it wasn't helping me. I couldn't help but notice that I wasn't having horrible side effects like the Lexapro and it was helping me process my thoughts better too.I continued to experiment with different milligrams and found myself feeling the best at 15 mg during my day. Its been about 7 months since I started taking 15 mg and I have found a great alternative to my medication for my anxiety. Everyone is going to have a different experience with using CBD, but mine was a success. My quality of life has increased and others around me have taken notice to it. I know that anxiety can be scary, frustrating, and lonely for me sometimes, but I am not alone. There are so many other humans suffering from these same feelings. No one needs to ever feel alone. If you want to learn more about CBD or anxiety just start reading other stories like mine and research studies about anxiety. It help me to understand my disorder. I can say with confidence that I control my anxiety and depression, they don't control me anymore.            

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