Posted on 17 August 2016 by Michael Dahl

Medicating to Greatly Ratchet Down Anxiety (for awhile)

My doctor approved me taking my “chill pill” — which had been a “use as needed” drug — so that its effects can now be felt around the clock. Little to no Anxiety in the nighttime; little to no Anxiety in the morning; and much reduced opportunity for daytime stressful situations to turn me into an anxious mess.

A few notes on this. First, the approach is to give my brain the ability to calm down and witness life as close to Anxiety-free as possible — for a “short” period of time. The “short” period — at a minimum — will last for several weeks, with an option of a few months.

I am open to this approach, although I worry about two things. First, I don’t want to develop a dependence on the chill pills, thus reducing their effectiveness. My doctor knows best, so I am assuming there’s little chance of this happening at the low-dosage I currently take. And, as dependence is a huge worry of mine, I will be able to tell if this is happening right quick and make adjustments.

My second concern is that, simply put, I may go through life for the next several weeks / months feeling things are happening in a bit of a slow motion pace. (Some people feel it / describe it as a fog in their brain.)

Anyhow and back to the original point, this is to help me witness life with a great reduction of seeing my demon named Anxiety on a regular basis.

It’s also meant to help me go through the trying periods of cognitive behavioral therapy — visits with my therapist.

While I have gained so much from prior therapy visits:

  • talking about why I am the way I am,
  • realizing that my most recent major bout with Depression and Anxiety changed my identity considerably, and
  • exploring and working to internalize tactics to acknowledge and then put Anxiety in Its place as It tries to mess with me

the visits are not ones that finish with me immediately feeling better. They are usually appointments that shake me to my core (in a good, yet harsh, “discovery” way).

The amped up chill pills should make the visits a little easier to handle while allowing me to process “how do I practice what I’ve just been taught” in a healthier, less anxious, place.

In any case, my first therapy visit is not for a couple of weeks. So I have my chill pills to reduce Anxiety while making my brain feel like it’s experiencing things at a more “slow motion” pace. As I am doing this I will gauge how often I need to take the pills — my doctor said frequency is up to me, and I am not against taking the pills in the morning and the night … and during the day only if soon-to-be experienced stressful moments are on the horizon.

As my therapy visits help me grapple with my “crisis of confidence” and “need to change my perspective on life,” as my mental health med doctor put it, I will also see what’s required of the chill pill taking.

My goal is to taper usage of the chill pills at an appropriate moment, so they can again be used only on an “as needed” basis. I am okay with that being several weeks to a few months in the future.