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Anxiety is different for everyone. Some people get chest pain, body aches, fatigue, depression. Others can”t stop their minds from going 100 miles an hour, can”t focus, worry obsessively over every detail of a situation, and can”t perform regular tasks because of their worry, obsession, or lack of focus. All of us experience anxiety during our lives, but for some, it isn”t minor anxiety that can be shrugged off. When it interferes with your daily life, something”s gotta give.
Living With Anxiety
It sounds simple in writing. But living it can be a nightmare, to say the least. You are stuck in a black pit in your mind, and you grasp and fight and feel so utterly alone. I know, because I”ve lived it. Every day, for too long. And I wish I knew back then what I know now. Sharing my story here isn”t easy, and it is uncomfortable; but so many people turn to drugs and mainstream medicine for anxiety and depression now. I”d like to offer an alternative, since none was offered to me, and I had to find it out all on my own.
Right after college, I got married and pregnant a few months later. I wish my diet had been better in college (but this is another post for another time). Pregnancy was difficult…but postpartum was even worse. Episodes of crying for hours without sufficient reason, needing to run to the toilet (yes, this is a symptom of severe anxiety), and the fears were indescribably awful: irrational fears that took over my life. I had pretty much every symptom of extreme anxiety at some point or another. And this was all through my son”s first year of life, not just directly after his birth! Something was off, but I just didn”t know what.
Searching for Help
So out of desperation, I saw a doctor. She took ordered blood work, and before the blood was even taken, she wrote me a prescription for Zoloft “to balance your moods.” I asked her if it was safe for pregnancy (my thought is that if something isn”t safe for pregnancy, it isn”t suitable for me). She said, “Yes, it is.” For some reason, I felt the need to probe some more (doctors tend to not like me for this reason…apparently I care too much about my health). I then asked, “So, if I got pregnant in two weeks and came back here, you would still keep me on the Zoloft.” She replied, “No, I would take you off of it.”
“So it isn”t safe for pregnancy, after all,” I said. She couldn”t answer this sufficiently. I refused the medication, and she wasn”t happy about it. Apparently drugs “fix” everything. I refuse to buy into that lie.
A week later, blood work showed a perfectly healthy 23 year old female. I actually cried when I got to the car after that visit. I was actually hoping they would find something wrong with me, so they could fix it. I left knowing I was on my own, and so very alone.
Over the next year, my anxiety waxed and waned. Some seasons were fantastic, and I felt great…like I could take on the world. And then a few months later, my world would crash down around me, and there were still no answers. How could a perfectly healthy, young person be so reduced to the walls closing in around her, and fears taking over her life? It wasn”t normal, but it was my reality. I considered the drugs, so many times. The homeopathic Aconite helped tremendously during panic attacks, but didn”t solve the problem.
I saw another doctor half a year later. She did a few tests, and told me the same thing: “All results are normal.” I got copies of the tests, scoured them for vitamin deficiencies, hormone levels, ANYTHING to get answers. This doctor, like the last one, didn”t seem to care about getting to the root of the problem, and advised me to take medication and be sure not to get pregnant. There is nothing quite like leaving the doctor”s office feeling worse than you did when you went in.
Doing Your Own Research
Life goes on. In my life and experience (with my son”s doctors and my own) doctors aren”t always the angels in white coats we make them out to be. Surely, there are great doctors out there. But I am learning to be my own doctor first, and this is helping me the most. I KNEW there was something more going on, but nobody believed me. In terms of anxiety, an answer came in the form of another hardship. I had dealt with bowel issues for the last year, as well. My diet was decent, and nothing I did changed it. Until I started taking some powdered magnesium to help. And it did help.
Around that time, I learned that a magnesium deficiency could describe all the symptoms I had been having. Bowel issues were just the start. Tension, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, fatigue, and (drum roll please) anxiety! Some just to name a few, but the “anxiety” caught my eye. After all I had been through, could the answer be as simple as more magnesium? It was almost too good to be true. How could a doctor not catch that?? Apparently, magnesium deficiencies cannot be determined through blood work, but I wish a doctor had thought of finding the root cause instead of just treating the symptom.
On days where I don”t take my magnesium, I know it. I feel it. The darkness creeps around the corner of my head and tries to take hold. Sometimes it does, and I find myself on the couch in tears again. Then I go take my magnesium (while mentally beating myself up for forgetting it in the first place) and I cannot begin to describe the peace I slowly start to feel. Just recently I was beginning down the road of another bad episode. It was so bad, I had to leave the dinner table, and I considered asking my husband to take a day off work the next day (an all-too-common occurrence last year). Within minutes of taking my magnesium, I felt strength about facing the next day…not needing my husband to be home. The change was so fast, I knew that I had found my answer in supplementing with magnesium.
I am still learning about how to take magnesium, whether orally or transdermally (through the skin), and how much to take (yes, you can take too much!). It can also interact with some medications if you are on any. I don”t have all the answers, and there are a lot of different ideas out there, but what I do know is that I won”t ever be without my magnesium again. For some reason, spring time is the most difficult time for me…but this spring I will be armed with my magnesium.
If you are reading this and identifying with the anxiety and depression, I have been where you are. I pray you will find help. Magnesium isn”t the only thing that has helped me: good posture (to allow for more oxygen in the body through better breathing), herbs, chiropractic care, positive self-talk, and religious help have all been instrumental, as well as talking with friends who can relate. But the magnesium has definitely given me an extra boost in life. Extensively research what you try before you do it, and know your body. Best wishes to you!
Have You Ever Dealt The Anxiety? How Did You Overcome It?