Since the age of 11 I have experienced anxiety and was diagnosed around age 21 with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, I spent a good 10 years with debilitating panic attacks.
This caused me to not be able to work for a few years and during this time I was coping with my G.A.D on my own with no support as back then there wasn’t much known about anxiety as there is today.
Over the years through my own experiences and training I learned to manage my symptoms whilst I was working on the core reasons for my disorder.
Recently I made the decision to talk to my doctor about my anxiety and he prescribed anti-depressant for me and in this article I am going to share with you my experience with an anti-depressant as a highly sensitive woman.
As a sensitive person there aren’t very many medicines I can take that don’t affect my body in negative ways, the anti-depressant wasn’t any different.
Knowing this I committed to staying the course and getting through the side effects over the first three weeks.
The side effects consisted of high levels of anxiety, dry mouth, exhaustion, loss of interest in food, loss of sensation below the waist 🤨
Most of the side effects went away except for loss of sensation below the waist, that never returned whilst on the medication.
I made the choice to accept this side effect if it meant my anxiety levels were managed and I stayed on the medication for 10 weeks.
I started to notice side effects I wasn’t aware of, my husband mentioned that I hadn’t really been myself, he hadn’t seen me smile for a while.
The beach no longer provided the deep joy and serenity it once had, looking outside at nature didn’t evoke anything thing in me like it once did and emotional shows on TV no longer evoked anything.
I had put on quite a bit of weight in such a short time frame and I was still experiencing anxiety, so I made the decision to come off the medication.
Now this is when I really started to understand the cost of this medication for me, I wasn’t feeling.
Unbeknown to me I was numb, I wasn’t feeling everything like I had my whole life as a highly sensitive soul and empath. I guess that is the idea of the medication but for me that was too high of a cost.
My soul purpose as an empath is to be able to feel and have sensitivities to things that other people may not and whilst this can be challenging, it is not something I am willing to give up.
My third full day off the medication saw my tears come back and I realised and said to myself “wow you haven’t cried for 10 weeks”, to me this wasn’t okay. I preach to my clients all the time how tears are good, crying is healing.
Whilst emotions and feelings can be uncomfortable they are not to be feared or suppressed, if we allow them to flow through they can be our friends and as I am writing this the scene from Finding Nemo floated in to my mind “fish are friends not food”, “feelings are friends not enemies”.
Today marks day 6 of been off my medication and I have to tell you I am feeling amazing, back to being myself again and I am so grateful.
I Can Feel Again!
Now of course this is not telling you what to do with your medication, this is me sharing my own personal experience with an anti-depressant as a highly sensitive woman.
This experience for me has highlighted the importance of my work and how I support my clients, finding the core and underlying reason is always so much more powerful than addressing the symptom only.
Of course I acknowledge medications have a very important role in supporting people in their physical and mental wellbeing, I also know it is important to work on more than the symptom, pulling back the layers and healing the cause.
Disclaimer – I am not a medical professional and I am not recommending you change your medications in any way, please speak to your doctor before considering changing or stopping any medications.
I hope is that sharing my personal experience will support you as a highly sensitive person and know there are different pronged ways of coming at your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
When you are feeling ready to embark on your healing journey, I can help you!