Anxiety Progress Update

nothing is permanent

It’s been over a year since I published my personal story with anxiety and depression on my blog and The Everygirl. Although it had been something I dealt with for a while, it wasn’t until then that I openly spoke about it to such a broad audience. The amount of support and e-mails from fellow women going through similar experiences has continued to grow each week. Many of you asked for some updates, so here you are.

Seeking professional and medical help was the best decision I ever could have made. I’ve been on prescription medicine for almost two years now and it’s working well. Sure, I don’t want to have to rely on medicine for the rest of my life, but for right now it fits my lifestyle. I’m slowly also learning how to effectively deal with depression and anxiety in natural ways, such as practicing CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) myself. It’s important to get help and find what works for you- whether it’s medicine, therapy or a mixture of both.

I also attribute a lot of my well-being to my surroundings. I work at a job I really enjoy, which makes a huge difference. You spend so much of your time at work, so feeling comfortable and happy is a huge factor in your happiness and anxiety levels. Sure, it’s still stressful at times, but what job isn’t? I only spend time with people who lift me up- my boyfriend who I live with, my friends and family, etc. Life is too short to be around toxic people, and they only contribute to your worries and depression. You have to work to make changes in your surroundings to better yourself, and that’s what I did. I took that into my own hands and it’s helped immensely.

In terms of my health improvements, they have been phenomenal. During the worst parts of my anxiety and depression, I lost a lot of weight (which is detrimental to someone of my petite size naturally), my hair was falling out and I felt physically ill. I dreaded waking up each morning and felt extremely depressed and unmotivated daily. Since seeking help, I’ve gained back all the weight (and added on a fewย more pounds!), which is good for my health. My hair is growing back in (although the short 1-2 inch pieces sticking out are a reminder of the past), I rarely suffer from stomachaches or headaches and I overall have a healthier mindset in terms of life.

Sure, I still sometimes have to leave social situations because my anxiety gets the best of me. And sometimes I still have really bad moments where I feel like I’m “relapsing”, but those are normal for someone like me. I don’t believe that this every goes away 100%. Having an actual anxiety disorder or depression is so much different than the anxiety or sadness everyone faces from time-to-time.

One thing I’ve been doing since “coming out” is helping others. I truly enjoy responding to e-mails from readers to help them in their situation. I try to educate people on what it’s like to overcome- and deal with- anxiety and depression, as well as to stop the stigma that’s it’s not important, not real or over-exaggerated (no, not everyone who has a bad day is “depressed” or has “anxiety”).

The quote above is one of my favorites- “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles“. Even when things can seem like they will never get better, eventually they will. But you have to take the first step. I promise, you won’t regret it.

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39 Comments

  1. I love this quote, and this is one that I always repeat to myself in the worst times. So happy to hear you are doing better and I love that your story is inspiring others. You are awesome!!!

  2. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! My husband takes medication for anxiety as well and it has definitely helped him also.

  3. I remember when you shared your story, it was so nice, because I started taking medication for my depression/anxiety back in 2011. I just went off mine two months ago, and so far, so good. I still have a hard time managing my anxiety sometimes, but my depression has improved ten fold after taking medication for almost 2.5 years and learning how to de-stress and see the bigger picture on my own. For awhile though, I just couldn’t do it. Everything made me feel sad and I never felt like waking up. I’m glad you have made progress and are feeling better, and love your job! ๐Ÿ™‚ All of those things help! Hope you continue to improve!

  4. It’s so good to hear you’re doing well! I agree with you, that working at a job you enjoy and surrounding yourself with non-toxic people are key. I had high anxiety and regular panic attacks when I was hanging out with a group of very toxic people and once I removed them from my life, my panic attacks quite literally went away. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and your update! It’s extremely brave of you and I know it is so helpful to many.

  5. I am so glad that you shared your story. I honestly read that story on the Everygirl several times before I realized it was you. I realized that I wasn’t alone and that made me actually seek treatment for my own anxiety. I got rid of toxic people. I took steps for myself. You truly inspired me.

  6. this is a wonderfully honest post and i’m so happy to hear you are doing well : ) i wasn’t a reader when you originally shared your story, but it’s very inspiring to hear how much you have overcome!

  7. thanks for being so candid with us about this – i share the same struggles as you! i am diagnosed with dysthymia (chronic depression for those who don’t know) and can’t remember a time in my life, even as a child, when i wasn’t struggling with it. i also share your fight with anxiety. i’m on 3 prescriptions right now and see my psychiatrist once a month. she recently recommended CBT to me, so it’s so great to hear it’s working for you as i’ve never tried it – only have done free talk therapy before. it’s good to know i have someone out there that can relate to me! please email me any time if you want someone to talk to who knows what you’re going through!

  8. wow, can relate to every word — it makes me feel at peace, like i’m not alone or ‘crazy’ — going through something like this is insanely heartbreaking, and scary. not many people can relate, but hearing your story makes me feel a ton better! i’m on medicine as well (although i’m starting to ween off) and i’m seeing a therapist regularly. i agree that it’s important to work in a positive environment, and continue to be around uplifting people. some people call me ‘boring’ when i skip out on social functions, but i enjoy the quiet and downtime. i’ve found that bubble-baths are a huge help! i look forward to it every night — it’s my way of releasing negative thoughts and focusing on me! i put candles and meditation radio on. i will have to look into CBT! Have never tried that! glad to hear you’re doing better! it’s not an easy journey, so thanks for sharing your story!

  9. It’s so good to hear that you’re doing well. I have depression, so I really relate to how you talk about disorders that never really go away. But, we learn to manage our symptoms, get better at assessing our state of being, and at taking preventative actions. I love the quote you included! It’s so true and such a good affirmation to remember.

  10. I just very recently wrote on anxiety and how I was embarrassed to admit I had it and needed medication. It wasn’t until I opened that so many others informed me that they too deal with it. I felt like such a freak and hated that I needed to rely on medication to function but the support I received has helped me tremendously. I know it’s all job related, since it didn’t start until I became super stressed at work. I know it’s temporary. I know I can slowly learn to deal with it on my own and one day, I can get off the meds. But for now, they’re working. I feel like my old self. I’m sleeping and eating normal again. I’m HEALTHY again!!!

  11. So brave of you to be open about such a personal thing- but good for you for doing it! I’m sure your words are like a life raft to someone silently struggling with anxiety and/or depression, and it could be just the gentle push they need to get help. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep fightin’ the good fight!

  12. I am so so so proud of you and I’m happy thins are going so well! I have anxiety too, so I applaud your openness and honesty {and I can totally relate}. I’m definitely more of a stay at home and blog kinda girl rather than a crazy social one, and I’ve finally learned to be okay about it. Happy you have too ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  13. You are seriously amazing. I have struggled with anxiety & depression since I was 18, and I don’t know that I could write about it. I feel like it is a constant uphill battle. I would love to get off my medicine some day, but unfortunately it is hereditary for me and I am not so sure that is an option. Thanks for being so brave and sharing your story!

  14. I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing so well! I think with all of us who suffer from anxiety, relapses are bound to happen from time to time. But it’s so great that you can bounce back. I’m really happy to read this, Rachel!

  15. I’m a new follower to your blog and it’s so awesome that you would be so open about your struggle with depression and anxiety. I just ready your Everygirl column and it’s true that in our society especially for anxiety we just tell people to get over it. I’m glad that it’s helping you out.

  16. I think it’s incredibly courageous and inspiring that you’ve talked about this on your blog. I just read your original piece too, and I was able to identify with it in many ways. I have not had as bad of an experience with anxiety, but I did experience many of those symptoms, especially in college, and became somewhat antisocial for a couple of years. But I’m SO happy to hear you’ve doing better and that you’re finding what works for you! And knowing the signs of when it’s getting worse is a powerful preventative too. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  17. I didn’t read your previous post about anxiety but I’ve also been suffering from it. I’ve been taking medication for almost a year now. It’s definitely helping but like you I still struggle with certain situations!

  18. Thank you for always sharing, the good & the bad. So happy to hear that you are getting better all the time. I also suffer from anxiety & although it caused much MORE anxiety at the time, transitioning out of graduate school, was the best thing for me. Already feeling better with my fresh start!

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