*this interviewee prefers to remain anonymous and I appreciate & support him
Please share a bit about your background
I was born and raised in Venezuela, and moved to Miami in 2005 with my parents, right after graduating from high school. I was not aware of any mental health illnesses before 2014. There’s also a very limited history of diagnosed mental disorders in my family.
How do you know Carolina?
We met through a common friend, and used to work from the same shared office.
What is your diagnosis? How and when were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder by my doctor in 2014 after struggling with anxiety for months.
How was it to receive the news?
I wasn’t surprised at all, but it gave me some sort of calm at the time. I didn’t understand what was going on with me at the time; but knowing that my doctor could identify what was wrong with me, meant that he could very likely identify a treatment.
What has been your treatment?
My treatment at the time involved different medication. I went to two different doctors, and they had different opinions on what my treatment should look like, ranging from Benzodiazepines to SSRIs.
What are the Doctors next steps? Any plans on removing medications?
I was able to get off all medications by 2015 with the help of my doctor. It was my decision, and my last doctor helped me get there safely.
Any tips or recommendations you’d give others suffering from it?
In my case, medication helped, but I believe taking a holistic approach improved my chances of getting through it, and helped me deal with it and live with it. Some specifics that worked for me:
– wrote a daily journal including exercise, work, diet, relationships, thoughts, and emotions. That helped me identify patterns in my own habits and behavior that could trigger anxiety.
– Daily cold showers
Any resources that you’d recommend for others struggling with mental health?
Talk to your loved ones about what’s going on internally, talk to your therapist, and keep your own notes and research. Become an expert on your own body.