I have Panic Disorder and OCD.
I suffered immensely until I got help. Today, I am stable and panic-free thanks to education, lifestyle changes (no caffeine for me), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and venlafaxine. Medication certainly isn’t right for everyone, but it’s a crucial part of my anti-anxiety treatment. While I’m obviously very open about my mental illnesses, I’m less willing to discuss my medication use. People have strong opinions about psychiatric medication, and they should. No medication should be taken frivolously. CBT is very effective, and lifestyle changes will, by definition, change your life. And in my experience, nothing is more important than education. Understanding your disorder gives you power over it. Sometimes, however, medication is necessary.
I’ve decided to tell the world about my use of venlafaxine in honor of healthyplace.com’s new campaign, Stand Up for Mental Health. The campaign is “dedicated to eliminating the stigma of mental health,” and I’m proud to be a part of it.
If your child is suffering from mental illness, make sure she knows that there’s no reason to feel ashamed.
Remember, anxiety disorders and most other mental illnesses are treatable. Anxiety disorder treatments are particularly effective. Never be ashamed to ask for help. Your child only gets one childhood, and you’re already dedicated to making it great. Seeking treatment for your child’s anxiety disorder could be the most important decision you make as a parent.
If you’re concerned about the cost of therapy or medication, there are a lot of affordable alternatives. First of all, look for reduced-fee therapy. Find a free support group in your area. Educate yourself and your children about their disease. Knowledge really is power. Finally, search online for tips and information about addressing the needs of anxious children. (For example, are you caught up on this blog?)
You’re not alone.