I Still Have Anxiety

I had severe painful anxiety and panic attacks in my early twenties (thirty years ago) and have had anxiety off and on ever since–increasing in severity after my postpartum depression and bipolar diagnosis and the start of being giving the revolving cocktail of psychotropic medications.

Medications never helped my anxiety, but instead made it worse. Klonopin helped and rescued me initially but after a while my anxiety and other symptoms of mental illness increased. Also, I was super sensitive to the side effects of other psychotropic medications and had adverse reactions to many of them.

I was one of those people who could not take psychotropic medications, They never seemed to help me but instead made me feel worse. Medications help many people. I was just not one of them.

I stopped taking Klonopin one year and five months ago and soon after stopped taking all psychotropic medications (medically supervised). When I first went off Klonopin, it felt like I didn’t have anxiety anymore. This surprised my Psychiatrist as he has helped many patients go off Klonopin and other Benzodiazepines and noticed great improvements in all of them. However, he said they still had some anxiety.

After finally stopping Klonopin, the contrast and beauty of feeling the difference of inner peace and well being (for me) was so sharp that I thought I no longer had anxiety. Recently I’ve learned I am still experiencing some anxiety but much less significantly. My anxiety is manageable and I have learned better coping techniques than I had before.

After reading, researching and watching many videos on the subject, the light bulb finally went off in my head. For years the increase in my anxiety, manic like symptoms, insomnia, depression and suicidality was blamed on me and my own increasing mental illness and inability to cope with it.

Instead the severity of my mental illness symptoms increased because of the side effects and my adverse reactions to the large cocktails of psychotropic medications I took for over two decades of my life.

“You do not have Bipolar Disorder,” said Dr. S., my new psychiatrist about a year ago. “You have PTSD and borderline personality disorder but you do not have bipolar disorder.

“But I had all the symptoms of bipolar,” I replied dumbfounded.

“Borderline Personalty Disorder has similar characteristics and in time people can learn coping strategies so they no longer need medication,” Dr. S. replied.

“But I was so sick. My symptoms were so severe.”

“That was caused from the Klonopin. Klonopin can cause a lot of damage, especially when using it as long as you did at such high doses.”

It was a lot to take in at first but in time I embraced the release of my bipolar disorder label.

Since becoming psychotropic medication free, I feel better than I ever have since I became diagnosed and labeled with many labels of mental illness over twenty-six years ago.

Once I was thrown into the mental illness club and psychotropic medication club, they were hard to leave. The mental illness club is an exclusive membership and it seems once a member always a member. The psychiatrists never want you to leave and say you can’t. I was brainwashed until I believed and accepted I had bipolar and other mental illnesses. I had no choice at the time, but to accept it.

“You will never be normal. We can get you to live a functional life, but you will never be normal,” said a psychiatrist soon after my initial diagnoses.

“You must take these medications for the rest of your life. You can never stop taking bipolar medications.”

Those are devastating, destructive, defeating and heartbreaking comments for anyone to hear, especially at the prime of their life–like I was.

Today we are finally more informed and we do have a choice. I fought my diagnosis for years for a reason. The reason being… they could be wrong and they were wrong. I was misdiagnosed.

I just wanted to add… This is my story and does not happen to everyone. I just want to increase awareness and give people hope if I can. Please always remember everyone is different and everyone’s journey of recovery is unique.

I am psychotropic medication free, mentally well, am living a good life and am fully capable of doing anything I want currently in my life. My only problem is now picking up the pieces from the destruction after living a mental illness life for two decades.

After I became medication free, I realized that my anxiety is very manageable and I don’t have other symptoms of mental illness. Therefore, my severe symptoms were not caused from mental illness but were from the side effects of psychotropic medications and MOSTLY from my physical addiction to the Benzodiazepine, Klonopin and the withdrawal effects from it.

When I first started taking Klonopin twenty five years ago, after I had been using Klonopin for a few months, my body adjusted to the levels of Klonopin in my system and cried out for more–mimicking increased anxiety. My doctors and I blamed my anxiety while all along it was the adverse reactions, side effects and withdrawals from Klonopin.

There is no other explanation. There just isn’t. My pain and severe symptoms and years of suicidality came from the damage caused by using Klonopin and other psychotropic medications for too many years.

To reiterate, my psychiatrist believes I was misdiagnosed and that I never had bipolar disorder. At first, I didn’t believe that but now I do. I have PTSD and borderline personality disorder but no bipolar disorder.

There are many people misdiagnosed with bipolar when they have PTSD instead and/or borderline personality disorder.

I lost years of my life and yes things could have been different, but this is my reality and I will make the best out of the rest of my life. I will keep fighting and finding new joys and purposes for my life.

I know how blessed I am and am enjoying the beauty of living.

Recovery is possible: I am living proof. 

© 2019 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Photo by boram kim on Unsplash

19 thoughts on “I Still Have Anxiety

  1. Wow, that is amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. So happy for you that you broke free of the pharma-cycle and reclaimed your health. So messed up, I hope they were acting out of ignorance not greed, but it’s hard to believe these days. Wonderful that you’re sharing your experience. It’s a tricky line because the meds can be helpful in certain circumstances (not sure about the ones you’re talking about but in my case) but they get pushed too hard in every case, out of laziness and greed. 💕


  2. Thank you for sharing! I absolutely understand being one of those who medication just doesn’t work for. I couldn’t seem to explain just how meds were making me worse but care less about it, so I had to just up and stop going to the doc – which I don’t suggest to anyone. I am glad you’re able to continue on in your newly titled chapter, each day is a wonderful opportunity. ❤


      • I am hanging in there, going through some extenuating circumstances that are affecting my mental well-being but hoping them to be more short lived. I am currently without meds, and seeking new options has become too expensive. I do sometimes add in supplements to just help a little here and there, it is hit or miss with those though with even the working ones losing their efficacy after some time. I hope you are doing well, also!


    • Thank you Chelsea. I am blessed to be alive and blessed to be mentally well. I still have days that are not that easy of course. But compared to where I was I feel fabulous most days. I pray everyone can reach recovery and mental wellness. It took some time–over two decades but the beauty lies in the fact that it is possible. I hope you are doing well. Much love.


  3. I’m so sorry to hear that you went through that, but I’m glad that you feel a lot better now. I have had some similar experiences but none were this bad or this long-running (mostly because I knew others in this spot before taking medication myself). I’m also glad that you were able to find someone to monitor you as you weaned off, as well. I, admittedly, risked weaning off alone because I couldn’t find help. I don’t regret it, but I don’t recommend it. It’s good to hear that medication is starting to be seen in the light it should be seen in – as a helping hand that only works for some and not a permanent solution for all. Thank you for sharing.


    • Thank you for your encouraging words. Honestly, I didn’t have good care when I went off my meds. That is another story for another day (I have written other blog posts about it before) I meant the p-docs knew I went off meds. as I was forced off Klonopin cold turkey after a suicide attempt but it was a blessing in disguise. I had to learn about the experience and hell of detoxing alone in the hospital for two weeks and then at home. It took months before I could get into the psychiatrist I have now. He knows about the dangers of Klonopin and Benzos and how to properly wean people off the meds but it took months before I could see him even though I had a serious suicide attempt. . I had to learn and research on my own. I found that the pharmacist knew more then any doctors in my area except my p-doc now. Sorry for the long ramble. I wholeheartedly agree with you… “It’s good to hear that medication is starting to be seen in the light it should be seen in – as a helping hand that only works for some and not a permanent solution for all.” Very well said. Thank you for that. So are you psych. med. free? Just curious.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for making it clear that this was your experience. It is pretty amazing that research and knowledge has come so far that you could have a doctor re-evaluate and say, “You don’t have this illness!” That is amazing! I wonder if people who are medication resistant are really misdiagnosed, not all people but maybe some?

    I’ve been taking Klonopin at bedtime to help my anxious mind. I went off all my meds about 12 years ago (with my doctor) and I had about two weeks of feeling good. Then I fell apart. It was so frustrating. I was so mad at myself. But, I’ve accepted that right now, the medications I take help me live a normal life.

    I did step down from Klonopin about six months ago. We tried something else, something less benzo, for my racing thoughts and restless legs. It wasn’t enough. So my doctor and I made the decision to go back to Klonopin. I am hopeful that maybe in a year I might try going off my meds again. I’m working on a health plan that results in weight loss and emphasizes exercise etc. Maybe in a year it will work this time. I would certainly like that!


    • Wow. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with me. I think the very important point I want everyone to hear or read is that it is not always true that once diagnosed with a mental illness and taking psych. meds means forever and that you will be on meds for the rest of your life. That was what they told me and what some doctors still believe. I think psychiatry is the field that they are continuing to learn about–they need to. I think the timing needs to be right for each person to become med. free. When you are ready you will be able to do it. Your body and mind will let you know but you do have to keep fighting through. It wasn’t easy. . I do have to stay it was hell to detox from the meds and took probably a good year before I felt little to no neurological type impairments. I had to just keep fighting through the pain and the hell. It was NOT easy but it was worth every second of hell I went through to be med. free. I pray one day more people will be able to experience being med. free and enjoy the pure beauty of living. Much love and hugs.


  5. Honestly, I wish that medication wasn’t the first course of action. It feels like a band-aid over a broken arm, it barely helps. It should only be part of a holistic approach to recovery, not the only option. I also have depression and terrible anxiety, I am sorry to hear you’ve suffered so much because I know how awful it can be. xxx


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