Today I went to talk to my doctor about reducing my anxiety medication. At the moment I’m on 40g Propanalol twice a day. Lately I’ve been doing pretty well, I’m sleeping better and I feel calmer in myself. I also feel healthier now that I’ve put weight back on (when my anxiety reached breaking point this time last year I’d lost about 18lbs, weight that, frankly I didn’t need to lose). I don’t want to be dependent on my medication but at the same time I am nervous about reducing. I don’t want to go back to the way I was a year ago. I told my doctor that I had come to ask about reducing my medication. His response surprised me.
“Ok, how would you like to go about doing that?”
I wasn’t really expecting to get a choice. The last doctor I saw, who put me on the tablets, told me exactly what to take, how often and booked follow up appointments for me while I there. I was never really given any options or choices, she made all the decisions for me. But looking back, I know that that was exactly what I needed at the time. I was so fragile, I needed someone to make those decisions for me, take the stress of that away from me and say “Here’s what you are going to do.” I needed someone to take charge and I am very grateful to that doctor for doing that for me. She left the practice around Christmas time (I didn’t even know she had left until a couple of months later!) so now I’m seeing another doctor who I have seen several times in the past, just not for my anxiety. We had a chat about how I was doing and the dosage that I am on at the moment. I told him that I wanted to reduce my dose but that I was a bit nervous and he came up with a couple of options for me. We decided that I will take 30g instead of 40 twice a day for a month and at the end of the month I will decide whether to drop again to 20g. Then I will take 20g (or 30g if I choose to stick at that dosage) for another month before going back to the doctors to review.
It feels good that I was able to talk with my doctor about how best to proceed. I’m in a position now that I can weigh up options and decide what I think will be best for me. It feels empowering and it shows me that I have come a long way. I realize as well that I am lucky that both of the doctors I have seen about my anxiety could see what I needed. My first doctor could see that I needed someone to take charge of me and make the important decisions for me. My new doctor could see that I am in a position now where it is beneficial for me to plan my own treatment and make decisions about dosage for myself.
So starting tonight I’ll be taking 30g of Propanalol instead of 40g. In a few days will I feel a difference? I don’t know but I’m going to make an extra effort with my self care. Plenty of sleep, regular healthy meals and time to relax. My trip to the doctors has made me think a lot about where I was this time last year. The more I’m improving the more I can see just how vulnerable I was then. I feel really fortunate to be in a better position now =)
I also want to say thank you to everyone who wished me luck today. I’m really grateful for your support, it means a lot. Sending love to you all!