I started suffering from anxiety in 2002. I was hospitalised for nearly a month. Treatment with a certain medication was effective, and I was eventually able to reduce the dosage substantially, but never to zero without a return of some symptoms and disrupted sleep. Then in 2014, the TGA decided that this drug was too prone to misuse and made it a schedule 8 drug, with the net result that it was no longer available to me, so I had to stop taking it, which I did over the space of a few weeks. (This drug is meant to be highly addictive). I returned to my pre-medication disturbed sleep pattern, but was largely free of the other anxiety symptoms.
There's no apparent external cause of my anxiety. I'm not fixated on anything. I'm not under stress (unless you count the anxiety symptoms). I just have a feeling of shakiness, some tingling in the fingers, muscle aches (from being constantly tense) and at times feel so light headed with pounding heart that I have to stop and wait for it to subside. I also have a hair-trigger sensitivity to any momentary stressor, such as the phone ringing, or someone knocking at the door. None of these things cause me any fear any more, because I know what they are, but they are still disruptive.
So why is the received wisdom that I have something wrong with my thinking, such that cognitive behavioural therapy would help (been there, done that). Or lifestyle? Or diet?
Why can it not be that my body has simply got its chemical levels wrong, and requires pharmacological correction? Why can I not have the medication that worked for over a decade? Why does any prolonged use have to be associated with judgemental words like "addiction", "dependence". I don't see diabetics been told to suck it up, and deal with it. They get the insulin they need, and no one ever suggests that they shouldn't take it for too long, or that they need to wean themselves off it.