Tuesday, April 05, 2005


  • Spring has sprung.

  • My psychiatrist has had me on Lexapro for anxiety. Initially I did not understand why. See, I am aware of my depression. That comes over me like a smothering wave. It's hard to miss. Anxiety on the other hand, was very invisible to me. In fact, when it was suggested to me that I was a very anxious person, I thought that both my counselor and psychiatrist were wrong in diagnosis. But I didn't say anything because at the time I was drowning in depression.

    So, I have been taking the Lexapro for about two and a half months and I am noticing some changes. Subtle changes, but real ones. I am taking one quarter the dose my psychiatrist wanted me to take initially. At the full dosage I was having, um, how shall I put this? Erectile dysfunction whereby I could not achieve orgasm. Now, this was somewhat of a wish come true for my wife in the sense that I could be at her disposal for hours at a time. From my perspective, however, there is apparently such a thing as too much of a good thing. But the upshot is, at a one quarter dosage I am getting significant benefits. Please allow me to illustrate.

    I attended the Texas Blogfest with no knots in my stomach and only minor initial butterflies. About a month ago I gave a sales presentation to a roomful of strangers without a hint of panic. Angry customers no longer fluster me when they get me on the phone. Major decisions, such as whether or not to become a stay at home dad, no longer worry me through the day.

    In short, it is wonderful.

    At the end of my career as an alcoholic I was consumed with fear and anxiety. I could not enter a grocery store by myself; I would feel like everyone was staring at me and would have to constantly check that I had my wallet with me. I used to sit alone in my car outside the liquor store knowing I had to go in to get alcohol and too afraid to go in. I did not know what I was afraid of, but I was afraid.

    In sobriety the extremes of the anxiety faded. But there was always this little lurking bit of it that stood by, ready to give me gastric distress at a moment's notice. That is not completely gone, but the edge has been taken off of that feeling.

    So, am I endorsing Lexapro wholeheartedly? No, first of all there is the matter of that small side effect. Secondly, they are not paying me enough to do so. I actually am not a huge fan of chemically altering your moods and state of mind. On the other hand, I have come to realize that my biochemistry is a little bit off kilter and that a chemical solution is needed. I try to think of it as being like diabetes; if I treat it under the supervision of a physician, then I will get better. I wish I did not need medications to treat my illness, but if wishes were dollars I'd be retired.

    I have wondered about holistic remedies such as St. John's Wort, but I cannot afford to take the chance with self medication. Anwen does not need a suicidal father!

    Special prayers go out to El Capitan and family, I believe his sister is in the process of giving birth to her first child. Goddess go with them.