What kind of allergies do you have?
I’m allergic to dust, lentils, chickpeas, green peas, seasonal allergies, grass, some outdoor allergens, and most animals.
How do your allergies manifest themselves?
Can you predict them at all? Mostly when I’m around animals—my eyes will swell up really bad and it will get hard to breathe.
Tell us about your journey with anxiety.
I discovered I have bad anxiety when I was in college. It made it hard for me to concentrate or be social. This turned into me wanting to hide in my room or sleep all day. Sometimes I would sleep for three days straight, which turned into a bit of depression. I started seeing the campus doctor and he recommended Lexapro, which I started taking immediately. He told me I would have two weeks of an adjustment period where I would have flare ups, night sweats, and other symptoms. It was very difficult to go through this period alone, away from family.
Is there any connection between your allergies and your anxiety? Do they ever intersect?
Not that I have noticed—but it is very possible. The medication has done an amazing job of controlling my anxiety. I am so grateful to Lexapro and the team that created it. It’s honestly helped me live my life.
What do you wish people/medical professionals understood about anxiety?
I think everyone’s anxiety is different. Lexapro has helped me a lot, but everyone’s anxiety is different.
Photo by Danny Ghitis
How do your allergies and anxiety affect your personal and professional life?
Well now anytime I sniffle or cough due to allergies people think I have Covid, so it gets a bit difficult sometimes. But my long-term clients know that I suffer from allergies. My anxiety hasn’t affected me that much since I’ve been on Lexapro, but sometimes when I have a busy work week I can have a bit of a panic attack. I try and talk it out with friends or family and they help with bringing me back down to earth.
What is the most challenging experience you’ve had with a medical professional?
Probably when my family member got sick suddenly and fainted. I was so worried I called the ambulance and they didn’t show up. I kept calling but they kept delaying and I was so worried I called another family member to drive us to the hospital.
What is the best?
I would say the doctor on campus at my college who recommended Lexapro and was really there for me and checked in on me when I was far away from home. I was so scared and anxious, and I didn’t even know what anxiety was at the time really or what I was experiencing. He took the time to explain it to me and gave me different options.
What are some tools that have helped you with your anxiety?
My medication for sure (Lexapro 10mg) and a strong family support system and my friends. It’s so important to build a strong supportive environment.
What do you wish you had known about allergies?
That they can really disrupt your day, ruin a date or evening or interrupt basic things like sleeping. Sometimes I don’t sleep all night.
What do you wish you had known about anxiety?
I wish that I could tell my younger self to breathe and that not everything is as big of a deal as I think. It’s so important to have self-care and really take care of your mental health, because if you don’t it gets buried and will come up like vomit in a negative way.
How can Sollis support you on your medical journey?
Sollis is a game changer! I’ve never wanted anything more. For someone that suffers from anxiety to be less anxious about my health is life changing. With the amount of help and professional opinions they have to offer. Not to mention the services I will have at my fingertips. It’s honestly such a relief and I’m really excited to start my Sollis journey!
Words to live by?
Take a breath and forgive yourself.