About a week ago, I noticed a deep cut on JT's left wrist. When I asked him where he got it he said he didn't know. Well, last night he told me. He gave it to himself.
He explained that he gets anxiety attacks every morning now. These are marked by nausea. So sometimes he digs his fingernails into his skin to keep from throwing up.
JT has had anxiety his whole life. He used to be afraid of Disneyland as a child. He used to be afraid of school too and would stay home with stomach aches that went away after a few hours. But the minute his parents took him back to school he would get nauseous again and spend the rest of the day hiding out in the bathroom.
When I met him, he had grown out of this anxiety for the most part, with the help of some medications that did damage to his liver. On our third date, he told me that he was nauseous, because he always got nauseous in the face of something new and exciting. But apart from that one day, the only time I ever saw him anxious was when his band was playing gigs (they're on hiatus now). He never ate before a show. He said he was afraid he would throw up at any moment.
Now that his life is changing, now that he has a new job and will work for a new department and has a ton of new things to learn and a ton of pressure to get them right, his anxiety has come back full force. And he's mutilating himself in an effort to keep it hidden.
He's looking for remedies. He no longer takes medication but is considering going back to that. Personally, I believe in treating the problem at the source: I think meditation or hypnotherapy could do him some good. JT is a Buddhist, but he never meditates. I think if he could try doing that for a little while every morning it might help soothe his mind.
What do my readers think? Any other suggestions for dealing with anxiety--herbal remedies, mental remedies, etc--are welcome.
9 hours ago