After years of dealing with my husband’s anxiety, I set off searching for holistic ways to help him. Here’s a little bit about our journey.
In 2012, sudden anxiety attacks started coming out of the blue and hit my husband like a brick wall every single day. Thank goodness we both work from home. I knew that every time he walked up the steps to our bedroom that he was going to lie down in bed to try and calm himself down. But they were getting worse. Every day. The one commonality I noticed was that he always wanted me to come lay down with him and comfort him. He would roll himself up in our heavy, giant, and all-consuming king-size down comforter. I began to notice that the wrapping sensation helped him as he counted to 10 taking deep breaths. There was something about “being held” that gave him relief.
After weeks of the dreaded attacks, we finally made a visit to the doctor who prescribed him Zoloft. He was hesitant at first to start taking it but out of desperation to end the anxiety he finally gave in. It was amazing. No more interruptions in either of our work days. No anxiety. No down comforter swaddling sessions.
Life continued on and after a year or so we started to question whether my husband still needed to stay on the medication. We started thinking about starting a family and didn’t want the medicine to have any long terms effects. Our doctor actually suggested he stick with the medicine. I guess I wasn’t surprised he would say this, but we both were interested to see what would happen if the medicine was stopped. There wasn’t a ton of stress in our life at that time and business was good for the most part. I started researching holistic treatments for anxiety, something I should have done at the beginning of all of this instead of running to the doctor for medication. Oh well.
I read hundreds of scientific journals and articles on sensory integration, anxiety, and mental disorders every night online before bed. It clicked when I learned about Winnie Dunn and her Hug Machine. Being Hugged. That’s why my husband gravitated to the down comforter every time he was having anxiety. Without hesitation, I decided to purchase a weighted blanket for my husband assuming we would start weening him off the meds and who knows what would happen. Hesitantly, we got approval from our primary physician to put an end to the daily dose of anxiety medication.
At first, the anxiety seemed to still be under control. As with most antidepressants, it takes several days/weeks to go into effect and completely leave your system. The anxiety came back sporadically but nothing like before. When he started using his weighted blanket in the evening to calm himself down after a stressful day of work, we knew this was going to be a long term solution to treating his anxiety. He never looked back at his prescription medicine and instead started ordering several styles of weighted blankets in order to find the perfect one for him.
We decided to share our story with the world after several expensive blanket purchases. We discovered that many styles cannot be returned after they are opened and it is difficult to make a decision on which brand and weight to buy. I had the luxury of time when ordering a blanket for my husband because he was still taking his anxiety medication at the time, however if I had to make a purchase during the peak of his episodes when it all first started, I would have been overwhelmed and scared away by the price. We hope this information is helpful to those of you searching for the perfect weighted blanket for you or your loved one. They are worth every penny and have positively impacted our lives. We can only hope they do the same for you.