Seeking care does not mean writing off our right to know what that care consists of.

Tanmoy Goswami
I am fighting to keep Sanity alive. Pick up a monthly or annual subscription and support independent, ad-free, 100% reader-funded mental health stories that you won't find anywhere else.

This is your periodic reminder that I am not a mental health professional, and nothing I write is meant to be medical advice. Do not self-medicate or stop medication without consulting your doctor. Do feel free to be kind to yourself though, no need to see an expert for that. Also, trigger warning: this essay contains accounts of emotional distress and suicidality. Go take a walk instead of reading 2,000 words if you wish.

Ukrainian diver Budimir Šobat created a Guinness World Record for holding his breath for 24 minutes 37.36 seconds.

Anand Haridas, an Indian yoga practitioner, went a record 1 hour 31 minutes without blinking.

American teenager Randy Gardner spent 11 days without sleep.

Is there a record for the longest time survived by a person in suffocating panic without popping a pill? I became interested in this question after an unusual meeting with my psychiatrist last week, when he broke his usual zen to warn me about what my dependence on my anxiety medication might be doing to me.

Even though living with chronic anxiety can feel like an extreme adventure, I couldn't find an answer to my trivia question. Here's what I did find: a bunch of more complex questions. Questions about control, power, knowledge, and patient rights – but mostly about the impossible choices you are forced to make when you live under long-term mental health care.

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