Made with Midjourney

At one point in my life, I was clinically diagnosed with Complex PTSD, OCD, and anxiety + depression. I was also an addict. Now, I can say that I am subclinical in all dimensions. Remission is possible. You CAN transform yourself.

Here's what it took for me to do so.

Talk therapy + EMDR + Psychedelic-assisted trauma work. Combining the three was key. Talk therapy gave me an intellectual understanding of how my past was ruining my present. EMDR + Psychedelics helped me process the trauma. They worked on the root cause.

I used a low dose of SSRIs during especially acute periods of panic and depression. But they were temporary. I used them for 1-2 years to get through a rough patch and to allow me to effectively focus on the other work I needed to do (talk therapy, EMDR, etc).

A clean diet, exercise outdoors, social connection, and quality sleep keep me in good standing. They act as tools for recovery as well as tools for maintaining remission. I don't maintain a perfectly strict routine, but I'm 80% consistent. It's enough. Progress over perfection.

I also worked on crafting a new vision for my future. Focusing on the past/trauma too much can lead to over-identification with the past, with clinical diagnoses, and with illness. That keeps you stuck. You must develop a vision for the future and work toward it.

I also made major changes in my lifestyle to remove stress and sources of suffering that would pull me out of symptom remission. I quit my career as a tech exec, moved to a calmer and healthier part of the world, simplified my life, and began pursuing creative expression.

That's how I did it. It took years. It was expensive at times (that needs to change). And very difficult. Various forms of "relapse" will occur during the journey. It's not a linear path. But it becomes easier each time you take two steps forward and one step back.

For me, and for many of us (not all), it doesn't require pills on pills on pills. What it does require is the courage to change. And the courage to discover your own path toward health and fulfillment. There is no single road that we must all follow. That's it.