How A Traumatized 20-Year-Old Copes With Extreme Anxiety

Kodie says two years ago, her world collapsed when her grandmother -- her best friend -- died in front of her, and her boyfriend died of a drug overdose on top of her. She says since then, everything has become too much to bear, and the only thing that helps her relieve her anxiety and get through the day is taking medication.

“My anxiety is like a monster. When I feel anxious, it feels like my heart is beating out of my chest, my mind starts to race. I feel like I’m going to die,” Kodie says. “When I take Xanax, it is an instant relief. I’ve tried breathing techniques, I’ve tried yoga. Anxiety medicine, I truly believe that it is the only thing that can help me at this point.”

But Kodie’s family says they believe Kodie is addicted to the medication, and they are sick of her wallowing in grief and wasting her life. They say they want her to snap out of it, admit that she’s an addict and turn her life around.

“Kodie is addicted to Xanax, but she will tell you she does not have a problem,” says Kaitlyn, Kodie’s older sister. “She uses depression and anxiety as an excuse to abuse a drug that she’s not prescribed. She’s very foggy, she can’t think clearly, she can’t form coherent sentences. She is almost zombie-like.”

Kodie’s mother, Kim, says her daughter’s behavior changed drastically after the two deaths, and claims she has become a lazy, depressed drug addict who lounges around all day in her cow pajamas. “She lies about what she’s using, when she’s using, how much she’s using, how she gets it,” she claims.

Kim says Kodie has been found wandering the neighborhood with no shoes, hanging out on the street, eating hamburgers with homeless people, and she recently totaled a car while driving without a license. “She’s been through so much these last few years, but it’s no excuse. Life goes on. Every day, I pray that God will smack Kodie in the head and wake her up to see what she’s doing to herself,” she says. “My daughter needs help, or she’s going to die.”

Kodie, who has been to rehab twice, says that her family needs to understand that she’s still grieving and hurting, and she wants them to stop telling people that she’s addicted to drugs. “I know what addiction is and I know what needs are, too,” she says. “When people think I’m out of it, it’s really when I’m out of my medicine. People are thinking that I’m sleeping a lot because I’m using, I don’t want to answer the phone because I’m using, it’s because I’m too depressed and I have too much anxiety to want to do these things.”

Kodie maintains, “I am not addicted to anxiety medicine. I truly believe that I need it.”

Watch Kodie’s story in the video above. And, on Thursday’s episode, Dr. Phil weighs in – does he believe Kodie is struggling with an addiction, or could her family be overreacting? Check here to see where you can watch.

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