It has been a while since writing a post in my journey towards overcoming anxiety and panic disorder... I have been struggling wether or not to give it another try going through the process of meeting yet another therapist in CBT.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a goal-oriented and short-term psychotherapy treatment with a hands-on practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change an unwanted behaviour by adjusting the patterns of thinking to influence the underlying emotions. It is commonly used to help treat anxiety disorders with a very high success rate of recovery.
However I have tried this myself on two separate occasions in my life before. Once during my university time in Florida, and once about three years ago when I was going through a rough time dealing with family and relationship crisis triggering my anxiety disorder to spin out of control.
During my first experience with CBT I was 22 years old and unaware about anxiety disorders and what it meant. The woman I talked to had a professional and private office with a big leather couch opposite her chair... She was kind and listened to me with empathy, however it took her a while to get to the core of the underlying emotions in my main fear which was having what she labelled (after 10 sessions) a panic attack. She gave me some resources and assignments to work on but not enough to make me understand the emotional and physiological process behind having a panic attack to explain why this happens in the relationship between mind and body.
As I mentioned in my previous post a panic attack it is the automatic response of the body in reaction to perceived danger of the mind being triggered out of proportion in relationship to any physical danger in what we call the "fight or flight response".
After her sessions, not only did I NOT feel like I had overcome my anxiety issues at all, I was also left with a pretty hefty bill to pay. However in the bigger scheme of it I would have happily payed ANYTHING to feel better than being left in the desperate state of mind I was trapped in at this time. I really did suffer through the last years of university with overwhelming discomfort and anxiety while having panic attacks on a daily basis. I had to struggle hard to make my goal of passing all my classes and finally getting my bachelor degree in Arts & Design. Thank God 5 years later when the boom of internet arises and the resources of google and social media was at my fingertips (AMEN). This is when I educated myself on the subject stumbling through medical journals and forums of lost souls desperately reaching out for help.
Three years ago I had my second experience with CBT treatment. I got tossed around to three different CBT therapists while getting online tools showed down my bag to deal with anxiety disorder and issues with fear of panic attacks. My mindset was motivated but somehow it did not work out for me this way either.
In retrospect I should not have forced myself to accept this state of mind for such a long time without any relief or getting the right help! I was in a position of dealing with both the mental and physical stress of having constant anxiety and major fear of panic attacks on a daily basis for many many years to come. Thinking about this more then 15 years later makes me very sad and angry for myself, but also for others still out there struggling with mental health! So many isolated with time wasted by anxiety. So many undiscovered talents lost to the fear of stepping into the spotlight. Ashamed of themselves for not being able to cope with their disorder or to even share it with anyone who can support them into getting the right help they so desperately seek, want, and need.
Anyhow I simply wanted to share some of my experiences around panic and anxiety disorder, and hopefully make some difference by shining a light on the issue of mental health and the social stigma surrounding it.
Next week I will start my third session in CBT and I will keep you posted for sure about the process! I think keeping such a big part of myself hidden for so long (underneath happy colourful layers of creativity which has really saved me from self-destructing FYI) has also kept me from truly being real with myself, therefore made me stuck in a loop of anxiety lurking in my shadow ready to push me aside to steal my limelight.
I also want to let you know if you have anyone in your surrounding or recognise yourself in my story I am here for YOU if you need support.
With LOVE, Gratitude & Rainbow sparkles*********
Founder, Creative Director, Designer
-mi lajki 💎 🌈 🦄 💝🌴💕 🔮