I think, therefore I am anxious.
I had my first session of cognitive behavioural therapy on Friday and I must say I am feeling so positive about it already.
I was obviously anxious about starting and meeting my new therapist, and he could tell as I had hoped he would (he is a therapist).
Although he could tell I was nervous, he said I was more calm then he had thought as he had seen my scores of anxiety from my very first assessment.
The only response I could give him was I am very good at fooling people and acting confidence, I had years of practise and I was having a generally ‘good’ day.
Anyway the first session was more of an introduction to the therapy and to wean myself in, he explained things so clearly and made this whole massive universe of anxiety seem, well small.
He carried on explaining what causes anxiety and why we feel it when we shouldn’t, as it is actually a normal emotion we should only have this emotion when we are say in danger. But the wonderful world we live in really has caused us to think everything is dangerous or unsafe. He drew a diagram on his whiteboard and showed the links between the situation and our thoughts and behaviour.
Me being me I took a picture…
Ok so I had said my situation was everyday life but I will narrow it down so lets say going to the supermarket (which is one of my places that I will almost guaranteed have a panic attack).
It starts with my thoughts, so for example the many thoughts I have at the moment are..
- Do I have something on my face/outfit, why are people staring at me?
- What if I faint in the middle of the place? As I often feel dizzy from my anxiety.
- What if my card declines?
- What if I see someone I know?
Then the behaviour starts –
- Checking my face (using my camera on my phone) and my outfit to check nothing is on there.
- Checking my online banking to check my funds
- Avoiding people I know, if I do spot them then acting surprised when and if they say hello.
- Going round the shop quickly to avoid the panic attack that is building up.
These thoughts and behaviours then cause emotions like distress which then give us body sensations that are unpleasant and Ta Da Anxiety!
These situations then get harder as the anxiety grows each time as we relate these places to a panic attack.
My therapist explained all this so much better and in more depth, I was so captivated on what he was saying. I am so excited to continue this therapy, I really feel I can truly get better.
I will continue to update throughout my therapy, and if you are umming and ahhing whether to go to therapy I already after one session recommend you do.
But only when you feel ready, it has taken me 16 years to get here.
And one thing my therapist told me which we all need to remember is that our thoughts are not facts.