Therapy for Anxiety: 1

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination…
Only joking, this probs isn’t going to be much fun at all.

So I started therapy for my anxiety this week and I thought it may help somebody if I documented the experience. I might be totally wrong here but I know that for me, therapy was a scary concept. Anyone in the same boat – I got ya. Each week I’m going to talk briefly about the therapy session, what I’ve achieved, any setbacks, and generally how I’m getting on with it.

I saw a counsellor for six weeks last year after being referred by my doctor, but I didn’t find it very helpful. In the last week of those therapy sessions, I had a breakdown. You’re only given six weeks, so I couldn’t get any further help. Since then my anxiety has been unmanageable and I’ve been sick every day. My need for help has felt more urgent, so I decided to go private this time in the hopes of being seen quickly and perhaps by a more specialist therapist – it had been made clear that talking therapies had not had a helpful effect for me but in fact, quite the opposite. I didn’t know what I needed instead.

My therapist was recommended to me by a colleague. I didn’t know what to expect, what she was going to do, what would happen, how I would feel or whether it would help. I could, and still can only hope.

What happened in my introductory therapy session

So, as I said I had my introductory session this week. It was free of charge, and an opportunity for me to meet my therapist and see how I felt, whether we clicked and what she would recommend for me. I felt at home virtually straight away and I had no worries about speaking to my therapist from the get-go. I rambled and rambled at her for an hour – the poor lady couldn’t shut me up but I suppose that is the point of this. To start with I wasn’t sure why she was asking me some of the questions that she was asking, but in the end it all made sense. After I explained to her about my life up to now, she told me that there was more to talk about and get more info from me on, a bit more digging to do so to speak, but that she’s starting to see a pattern.

She told me that she suspects an incorrect diagnosis up to now – I’m showing clear signs of post-traumatic response and that it’s likely that my original ‘depression and anxiety’ diagnoses aren’t standalone, but part of a bigger picture: PTSD. As a result, we agreed that EMDR would be worth a try – a type of therapy used to treat trauma. I’m going to research it more before next week, and I’ll report back on the next session.

I found the first meeting very interesting and I felt like I was gaining a little bit of insight into my brain and why it does the things it does. There’s certainly more to uncover and the real therapy hasn’t even started yet, but the ball is rolling and that in itself is a big relief. I’ll keep you posted.

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5 Comments

  1. September 22, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    I’m so glad that your first session went well! I remember my first session like it was yesterday. I went in, so deep in my depression and anxiety that when she asked me what did I come in for, all I did was cry and I couldn’t even speak. I left feeling like, “how the hell am I supposed to do therapy if I can’t even talk about my problems!”, especially because I’m not much of a talker even when I’m at my best. But 8 months later, I have a really great relationship with my therapist and I can talk freely because I feel safe with her. Going to her is actually a highlight of my week. I hope that you’ll have the same kind of relationship with yours, although it sounds like you definitely will 🙂

  2. September 23, 2016 / 10:07 am

    Good luck. I have never even though about going private. Emma x
    selfcaremom.wordpress.com

  3. Steve Burnett
    September 23, 2016 / 11:23 am

    Good for you hannah x

  4. Jade Writes
    September 28, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    I really look forward to reading the rest of your journey, I for one, am also TERRIFIED about therapy. Two years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I also feel like I’m on top of my depression now but my anxiety is worse than ever. I am thinking about going back to the doctors (although, I really can’t bare to think about going). I’m worried that the doctor is going to refer me to a therapist, which I personally think will make me worse. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. Basically, I loved the post and I’ll look forward to the next installment!

    Jade x

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