On Monday I attended therapy again. I had a few sessions after my PND with J, and my miscarriage and they helped me so much. When I went to the GP after my breakdown last year I decided that as well as medication, I would like to see the counsellor again as I knew even just one session would help me, just talking about things.
I went to the session mainly ready to talk about my social anxiety, as that is what is affecting the most since my major depression started. It just stops me from doing things, going places, as I’m so scared of having a panic attack and paranoia rears its ugly head. I’ve always been a little lacking in confidence and anxious when in a social situation in public, but ever since then it has been the worst; so much so that I haven’t even wanted to go to gatherings with people I know.
I can never put my finger on exactly what causes my anxiety, all I know is the feelings I get when it’s approaching; I get hot, my heart rate speeds up, paranoid thoughts, I feel sick, I lose my breath, sometimes a panic attack will ensue. I’d heard people talk about them before but now it’s actually happened to me, I know how horrible it is.
The session booked was with the counsellor I saw last time so I already felt at ease and what to expect from her in particular – she remembered me too! First off we discussed what had happened to make my depression so bad again, and I told her – I didn’t really know, it just kind of ‘happened’ with the breakdown. She said she was proud of me for recognising the signs this time though and getting help straight away; when I’m feeling like this it always makes me so much happier when somebody tells me how proud they are of me (like a couple of friends have been doing recently – you know who you are, thank you).
We then talked about my anxiety as that is the worst at the minute. We discussed techniques for dealing with it in social situations, some of which I have instigated already (another proud comment from her!). These include taking deep breaths, counting to ten, and leaving if I feel that a situation is getting too much. It’s also much easier to go everywhere with somebody else, but unfortunately that’s not always possible!
One of these situations is joining a Slimming World group (for which I will write a totally separate post) – I have been contemplating it for a long time now but my anxiety has really been pushing me back and I’ve been putting it off. It’s not so much the whole taking part and being on a ‘diet’ that worries me; it’s the entering a room full of people, on my own, and everybody looking at me (though we’re all there for the same reason). Some people I have spoken to recently also don’t seem to understand the anxiety and I get the whole “You’ll be fine once you’re there” – unfortunately it’s not quite as easy as that; gosh, I wish it was then I’d be going here, there & everywhere!
Anyway, she gave me some light reading on dealing with anxiety, and I have a telephone appointment in a couple of weeks to see how I am getting on. I didn’t feel I needed a physical appointment at the moment, though I can always make one if needs be. I know my anxiety will probably never go away completely, but anything that helps me deal with it is, well, a great help.
Sometimes it just feels so lethargic to talk about things with somebody who is impartial to you.