Cognitive Behavioural therapy #1.
Yesterday was a good day, my cognitive Behavioural therapy began.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is, according to the NHS;
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
As you know, I have had my ups and downs with postnatal depression and anxiety for a long time, and more recently, my Emetophobia.
I have written about my emetophobia before, but it is described by Wikipedia like this;
Emetophobia is an intense phobia that causes overwhelming, intense anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated.
All three things have really taken their toll on me, I have struggled a lot over the years with each of them but the last two years have been heavily influenced by my depression, anxiety and fears. I have become a lot more introverted and I have also become a lot less likely to want to go anywhere. I have lost my sense of adventure, that makes me sad.
Living with something like this, a mixture of three different mental health issues at the same time has been incredibly draining on me, my attitude towards life and my willingness to do things. I no longer eat take-out except McDonald’s, I will no longer go to the cinema, for a meal, ride a fair ground attraction, or go to a kids party.
Meirion and willow miss out because I am
unable to deal with something
or would prefer not to because
I wouldn’t want it to make me feel sick Or become ill.
A few months ago I went to my doctor and told him exactly what was happening and how is was having an impact on my life. He referred me for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and sent me on my way.
A little while later I had my telephone assessment and was put into the waiting list.
Yesterday was my first appointment.
I should be attending each week going forward. I’m hoping to keep a record of my progress here on KaboodleMum so that I can always look back on how far I have come, if I manage it!
Yesterday’s appointment was great,
the therapist is lovely and he was really welcoming.
I filled out about 6 pages of paperwork to begin with. They add into the assessment but also they were designed to determine where on the fear-scale (I don’t know the fancy word for it!) I am. I filled out each page and he asked to give them a look over as I filled in the page after it, when I was done he just turned to me and said
“Just from the answers on your first page, I can see this is having a major impact on your life so I have no problems with going forward with these sessions, there’s definitely things we can do to help.”
Of course I was immediately more relaxed, I felt so much more at ease when he said that because he totally knew what I was going through, but from a professional perspective. He asked a question or two and I honestly I spent the rest of the hour just blabbering on and on about everything that happens and how I deal with it.
He was very attentive and pointed out a few things to me that were true to me. He wasn’t condescending at all, which is something that I was really worried about, I thought I’d have someone be like “your fears are silly” – kind of thing – and make it seem like something that doesn’t have importance. Where as this guy understood that my phobia controls my life and is the most important thing.
It was really nice to not feel like I was going crazy when I was saying certain things about how I think about sick a lot and I think about death a lot and I have an escape plan for each room that I am in.
He just ‘got’ it and at the end told me that he wasn’t surprised by anything that I had said and that it all fits in with the expected behaviours, thoughts and processes of people who have this fear and with people who suffer with anxiety.
I felt great when I came out of there, like a little weight had been lifted. I felt less crazy and more able to see a less anxious future. Although I would argue at the moment that I will never get rid of my fears and anxieties completely, I do feel like I can improve them. I’d love to be able to get rid of them completely, but I do feel like it’s so ingrained that it will always be there.
Still, I feel super positive that it has started and that
I can finally begin to address the issues I have.
As always, thanks for reading!