Hello! My name’s Rachel. Welcome to my blog. A lot has been going on with me recently and it seems helpful to write about it.
The question is where to begin?! I am suffering with social anxiety and depression. I have only recently begun to tackle this, however I have had this difficulty for at least 15 years. It seems hard to remember a time when I wasn’t the way I am today. Recently it has been worse than ever and I have decided to tackle it this time. In the past I have managed to move on but continue to live with it. Over the past few years at work I have had several breakdowns assumed to be stress related. When this happened a generally had a week or two off work and went back as normal. I would be ok for a little while but the cycle would repeat itself. However, more recently when this happened I went to speak to a doctor and was prescribed an antidepressant called Citalopram. I also got in touch with the Depression and Anxiety service here in the UK and received an appointment for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). I attended about 5 of these sessions, where I mostly had to keep a thought diary and challenge the thoughts I was having. Although I tried this on many occasions I found it difficult to challenge them and it was suggested that my thoughts about myself had become core beliefs and therefore they would be harder to tackle. This would make sense as I have allowed the problem to continue for many years. These behavioural habits I have created seem to have become second nature and I didn’t used to realise what was happening. The only thing so far that the CBT has helped me with is to recognise the thoughts that I’m having are caused by my anxiety. I now tend to think of these thoughts as my anxiety versus me. I have to try to rationalise my anxious thoughts and think of them as something of a bully for making me doubt myself and feel badly about myself. Anway, after the CBT sessions we had to decide where to go next and I have now been put on a waiting list to see a psychotherapist. At the time I was somewhat alarmed to think that I would need to see a psychotherapist. I think it is just the word and the stigma that is attached to it. Psycho. Initially it made me feel like I was mad but after I had time to think about it I was open to the idea of getting some more intensive therapy. As of yet I am still on the waiting list and have been for 3-4 months. Whilst I am on the list I am having no further help until recently when I decided to get some private help.
I was spurred on to try to get more help as my anxiety was really beginning to affect my work life. I am currently going to work as and when I can and any hours I don’t do I am paid sick leave but this is almost at its limit.I had to have a chat with my manager as I had told her that I wasn’t feeling better.
I will go in to more detail about this at another time as it is getting late now and I have to get up early in the morning to go to London!