Monday, 28 January 2008

Getting Help

For me the main person who helped me at the start was my GP. I would make regular appointments and when the doctor told me i wasn't insane, that would be enough to keep me happy and calm for a while. However one of the first things my doctor done for me was refer me to speak to a counsellor. To be honest i don't have much to say about this. It's not that the counselling didnt help me or that i found it to be a useless experience, it's just that i didn't have many appointments. I think i maybe spoke to a counsellor about 4 times in all. I did find it helpful to talk about what i was dealing with. It wasn't something i discussed with friends and i still don't really. I feel they don't need to be dragged down by negativity, i'd much rather we have a good gossip and have fun when we are together. So it was a nice releif to be able to get everything off my chest. Also once again i found it a comfort when the counsellor would tell me my worries and thoughts were common in people with anxiety.

My next referal was to the Community Psychiatric Nurse. I would say that this was more helpful to me. I would meet with the nurse Donna once a week and we were going to be working on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The sessions took place in my home so i would be nice and relaxed and didn't have to go through the ordeal of travelling to and from appointments. We started with the basics, what i had been going through, my symptoms, how i coped with panic attacks etc. Donna provided me with a lot of reading material about anxiety and as per usual i found this helpful as i was realising i was not alone in this. She also taught me breathing excersises and how to relax, telling me that these would be the best methods in dealing with panic. Donna explained to me that i was thinking negatively and that by having these negative thoughts i was creating a vicious circle of anxiety. I began to understand my condition and realised she was so right! I did have a lot of negative thoughts and Donna tried to teach me how to over rule them. Ignore them. Why should i let these things control my life?

I was finding the CBT sessions very helpful. I was gaining a new confidence that i didn't have before. I could see that i could beat this. I had the strength to control my anxiety instead of it controlling me. That's when Donna told me she was leaving her job. She was moving to a job elsewhere. It wasn't the best news really. I felt i was making progress but with Donna leaving what would i do next? She told me that i would be assigned a new nurse. But after those weeks with Donna i never did see another nurse on a regular basis. A lack of staff or Staff sickness were the excuses i was given. I felt very let down, i was on my own again.