“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”
Anxiety is an emotion of dread, fear and worry that something will go wrong. It’s something that all of us expeeince every now and them. But if you’re someone who has experienced severe and chronic anxiety, you’ll probably know just how extremely unplesant it is. What can you do if anxiety refuses to leave your side? Riya, 27, tells us how she faced her fears and anxiety and hauled herself out of the deep waters.
“I was having too many anxiety attacks, like within a span.”
Riya used to experience requent anxiety attacks which lasted a long time. For almost 10 years she knew she had to talk to someone and she had always wanted to go for therapy but it was expensive for her. She had a major episode of anxiety attack which lasted for a long time and that was when she knew she had to take up therapy for sure. By then she was able to afford therapy as well. She was also working on a major project and she found it difficult to give it her all. She mentions that when she experiences anxiety attacks it usually stays for a shorter duration but this time it stayed a week-long and she found it really hard to come out of it. This also affected her social life.
In general I am not a very social person like I have my set of friends that I am comfortable talking to but sometimes when I have a prolonged episode then I do find it difficult to talk cause it is just that too much energy has gone into coping and I don’t have any more energy left to engage with another person.
It was not just her work and socialisation that were but also her health. Riya would experience digestion troubles because of her anxiety and had thus been advised to consume only certain types of food. She had to be cautious every time she ate something. Her sleep was also impaired as she would constantly twitch and shiver in her sleep.
I realised that if this starts affecting my work then it will definitely affect my health which is already affected. So I needed to get help to not go back to that state.
Initially, she connected with YourDOST’s Madhura Saha over a chat session. But she felt that she was not comfortable with that medium and switched to video sessions from there on. Over the next 10 or so sessions, Riya slowly started feeling better. Madhura asked her to keep track of what triggered her anxiety and when it was triggered the most. Riya had already been practicing this for a while on her own so that she could sense when an anxiety attack was going to hit her, and accordingly prepare herself for it. But she also felt that doing the same task with the help of the counselor was more effective and helpful.
“She was good at listening and also in giving good feedback”
Riya started feeling more relaxed and at ease. Her work stress also reduced eventually and she was able to focus on her work better. This was mainly because she stopped anticipating what would happen later. She did not experience any anxiety attacks after she started taking sessions.
Riya feels that everyone should seek therapy if they feel that they can’t handle it by themselves and should not let the resistance hold them back. She feels that women tend to not go for therapy as they feel like they can handle the stress they go through and men tend to not go because they don’t want to seem weak. She wants to say that it is not a competition to show who is tough. Everyone has to take therapy if it is necessary. Like Riya mentioned it is okay to reach out for help when necessary. Life can be hard but with a helping hand, life can be better.
I don’t know what the resistance is. This is not a competition, it won’t do good to anyone.
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