"CBT for Social Anxiety & General Anxiety"

About: Leitrim Adult Community Mental Health Services

(as a service user),

I had been having problems at work making mistakes all the time and it was causing problems at work.  This was making my anxiety worse as my relationship with my manager was deteriorating and my self confidence was too. 

I went to the doctors to complain about facial twitching and request Diazepam. The doctor suggested I take a longer term view of the anxiety disorder and ask if I would try the CBT therapy along with some long term low dose medication for anxiety to which I agreed.

Just days before my first CBT appointment I was involved in a serious car accident, which resulted in me writing off my car and mild concussion. The stress of the insurance companies and not being able to get to work was totally debilitating. 

I went to my CBT appointment and she was very understanding and listened to me, whilst I told her my life story and up to the point of the accident. At first I wasn't sure what to expect of the service as she just listened and gave me some forms to fill in to assess what my main source of anxiety was. I think I was expecting some type of counselling there and then, but the first assessment is just to understand you and how you ended up in her office!

So I completed the questionnaires and on my second visit she analysed where my anxiety came from and most of it was around social situations, which seemed crazy as I always thought I was outgoing and a social butterfly.  But I answered the questions honestly and that is what the questionnaire came back with.

So meanwhile the doctor started me on an anti depressant medication but I found they were making me constantly sneeze, so now I'm on a different one. I have been on these for about a month now and I'm starting to feel a sense of calm and quietness in my head.

So the CBT therapist request I keep a journal of how I feel or situations that occur and ask me to analyse them with the series of processes she gave me from the handout, to help me make sense of the immediate emotion and how reasonable it was and think more about how I was going to respond to it.  Along with this, she also recommended a great app for my phone called Headspace as the 1st basic sessions for anxiety are free.  But I found it so good, I bought the whole package.  This is also because since my accident I am left with permanent tinnitus in one ear and the relaxing nature sounds that come with the mediation series help me get to sleep.

At the moment I'm not sure whether I'm coping better and my analysis of situations is helping me see things as 'not a problem' or whether I've just not had any stressful situations to practice with. I'd like to think that the therapy has helped me perceive things differently and therefore not every situation is now a 'disaster' as I once believed it to be.

I found the therapy to be of real benefit.

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Responses

Response from Denis O'Brien, Assistant Director of Nursing & Leitrim Community Mental Health Team Co-ordinator, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services

Dear Mystic Zedwina

Thank you for sharing your story on care opinion. I am pleased that you found CBT Therapy to be of real benefit. I will pass on your kind words to Leitrim's Adult Community Mental Health Team. I wish you well in the future.

Kind regards

Denis O Brien

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