A young North American woman, let’s call her Christine, requested an appointment for online consultation. She contacted me because she suffered from anxiety attacks, insomnia, and she also worried constantly. She explained that she had been anxious since she was an adolescent. Christine used to wake up several times at night thinking of different social situations that caused her anxiety. Another source of her anxiety was her relationship with her boyfriend. As she puts it, “all this freaks me out!”
Her symptoms were the typical of people with anxiety: over all tension, tightness in chest, shaky hands, dizziness and nausea.
Christine coped with her anxiety in different ways. She tried to avoid the typical anxiety-producing situations and when she couldn’t avoid them, Christine used to distract herself by watching TV as a way to get her mind off worries. At times she would fight her anxiety with positive thoughts such as “I should not get so anxious. I can be calm.” At other times she would also practice deep breathing in order to sooth her anxious feelings.
I helped Christine to overcome her anxiety in total of five online sessions. First we look at her strategies (avoidance, distraction, deep breathing and positive thinking) that didn’t give any lasting results. Then, based on our consultation, we arrived to few strategies that she started putting into practice. After several weeks Christine noticed a slight improvement and from then on she became more confidant about herself.
Almost two years later I emailed her to see how she was doing. Her reply showed that the positive changes were long lasting even though she had been going through a very stressful time! Here is Christine’s reply:
“Things are going well! I haven’t had an anxiety attack since our sessions and my anxiety rarely flares up these days. Since moving on from (a country) I’m able to reflect and realize that the isolation of where I lived greatly contributed to my anxiety. Also my partner at the time was a major contributor. I’ve since moved on from (that country) and that relationship and am feeling much better. As my confidence rises so does my ability to control my anxiety. A testament to this has been my state of mind for the past 9 months which have been some of the most stressful of my life so far. I’ve maintained ambition and a positive attitude through it all. I have not had to use any of the techniques you taught me in almost a year and a half. Thank you again so much for your help in such a difficult time.”