Friday, 15 April 2011

Anxiety attacks

We went away for a weekend to Center Parcs in Suffolk.  Before going I was a little apprehensive but was also clear in my head that I really did not want anxiety spoiling the trip, as it had done previously.

We go with another family, whom we are close with.  Their children are lovely.  Plus all our children keep on together - except when my youngest is trying to drag their 5 year old around, which I would find annoying but their mum just laughs it off - thank goodness!!

The trip was a success.  I was able to control the feelings of panic with breathing and a little medication.  I also tried to ignore the urge to think about things too much.  This, alas, is my downfall most of the time.  In a previous therapy session, we discusssed over-thinking and trying to break that cycle.  It is all part of the cognitive behavioural therapy and I think they are really onto something. 

How it works is, you brain thinks about the event coming up and replaces what should be positive thoughts, with negatives and 'what if's....'  The problem starts here and even in your sub-conscious.  Once your brain has started this cycle, YOU have to be the one to break it.  When the negatives appear, beat them back with a positive.  For example:
Thought: 'Going away......oh no, what if I am ill.....what if I faint.....' (etc, you can see where that is going!)
What I use to do: Mull on these thoughts until they were the only thing at the front of my mind. Then they would usually appear in some form.
Answer should be: 'Going away.....if I am ill, do as you would at home.....if you faint, someone will help you.....I will make this trip good for me and my family.'

You have to break the cycle of thought processes.  It sounds easy but it is far from it.  I am still not comfortable with new places, but am building up to it.  Plus, I was called yesterday about a new course of cognitive behavioural therapy that is going to start in a few weeks for me.  This should be very intensive and so have greater results.  I am very much looking forward to it!