My journey with Therapy
45 minutes and counting.
It’s been 45 minutes and still, my B.P. is through the roof.
My heartbeat count is infinity beats per minute.
1…2…3… Gosh! I literally can’t count my heartbeats.
Just stop it. Stop it somehow! I want to stop this right now. Please!
What’d you do if you ever got an anxiety attack for an hour?
I panicked. More. I have had a couple of anxiety attacks in the past few months, but this was it. This was THE anxiety attack I ever had.
I remember the date. 31.03.2017.
Somehow it ended.
I knew the trigger. I was just denying of admitting that she’s the trigger. That’s the thing — we deny our triggers first. Period.
I looked at myself in the mirror. I had grown a fat belly. My face looked chubby. And I was clearly overweight. Depression changes your physique. It either makes you underweight, or a lot of times like it made me, overweight.
I could count the people I could rely on, whom I could call my ‘friends’, on my fingers. Not because everyone hated me. Not at least at that time. But because I had locked myself in solitude and away from the world, in the past couple of months.
I was lucky.
I was lucky to come across the right people at the right time in my life.
It’s been 2 years since I had my first anxiety attack. And the moment I had it, I knew I’d have to consult a specialist.
You have to “want to” get better.
Within a week, via some random facebook group, I met one of my college alumni who had done her masters in psychology.
I texted her and literally used the words “I need help. Help me, please!”
Pitty and desperate.
But I wanted to get better. And that’s what matters.
I hoped to get some reference of a psychiatrist from her.
Rather she said, “Let me help you, Dipanshu. Maybe you don’t need medication. Maybe you just need to talk.”
You need to open up.
And so I surrendered myself. I opened up to her. I started from my childhood and had told her every incident of my life that I thought might have contributed to what I am today.
Obviously, this all was confidential. And this is the first condition of any therapy session. They all are confidential.
Your therapist doesn’t reveal your identity or the problem you are dealing with.
Honesty goes a long way.
There’s a saying that you should never lie to your doctor, your lawyer, and to your CA.
After having the therapy session, I realized why.
I admitted (not soon though) that I had some issues. This honest confession helped me to accelerate the therapy process.
I promised myself, no matter how embarrassing or stupid an incident might be, I’d be 100% honest with my therapist. That meant confessing my weird and embarrassing set of insecurities too. But somehow I did share those as well.
It takes time.
You’re not going to figure out your problems in a day that took years of time to get placed inside you. It takes time.
The problem you think is your ‘actual problem’, might be only a symptom or aftereffect of the real problem.
Oh and this is only about figuring out what your actual problem is.
Finding a solution comes after the correct diagnosis.
“We must let go of impatience. Because patience is a form of acceptance and acceptance is everything.”
I became empathetic.
I take inspirations from the people around me. No wonder I am a writer!
After having these sessions, I turned myself into a vegetarian. And somehow I’m a pet lover now.
I am not sure if all the dots connect, but if I have anything in common with all this — it’s the person who took my sessions, who also happens to be a pet lover and an empathetic and kind human in general.
It’s gonna come again and again.
But the next time it happens, your diagnosis would probably be easier.
It’s a fight. But I am no less than a fighter. So I fought back.
And I am all good right now.
A lot of people don’t understand.
And it’s okay.
You can understand depression, only if you’ve been through it.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t make them believe that you have any problem in the first place.
Admittance and Acceptance are the key factors.
Admitting that I have a problem, and accepting that my existence in flawed are the two things we resist the most. In his book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday describes our ego as the greatest opponent of mankind.
I consult my therapist from time to time — to get perspectives about life, psychology, etc. And she has stressed it over and over, that because I had admitted that I was in trouble, and because I had accepted the fact that I am flawed, it became easier for her to pull me out of that black hole.
I thought I was depressed.
Spoiler alert — I wasn’t.
Nonetheless, I would have had depression, if it weren’t for the right people to stand by my side at the right time. But eventually, it’s a long and lonely journey to battle with such a situation. And I am glad I did.
Nothing else is going to help.
You can’t treat a heart-attack with paracetamol.
Likewise, no matter how many inspirational books you read, you can’t get better without opening up in a lot of cases.
I was seeking medication for my anxiety attacks. All I need was someone wise enough to talk to. Like a professional therapist. That’s it.
Oh, and a lot of patience and courage to open up.
All these were the secret ingredients that pulled me out of THE bad phase of my life.
If you need someone to talk to, my inbox is always open for you. I’d try my best to respond asap.
And if you’re looking for professional therapy, you can try TickTalkTo (Private, Confidential and Anonymous Therapy anytime, anywhere) app available on google playstore. I have tried it myself, and it has helped me a lot.
Originally published at www.dipanshurawal.com on December 27, 2018.