Thursday, October 02, 2008

therapists and anxiety

Last night, I met with my new therapist for the first time. I explained what has been going on with me, which is not something I have discussed here too much.
I have been having anxiety attacks of the panic variety. They have been increasing their frequency over the last year, and sinse I couldn't logic them into not happenning, nor could I logic their being around, I sought help.
Therapist is pretty awesome. I need to find her a name other than Lucy Liu, who she reminds me of, I'll work on that.
She let me know that if there isn't an underlying issue, like depression, and frankly, even if there is, that stopping them probably won't happen, but we went over many techniques to mitigate how bad they are, to help me finnction better in between times, and stuff like that.
I don't see her again for a month, as we would like to see if I have another attack or two in between now and then, which, if the pattern holds, I will.

I have a few assignments between now and then, however-
I am to keep a daily journal, even if it's jotted down before bed like this - DATE_ everything went OK. She would like more detail in it over time, but she understands that I am a busy mother.
I am to keep an anxiety journal- not of daily anxiety, but if I do have an attack, or just more than normal anxiety levels that interfere with daily life, I am to stop, write down the time, what I was doing, what everyone else was doing around me, the condition of my house, things that are on my to-do list, etc...basically, we are looking to see if the factors causing this are external (bills, messiness, something on TV, etc) or internal (stress, depression, OCD, what have you)
I am to meditate and work on meditation techniques- relaxation, deep breething, justb eing her and now.
I am also to try and limit myself to one hour of politics a day, with exceptions to be made for debates, etc... This ine is just for my immediate mental health, as I am rather worked up over tis election, and I will freely admit that.
I am to do research online about anxiety, bipolar, depression, and biological components of mental health. Having a bipolar sister, and some history of depression in my family pretty much means I will not come through the mental health windmill unscathed. She wants me to see if I notice anything about myself that raises alarm bells, she want me to understand the links, and she also let me know that some people have anxiety issue based on control- and not having enough, feeling like htings are out of their hands, etc... the more I am educated, the more control I may feel I have.
Another one, and she said that this is temporary, just while we work on everyhting else, she only wants me in school half to 3/4 time. She does not want me to go full time until we either work on my perfectionism in school thing, or I have the kids in preschool or not around 24/7 There is no reason for me to add stress to my life if I don't have to. School is good, wanting to better myself is good- taking on too much at once is setting meself up for stress, turmoil, and more attacks.

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