Shabnam's Story
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Shabnam's Story

What was the problem before therapy started?

Trying to please other people all of the time led to lots of worrying about other people and worries about getting ill and not being around for them.  The way I tried to deal with this was by asking people for reassurance (family and doctor).  This helped a little bit, but the worrying thoughts would come back again.  When my worries were about physical symptoms, this led to extra focus on parts of my body which just made the symptoms seem worse by exaggerating them.  A big part of the problem was that I thought everyone was right and knew better that me which meant that I never said no or disagreed with anyone.  Three months ago I was feeling very low and struggling to get up in a morning.

How did the problem develop?

I grew up with a very quiet family who weren't sociable; there was no physical closeness and no praise for doing things well.  Mum was always right (and still is) and I didn't have many friends.  I grew up believing that I was shy and an outsider, that everyone else was more confident and knew better.  This led to me believing that I can't cope without asking others for help and also that I would be letting people down if I didn't do what they said.

What kept the problem going?

I was going round and round in a vicious circle, worries just go from one thing to another, never solving anything.  This made me feel very depressed and then I would worry about feeling depressed and so on. 

What's changed?

Making a map of my problem helped me to understand how it started and recognise the vicious circle.  I realised that I needed to be more assertive and to just accept some physical symptoms.  Reading about other peoples problems with anxiety made me realise that other people have these kind of problems and that I wasn't on my own and that people can move on, this also gave me ideas about things I could do to help. 

I have started to practice assertiveness.  I now still listen to their opinion but I now put my opinion over and stick to my guns if I think I'm right.  I feel more confident and I think people are reacting differently to me and don't always think that they can get their own way. 

How can I build on this and take it forward?

I still need to practice saying NO to my family sometimes when they ask me to baby-sit and do jobs for them.  This can be made easier by having plans for myself and husband for the week ahead.

Make sure I continue to listen to and accept others point of view but still give my opinion.

Continue to ban reassurance seeking.  If I notice that I'm doing this remember to let the worrying thoughts go down the stream instead.

Remember the new road that I am going down now, picture it getting wider the more I use it and keep moving forward.

This page was last updated on 2010-11-23 11:21:54