Anxietycentre.com, thank you for pointing me in the right direction. And to my counselor, I cannot thank you enough.
Seeking help for my anxiety was a tough decision for me. I came from a family where any form of counseling was referred to as "seeing a shrink" and was generally looked down upon. I suffered through my first year living in Japan, and dealing with all the culture shock, stress, and misunderstandings that arose from a company that asked me to work 10-12 hours a day, and asked me to take work home. After that first year, I sought employment elsewhere. And for a while, I was okay. Happy even.
Until my physical health began to deteriorate. I grew into a constant state of panic and had stopped eating. I began experiencing back pain. I came down with a stomach virus right before I left to go home for Christmas that year. The constant pain from the "virus" never left. I could barely walk. I saw doctor after doctor who couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I ended up taking an extra week off from work. When I finally returned to Japan (panicking over the conviction I would lose my job if I didn't), I was a mess. It was there that my Japanese doctor told me my back pain and gut pain were not some physical problem, but caused by anxiety. He gave me anxiety medication. It didn't help. I didn't believe him.
Not until, in desperation, I began to read up on anxiety. I believe it was God who led me to the anxietycentre.com website, where I began to read through all of the free material available. I began doing meditations. And while the pain was still present, it finally began to subside after a few months. It was there I considered and finally took the advice within those free materials. I signed up for counseling.
It was nerve-wracking at first, but it got easier with each session. My counselor was kind, patient, and understanding, and I never felt pressured to do anything I didn't want to. The time zone difference and my schedule were taken into consideration, my ability to pay for sessions discussed until I felt comfortable, and we began to meet bi-weekly for hour sessions. My symptoms began to subside, and with time, disappeared completely. Within two years, and with a lot of hard work and dedication, I was equipped with the tools I needed to overcome my anxiety. It was a difficult journey, but I don't regret it for a moment. I still suffer from health problems, but they don't hold me back as they once did. I've begun attending online graduate school and am looking forwards to an exciting future. Anxietycentre.com, thank you for pointing me in the right direction. And to my counselor, I cannot thank you enough.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
Anxiety attacks can be powerful and overwhelming experiences. But there is help available. We encourage you to explore our website for a comprehensive understanding of anxiety, anxiety symptoms and signs, the various anxiety disorders, and how to overcome them.
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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated February 25, 2019.