So I have anxiety
Many of my patients, friends and family already know this about me – I have battled anxiety. I try to be really open about this and talk about it. Not only to help remove stigma (what that successful doctor person has anxiety?) but also, selfishly, to help myself.
In this blog I am going to tell parts of my story and journey and give some tips on what has worked… for me.
Hopefully you will find it helpful if this is also one of your struggles.
I think I have always tended towards anxiety. But the first time it really hit me in a debilitating way was 7 months after my son was born in the form of post partum depression and anxiety.
At that time I stopped sleeping, eating, enjoying life and knew I had a problem when I was thinking about turning the car wheel while driving on the busy highway and wondering if it would really matter.
I needed help and got it in the form of medication, therapy and exercise.
Since then I have gone through ups and downs but did not need the medication for most of the 6 or 7 years in between. Then last summer, I did again. Unfortunately I think that once you have had a serious episode of anxiety and/or depression you are more likely to experience another one.
What I have learned is that the medication can be helpful but for me, it is only one part of the story. I have learned that I need to do several other things to help myself and I do hope that I will never need it again. This is a continuing journey for me but I am always learning, refining and adding to what I do for myself. Here is some of what I do and, amazingly, now also what I teach my patients:
Things I find helpful for my own and my patients anxiety
reading personal development books
listening to inspiring audio books
practicing gratitude (journals or thank you notes- HEY KAREN!!! Note to self: please get better at doing this more!!)
practicing feeling connected to everything around me
I try to do most of these things daily and the self care techniques (like massage and chiropractic) regularly. While it is a process to learn to do some of these things I have found them extremely helpful in my life and in changing my outlook on life and developing a sense of inner peace. I watched a great TedTalk yesterday though about this that I thought was spot on so I will attach that link here:
I hope you find this blog post helpful – I have lots more tricks and tips and I honestly think that my challenges have made me a better doctor.
Contact me anytime if you have questions or want to chat about any of this.