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"I know can always ask for help"

About: Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

Through this programme (Lets Talk Hull CBT) , I have learnt what was triggering my anxiety and considered ways of dealing with it. During the first two sessions, we discussed my safety behaviours, the things I avoided and continuing difficulties that remained unchanged.

It was a lot easier to talk to someone when I dropped my safety behaviours, unhelpful thoughts and self-focus, with the use of mindfulness to help concentrate on noises in the background and the other person, helping the conversation to flow more naturally as well as practice using role-play and looking at different ways people start conversations so I could try myself.

I inclined to disregard and positive social interactions and instead concentrated on what didn't go so well. I understood that I needed to be more assertive and interrupt using verbal and non-verbal methods when necessary.

When I focused on myself, I started to dread about what to say afterwards meaning that I don't completely participate with social interactions.

Half-way through the programme, I made my first phone call in years. I used deep breathing and mindfulness. My nervousness passed fifteen seconds of the conversation starting. The anxiety came before, but afterwards I felt okay.

The more I worried about been loud enough, the quieter I become. More practice speaking louder, I found the easier it was. I also noticed, the louder I spoke, my anxiety would drop. Assertiveness, I understand doesn't mean getting my own way but how I feel what I want without been overlooked or pushed around by others.

Keeping positive data logs and setting tasks which I'd then rate helped me to acknowledge things I have done well and how much I have improved over time. When talking to someone I need to just push myself. I can change subject or keep going until I have found something we are comfortable talking about.

What might lead to a setback for me would be negative people, not asking for help and not trying to continue everything I've learnt so far. This would lead to my anxiety ratings increasing, been less involved in social situations and more negative thoughts.

If this should happen, I can look back at my data logs, notes and progress to try to make changes or experimentation's and review everything I've learnt to see where I need to improve or change, but if all else fails I know can always ask for help or at least let someone else know.

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