So, I’m taking a class this weekend called BCBT or Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxious youth. The reason I’m writing this post is because we’ve been challenged, as future clinicians and therapists, to do something that causes us anxiety. We all have anxiety about something and the assignment is to do something that makes you nervous and examine how you feel. So, I realized that sometimes I obsess about my blog posts and very often write a draft and never actually post it (I have over one hundred of those drafts actually). So, I get 15 minutes to write a post, no proofreading allowed. Thank goodness for auto spell check. my spelling is terrible. Also, first drafts are usually terrible and mine are no exception.
I’ll tell you a little about what I’ve learned in this class.
There are different types of anxiety: separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, specific phobia, panic disorder and agoraphobia. Combined, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder among children and adults.
So, we all have experienced anxiety. We can tell we have anxiety by our physical symptoms, such as sweaty palms, heart racing, short breathing, stomach in knots. Anxiety is natural and it’s a protective factor to warn us about danger. But sometimes a person has anxiety beyond what is normal and it is inhibiting their life. This is how we know someone might need help.
The most effective treatment is a combination of therapy and medication, however it it’s not a really severe case, it’s best to start with therapy since medication always has some side effects. Interestingly, antidepressants are used to treat anxiety and are actually more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety than in treating depression.
Right now, I’m doing the FEAR plan, it’s one component of treatment for CBT or the Brief Coping Cat which is the 8 session therapist thing I’m learning.
The fear plan helps walk you through a scary situation.
F: feeling frightened: Identify your feelings and your body’s response to fear (scared, heart racing, shortness of breath)
E: expecting bad things to happen: what’s the worst that could happen? Everyone could think my post is bad. Someone who wants to hire me in the future for some fancy job could read this lame post and say “that is crappy writing”. I could look stupid.
A: Actions and Attitudes that can help: So here I talk about the positive thoughts that would help me get through this such as: It’s ok to not be perfect. If I make a typo, it’s not the end of the world. No one really cares that much, there’s so much media out there that this post won’t even be on people’s radar. Also, people who subscribe to my blog are nice. I’ve never had anything bad happen where someone made a hateful comment (how surprising is that?!). Also, it will feel good to challenge myself. ACTIONS: I’m going to do it
R: Reward: think of how to reward yourself for being brave. Well, I’m going to feel good about challenging myself and there’s intrinsic value in feeling brave. I’m also going to eat chocolate ice cream later. But I was probably going to do that anyway.
My time is up! Time to hit submit.