My name is Denise, I am 23 years old and I have been chronically ill for a few years. That means that I can be found in the hospital regularly. It is a place where I know my way around quite well. Yet I noticed that I was very dependent on others to go somewhere or to do things. Someone always came with me, including to my hospital appointments; I never did anything alone. During the treatment of my illness, this question came up: “Don’t you feel like it would be good to work on this, before we continue with the treatment?”.
This question got me thinking. What if one day I can do everything I would like to do again, but I’m too afraid to do it? What if I finally feel good again, but don’t dare to take a walk and still stay at home? What if I find doing something on my own worse than spending my time sick at home? Then this might get in the way of my physical recovery.
The next step
Knowing it was time to do something about my anxiety, I made an appointment with my doctor. I was soon referred to the Parnassia Group and was told that I would be treated online. I found this a bit nerve wracking; I don’t find it very comfortable to talk to strangers on the phone. Still, I wanted to try and take the plunge. If I really didn’t like it, I could always request to see a psychologist face-to-face.
I started my online trajectory and found out that I actually liked it. I found video calling a lot less scary than calling. Because you can still see the other person’s reaction and facial expression during the conversation, it quickly feels normal and familiar. It was almost as if I was on the phone with a friend.
Yet many people around me were curious whether it was not very impersonal, but I have never experienced it like that. In addition, I think it also helps that you are in your own environment; this makes it a lot easier to talk than somewhere in a random room.
Always at hand
In addition to video calling, I also made extensive use of the diary in my NiceDay app. I kept track of my thoughts and feelings, and it was a nice idea to know that my therapist was always looking out for me. After that,I started working with the Thought records. It could happen that I suddenly had a terrible panic attack on the subway, which is very annoying with all those people around you. But, I grabbed the app and started filling in a Thought schedule. I went through the questions, “What’s going on?” or “Why are you anxious now?”. That way I could try to calm my panic right away.
It’s going better
I am happy to say that I am now doing very well. I did have a relapse recently, but thanks to the tools I have been given, I can now deal with this. I can convince myself that I can and that I must continue. I still sometimes read articles on www.niceday.app. And if I am to have another relapse, I will just open the NiceDay app again!