It was during her strenuous week of final exams when she noticed that she wasn’t feeling her best. It started with a tickle in her throat and a stuffy nose. “The inevitable is happening. I’m getting sick” she thought, but quickly realized that there was just no time to worry about a cold. Finally after finals, she found some time to go to the doctor and get something for her cold. The doctor prescribed her a common antibiotic that she would have to take for ten days. “This is great news,” she thought, “the antibiotic will fight off whatever I have, so I can finally start my life and move in with Mike.” Everything was falling into place for the bright young graduate.
Graduation came and went and finally, after two days of packing, she was ready to head home. It was a long three hour drive, but felt like an eternity since she wasn’t well. Why hadn’t the antibiotics kicked in yet? It was the fourth day of taking the medication when she realized she wasn’t feeling any better. In fact, the medication she was taking was making her feel really nauseous. After completing the antibiotics, she realized she felt worse. She looked awful. She had lost weight, had rashes on her body and had developed difficulty swallowing. After multiple doctor visits, it was diagnosed that she had developed thrush from the antibiotics and had a severe reaction to it. More medication was given but once she started feeling physically better, she started feeling anxious. Anxious that she would get so sick again and eventually die. She didn’t leave the house for days. She felt safe only at home with her parents. “I can only depend on them” she thought. When the time came for her to see Mike, she started to feel anxious and afraid because she knew he wanted to live together. She wanted to stay at home where her parents could take care of her. Her parents didn’t understand how their independent successful daughter with a bright future had changed so drastically. It was like anxiety had taken over her whole body. She started wondering if she would ever feel normal again.
After about a month of feeling anxious, and reading that medication was the solution to her problem, she decided medication was not for her. She decided to tackle her anxiety head on with a method called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
This method is based on 3 key facts to reduce anxiety. The first is the Relaxation technique. Learning how to relax can be a helpful part of therapy. Whenever our bodies react to anxiety, our muscles tense and our breathing gets shallow. This is where the panic usually sets in for people like Alessandra suffering with anxiety. Calm breathing which involves slowing down the breath helps regulate your…