“First is the Worse, Second is the Best…”

Although I was still a student I refused to go back to the campus medical center. My insurance company assisted with finding a local female therapist who, according to them, treated everything from anxiety, OCD and panic to depression, Bipolar and PTSD. Eureka! Had I found the one this time?

I arrived to a small, quaint office located above an independent bookstore. The simplistic decor and music playing in the background was comforting. So far, so good! The therapist greeted me in the waiting room, with a smile, and escorted me to her office. With a soft, pleasant voice, she said, “Please, make yourself comfortable!”. She radiated kindness, compassion and empathy. I sat down on the couch… Inhaled… Exhaled…

“Brooke, what brings you in today?” I explained the anxiety, fears, angry outbursts and possible OCD. She followed up by asking a variety of intake questions. “When did the symptoms start?”, “How do you feel they effect your quality of life?”, “Have you ever been treated for this before?”. Upon conclusion of the session, I chose to make a second appointment. I was comfortable with her and I wanted to see where this would go. Was it possible that I could feel better?

The next several appointments involved an in-depth history and identifying a treatment plan. This was the first time I would hear “CBT” or “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”. CBT is a type of talk therapy (psychotherapy) that focuses on problem-solving and meeting goals. CBT helps to break the vicious cycle of negative thinking and feeling by altering the following: Thoughts Create Feelings -> Feelings Create Behavior -> Behavior Creates Thoughts.

We spent months dissecting my past and present, utilizing CBT. I felt a little better. I had someone to vent to and problem solve with. However, my OCD continued to intertwine its tentacles in my day-to-day routines. She encouraged me to make an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss medication options. Meds?!?! Hmmmmmm…. Nope! My OCD had me convinced that taking medication, any medication (Pain Relievers, Cough Suppressants, Anti-Depressants, etc.) was a loss of control. I needed to know and feel what my body was experiencing at ALL times.

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