Overcoming Anxiety and Depression
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for many years. I was also a serious perfectionist, an inefficient workaholic, and very stressed most of the time. I struggled to finish tasks, meet deadlines, and manage my time in general. Unsurprisingly, it made the anxiety and depression worse. It was this constant overwhelming feeling, that I would never reach my goals in life or ever feel comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t want to be present in my own life most of the time, and did everything I could to avoid facing the present and the consequences of my own actions. After months of stress and burning out badly last November, I stopped procrastinating searching for a therapist.
I didn’t click with the first psychologist I tried seeing around the December period. It sometimes happens that they’re not on the same wavelength as you, and it made it difficult to be completely honest or let myself be vulnerable with them about my issues. I ended up feeling less in control, and more stressed about my problems.
Around that time, I heard about the SCC from a friend who’d been seeing a counsellor here. I was initially apprehensive because I was afraid I wouldn’t click with whoever I got assigned to, that they wouldn’t be able to help me, and that I’d have to try again elsewhere. I was exhausted and a bit desperate, so I decided to give it a chance.
Fortunately, it worked this time round, because I found a sense of peace in the first session itself. I was assigned to Rafeah, and I remember the feeling, that she was actually listening to me and not trying to immediately diagnose me or anything. It felt as though there was a space where I could exist judgement-free, and that helped a lot in being able to dig up the root of my troubles.
What I’d initially wanted to do, frankly, was just resolve my executive dysfunction/ productivity-related issues and get on with my life. She helped me realise that my productivity issues and my emotional struggles were linked, and why. It wasn’t what I thought I’d needed, but it helped. We worked through my issues through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and looking at my belief systems.
There were a lot of dysfunctional beliefs I had, about myself and the world, that made me frightened, angry, and bitter most of the time. I struggled to trust people, and kept trying to pour my self worth into my work, which lead to a lot of disappointment and heartache. I’m not saying I’m all cured and perfect now, and in many ways, that was exactly the point, that I was allowed to exist without constantly trying to prove my worth, or do everything to the best possible quality. It helped me start the tasks I kept avoiding. I was able to finish work because I didn’t put an unseemly amount of pressure on myself. She helped me find a lot of peace in accepting the present, my flaws, accepting that there’s a lot more to life than working towards this pretense of a perfect life, which, sure, it looks good on the outside, but it feels absolutely awful.
I’m happier than I was a couple months ago. I feel less afraid of the constantly-changing world and how I thought I needed to fix everything that was wrong and evil going on all the time, if not I was just wasting my life. I have a lot of gratitude for Rafeah because she sat with me through all of this, and helped guide me towards a lot of insight and revelations about myself. She’s got this serenity that’s very comfortable to be around, and even if there were things we disagreed on, she helped me find that centredness as well, to not be perturbed by the things I didn’t agree with or couldn’t accept.
Finally, I’m grateful to the staff here as well, because they’ve been extremely friendly, as well as accommodating, with the arrangements and schedule changes and all. It didn’t feel so stiff and formal that it added to the stress in any way. They’ve always treated me with kindness and respect. Overall, it was worth it to find some peace of mind.
– Client L, 2020