I’ve been going through a depressive episode for some months now. I’m taking antidepressants because it feels chemical, like PMS, as symptoms come on in waves. I’ve been steadily seeing my doctor and we have upped my dosage once, about a month ago. It feels relatively stable, or it did, until the election, which put me into somewhat of a tailspin.
This morning, I was watching Netflix, and began to feel as if I could not get enough breath. I knew, logically, that I was breathing and was fine. But the underlying feeling of despondency was giving me that physical feeling. It felt different than anxiety (and I’ve had just 2 panic attacks in my life time), but had similar features.
Ever the scientific-minded me, I said, “What would you tell a client who came in with this item?” Here’s my answer, and what worked to walk me through it:
- Sensations in the body are completely normal.
- Noticing them is completely normal.
- The mind is working perfectly when it brings to awareness that which is potentially dangerous. That sensation seemed potentially dangerous.
- The body is not meant to live in a state of crisis. That sensation is not dangerous. Responding to it is making you freak out. Let’s kill the response to get body out of crisis mode.
- Right now, I am aware of a sensation in my body right now. So what?
- Right now, I am aware of a feeling in my lungs…heart…chest…right now. So what?
Despite that the sensation exists, even at this moment, I am not longer responding to it. I am no longer freaking out. I am breathing. I am fine. I am chill. Back to Netflix.
To learn this process and self-calm during anxiety or depression, call for an apopintment at 954-612-9553.
Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.