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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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I grew up suffering from anxiety, low-self esteem most of my

Resolved Question:

I grew up suffering from anxiety, low-self esteem most of my 37 yrs, believed to be caused impatient, irritable parents and perhaps the pressure of being a first born of two..(brother 1 yr younger). Amazingly, all of this anxiety goes away when abroad for a 1 year or even less and shortly after coming back..but having gone back to every day life in my home country, the anxiety etc..returns...is this some sort of PTSD that only goes away in a new environment or can therapy help? I tried that and the psychologist started treating it as a confidence issue, but I am wondering if it is deeper than that. Many thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I am available to assist you- Welcome!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It may be beneficial to engage in a live chat in order for me to gather a bit more information. The primary trigger for your anxiety may be- being home, back into the reality of things. Interesting that you say the anxiety goes away when abroad. That tells me it is more environmental. If you were suffering PTSD, those symptoms would show up no matter where you are.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Impatient, irritable parents, and pressure of being first born with two brothers could create an underlying anxiety, uncertainty. You may have felt you could not please your parents, or things were never quite "good enough". Parents are "God like" and as children we tend to internalize how we are treated by our parents as something we did or did not do, never quite getting it right. We want our parent's approval and strive for that, no matter what our age. You may be doing that, unconciously.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Being away from home, you may be more free to be who you want to be, who you can be. That critical voice inside quites a bit when away from home.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I do believe therapy can help sort this out. Taking a look at your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions they evoke can be enlightening. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is very effective in treating anxiety and low self esteem. Our thoughts and perceptions determine our emotions. If our thoughts are more negative, and or critical, that makes for more anxious and doubtful, and insecure emotions.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

We tend to play old tapes from our childhood. You may have taken those irritable, impatient parent tapes and made them your own. It's natural that we repeat what we have learned, what we've heard over and over. If your parents were irritable, you may have struggled, continue to struggle to feel you measure up.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Doing some inner child work may be beneficial also, through imagary. Enter a room that you recall as a child, picture you as a young girl sitting on a bed. What does she look like, how is she feeling, what does she hear from her parent's most days etc. As you get into specific detail about her (you as a child), ask her what she needs to feel stronger, less anxious, more confident. Does she need someone to tell her she's good just as she is, does she need nurturing, reassurance...

Jean N/20pluscounts :

This technique can assist one in beginning to realize they are naturally good and what we experience now is often old stuff that does not apply any longer. The tapes, the words we heard over and over again from our parents.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If you do a search on John Bradshaw, he's written various books on inner child, and healing shame. He is a counselor, speaker, and educator.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello!

Customer:

Hello, just read your answere

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Glad you could join me-

Customer:

thanks for the response.

Customer:

I am a male by the way...lol

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I'm sorry- not sure why I would assume female- sorry!!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It does say male on gender- opps!

Customer:

no worries..

Customer:

so you think therapy can help and that being abroad is not necessarily the solution..its changing the ´tapes´

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I think so- yes- but hey if going abroad brings you happiness- who would disagree with that.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Being away gives you an opportunity to just "be"- be yourself- the original- good as you are- you.

Customer:

and am ´good enough´

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Take a closer look at what your thoughts are when you are abroad- what leads you to be happier, less anxious, yes good enough!

Customer:

think the country and people and their music was just more ..well happier, more positive..it was the Dominican Republic,,lots of lively, fast paced music typical of latin culture..where as Jamaica my country, more laid back, slow, negative..at least for me..

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Take what works when abroad, and recreate it-

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Good example of how our environment influences us- it may be a healing place for you- speaks to your soul.

Customer:

I do go to latin dancing here and even have a group of friends who go there who are more relaxed and positive, but my positive intentions get hijacked by negative thoughts, anxieties..

Customer:

I am trying to récreate that experience by achieving a level of success in a new business venture and become more muscular (even though I am already a good looking with an athletes body)...but by becoming better than average, I am hoping that this would override my negative thoughts and give me back that confident swagger I had..

Customer:

already with the positive results from my business venture, the exercises and becoming more aware of the source of my problems, I am gradually getting more confident, so I am hoping that becoming above average will also get me there once again

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- the negative thoughts- the old tapes- Yes!! I like that "hijacked"- something takes over. Anxiety has a mind of it's own- can be a strong voice within. Yes- working on physical can improve the inner also. "Fake it til you make it" sort of idea- act as if it is true and it will likely come true with practice. Thoughts that fire together wire together- we can change our thinking. Takes practice because it is old patterns, habits.

Customer:

that is also true.. I am sometimes amazed what happens when I force myself to have a positive attitude, but it doesnt last..like a battery low on charge, it fades away after awhile

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It sounds like you are on a positive and good path- exciting!! Your hard work will pay off- takes time- but it will pay off.

Customer:

so apart from positive thinking, you think the CBT would also help?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's that age ole battle within- the two voices within- the more positive coach and that more critical parent. Yes cbt is effective.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

CBT teaches us to think more realistically.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It helps us "untwist" our thinking.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

The negative thinking goes way back- it prepares us for "danger" when we needed to be more prepared- we still tend to do that.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Did you have any other comments or questions?

Customer:

do all mental health professionals do CBT or is it specialized?

Customer:

psychologists vs therapists

Customer:

how long would such a treatment last?

Customer:

the psychologist I went to did mention ´positive and negative tapes´ but, seemed to almost doubt his ability to treat me..thats why I stopped

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Most do CBT, but yes there are more specialized. I think either a psychologist or a therapist- we are all trained in it- very common treatment. It's life changing- but takes commitment and practice. If you find someone more specialized could be about 12 weeks plus.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

When you call to inqurie, ask specifically for a cbt therapist.

Customer:

ok, so just read up on it and then seek one when I am ready?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- my thoughts exactly!!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

My positive thoughts lol

Customer:

lol..

Customer:

well thanks.,, much appreciated..a lot of my chest..and more clarity on the way forward..really hope it helps..

Customer:

have a good night, morning

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You sound very motivated- that's a big part of treatment- motivation- investment.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You too- take care. Thanks for your post!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If you'd be so kind to rate my answer okay or higher so I can get credit- much appreciated. Let me know if I can help again.

Customer:

ok will do..

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Thank you!!

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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