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Ryan’s battle with anxiety and depression

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For years I struggled with anxiety that got so bad that it led to me also suffering depression.  I experienced a constant sense of worry, negative thoughts, feeling like I had an endless pit in my stomach and feeling like I was always on edge, unable to switch off and relax. Looking back, I had a clear intolerance to stress that was exasperated by situational triggers. 

I would waste hours of my days up inside my head, thinking of useless crap that would disturb my brain and therefore result in anxiety. Sometimes it was because I was replaying old memories in my mind, but also from fortunetelling negatively about my future. Being distracted by my thoughts meant I was missing out on the world around me, as I was unable to switch my mind off and be present to my life.

I began isolating myself as I was unable to cope with my daily tasks because my brain felt like it was in overdrive and constantly over stimulated. The idea of socialising with others seemed impossible as all of my energy was consumed by the constant flow of negative thoughts and perceived threats occurring in my mind. 

My stress and anxiety got so bad that it resulted in physical symptoms including my skin breaking out, which affected my self esteem and confidence and would then cause me to isolate myself even more. Additionally, it resulted in stomach and digestive issues which in turn created more stress and perpetuated the anxiety cycle to continue. I had past the point of feeling like I was just existing instead of living, I was burnt out, all I wanted to do was go to sleep and not wake up.

At one point every major aspect of my life pretty much went to sh*t. I had resigned from my job in Child Protection, ended my first longterm relationship, was dealing with family issues and had to give away my dog that I had raised for 2 years. At this point I remember wanting to sleep all day in order to escape the way I was feeling. However, the moment I would wake I’d be hit by a wave of severe anxiety again.

Over the years I was proactive in taking action to help myself. I tried counselling, seeing a psychologist, as well as a psychiatrist, attended a voluntary cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program at Perth Clinic, studied mindfulness and had taken a variety of anxiety and antidepressant medications. These methods helped me in the short term, however I seemed to fall straight back into my old patterns of thinking and behaviour. 

Medication was great in that it helped me to sleep by knocking me out. However, medication only masked my issues, it did not fix my problems. Going to a psychologist and psychiatrist was helpful in that it gave me some insight into why I was behaving a certain way due to my history. CBT provided me with techniques to help overcome my errors of thinking (cognitive distortions). However, this meant I had to micromanage myself and practice these techniques on regular basis in order for it to be effective. Unfortunately, none of these methods changed the way my brain functioned, therefore I defaulted back to the patterns of behaviour that had been engrained in me since I was a child. It wasn’t until I was informed about the Brain Wellness Spa that things really changed.

I remember being skeptical before hand, but as soon as my first recoding session had been completed I knew things had changed for the better. I say this because the results I got after one session were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I had walked into my appointment feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, having constant thoughts, worrying thoughts and mind chatter, then it all changed. I woke up and everything was quiet. No worrying thoughts, no thoughts at all, just a feeling of peace and calmness in my mind. I was completely present in the moment. I remember saying to Terri Bowman the founder who facilitated my session “what the f**k have you done to my brain? This is amazing!”. 

She asked my to try and think about my previous trauma’s so I tried, then I tried again, but nothing. I knew the memory of my past trauma’s existed, however it was like my brain didn’t care to think or attach into them no matter how hard I tried. My previous issues now felt like facts with no emotional attachment to them. I know now that because my mind was unable to attach into these memories I was therefore not distressed by the emotions that used to come along with them. I walked out of the appointment feeling an overwhelming intrinsic sense of happiness and positivity, like what I imaged a Buddhist Monk would feel like, completely relaxed and at peace. For the first time ever I drove home in silence with no radio. Previously, I had constantly listened to music in an attempt to block out my thoughts, however this time I did not want the music to disturb the peace in my brain.

After that I never looked back. That will forever be a life changing experience for me, the day my mind stood still, where instead of my mind controlling me, I was now in control of my brain and in turn my life. After completing my treatment I no longer suffer with regular anxiety and the depression is gone. I have more energy and am able to be present in my life. I no longer struggle with social anxiety and enjoy engaging with others. I am easily able to switch off the flow of thoughts in my mind, and embrace a quiet mind that gives me the ability to focus on the things I need to. Additionally, I wake up most days with a general sense of happiness and positivity about my life and future. 

In seeing how successfully this treatment process was for me I had no questions about changing my career to come and help Ms Bowman positively change the lives of other individuals. After completing an intensive training program I am now luckily enough to be working as a Neurotherapist at the Brain Wellness Spa. I get to help others in need everyday. There is no greater feeling then being able to help those who are suffering and empowering them to be the best version of themselves.

If you are someone who is struggling with mental health issues I can’t encourage you enough to call us on 1300 884 348 and book yourself an appointment. I have no doubt that like me it will change your world for the better.

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