I've decided to share my experience with a new type of therapy that my psychiatrist is using on me. It's a form of brainspotting that helps to work with (maybe cure) OCD type illnesses like HA. But before I get into it I thought I should give a background on me.
I am a 42 year old woman with three amazing kids and an even more amazing husband. I grew up with a wonderful family however my mom was diagnosed with cancer when I was 10 which left me with 13 years of uncertainty and anxiety. She died when I was 23. So as you could imagine I always was a little afraid of my health and every little symptom I got but it was never debilitating. About 3 years ago I suffered my first panic attack that landed me in the hospital. I was sure I was dying and my body was showing signs it was. My blood pressure was through the roof so they gave me meds to slow it down immediately thinking I was in the midst of a heartattack. After multiple tests they realized I had had a panic attack. Over the last three years I have not only had a heartattack but in my head cancer, HIV, bladder infections, MS, Brain Tumors, ALS, and anything else that pops up on google. My body has taken over with physical symptoms like nausea, diahrrea, headaches, blurred vision, stomach cramps, neck pain, sore throats, MAJOR dizziness, night sweats, depersonalization, a floating sensation, the feeling like a band was around my head, abdominal pain, and back pain which has landed me every test known to mankind. At 40 Ive had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, CAT scan, MRI, Ultrasounds and blood work. And with all that my dr has said "You have Panic Disorder". The only disease I HAVEN'T believed I have is Panic Disorder.
Anyways, for the past year and a half I have worked with a psychiatrist who is AMAZING. She has helped me tremendously! I have gone from panic attacks that last months to panic attacks that last minutes. But lately I have been dealing with HA. My father has OCD so its not a surprise since HA is a form of OCD and OCD can be genetic..so I've heard. Since I have responded well to a form of therapy called brainspotting, she asked if I would take part in a new form of brainspotting based on the principals of a Dr named Norman Doidge. He has a book called "The brain that changes itself" and she gave me a chapter to read from his book that explained the premise of this therapy. The idea is that the brain has three parts that are involved with obsessions. The orbital frontal cortex, the cingulate gyrus,and the "gear shift" called the caudate nucleus. When we make a "mistake" or sense something is wrong three things happen...We get a mistake feeling, or in the HA suffers case a symptom, that nagging sense that something is wrong. We then become anxious and that anxiety drives us to correct the mistake or look into the symptom. And then last, once we correct the mistake or make the symptom go away a gearshift of sorts happens and our brains move onto the next thought. The mistake feeling and anxiety disappear. But in the brain of someone with OCD or HA, those three pieces don't work in harmony together. Because the caudate nucleus doesn't shift the gear, the cingulate gyrus and frontal cortex keep firing signals causing more on an anxiety feeling and false alarms. So to bring it into terms of what I have been experiencing......I get a feeling of nausea. And because I am afraid of it (read Claire Weeks book Hope and Help for your nerves) I perpetuate it until I end up dehydrated and sick. So I go to the Dr who does all these tests and gives me a clean bill of health (except for whats in my head). I give a sigh of relief, my nausea goes away, and I am fine for a couple of days. Then all of a sudden I get a stiff neck (maybe slept on it wrong or the stress of my nausea caught up to my neck) and the cyle begins again. I never really got a shift in my gears. I just moved onto something else that was bothering me. The Dr called it brainlock.
This new form of brainspotting helps to pave a new road...it helps to stops that cycle. I was told to read Chapter 6 out of the book "The Brain That Changes Itself". I am not affiliated with this author or book in any way. Im just sharing my experience as I go through this new journey. But this book makes PERFECT sense to me.
So...day 1....The therapy was awesome! I came in with an anxiety level of about 8 (over my thyroid and neck area). I left with an anxiety level of about 3. I have a couple of techniques to do at home that she helped to train my brain to do in the session. I left the office with NO symptoms and feeling great. HOWEVER, some of my symptoms returned when I got home. This is not a one time thing as it will take a lot of work. BUT, I was highly encouraged that I got to feel my body at peace even if it was for only an hour. That tells me its possible. I HIGHLY suggest you read chapter 6 of this book and look into brainspotting to see if its something that is right for you. But so far I am a believer that this can work. It makes scientific sense and I saw a difference in just one session. Again Im not a DR....Im just trying to share something that may help someone else.