I first discovered the charity on a small notice board pinned to my GP’s wall in my early 20’s. I had just started the onset of rather serious GAD and I didn’t know what was wrong with me at the time.
I felt like I had been lobotomised and someone else’s mind had replaced mine, that’s what anxiety, as you know, can feel like initially, if you don’t know what it is. Whilst the GP was arranging for me to see a psychiatrist I took the number off the notice board and kept it.
One day I was out and about in Watford and had a rather harsh panic, I ran into a phone box and called the helpline and they talked me down. I vowed I would one day give back to such a selfless, kind and empathic charity.
After some psychiatry and CBT work I recovered fully and unmedicated. Fast forward twenty years later and I now have been through GAD again. This time mildly medicated.
I sought help through a psychotherapist, which was helpful initially but then became quite stagnant and repetitive and I felt like I was in a loop. I decided to contact No Panic wondering if they still existed 20 years later and to my joy they were still very much operational.
I started a course of one to one CBT mentoring and it has been very helpful, and continues to be so to this present day, I’m not fully recovered yet, but I no longer have GAD I would say I was more health phobic. Currently I work as a British Sign Language Interpreter.
I have decided to write a book about my journey through anxiety through my life so far, it’s an honest account and not a medical manual. It’s both a story and a guide to try to help others understand what anxiety actually is and to understand helpful strategies for coping with it.
No Panic helped me enormously to understand what it is, and this took a lot of the sinister view of it away, whilst at times it can be extremely distressing and uncomfortable, I have become more adept at dealing with it.