Presenting problem: BWRT for Health Anxiety
Treatment modality: BWRT®
Number of sessions: 1
X has been suffering with anxiety for the last two years or so, and is spending less time sleeping and more time working, trying to occupy her mind and distract herself from all the things she is worrying about.
At the consultation, she explains that she lives half-way round the world from home and, twice a year, takes a long-haul flight to visit family.
She says she has always been an anxious flyer but has managed to contain her fear fairly well until, halfway through a flight last Christmas, her anxiety surged into a full and frightening panic attack.
Struck with terror that she was about to die, X fainted and was taken to hospital upon landing.
Hospital tests found no underlying medical cause and she was discharged a few hours later with a bottle of pills to calm her anxiety. X says she felt better for a brief while but, by the next morning, her heart was racing again. She took herself back to hospital, certain her heart was about to explode. After a quick check over, she was advised to relax and sent away again.
Now, X says she is unable to shut off the obsessive thoughts in her mind that she is going to die, the slightest ailment being a predictor of death: Heart-burn is bound to be stomach or liver cancer; a headache surely means a brain tumour.
The idea of dying too soon is a devastating thought for X, a gifted academic with many ambitions to fulfil, despite her spiritual belief in life after death.
Her belief in an afterlife turns out to be the key for a swift resolution to X’s health anxiety, as she replaces her fear with the faith that death is not final. This rapid and profound change leaves X puzzled at the end of the session, as she declares she no longer feels troubled by the worries she brought into the consulting room.
A week later I receive an email, in which she writes that something ‘weird’ has happened.
As a consequence of her spiritual reflections, X has come to realise that the panic attack on the plane was not just something awful to forget about. Now that anxiety is no longer present she can now see that it has been a powerful lesson to learn, one which has taught her so much that she is almost sorry it has gone.
To find out more about BWRT for Health Anxiety, contact us today!