Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Anxiety
I didn't return to college several years ago due to high anxiety. I have tried since then to go to my original college since then but wasn't able to do to the same thing; high anxiety. My question is how do i overcome the anxiety that always gets in my way when i try to go back. I have heard that a combination of cbt and exposure therapy is the best treatment for anxiety but how can i do both parts when the college is four hours away from me? Would it make more sense to start this process at a local college first and work my way back gradually to my original colleges since the distance from the original college is going to be a problem? Would the fact that i will be two different environments be a problem?
Hi, Peter, thanks for your question. First, it isn't clear to me why you would want to commute 4 hours each way to a college. Regardless of your mental health, that would seem to make it nearly impossible to achieve. Second, IMO it doesn't matter what college you go to. More important to graduate, seems to me.
Regarding anxiety - yes, exposure and CBT both are effective. When it comes down to it, though, e.g., in the end, the reality is that one has to stop letting one's feelings stop one from getting on with life. What you will learn from CBT is that anxiety does not "cause" you to stop college, to not return to college, tp "not be able to", or anything else. These are choices that we make, and then we use our "stinkin thinkin" to make those choices more palatable.
No matter what kind of treatment one gets, there come times when one's feelings become intense. In that moment, one makes a choice - either to try to reduce those feelings by putting one's life on hold, or putting up with the unpleasantness and getting on with accomplishing one's goals. Those moments can happen even several times a day.
Different kinds of therapies cam ease you into those choices, but they don't replace or take away that hard work of 'being with' those feelings.