The first stage of my recovery is to get to the base cause of my illness so that I can begin to build strong, healthy foundations for a bright and healthy future. This is a key step in my journey towards health as without a good understanding as to the thought patterns and behaviour that trigger my depression, I will just end up caught up a vicious cycle of endless destructive episodes that will impact every single aspect of my life; as they have done for the past 20 years.
For the last few weeks I've been attending the Nightingale Hospital in London for a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, commonly know by it's acronym: CBT. I've been seeing a wonderful psychologist who has patiently listened and intelligently probed as I've told my story from my earliest memories to my darkest, most terrifying moments. It's been a deeply revelatory and personal experience where I've learned a great deal about myself and how my past, my thoughts and my brain structure influence my illness and personality.
It all began with an assessment session with a senior psychiatrist who, after a long and sometimes painful conversation, provided an assessment and treatment plan. The route cause of my depression stem from issues related to low esteem, defectiveness, self-sacrifice, failure and self-punitiveness. A long list of issues to begin working on.
The next stage of therapy are the CBT sessions with the psychologist. The first couple of sessions were very a 'get to know' affair, simply talking about life, the universe and everything in between. There was also some homework for me to do including a Young Schema Questionnaire which is designed to highlight personality disorders along with some deep and critical thinking about possible events or memories that might be triggers for the personality disorders I suffer from. I won't go into any detail about those as they are way too personal to discuss in public.
And now the healing begins. I've got another session on Thursday and we will begin the process of mending my fractured mind by building broken neural pathways, teaching my mind how to recognise trigger points and feelings and deal with them before they explode out of control and, along with the other pillars of my healing program, finally put to the bed the terrors of this illness I've been suffering with for far too long.