In my practice, when someone enters therapy complaining of a smorgasbord of distressing symptoms, I find that it’s not until I put a label on it (required for insurance purposes), like Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, etc., do I hear a gasp!
Now that they have a “label,” it’s as if I just handed out a life sentence. For many, putting a diagnostic label on their struggle is further evidence that their life has been hijacked. That they are no longer “normal.”
If this describes you, then consider the alternative: rather than feeling powerless and victimized by your struggle, what if the truth is that you are not powerless? What if you are inadvertently feeding your struggles with misguided, insecurity-driven thinking? And what if instead you could learn to retrain your brain to starve the thinking that fuels your struggles? If you’re willing to consider this proposition, then let me give you one bit of encouragement that can make all the difference: All habits are learned, and all habits can be broken. All habits! Even anxiety and depression!