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happy new year 2019, a personal post

·630 words·3 mins·
Gilles Chehade
Gilles Chehade
I’m not a cat.
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Way too many things happened in a six months timeframe.
This post won't need a TL;DR as I'll keep it short.

Generalized anxiety disorder and alexithymia. #

Late 2018, I’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and alexithymia a couple weeks apart.

The anxiety disorder didn’t really come as a surprise as I know very well the traumatic experience that led to the disorder. It’ll still take a lot of hours of hypnosis to continue cleaning up trauma after trauma, but taking care of it and releasing some of the traumas has improved considerably my anxiety.

I’ve also tried different approaches out of curiosity, including consumption of increasing doses of CBD in various forms, but didn’t observe noticeable improvements no matter if smoked, vaped, eaten, tinctured, … it does help sleep earlier if I consume a large dose of CBD but only hypnosis relieves anxiety effectively for me.

The alexithymia diagnosis crushed me for a while. I didn’t know what it was but as the psychologist explained the disorder, all of the implications throughout the years hit me in the face very harshly.

Alexithymia is an inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. I learnt at 38 that I’m mostly cut from emotions and that when people say “I feel happy” or “I feel sad” they actually feel it, whereas I will say that I feel them when I “know” I should feel them, not because I actually feel them.

I won’t enter much more details as it still makes me uncomfortable at this point, but one of the side-effects of alexithymia is that it makes the anxiety disorder considerably worse: I cannot see attacks coming and can’t use any techniques to prevent them from unfolding. In most situations I will not even realize that I’m having an anxiety attack but will still suffer from all of its symptoms without being able to make a connection, nor understand what is happening.

I wish I had read about this earlier and put some sense into it earlier, which is why I’m taking a few paragraphs to explain and will answer any question in the comments if you have some. I will probably write again about it in the future but I don’t think GAD or alexithymia characterize me, they haven’t prevented me from having a career or hobbies though they made it considerably harder, so I will not give them a bigger place than they already have in my every day life, it won’t be a recurrent topic.

I’d say it’s been an emotional rollercoaster but now you know I don’t really grasp what it means :-)

Other misc. personal stuff #

In just a few months, I learnt my half was pregnant and we’re expecting a little guy in October <3, we moved to our own place that we’ve been waiting for two years to be built, my cat died after sharing sixteen years with me, I fully completed my final hypnotherapist training putting an end to years of training, and mostly finished my third year of studying occupational clinical psychology.

I have also changed role at work and requested to switch to a 75% part-time job, spending three weeks at work for one week off to work on my projects, both open-source and hypno/psycho related.

Life has been busy and kept me away from writing here.

What next ? #

Now that I will be able to spend one week off each month, I’ll write a monthly report of my activities on this blog, this will be an easier rythm than writing whenever I do something.

This post was not the May monthly report, which I’ll write right after and publish tonight, I just wanted to get the non-technical stuff out of the way.

Cheers, Gilles

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