Meet Joan,
Now before I go ahead and tell you how this lady changed my life let me share with you how meeting Joan came about. Anyone that knows me would know that I have had anxiety for a long time and it is also something that touches my family massively. Between my mum, my brother and I we have the market cornered on life with anxiety. My anxiety started at a young age. When my parents divorced I formed some type of separation anxiety. Being so young I didn’t quite understand how to deal with it and just pushed it to the side and hoped that it would go away. Unfortunately this planted the seed of anxiety and over the years it has grown roots and lodged itself within me. I could be sitting at home on the couch or driving to work in the car and a game show would come on. Say for example I was watching Deal or No Deal. I could watch the whole show up until the very last briefcase and then I’d have to change the channel before they open it. My heart would be racing and my hands would be sweating. I could not bare to watch that last briefcase being opened. For me it was the fear of the unknown, fear of the future. That’s basically how I lived my life, fearing the unknown.
In April I took a turn for the worse. I pushed the person way that I adored more than anything. I was constantly stressing about the unknown and the future which is enough to make anyone leave. Some days I struggled to get out of bed and others days I would spend walking around like a zombie. I felt alone, I felt like I had no purpose and quite frankly I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, I was down to the last straw.
My mum was naturally worried about me and booked me an appointment at the doctors to see if they could help me with a mental health plan. After 5 minutes of explaining how I was feeling this so called professional whipped out a pad and scribbled me out a script. A script for anti-depressants. I didn’t want to be depressed and this wasn’t the life I had envisioned when I was a child.
I was a bit hesitant at first but after all it’s what the doctor prescribed, how bad could it truly be. I took the tablets for about a month. During this month I was numb. I felt neither happy nor sad. All I ever felt like doing was eating and sleeping. My skin was breaking out and I was putting on weight by the day. If anything it was making me more unhappy than I already was.
After weighing up the pros and cons I decided to go cold turkey on the anti-depressants. I know this is never recommended and you should always begin by tapering off of them but I thought this was the best option for me.
It was a few days after I had stopped taking the anti-depressants when I was talking to a family friend who recommended Hypnotherapy. He told me that he had recently tried Hypnotherapy for his anxiety and it had worked. I was a little bit sceptical at first however at this point I was eager to try anything.
For anyone that doesn’t know, Hypnotherapy is a form of Psychotherapy that is used to create subconscious change in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings.
I made an appointment with the Hypnotherapist (Joan). I was feeling super anxious about the whole thing but was constantly reminded by my friends/family that doing this could only benefit me and that I had nothing to lose.
I went into the Hypnotherapy session with an open mind. Joan made me feel safe and comfortable from the moment I sat down. I poured my heart out and told her absolutely everything that was going on in my head and how I was feeling. An hour and a half later my first Hypnotherapy session was done. I came out of the session unsure of the results but knew that I was feeling different. In the next coming days I tried to test my anxiety. I even pushed myself to sit through a full game show on TV or radio competition without changing the channel to see how it would make me feel.
It’s been over a month now and I am very proud to say that I no longer have any sort of anxiety. I no longer go to the shops and examine the nearest exit in case I can feel an attack coming on, I no longer anxiously bite my nails and I no longer hide myself in my room with my head in a book to hide away from this crazy world.
Joan has completely changed my life. There are honestly no words to describe how grateful I am to be given what feels like a second chance. For anyone out there who is reading this and is going through the same thing or something similar please understand that you are not alone. I hope this inspires you and makes you believe that there is always help out there for you.

Amalia, Adelaide.