Shane's story

Everyone's psychological tensions or emotional problems come from his or her own background and environment. I'm no different. My story is no more special than anyone else's, but it might explain how I lost my anxiety, depression and aggressiveness.

“My family, who for some reason always continued loving me, actually like me now.”

I was not born depressed, anxious and angry

As a little boy, I was relatively normal, sensitive and happy, if a little socially awkward. Yet my extremely unconventional mother and increasingly violent father, along with harsh and confusing school experiences led to a very defensive, distrustful and angry adolescence.

By early adulthood, I'd formed a deep-rooted cynicism and mistrust of most other people. I was safe on my own – other people were a complication.

I was living a false life

I didn’t know my self and did what I thought I should do. I ran several small businesses and became an extremely assertive workaholic.

“People would slap me on the back and say that I was a success, so why was I so miserable?”

This being ‘a square peg in a round hole’ eventually culminated in 'burn out'... a 'close down'. I could not think straight. I had no constructive energy. I sat and read the same book, day in and day out to try and escape… I became anxious about meeting people and panicked when the telephone rang. My distrust of people grew. Angry incidents became more frequent.

I seemed to be perpetually annoyed by something and had an aching internal disgruntlement. My family life suffered and I was not nice to be around.

Even when I was ‘not stressed’ and supposedly relaxing, I was defensively hostile, complaining about the past or worrying about the future. I was carrying around this constant background sensation of irritation and anxiety. The way I spoke to people was abrupt and often offensive. The few relationships I had really suffered.   

“Eventually I realised I needed to change, but finding help for my emotional issues proved very difficult.”

I tried medication from psychiatrists, which usually made me totally non-functional. I attended CBT, counselling and was seen by numerous clinical psychologists. I know I was difficult to deal with and most of these people were caring, but it was generally like... “Do this or do that… or take these pills and you’ll soon be back to your old self.”

“No one, including me seemed to grasp that it was my ’old self’ that had made me ill in the first place. ”

All of the 'quick fix' - 'one size fits all' – self-help books I read didn't help. Ironically they often made me feel really frustrated and rather hopeless. These books either didn't apply to my specific issues or felt like someone telling me off. They worked sometimes, but only temporarily. I wanted a long-term solution. I needed some encouragement and guidance. I felt increasingly isolated. I had ups and downs, but my psychological tension lasted a dozen years. I began to feel despairing. No one seemed to understand or care about my issues.

“ I felt that I was continually being judged as being a bad person. I felt very alone and increasingly agitated. I resigned myself to life as an incurable misfit.”

By pure chance I found a solution

Someone suggested it could help my 'wellbeing' if I studied... use my brain and achieve something. I didn't have a clue what to study. After considering history or English, I went to university and unintentionally fell into studying the theory of personality and psychotherapy.

Gradually, over the years, as I studied all spectrums of psychology and counselling, I started to recognise my true self and developed a simple solution for my own psychological issues.

With what I learnt and as I developed emotionally, huge lumps of pent up painful tension drifted away. I didn’t just get rid of the internal and external irritation, anxiety and low mood, I also found my 'whole self'… I became self-aware. I became friendly with myself and realised that whilst I was not perfect my individual contented balance was pretty good… for me.

The benefits for me have been great. I’ve tried new things. I slept better, drink less and eat less. I have more energy, I feel clearer, more grounded and relaxed. I live more like the 'true me'. For years even before I was depressed I was living an alien type… false sort of existence. My big problem had been that my old life had made me depressed in the first place. In a strange way I'm glad that I had an episode of psychological tension or depression... my new self is more balanced, more at ease and I enjoy life more than my pre depression self. I am definitely happier now than I was before my depression. 

Now I'm rarely agitated or stressed and life feels easier… I’m more fluid and relaxed when dealing with demanding situations…In fact demanding situations seem to occur less now I’ve changed.

“I still do occasionally get slightly anxious and uneasy about things, but not in the way I used to. I’m still me, but I’m a different me. ”

Helping others with their emotional issues

I regret and resent those wasted decades of being insular, suspicious, anxious and irritable... being what I thought I should be, rather than being the true me.

It eventually dawned on me that I had a great opportunity to help other emotionally troubled people. I linked my personal experience to my years of study and research to form a step-by-step therapeutic skills guide.

Emotionalskills has prevented others from wasting their lives buried in irritability, anxiety, dissatisfaction and in some cases absolute misery.

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