Even a psychologist can have anxiety and overcome boundaries


I have been working as a psychologist for over 15 years. And I would like to share with you all my latest experiences of crossing my own boundaries. I admit that I myself work intensively on topics that have not been important to me for years. I thought nothing would surprise me anymore. And suddenly a new experience and a new topic appeared for me. Fear and anxiety about diving.

Diving was never my dream. I decided to complete the course together with my friend, who received the basic course from me as a Christmas present. And as a proper partner, I decided to go with him. However, I never thought that I would experience as much fear and anxiety as I experienced when I first entered the pool with the equipment on my back. Before this moment, I completed several hours of theory. Of course, as is already standard for me, my intermediate knowledge tests ranged from 90 to 100%, so I was really looking forward to the water.

However, when I entered the water for the first time with the equipment, I felt that I had no control over the situation. I also had no control over my own body and I found out what an anxiety attack is. It happened to me for the first time in my life at the age of 38. Physiological manifestations of fear immediately appeared, such as hand tremors, heart palpitations, thoughts of running away, resistance to diving, hatred for my partner, because of whom I found myself in the water at that moment, mistrust of the equipment, inability to breathe, fear of death ... that everything and many other thoughts were going through my head and I couldn't control or stop these thoughts. After my first practical diving lesson, which I more or less just stopped in the pool, I got into the car and couldn't stop crying. After arriving home, I put on tennis shoes and at midnight I went jogging through the streets of Bratislava at night. I was experiencing enormous physical tension and while running I was thankful all the time that I could breathe freely. I have never had such immense joy and I have never experienced such great gratitude for the fact that I can breathe freely and without restrictions.

Despite the fact that I didn't want to come to the diving course anymore, I didn't give up. I spent several days doing stabilization exercises. I focused on myself and on clearing my thoughts and body fear. I didn't give up.

I survived and I understood how important it is to learn to control emotions. I used all my own psychological advice that I give to clients as well as the advice of my therapist.

I decided to complete the diving course in Malta with the individual support of local diving trainers. Fear and respect remain in me to this day. I realize how strongly I experience the feeling that I must be dependent, or I have to trust the equipment and the people around me in this recreational activity.

And what was the most difficult for me?

Learning to trust. Not only equipment and people. But also to myself, to my own abilities and especially to realize all my learned patterns of behaviour from the past. It wasn't easy. And this learning process is definitely not over for me. However, no change in life is easy. And again I had the opportunity to remind myself how fragile our emotional and psychological stability can sometimes be and at the same time how strong our will, motivation and humility can be.

What advice do I want to share with you?

Be aware that fighting your own fear can trigger an even more massive reaction of resistance. Your own patterns of behaviour can cause extensive damage to relationships with your loved ones. In fear, look for internal and external resources, remind yourself of your own potential and try to understand the reactions in the context of personal history. So try to understand why you react the way you do and what can cause this reaction. Communicate about your emotions and experiences with a specialist and/or your loved ones. Isolation and avoiding people is not the answer.

PhDr. Ivana Čergeťová, PhD., LL.M., MBA, PCIC

I am a psychologist, NLP coach, attachment-based therapist, career counselor, and academic staff. I have been dedicated to the attachment theory in personal and work settings for over 20 years. I work on this topic not only as a counselor but also as a researcher. Meeting with me can help you if you are seeking an expert in mental health specializing in relationships, communication, and personal development. For more information, follow my social networks @radipsychologicka #attachment #relationships #love #attachment #JoinMeForAdvice #relationshiptherapist #development