Hi, my name is Sylvia Dickens, a former anxiety sufferer who knows exactly what you’re going through. I struggled with anxiety and panic disorder for about 10 years, the worst being the last five. That’s when I obsessed about my condition. My psychotherapist told me it was a chemical imbalance and put me on medication.
For those five years, we talked twice a week, using notes that I had written in between sessions. Those notes soon became the equivalent of a book, discussing every thought, every sensation, every feeling, every fear, every hallucination and every dream.
One day, he told me he could do no more for me and I was on my own. He did refer me to another psychiatrist, but when he decided to test for epilepsy, I literally freaked out and fled from the office.
I never went back, but somehow, I discovered on my own what my anxiety meant and how to overcome it. It seemed magical that seemingly overnight, my panic and anxiety disorder disappeared.
If you stick with me, you will find out what I discovered about anxiety and panic and what you must do to recover once and for all.
Here’s some brief background on how I broke away and ventured on to a new and exciting life.
My first step was to find something else to occupy my mind. I took a few night courses in literature to get my feet wet. I did so well that I decided to return to college to improve my education. I desperately needed a better, more fulfilling job. That job turned out to be journalism. It wasn’t long before I won several distinguished writing awards for my work.
Don’t get me wrong. My success didn’t come without a few anxiety attacks and one major panic episode in my second year of the 3-year course. Strangely, that was the last major attack I’ve ever had.
It was the beginning of a whole new life – free of anxiety and panic – a life that enabled me to use my lifelong talent as a writer.
I wasn’t always so successful.
At 35 years of age I overcame years of depression, anxiety and panic in large part by boosting my self esteem and stepping out of my comfort zone.
After graduating with honors in 1981, I became the Manager of Community Education for the Canadian Mental Health Association. My work included writing columns and press releases, and assisting people seeking information on specific mental health-related issues.
While there, I wrote my first informational booklet dealing with teen depression and suicide that I recently updated and turned into a digital handbook.
Fear no longer keeps me from travelling!
Most of my life, I was too afraid to leave my home town. The moment I drove out of the city limits, my anxiety started acting up. Despite my numerous attempts to visit distant towns, I frequently turned back.
But then, it changed. The more I distanced myself from my latest anxiety attack, the stronger I felt. My confidence was improving, thanks in large part to my new career and having proven to myself and others of my worth.
My travels began in the late 1980s. In fact, I physically moved out of my home town to take that reporter position 355 kilometres away from a place I’d called home for most of my 35 years. In 1990, I took time off from my reporter job to travel across the United States and Canada with two family members.
We motored from upper New York State to New Orleans, through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and north along the California coast through Oregon and Washington State. After ferrying across to Vancouver Island, we headed east through the Okanagan Valley, Banff and Calgary and to my home in Ontario.
Since then, I’ve travelled extensively alone, something I never thought I’d have the courage to do, camping and motoring across the province, jaunts to West Point and along the beautiful Susquehana River in Pennsylvania to New York.
In 1995, I launched a travel guide to eastern Ontario which included features on local artists, historic sites, community events, live theatre and dining establishments. Thereafter, I launched my Sundowner travel site where I provided wonderful motoring destination ideas for families looking for getaway ideas.
Don’t let your fears, anxiety and panic stand in the way of achieving your dreams. I grew up severely shy, developed depression as a teen and major paralyzing anxiety and panic disorder as an adult. My self esteem and confidence were about as low as they could be. Yet I broke free from those bonds that held me back from enjoying life and venturing into projects that give me tremendous satisfaction.
Today, I can handle any anxiety easily. Yes, I still get it, but now I know exactly how to control it and get beyond whatever is causing it. Through this site, I hope to help you do the same.