A core aspect of my practice centers on supporting adults who grapple with anxiety and depression due to their relentless pursuit of perfection and overachieving.
K.D. Holmes Blog
Have you ever had a dream that seemed so out of reach, so impossible to achieve? And the shame of not being able to achieve it became unbearable so overtime you slowly buried it deep within you, and now you have forgot about it altogether. If so, then welcome to my brain, my office, my world– where we will be uncovering and exploring those hopes and dreams hidden in the dark corner of your soul.
Many of my clients often inquire about the meaning of ERP. Exposure and Response Prevention may sound formal and technical, but in simple terms, it is a behavioral process that brings order to the chaos of the OCD merry go round. It involves systematically confronting your obsessions while resisting the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. ERP becomes even more effective when combined with various other skills and techniques.
So in addition to holiday stress, some of us can add in our internal struggles that don’t stop simply because it’s the holidays. It can feel bleak and never-ending like a Zombie Apocalypse.
Imagine you have an internal stress bucket that is half full from the year, then add in more stress from the holidays, and more stress because of your mental health. This is a recipe for your stress bucket to overflow this holiday season.
Sometimes in my office people are curious about me. Some ask what do I struggle with? There is an assumption that therapists do not struggle because of what they know. Knowing and doing are two different types of learning. I had an anxiety disorder for most of my life. I suffered from depression and anxiety when I was a child and young adult.
Many of my clients would never guess that I have social anxiety. If you watch my videos, it would seem highly unlikely that I become overwhelmed when I am around a group of people I don't know. There is a big misnomer that if we know better we do better...but knowing is not learning. The two are completely different concepts. You can read a book about brain surgery, but doing it is a learning process based on lots of actions.
Well this is one complicated question, but I will attempt to sum it up as best as I can. Overachieving is made up of habits, personality traits, mental health symptoms, our history, and social networks -- which makes for a complicated way through this issue.
Overachieving is comprised of emotional urges, habits, and so much lost time. I was constantly consumed by the urge to achieve, while outwardly it appeared like I was thriving. Ultimately the internal costs far outweighed any of my successes.
I see so many clients who have no idea that overachieving is a part of their mental health problem. They come to me with so many achievements, yet they are consumed with anxiety and/or depression, thinking that their inner overachiever god is "good", necessary, and "essential" for life.
I have been called "nervous" since I was a child. I would venture to say that large doses of caffeine and chocolate probably did not help my "nervousness". As a small child, I would drink a coke and eat a bag of Hershey's chocolates and literally run in circles at family functions. We still laugh at these memories.