I Saw a Psychic instead of a Therapist for My Anxiety
Being open to alternative types of treatment can be helpful
If you experience fear and anxiety, you know that they’re similar but they’re not the same thing.
Fear is thought of as a reaction to a clear and present danger, while anxiety is a reaction to something more general and harder to pin down.
Anxiety may be unfocused but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as powerful as fear or that it won’t cause your body to react as if it’s in danger with a rapid pulse, sweating, and the release of stress hormones.
Both fear and anxiety can rule your life.
I fear all the usual suspects: death, blood, crowds, and heights; but I also have a few personalized phobias such as driving on the freeway and losing control of my vehicle.
Most of the time, my coping mechanism is avoidance. If I don’t put myself in a situation where the things that frighten me could occur — I feel safe-ish.
However, if a situation doesn’t allow me to avoid my fear, then I get extremely anxious, my body temperature goes up, I’m sick to my stomach, and my heart feels as if it’s going to make a hole in my chest and beat its way out.
I’ve seen therapists, been on medication, but generally, I just try to ignore whatever feelings of fear and/or anxiety that I’m feeling. However, I’ve found ignoring them doesn’t make them go away— it makes them more insidious and stronger.
One of my friends, A, was having great luck dealing with her issues by having sessions with a psychic. I trusted her judgment, so I thought I’d give it a try too.
I only needed to see Patricia, A’s psychic once to know that I needed to see her on a regular basis.
Patricia ended up being more than a medium or a fortune-teller; she was my therapist, friend, surrogate mother, and confidant. She taught me how to deal with fear, anxiety, and life. I liked feeling as if she had an inside track to the afterlife.
“What have you heard about me?” I liked to ask Patricia at the beginning of every session.
Although she’s an empath — someone who feels the energies and moods of the people around her, she also talks to dead people.
If the spirit world is gossiping about me — I want to know it.
Patricia wasn’t the first psychic I’d ever gone to, and no doubt she wouldn’t be the last. I’ve been going to psychics for a very long time, usually in groups and usually a part of some kind of celebration.
I’m skeptical to a point, but there’s a willingness inside me to believe and have faith in things that I can’t see for myself.
I wouldn’t say that I buy everything most psychics have to sell. It seems possible that some might have the gifts they swear they have, but that others are simply very good at reading people and soliciting information.
My friend was friends with a very famous T.V. psychic and when questioned if his psychic friend was legit, he said that his friend wasn’t bright enough to fake it.
I would go to Patricia’s house which was perched on a steep hill and was close enough to a park that deer would often go into her garden for a snack. I’d let myself inside for her door was always unlocked, and go to the back room where she held her sessions.
Patricia was a larger woman with very bright eyes, silvery hair that curled around her ears, and was always impeccably groomed. She looked more like an aging cheerleader than a conduit to the supernatural world.
This was a woman who was about helping people not conning them.
She’d began our sessions by asking if I had anything I wanted to talk about, if I didn’t, she’d have some topics at the ready. She meditated before each appointment to clear her mind and be open to whatever messages or lessons her client needed.
At some point in the hour, the conversation would ultimately go to my fears, and Patricia would offer helpful methods of handling them and ways of dealing with my anxiety and phobias but without giving them the power to rule my life.
Techniques such as breathing exercises, meditations, and visualizations were also demonstrated and discussed. I was encouraged to use them when I felt my anxiety rise. Patricia also tried hypnosis on me a couple of times, but I didn't feel relaxed enough to benefit from it.
A few times she guided me through a visualization where I pictured myself in my car with my deceased father in the passenger seat. She said to picture us bathed in a golden light of protection and love. I would sit there in Patricia’s room, eyes closed, but clearly seeing my father, and feeling his support and love.
Patricia said that my father was always with me.
Right before California went into Shelter in Place, my boyfriend and I were driving up North to visit my mother. He was doing all the driving because of my freeway phobia. We have made that trip thousands of times, but this time would be different.
We were almost to our destination, about 30 minutes away, stuck in slow-moving traffic when a speeding car slammed into us. The other driver spun off our car, crossed the freeway, and landed on the other side.
My boyfriend and I were shaken but unharmed. Our airbags hadn’t been deployed but our car was totaled — the rear-end bent into a metal jigsaw pattern, the back windows shattered, and the wheel frame twisted in an 90-degree angle.
Not one of us; my boyfriend, myself, or the other driver, were injured in any way. I was grateful that we hadn’t been killed either when the accident happened or afterward.
The California Highway Patrol officer had warned us about getting hit again if we waited outside the car on the shoulder of the highway, and the paramedics gave us the opposite warning about staying inside the car. I still don’t know which is safer — wait for help inside or outside your car.
We were in danger the entire time we waited for the tow-truck. The amazing thing to me was that I stayed calm even though one of my fears — accident on the highway had taken place.
I did not let my fear get the best of me. Was it because my father or my boyfriend’s grandparents were there surrounding us with love and protection, and making sure we survived?
I saw Patricia for a couple of years but I had to stop when money became an issue. But we’ve stayed friends and I’ve seen her socially a few times. I eventually went back to more traditional therapy and that was helpful as well.
I’m not advocating that everyone drops their health care professionals in favor of more spiritual advisers but trying different kinds of therapy can be beneficial. You don’t know what can help you if you don’t try it.
I still have a lot of fear and anxiety, but Patricia helped me to be better at controlling them and not letting them control my reactions to them.