Karim Mamdani

Ontario Shores

Karima Velji

Sanaz Riahi

'CBT Helped Me Manage My Illness'

By Payton
Patient Contributor

Depression and anxiety started to take their toll on my mental wellbeing in 2018 and I was hospitalized for related issues. After spending some time in the hospital, I started to feel as though I was getting better mentally, but the therapy programs I was involved in didn’t interest me and I felt as though they were not helpful, so I decided to seek further help for my mental illnesses.

I connected with a mental health outreach worker who recommended Krystina, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therapist in my area who works at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).

I was nervous and skeptical at first due to the fact that my previous experience in a hospital setting didn’t help me cope with my anxiety and depression and I also began losing interest in searching for this kind of help. However, I decided to give the program a chance and I am extremely proud of where I am today because of this life-changing decision.

After two weeks of the CBT program I felt comfortable with Krystina and the work that was being dealt by her. Of course, there were ups and downs throughout my 18-week journey, but the overall experience, guidance and dedication Krystina devoted to me was incredible.

Krystina helped me manage my illnesses and work through the ups and downs with a strong focus on progress and how to keep building from there.

Halfway through the program, I confidently felt like I was able to deal with and cope with my mental illness - as though the program actually worked. The program focused on how to properly cope with mental illness and use skills that will help a person struggling reach their goals.

Other programs I tried didn’t have this effect on me. With Krystina’s guidance, I kept pushing myself to become a better ‘me’ but near the end of the 18 weeks I had a setback because of personal stressors in my life. Despite this circumstance, Krystina never gave up on me. She was consistently patient with me and focused on the areas I needed to work on which ultimately allowed me to finish the program.

The CBT program offered by Ontario Shores was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Krystina strives to see her clients reach their full potential and it has such a positive impact on the person reach their goals. Without Krystina, I don’t think I would be where I am today and I can’t give her enough credit for pushing me and going above and beyond for me like she did.

Near the end of the program, Krystina and I looked at my mood scales to compare where I started and where I was at the end and we discussed the progress I had made.

When I began the program, my stress and anxiety levels were at the maximum level of 10 and remarkably, my stress and anxiety reduced drastically to a level one at the end. Beyond the scales, other issues I felt consumed by that took a negative toll on my mental health had dropped greatly.

One of my greatest takeaways from the program is being able to return to post secondary school. I was given a booklet that taught me skills to use to confidently find the courage and drive to get my diploma, and I can gladly say I am on my way to finish this goal of mine.