Day 297 in Bejiing: DSM Diagnosis: Cab Anxiety NOS

I work with cilents that often are dealing with anxiety.

It is interesting work because anxiety can usually be cured within about 5-10 sessions, if not faster.

Some people take longer but cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be the front line therapy and even more effective than medications.

I love doing this work because I love seeing people overcome obstacles and figure out that they are much more strong and able to deal with issues then they originally thought.

They also learn skills so that they can master other anxieties and keep moving forward into the life that they want.

By the way, I’m not a big fan of diagnosing people but it sometimes help.  This is where the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) comes in as that is the huge tome that classifies people according to the issue they are dealing with at that time.

Personally, I’d rather the person tell me what is going on and then figure out what strengths they have and how they’ve overcome issues like these before.  I’m strength based, evidence based and behavioral based in my practice.  I think people like that and understand they are more than their problems.

Just as you are more than what you present when you have the flu, people are much more than they present with when they come to a visit with me.  They are all the positive that the DSM ignores becuase it is based on looking for problems and issues, not strengths.

I use it for what is helpful and don’t use what is not helpful to my clients or to me.

Strangely enough, cabs were never a fear for me.

That changed in the last two days.

The weird part is that it isn’t the cab drivers that scare me, but the slow and well mannered ones that do it.

I actually was driving in a cab, two days ago, where the driver went across the median twice in about 3 miles.  I started laughing and thought, “this guy really knows how to get around traffic and slow drivers!  I’m very impressed.” 

I honestly wasn’t scared at all and felt relieved that the driver wasn’t wasting my time and money.

The last two rides I’ve had have been with incredibly mellow, calm and law abiding drivers.

It is freaking me out!

I’m not used to cabs letting other cars in, slowing down when pedestrians are in the road (cars have, without question, the right of way anywhere they want to go in China), and not driving on the other side of the road or honking like mad when they have to wait for more than .0000000000001th of a second when a light turns green.  Trust me, the drivers here make NYC and CA drivers look positively serene.

However, the last two rides I’ve taken have allowed me to remember when I used to worry about driving and how dangerous it was because these guys are so safe.

It is a new type of anxiety, which doesn’t really worry me so i’m not sure I can even classify it as anxiety, and it makes me laugh.

I will just sit down, breathe a little bit, and enjoy the ride.

The Buddha wrote that, “Desire is the cause of all suffering” and I guess I can let go of my desire to control the cab and how the driver drives through Beijing.

On the other hand, Robert Frost wrote, “The best way out is always through.”

I guess that applies equaly to cab rides, traffic and life.

Maybe I can, like most people in life, find a nice balance between the two and accept what happens in each moment and enjoy the ride.

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