Torii

Anecdotal Evidence for the Psychodynamic Model

I once failed a very important school exam, which caused me to have to redo an entire school year. In the summer after that exam, I felt really bad about that situation. About 2 months after taking that exam, I suddenly started getting panic attacks.

In the beginning the panic attacks weren’t frequent, but in the following weeks they became more and more recurrent. After 4 weeks of this, I became very desperate, feeling I could not take that whole panic nightmare anymore.

At that time I was visiting a friend of mine one evening. I remember lying on his couch while I was thinking about my panic attacks and trying to figure out what was causing them. At a certain point my friend started talking to me about something and I remember shutting him up and telling him that I was thinking about something. I didn’t want him to distract me while I was probing my inner being and deeply asking what the cause of my panic troubles was.

Then, all of a sudden, I had the following experience. It was like an inner eye momentarily opened, like a frog’s eye that opens for a second and then closes again. In that moment I had a spontaneous regression to a moment that I was in the exam hall, doing my exam. I relived that moment in a very vivid way. I BECAME that memory.

In that moment, I noticed how I was looking at the clock, running out of time, and thinking how I was failing my test and that it meant that I might have to do an entire year over again and how my world was falling apart because of that.

After that moment of regression, I felt my emotional life rushing back into me. I felt a zest for life again, like wanting to go out on the town and have some fun. After that experience, the panic attacks did not recur again.

Later in my life I studied psychology at university. There I learned about the psychodynamic model, with its notions of unconscious mental forces and repression of painful experiences. That sounded true to me in the light of my earlier panic experiences, despite the fact that this model was presented as being outdated.

A lesson that I took away from the experience is that a healthy mind has no ‘blockades’ and that means savoring life, each in their own way, of course. Because when my blockade was lifted I could feel that enjoying life is the natural way.

So you can be pretty sure when you see people putting themselves through a lot of suffering because of some belief they have adopted and forced onto themselves, that there is some major repression going on...