I studied pharmacy in Algeria over 15 years ago. After an exemplary university career, I worked as a medical representative in a large pharmaceutical laboratory. I then began to first experience anxiety attacks, which I attributed to the fatigue caused by my perfectionism.
Subsequently, I made the decision to go to France to study pharmaceutical marketing. When I started university, my first depression set in.
After graduation, I worked in one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in France. At the same time, I applied to immigrate to Canada. I walked on Quebec soil in 2013 with the motivation to do my equivalences in pharmacy.
I had to start all over again and work as a pharmacy technician. It was from then on that I found myself confronted with the stressful lifestyle of North America. Following this, I had my first episode of hypomania (period of irritability, hyperactivity and mood swings).
In 2014, I was admitted to the pharmacy equivalency program. From the start, we were made aware of the enormous workload that awaited us. The whole cohort felt this wave of stress and anxiety. Indeed, I was experiencing great psychological distress which finally prompted me to consult a professional. At this point, I met a general practitioner who became my family doctor: a warm and open-minded person who referred me to a psychiatrist. The verdict fell: diagnosis of bipolarity; type 2. I was both relieved and stunned.
It goes without saying that this diagnosis was the shock that woke me up from my torpor and automatic lifestyle. This spiritual awakening simply gave me the ability to observe myself, observe my thoughts and adopt a witnessing posture. I had made the firm decision to take control of my life in a natural way, which surprised my psychiatrist who did not fail to wish me good luck.
The long journey of healing began. I questioned everything: my thoughts, my emotions (often ignored), my diet, my relationship with my body and with others. I started to observe myself, to catch my thoughts, my conditioning, my behaviors! I realized that I was living on survival mode: I was living in total chaos. My body was on constant alert, ready to attack or flee.
A social worker, who uses meditation in her therapeutic approach, was assigned to me following my request. Through her, I discovered mindfulness and the work of Dr. John Kabbat-Zinn. I began to practice meditation on a regular basis and learn about alternative methods of managing mental health, including somatic and energy therapy. I’ve read about epigenetics, post-traumatic stress, emotional intelligence, spirituality, and personal development.
A year later, I took up yoga. This allowed me to better connect to my body and relearn how to breathe deeply. I was so impressed with the results of these tools on my physical, mental and emotional health as well as their impact on my life in general that I had decided to train myself in mindfulness and yoga to help people wanting to improve their well-being in a natural way. Mindfulness, meditation and yoga have completely transformed my life.
Today, I use these tools in my coaching programs. I support active, perfectionist women who suffer from anxiety and burnout. I help them slow down, connect with their bodies, regain their energy and power in order to create the life they want.
In this perspective of prevention, sharing and collaboration, I joined the Professional Association for Integrative Health which was founded in December 2020. This association allows me to exchange with other health professionals and inform the greater public on alternative and holistic therapeutic modalities which consider the human being as a whole and take into account everything that directly or indirectly influences health: the psyche, the body and the environment.
– Tessadit Ouiddir, Pharmacist