Introduction to Matt Brocklebank, Author of ‘Living a Blissful Life’

December 30, 2022 Matt Brocklebank

My name is Matt Brocklebank, and I am delighted to be writing here on the blog Living a Blissful Life as part of the HealthyPlace team. I hope my insights into overcoming anxiety, panic, and obsessive-compulsive-related disorders will enable others in similar situations to do the same. From my own experience, I know that the idea of living a happy and fulfilling life can sometimes seem like nothing more than a fantasy. I also know that it doesn't have to be that way.

Young Matt Brocklebank Experiences Anxiety

My first encounter with anxiety was in middle childhood. I started at a new school where I knew nobody. The dread of getting on the school bus every morning was unbearable, stepping into a sea of unrecognizable faces. I would run and lock myself in the bathroom just as it was time to leave the house, refusing to come out until I made myself physically sick.

The doctor said it was agoraphobia and prescribed me something to calm my nerves. My condition improved, and it wasn't until I reached my mid-20s that I started to have more severe problems.

Adult Matt Brocklebank Experiences Depression and Panic Disorder

After traveling around Southeast Asia and New Zealand for a year, I came to live and work in Japan. I found a teaching job in Tokyo and made a good circle of friends. Although life in the big city was exciting, I wanted to see more of the country. When offered the opportunity to relocate to western Japan, I didn't have to think twice about saying yes.

Life outside of Tokyo was very different. Few people spoke English, and there was little to do in my town. I went sightseeing as often as possible but inevitably spent most of my free time alone in my apartment. It wasn't long before I started to suffer from depression. Depression evolved into panic disorder. I frequently thought about flying back home, but something always prevented me from leaving. In all my time spent traveling, I had never felt so lost.

Matt Brocklebank Develops Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The panic attacks persisted for several years. Working with a therapist helped enormously, but it was a slow recovery process. I read all I could about mental health and wellness, enrolled in self-help courses, and began daily meditation. Eventually, I think my mind and body just decided enough was enough. I knew my condition inside and out, and it was as if I couldn't "do" panic anymore. That's when obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) began to surface.

I developed a fear of contamination, washing my hands at every opportunity. I would take a shower, then another, and another. I knew it was completely irrational, but I couldn't control it. My medication made me feel like a zombie, but not taking it resulted in a mixture of withdrawal symptoms and fear that the OCD would worsen. It took a real effort to convince myself I could get well, but ultimately, I did.

Matt Brocklebank Starts to Experience Bliss

Eventually, you reach a point where you can barely remember what those darkest moments felt like. Of course, you still get anxious, but only as much as anybody else would in the same situation. And that's how I've been living for the past few years.

For more about me and my journey to bliss, watch this:

I can only offer so much through writing about my experiences. I want to hear what you have to say, and make this an interactive experience, so please leave comments, and ask questions.

Matt Brocklebank’s Now Blissful Life

Originally from the United Kingdom, I have lived in Japan since 2002. I have been teaching English since I moved here and operating an independent language school since 2006. I also worked as a strength coach for many years, writing training manuals, appearing in instructional videos, and teaching at numerous workshops and seminars across Japan and South Korea. I now spend most of my free time outdoors, where you'll find me hiking, climbing, and generally getting away from it all.

APA Reference
Brocklebank, M. (2022, December 30). Introduction to Matt Brocklebank, Author of ‘Living a Blissful Life’, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Matt Brocklebank

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