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Dealing with Depression

A Guide to Posting in Your SparkTeam Forum

  FORUM:   Healthy Living
TOPIC:   Cognitive Behavioural Training (CBT) 


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MPN5621
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11/7/13 10:24 P

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ANNWILLWALK, I really sorry for all you've been through. It's extremely hard to get past being abused in any way - at least for me. It just totally saps a person's self-worth and once it's gone and the feelings of inferiority and/or self-loathing become entrenched, it's a hard cycle to break.

Most of the abuse I suffered (verbal, emotional, and physical) were from my childhood, but I was abused in a couple of relationships, too. I've shared the childhood abuse on Spark, but not as much about the relationships. Someone I was deeply in love with betrayed me and it was the worst feeling in the world.

I have anger bubbling under the surface and sometimes I lose my temper, but usually I just stuff the anger down and it turns to depression. That's not a good way to deal with it, I know. I have to confess that I haven't been able to transcend the abuse I suffered - part of it may be because I also have mental disorders (chronic depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety). Mental illnesses tend to really sap a person's self-esteem, as well.

It's just my opinion, but I really think you might benefit from seeing a therapist or psychologist to help you work through these issues. If you're interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, then you could try to find someone in your area who specializes in CBT, or at least has some good training in it.

My heart goes out to you - I know it's terribly hard. I wish you all the very, very best.

Miller emoticon

Edited by: MPN5621 at: 11/7/2013 (22:28)
"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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BECONSISTENT
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11/7/13 9:37 P

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Resentment is hard on both of you. I tell my wife and others we HAVE to be nice to each other. When we mess up we apologize right away. Otherwise a wall is built up. It is very hard to move on from the past hurts, but if you don't you stay hurt. Truly forgiving for both of you is necessary including forgiving ourselves.

Edited by: BECONSISTENT at: 11/7/2013 (21:38)

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ANNWILLWALK
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11/7/13 9:26 P

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I'm delving deep into CBT. I've told my therapist I wanna know all about it. I'm also researching it on my own. Thanks for the links by the way. I seriously think this could be a key break through for me. Just to give you a short back ground. I met my husband at 13, Married at 15, had my first child 4 days after I turned 16. We've been married over 30 yrs. I was practically raised by him. He has never hit me and is a great man NOW because he's changed but after we were mariied about 5 yrs he treated me mentally like crap. Talked down to me, threw things, had fits, and embarrassed me; made me feel less of a human being. Anyway,he knows it now and has apologized and tried to make up for it but I still need a mind change because I still see him as he was 25 yrs ago and when he says something I take it totally wrong. And ofcourse I'm an emotional eater so for example today I was feeding the dog and I told him last night he had hurt his front leg and he let him jump off the couch this morning. I yelled at my husband and he made me feel like it was my fault. Or maybe I just took it as twisted thinking. I don't know. Anyway because of his attitude and my dog being hurt I couldn't eat 1000 calories today and slept all day in bed. So pray for me that this will help because I feel totally lost in myself. I keep hearing in my head that I am a total failure because thats what I was told from age 16 to 43 and he cheated on me which only confirmed it in my head. So I am worried that if I do lose this weight I will either leave him or cheat on him which maybe keeping me subconsciously from losing my 99 pounds. Just needed to talk. I feel completely alone. Thanks for lending an ear.
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I am my first love, my best friend, and my best supporter.
Ann ~ Radiant Crimson Buddies Team


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MPN5621
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10/19/13 4:06 P

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This is just my experience - I've have both DBT and CBT. DBT didn't help me at all, but CBT helped me a lot. I think it's because my main problem is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. A lot of people in my DBT class were helped, but they had different issues than me. So I guess I'm trying to say that it might depend on what the issues are as to which would help a person the most.

In my experience, DBT was more about mindfulness & meditation and CBT was mental exercises (a great deal of which were "exposure and response prevention") that I did to learn to deal with the OCD.

emoticon



Edited by: MPN5621 at: 10/19/2013 (16:09)
"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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AMY_BE
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10/19/13 1:24 P

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(Sorry if this was already covered)
One of the best, yet most difficult concepts of DBT (and come on, EVERYBODY can benefit from DBT!) was the Radical Acceptance. It is something, when I remember to think upon it, that can derail some of the negative loops that abound in my brain. It's easy, when one is Bipolar, or has BPD, to kinda get in a rut where I feel like every emotion, or every situation is something happening to me, like I am a passive passenger in my own life. I am at the whim of whatever is around me. Acceptance(as a way of thinking) kinda puts the bouncing red ball back into my own court.
I did a six month DBT course. It was amazing for me. But I remember how many people were stuck on acceptance. They felt like they were being told to "accept" abusive spouses, "accept" neglectful parents, bad treatment, etc.etc. I think they felt like "acceptance" was synonymous with "allowing", or even "forgiving", for which it is neither. Acceptance, I think has more to do with connecting to reality- of seeing that what is, is. It's kinda a neutral thing.
Anyway, I could blather forever about this stuff. DBT helps me. I'm glad to see it has helped other people, too!

Every Day is a Victory!


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LYNN09062012
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10/18/13 7:41 P

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what the difference between DBT and CBT i went thorough DBT and i loved it i changed my life


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BLURIVERS
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10/1/13 8:04 P

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Im trying to learn about this cognitive stuff with my mentall illness ,Ill have to look at the qeustions here then write out some recent issues on my own before i put them here


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LETTING_IT-GO
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8/4/13 12:49 P

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Hi Everyone!!!

I've skimmed over a bunch of posts here. (I'm supposed to be working so that's all I can really do today.) I'm really proud of all of you for taking positive steps to work on and understand your depression. For a year I've done the same thing with my very wonderful therapist. The work isn't easy but for days like today, when I can feel happy, appreciate a beautiful day, and admire but not envy a young father carrying his newborn by my office window, the struggles, tears, and anger I've work though are very "worth it".

One book my therapist had me read was Necessary Losses. Sorry, I forget the author. It addresses the traditional grief in losing a loved one, but also all the other losses we suffer and don't necessarily grieve - loss of love, purpose, etc. It helped me a great deal and I hope it does the same for all of you who choose to read it.

All the best - LIG


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MIRMIUM
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7/3/13 9:26 P

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You're very welcome! Please feel free to post your own thought records if you'd like some feedback :)

Also, please feel free to ask any questions!

Eastern Daylight Time


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MEGANSPLAN
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7/3/13 9:15 P

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Thank you everyone for posting. I has just gotten back on SP and this topic has inspired me to stay on top of my thought records. All of your posts are appreciated so thank you!
emoticon emoticon

Support is priceless. Pay it forward and keep coming back.


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MACLOVIAITA
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6/4/13 1:01 P

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This is a good place to try and start again where I left of. I was trying before to respond to
why am I tracking today . I am glad to be here today and keep my diet because I want to be healthy and be able to move and exercise again and have a more or less a normal life. emoticon emoticon emoticon

I started a month ago , but I didn't go nowhere.
Why? I am finding everything I do tiresome and very difficult. I am trying to continue and get somewhere with my fight for a better life. My health has been going down in the last 5 years. I am 73 and recently I am experiencing quite a bit of pain with this injury of a sciatic nerve. Of course that has nothing to do with my continued to eat things are not beneficial for me. I believe depression is the cause of wanting more sweets, is my weakne


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MIRMIUM
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6/3/13 12:07 P

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Hi Scarlett!

What you've done here is fantastic. You've taken a bad situation that still troubles you and recognized the evidence against your beliefs that you were immature/loser. These are distorted beliefs and you can prove that to yourself by having evidence to the contrary - kids gave me presents at the end of the year.

Wonderful job :)

It is a lesson to me to. I do exactly what you have described; linger on past events where I feel I didn't say or do the right thing.

Eastern Daylight Time


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LILLY77771
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6/3/13 11:49 A

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emoticon
Thanks Scarlett_21 for sharing. I am lot like you. I dwell on things from so long ago and even recent bad things that have happened in my life. I have begun giving my affirmations and in therapy but, I really don't care for approach. She is using the tough love approach and that really dosen't help matters. emoticon

I am going to look into the books you mentioned also emoticon

With GOD and my Spark friends I can do this.


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RAFFERM
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4/27/13 8:58 A

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i am not familiar with CBT, but it is one of the things my doc has recommended. So Thanks for the tips! I need to find more about thought journals and how to approach them before I start, but I am going to keep reading here as well. Thanks for sharing and know that you have helped me!



SCARLETT_21
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4/26/13 3:09 P

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Hi ! emoticon

I'm familiar with CBT. I did it a while ago with a former therapist. (I quit, I shouldn't but it's another story...).
So I read this interesting thread, because while I started Spark this week, I am alas very familiar with depression.

First of all, a few works on books :
By the end of the year, I stumbled upon David Burns'"Feeling Good", whose basic principles were mentioned here. Truth is, it really requires a daily commitment to write down all the irrational thoughts ..but I guess it's necessary to break the bad tapes we play in our head.*
Another book worth reading, on CBT & emotional eating, is Dr Gould's "Shrink yourself". He highlights the feeling of powerlessness and what we can do to annihilate it. A book so worth reading & re-reading !


* For instance, tonight, I was feeling guilty, sad, and anxious. I replayed in my head an old episode that took place at work a year and a half ago. I beat myself up, with thoughts like "I should have standed up for myself more", "I let people hurt me deeply". I felt/was ostracized.
Beliefs: I am immature. I cannot handle tough situations. I am a loser. I am not "good enough".
Reality : I did what I could at the time ( I wrote a letter), I've defended the core values I believe in, I did not take a leave (so as to show I wouldn't "give up"), some kids gave me presents at the end of year (meaning = I was not such a bad teacher)...

Truth is : it helps a bit, but bad feelings still linger... emoticon



Anyway, thank you for this thread !
It will encourage me to do this "homework" more frequently, indeed. emoticon

Edited by: SCARLETT_21 at: 4/27/2013 (09:35)


WALDEN9
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4/26/13 2:33 P

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both dbt and cbt are awesome things to learn about. I have done both and occasionally look back on them when I feel the need.

slowly but surely I will get to where I am going.


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LISALISA112
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4/25/13 9:47 P

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Thanks Miriam! I will check it out. :)


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MIRMIUM
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4/25/13 8:03 P

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Hi Lisa!


Thanks for your message! I'm so happy that you've found this thread helpful :) I have zero problem posting about person experiences within this thread because I've come to realize that I shouldn't be ashamed of feeling negatively. The important thing is to work on the thought process behind the negativity!

I haven't heard of the book you've mentioned but I used this one

http://www.amazon.ca/Mind-Over-Mood-Change-Changing/dp/0898621283

This was the one that the doctor I did CBT with recommended to me. It was quite good and contains worksheets to fill in. However, I did find actually talking through the process with her to be the most helpful.

I'm looking forward to going through the steps with you and getting to know you better in the process :)


--Miriam

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MPN5621
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4/25/13 3:35 P

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LISALISA112, I haven't heard of "Breaking the patterns of depression" by Michael D Yapco, but I'll look at it on Amazon. It sounds like it would be very good. Thanks for sharing the info.

Miller emoticon emoticon

"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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LISALISA112
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4/25/13 3:22 P

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Hey everyone, it's been a while since I've been on Spark and the team, but have been having a rough time lately. Your posts really helped a lot. I've been in CBT therapy, but I've had some big stressors in my life in the past two years and I've really slid backwards.. just you guys working through your stuff and really using the steps to help yourselves and sharing it so honestly was really inspiring. Thanks so much.. I'm at work now so can't contribute more, but you've inspired me to try and work through some of the steps.. I actually felt silly trying to sit down and do them recently, but you guys have really helped me kind of get over that. I use a book "breaking the patterns of depression" by Michael D Yapco that my therapist gave me to work with. Don't know if any of you have used it or read it or tried any of the excercises. Let me know and I hope to hear more from you guys(gals). Thanks so much.


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MIRMIUM
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4/8/13 3:18 P

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Karisa, Miller has an excellent point. What the doctor I did CBT with told me was that medication is often needed to get a person to the point where they can follow a CBT program and benefit from it. I know that that was the case for me. I had severe panic attacks pretty well constantly and couldn't imagine committing to a program or benefiting from it but after being on medication for a year and a half, I was able to wean off of it with the help of CBT. Using medication to get you to that point can be very important.

Hope to hear from you soon :)

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MPN5621
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4/8/13 3:13 P

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Karisa, the symptoms you shared definitely sound like depression and possibly anxiety, too, as Mirmium has suggested. I suffer from both and I also have OCD. CBT has helped me in the past. I also take medications and see a psychiatrist. Are you taking any medications for your depression and are you seeing a therapist, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist?

Blessings,

Miller emoticon

"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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MIRMIUM
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4/8/13 3:01 P

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Hi Karisa and welcome to the CBT thread! I believe you are showing symptoms of depression and possibly anxiety depending on whether leaving the house is anxiety provoking or more like you don't feel up to it.

Regardless, I think CBT can help you. CBT focuses more on analyzing the thoughts that trigger our mood in order to change our mood. Often, the types of thoughts that lead us to be in a depressed or anxious state, in my case I'm a failure and I"m not good enough are pretty prominent, are distorted. We tend not to consider information that contradicts our negative beliefs which just perpetuates our negative feelings about ourselves. Have a look below and why don't you try to generate a thought record?

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KARSTAIRS
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4/8/13 2:41 P

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Hello I am new here, and I have been in a weight loss challenge for the last 3 months. They are supportive, however, I think I need to belong to a support team that deals specifically with depression.

When I am depressed I do not take care of my self or anything else. I overeat and sleep. I avoid anything that feels too hard, and do a lot of escaping through time wasting activities. I shoot my self in the foot a lot and know I need to change, but I sabotage myself. Is this a common thing for someone who is depressed? I avoid people, and spend my time alone, feeling it is easier than the pain of being misunderstood or upsetting others. I feel socially inept. I sometimes don't leave my apartment for several days or up to a few weeks. I only leave when I have to buy food or do an errand. I do not call family and I know this makes them angry, because I don't want to talk to them.

My name is Karisa and I have 140 lbs. to lose. I live in Fresno California, in a cute studio, where I hope to be painting masterpieces again. At the moment trying to grow flowers without killing them before they bloom.


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MIRMIUM
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4/3/13 11:53 A

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Thanks for sharing Alicia! I am also extremely sensitive and can spend full days ruminating over rude comments. That said, i think you should try to make a thought record about this encounter. What is the thought here that makes you feel the worst? Is it people don't like me based on this experience? What kind of a cognitive distortion is that? What evidence do you have to support the distortion and what evidence do you have against it? Then you will want to revisit the hot thought and revise it to incorporate the evidence you've listed.

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BETAB77
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4/2/13 10:00 P

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Great post !! Thanks for sharing !!

Edited by: BETAB77 at: 4/2/2013 (22:01)

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MRSALLIEKAT
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4/1/13 10:22 P

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I am hoping it's not too late for me to start this. I have read most of the posts. It looks like it could be helpful but to me I am so negative. I am also very analytical. Yesterday at my MIL's house someone made a rude comment on my way out the door. I really don't know what else this person could have met but he basically referred to me as a pig. he said, the porky pig song, baa d baa d y'all come back now ya here. I was feeling so horrible. I thought it was a good visit, there were lots of people there and I was trying hard to be confident and secure and not read into things. I always feel like people talk about me and down me. I could be right. after all not all people are nice. Anyway, I have been doing a lot of research on CBT & DBT today and feel CBT could really help. I haven't learned a lot about DBT as of yet but I will keep looking for info. It is so difficult to turn peoples words around. I mean, it is what it is. I would love some insight on this if anyone has any.

Thanks..

Alicia from Maine...

YOUR LIFE IS A RESULT OF THE CHOICES YOU MAKE... IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR LIFE IT IS TIME TO START MAKING BETTER CHOICES.


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MIRMIUM
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3/26/13 9:21 A

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Hey guys, I just came across a great sparkpeople article about negative self talk. Examining this kind of thinking is a big part of CBT.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=838


One thing that I was often told was to imagine my best friend in the same position as me. What would I say to her? This highlights the double standards that we tend to set for ourselves. If my friend told me that she had been having a lot of anxiety and panic attacks and might need an extra semester to finish her PhD program, I would completely accept that and tell her it isn't a big deal and she should take care of herself. HOWEVER, I find that completely unacceptable for myself.

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MIRMIUM
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3/26/13 12:39 A

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Exactly! Keep adding evidence over the next week!

Just keep a paper copy with you or have an electronic version. I found that what worked for me was to sit down with the record in the evening and think add the evidence at that point in the day.

Edited by: MIRMIUM at: 3/26/2013 (09:05)
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PLANTAGO
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3/25/13 8:51 P

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Core belief: I am making an idiot out of myself everytime I'm speaking English on the phone.

Evidence against it:
I called my son's music teacher and was able to understand a lot ( he is sometimes difficult to understand not only for me).
I always call pediatrician and kids' dentist and make appointments with them.
I talked with my son's friend's mom on the phone and was able to set a time for boys' play date.
I talked with my son's dermatology nurse and was able to understand about his lab results.



There IS evidence of my difficulties in phone communication but I am not going to call it "making an idiot of myself" anymore.



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MIRMIUM
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3/25/13 5:19 P

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All right! So the next CBT step is to work on changing core beliefs. I actually automatically started doing this ahead of schedule. I realized as I was working on my thought records that it wasn't like I was particularly upset about one thing or had one particularly upsetting thought, it was more of a pervasive belief that was causing me to feel anxious and depressed sort of continually.

In my case, the belief that was so troubling to me was that I wasn't good enough. That I was weak and a failure and couldn't manage my responsibilities.

How do we work on changing something that is this distressing?

We make a core belief record.

Write out the core belief at the top of a sheet of paper (you can have multiple core belief records going at once) and I want you to record evidence that this belief is NOT 100% true.

If it helps to be more specific you can be. For instance, I think I had one where the core belief was that I was failing as a supervisor to my student. So throughout the week, I would write down evidence that this was NOT the case. Helping her with statistics, attending meetings with her.

If you want to keep a general and broad core belief like I had one that went "I am not able to manage my responsibilities" then there are a number of things that you can count as evidence against this. The doctor I worked with said that I set the bar too high. So I would put things like "attended class today, led a group discussion in reading group, organized meeting paper for next week" but other things that are supportive of this statement are of course true as well! I could also have put, woke up on time, did statistical analyses, attended class.

It has to do with what you feel comfortable with but remember to only write evidence AGAINST the core belief.

Eastern Daylight Time


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MIRMIUM
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3/18/13 9:11 P

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Yes it was definitely the medication but i felt a lot of anxiety about it. It completely cleared up about 2weeks after stopping the effexor.

I'd like us to move on to the next step but first, have you guys been doing thought records and are you comfortable with them? The doctor i worked with basically emphasized the importance of doing 'homework' at each step. By this i mean, getting into the habit of recognizing hot thoughts, identifying cognitive distortions and using the evidence approach to create a more balanced thought. Then we met weekly to discuss the process and review my thought records.

This is an important part of the process so please get into the habit of doing this when you are depressed or anxious!

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Mirmium, in response to your original post, I think it's normal to have dizziness from stopping medication. I've switched meds before, and even at times when I forget to take my meds a day or two in a row, I feel dizzy. It has to do with the fluctuation in your neuro chemicals or something.
Thanks for sharing about CBT though. It's very helpful to hear all these great successes. emoticon


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Thank you Miller and Mirium.
I was thinking about my phone problems. At the bottom there's a childish fear :" I will make a fool of myself " or "They will think I'm stupid" or " They will start to talk to me as to the child"
Of course it is absolutely distorted thinking. Actually after just writing here about it I feel already better.



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Well, I actually believed more of the balanced thought than I believed I would. I think there are two reasons for this:

First, my sister and I are no longer speaking, so she is not calling me and complaining and screaming about my mother for hours at a time. It bothers me that we're not speaking, but I feel much less worried and frustrated now that I don't have to endure the daily phone calls anymore.

Secondly, I truly believe the second sentence of my new balanced thought. I really DO believe that as mother's dementia worsens to the point where she can no longer take her medicines correctly everyday, can no longer wash herself sufficiently, or even recognize us (her children), my sister will HAVE to accept the fact that mother needs live-in care or nursing care. I don't believe even my sister could maintain her denial in face of facts like those.

You are correct that I struggle with hopelessness. I suppose you could call it a "core belief." I was abused (physically, verbally, emotionally & spiritually) as a child and no one came to my rescue. From the age of 12 until the age of 29, I suffered through the hell of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and depression. All those years, no one came to my rescue.

I finally got some help at age 29, but after two years, I had to stop taking one of the meds and the depression and OCD came back. It was better than before because at least I had a name for what was wrong with me, but hopelessness has continued to be "normal" for a lot of my life.


Thanks for all your input. It's very helpful to see your thought processes and how you worked it all out in your case. The funny thing is that as soon as I read your "hot thought" I KNEW it wasn't balanced thinking. It's interesting that it's so easy to see the distortions in others statements, but not in our own!

Thanks again,

Miller emoticon emoticon

Edited by: MPN5621 at: 3/12/2013 (18:48)
"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
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"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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Great job Miller!!!

Now I have to ask you how much you believe the new balanced thought? I would bet that the hot thought statement still feels very true to you despite the evidence that allowed you to generate the balanced thought.

That is okay! It is because you have something called a "core belief" about the statement. I would say that yours has to do with hopelessness. We'll work on that next.

A lot of CBT's effectiveness is about doing this homework so both of you, and whoever else is reading this, should continue to make thought records up whenever you are anxious or depressed about something specific. If you're anxious or depressed, try and come up with a hot thought that put you into that acute state. Everyone has specific times like these where a thought is particularly upsetting. You may have more of a pervasive everyday depression or anxiety (I know I do!) but there are still triggers to a deepening mood. The idea will be to eventually do kind of a thought record in your head if you find yourself going down this path.

For instance, the other day I had been talking to a friend and I nearly had a panic attack. Here's my recollection of my inner monologue/thought record. Note how I've included how each of the distortions applies specifically to my hot thought. I didn't do that at first but I find it to be a very valuable exercise. It's easy to say "oh that is clearly emotional reasoning" but it is another thing to write out exactly why that distortion applies to your hot thought.

Hot thought: I thought that I would be a better person and have accomplished so much more with my life by the time I was 28.

Distortions:

Emotional reasoning- I feel badly about this so it must be true.
Should statements- I SHOULD be doing better than I am
Discounting the positives- Ignoring all the things I have accomplished.

Evidence for:

I'm overweight.
I'm still in school
I'm having trouble in my PhD program
I don't have very many friends who are fully incorporated into my life.
I'm not close with my family members.
I often have difficulty walking (chronic foot injury)

Evidence against:

I am happily married.
I am IN a PhD program.
I own a house with my husband.
I felt close enough with a friend to discuss something very personal over lunch last week.
My niece confided in me the other day.
I have managed my responsibilities despite my foot injury.


Balanced thought: There are areas in my life that I can work on but I have accomplished a lot in my life and dealt with a number of challenges.


Obviously the biggest distortion here was discounting the positive since I have done a lot in my life but the original statement felt very true because of my own core beliefs about myself. When I reviewed this thought record with my doctor she said that a number of the points here are pretty well their own thought records but anyways here you go!


Happy thought recording :)


P.S. Obviously if you don't feel comfortable posting the evidence on this public forum, don't, but DEFINITELY do it on your own! I've been keeping a little notebook on me that I use for this purpose.

:)


Edited by: MIRMIUM at: 3/12/2013 (15:45)
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Miriam, thank you for your feed back. I have listed my original sentence with the cognitive distortions. The sentences after it are my "re-framed" thoughts and hopefully will contain less distorted thinking.

"The situation with my mother's dementia and my sister's denial of it is absolutely hopeless."


"The situation with my mother's dementia will likely continue to be difficult; however, it is not hopeless, as my sister is taking care of many of Mother's needs and I am taking care of others. In addition, as the dementia continues it's progression, it is likely that my sister and I will eventually come to an agreement regarding Mother's care."


Thanks again,

Miller emoticon



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Miller,

What you would do to work on your hot thought of your sister's denial is to make a list of evidence for and against the statement. You've said that you have evidence against the statement such as positive things that your sister has done. Then you can come up with a more balanced thought which will be less negative since the original thought is based on some distorted thinking. The evidence and applying that evidence back to your original thought is really the critical part of the thought record process as doing so allows you to think in terms of evidence and doesn't leave much room for distortions.

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hmmmm I agree with MPN in that your fear of driving might be justified based on your vision trouble and these negative experiences. It is terrible to hear about your problem and all the trouble it has caused you!

The phone call fear is probably something you can work through.

Marta, try identifying the distortions in your thinking from the list that MPN has posted below. Then you would find evidence for the hot thought of "no one understands me when I make phone calls). At this stage, you describe evidence for and against the statement. At the end of the thought record, you can then revisit that thought and incorporate the positive and negative evidence.

There are a few more steps to CBT that I will post into this thread but let's work with Marta's fear of phone calls first.

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Marta/PLANTAGO, as you know, the driving fear would probably be harder to work on than the fear of making calls. I think it would be very hard to drive when your vision doesn't give you the depth perception (or whatever it is) you're lacking. Also, I can't imagine myself going to another country and trying to drive there. For instance, in Poland, do you drive on the left side of the street? If so, that would be so hard for me to get used to and I imagine it would make hard for you to get used to driving on the right side of the street as we do in the US. My heart goes out to you because I can imagine how scary the thought of trying to drive in the US is.

With your fear of making calls, I think you could probably identify the cognitive distortions in that fear pretty easily. Miriam provided a link to a Cognitive Thinking Distortion page. I've cut and pasted and posted below. Unfortunately, it seems to tell us what the distortions are, but not actually what to do about them. Maybe just recognizing them helps - I hope so.

DEFINITIONS OF COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS

1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2. OVERGENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

3. MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively
so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.

4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusions.

a. Mind Reading. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out.

b. The FortuneTeller Error. You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already established fact.

6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate
the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement). Or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”

7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."

8. SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

9. LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of over-generalization.
Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.”
When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him: “He’s a damn louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

10. PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as the cause of some negative event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.


[From: Burns, David D. Feeling Good Morrow, 1980]


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Yes, I think discounting the positive is part of it, too. My sister has done many positive things to support my mother.

"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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I have some fears that disrupt my life. One is th very deep fear of driving. I am afraid it's too hard to work on. I had a couple of scary situations. Once I hit a neighbourhood fence, I also almost got into a colision with a semi. After escaping from the semi I barely avoided bumping into a lamp post. Brrrrr.... Just thinking of those makes me sweat.... My eye exam revealed that I don't have a stereo vision-I don't see the space and and am unable to determine the distance between things. My reaction time is also very long. I barely passed the driving exam in Poland and I am sure I would fail a street test here in the US. Well, I am assuming I just shouldn't drive at all.
My other fear is making the phone calls. And it is probably something I could work on. My scary thought is: " I am not going to make this call because I won't understand them. I will misunderstand something important and terrible things will happen as a result. My stomach hurts now, so I will make this call tomorrow".


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What about discounting the positive? Do you have any positive things that your sister may have done to support your mother...attending a birthday, checking in with you about her condition.

I'm usually pretty guilty of leaving out the positive and only counting the negative evidence so maybe there's something to that for you as well!

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Hi, I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. This is very hard. In my heart, I can only find one true cognitive distortion in my statement: "The situation with my mother's dementia and my sister's denial of it is absolutely hopeless."

The only cognitive distortion that seems true to me is the following:

7. Emotional Reasoning - "I feel it, therefore it must be true."

If I was an outside observer, who didn't know all the details and frustrations from battling my sister regarding my mother for the last 3 years, I would probably think that the following distortions were there, as well.

1. All or nothing thinking
2. Overgeneralization
5. Jumping to conclusions
6. Magnification (Catastrophizing)

I'm sorry I can't be more definite in my answer. It's just really, really hard because (I feel) I have SO much evidence to back up my statement.

Where should I go from here?

Thanks,

Miller emoticon

Edited by: MPN5621 at: 3/12/2013 (15:12)
"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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Excellent! Now let's try applying it back to your negative thought.

What sorts of distortions are inherent in this thought? I can think of a few and I'm sure you can name a few more!

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Thank you! I can't believe how many of these cognitive distortions I have - I printed out the pdf so I could really study it.

Miller emoticon

"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
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"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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Absolutely! Have a look through this cognitive distortions link (http://www.atlantapsychiatry.com/forms/CBT-distortions.pdf) and identify the types of distortions that are going on within this thought. The nest step is to record evidence both supportive of the negative thought and against it. Then you can revisit the thought and see if you can make it more realistic.






Edited by: MIRMIUM at: 3/2/2013 (21:40)
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Will it work on a thought like the following?

"The situation with my mother's dementia and my sister's denial of it is absolutely hopeless."


(this negative thought causes me a lot of stress and depression every day of my life, so I wish CBT could help.)

Miller emoticon

Edited by: MPN5621 at: 3/2/2013 (19:58)
"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
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"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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Plantago, great job creating a thought record out of a particularly troublesome situation! Does anyone else have any negative thoughts that really generate an anxious or depressed state that they would like to try CBT on? If you post the thought, we can work through it.

:)



--Miriam

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Marta, I've had bouts of irritability over the years. In fact, (I think I've probably mentioned this before) over one period of time I had to take part of a tranquilizer in the afternoons because I was so "snappish" and short-tempered with my daughter and my husband. It was like I was on edge all the time and the smallest thing would really get to me. I'm not quite sure what it was with me that time (maybe pre-menopause or something, but I know that some triggers for irritability in the past have been: depression, PMS, and medication side effects. My meds don't seem to be causing it anymore, and I've already been through menopause, so as long as I don't get really, really depressed, I seem to be okay on the irritability front. I hope yours gets better soon. Have you talked to your doctor about it? If not, it might help.

Miller emoticon



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Thanks Miller. Now I have to think about my irritability. It's quite an issue for me. My Mama used to be the same way and I remember how awful it was for the family.


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Great job, Marta! and extraordinarily impressive since you were able to process this on your own intuitively! emoticon

Edited by: MPN5621 at: 3/1/2013 (16:58)
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My hot thought was:WHAT HAVE I DONE???!!! Because of my ignorance my son is sick and has to undergo the neurosurgery!!!

It was distorted, because he wasn't sick because of me. Something else caused his brain cyst, not me. Postponed appointmed didn't make his contition worse. It just made it more evident.

To find the evidence I analyzed the timeline:
-on my last visit the doctor said: he is ok, the next visit will be probably the last, just a formality
-I actually made the appointment, but my son got sick
-after that it was a line of different infections including several attacks of bronchitis, hospitalization because of severe diarrhea ( at the hospital the pediatrician saw my son and said that his head was looking big but I was to tired and scared to think of it at this time), and urinary tract infection
-when my son got a little better I decided to go for a vacation in the coutry side to help him recover. On that vacation I realised that his behaviour had changed, that his balance is off and that all the hats are to small. I decided to stay in the cottage until the vacation was over and then to go to the doctor. During this time I had two severe breast infections and had to lay in bed and take antibiotics. Luckily, at this time I was able to wean him and teach him to eat solid foods.
-on my visit the doctor yelled at me and you know the rest of the story

The conclusion:
Processing of the data:
Yes diagnosis of my son's brain cyst was late and it could have been done earlier. But his other health issues were more important at this time. He wouldn't be admitted to the hospital with bronchitis, diarrhea or urinary infection.
I wouldn't be able to stay at the hospital with him with my breast infection.
The hospital stay was much easier with my son being weaned from the breast.

Realistic balanced thoughts:
I am a good mother who tries to find optimum. My son would have needed a surgery even if he had been diagnosed earlier. I don't need the doctor's good opinion of me to feel strong as a mother.

(Sorry for my use of English grammar! Not my native language :)









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Thank you for sharing Plantago and Miller!

Plantago, can you revisit your situation using CBT?

What was your hot thought?

How was this a cognitive distortion?

What evidence did you find to support the distortion or counter it?

What was the more realistic or balanced thought that you concluded with?

Miller, I think you can do this for your situation as well! I would say you could start with the hot thought of "If I think bad things about other people, something bad will happen to them and it will be my fault."

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Miller, thank you for sharing this. Your therapist sounds like a very wise person.
And my son's neurologist is actually a very good specialist. But she just didn't understand that I was a person, too. I went to her for a follow-up visit after my son's surgery and she still wasn't able to stand me. In her eyes I was a bad mother who by her ignorance had hurt her own baby. She was right-the diagnosis was late. But early diagnosis wouldn't change anything, because my son was constantly sick. So in the end the late diagnosis was a blessing-it saved us all months of stress and anxiety. I am happy I was able to build some kind of mental brick wall between her opinion about me and my own picture of myself.


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I'm not sure how many team members we have who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, as I do. But I thought I'd mention a couple of techniques that I remember from my CB therapy.

I used to have a real problem with "magical thinking." I would have these "bad" intrusive obsessive thoughts that would pop in my head out of nowhere. My fear was that they would somehow get "transferred" onto loved ones and that the "bad thought" would hurt or kill them. I look back now and realize how ridiculous it sounds, but my OCD started when I was just 12 and I didn't know what in the world was wrong with me and I had no help.

Anyway, my cognitive behavioral therapist worked with me for months on small things like if I obsessively checked the stove at bedtime to make sure it was turned off (like 7 or 8 times) he would have me "change it up." For example, give myself permission to only check twice and that was it. It helped a lot.

But getting back to the magical thinking - after working with him on "smaller" fears, he had me do a very scary exercise. I was to consciously try to put "bad thoughts" onto him and see what happened. He asked me to do this before he was going on vacation for a week. He was going to be traveling and on the road a lot and I was terrified of doing it. I even went so far as to ask him what I should do if he was wrong and if he got in an automobile accident or something while he was gone. I told him that would send me straight to the mental hospital. He assured me that nothing would happen to him, but that if it did, I was to contact his partner in the medical practice and tell him what happened.

I know it sounds crazy and bizarre, but I was completely terrified. I was so afraid something would happen to him. I had spent my whole life trying to keep the bad thoughts "off" of other people. Well, you guessed it - he came back from vacation safe and sound and that helped me realize that my thoughts couldn't hurt people. If I'm completely honest, I still struggle with this from time to time. Stress & anxiety make it worse.

Another technique used with OCD patients is Exposure & Response Prevention. For instance, if you're a germaphobe, like me, you gradually expose yourself to the feared contaminant and then you respond by NOT doing the compulsion you normally would (such as washing your hands). This is done slowly so the patient doesn't get overwhelmed and panicky and this type of therapy can kick OCD in the butt so hard and so fast that it's amazing. I really do need a refresher course and just talking about this has made me realize that. I've forgotten a lot of the helpful techniques I learned.

That's just my 2 cents worth for any OCD sufferers out there.

Miller emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: MPN5621 at: 2/27/2013 (12:06)
"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


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MPN5621
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2/27/13 11:37 A

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Good for you, Marta, for working through your thoughts and feelings and viewing the situation realistically and logically. That was fantastic work on your part!!! (I have to say that the doctor sounds like a real jerk - I'm glad you didn't let her uninformed opinion keep you down!).

Hugs and blessings, emoticon emoticon

Miller emoticon

"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


 current weight: 199.0 
 
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PLANTAGO
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2/27/13 11:25 A

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This is a very interesting form of therapy. I did something similar quite intuitively when bad things happened in my life.
When my son was 18 months old he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and his neurologist blamed me ( I postponed my appointment because of my son's recurrent upper respiratory tract infections) for such a late diagnosis. So here was my poor sick child,and I -his hopeless, constantly crying, anxious , unhappy and guilty mother. You can imagine how I felt.
Here's what I did:
I asked myself-does the doctor have all the information?
Answer: No.
Does she know what was happening in our life and why my appointment with her was postponed?
Answer: No. She didn't even want to hear me. She just yelled.
Did I have good reasons to postpone it ?
Answer:Yes, I did.
If my son was diagnosed earlier, would earlier surgery be possible?
Answer: No. He wouldn't be admitted to hospital even with a common cold.
This simple analysis of the situation really helped me a lot.
My son's doctor saw me as a bad stupid neglecting mother forever after but I knew better. I didn't need her good opinion to feel strong as a person and as a mother anymore.


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DEBTEVELDAHL
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2/27/13 11:15 A

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I've been involved with CBT and am still working on it with my therapist. I have found it to be a very useful tool. Thank you for sharing this post with us. It is a really good example of how CBT works. I am glad that it is working so well for you. Take care and God bless, Deb

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance - Samuel Johnson


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IAMAGEMLOVER
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2/27/13 9:13 A

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emoticon I did DBT which is very similar.

I love SparkPeople

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

I am responsible for my own happiness.

I am Bonnie






 
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NEEDTOBESLIM3
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2/26/13 6:19 P

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Thank for posting Miriam, this looks like a valuable therapy to use. Will keep reading with interest!!

My God loves me, he shelters me from harm.


MPN5621
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2/26/13 4:31 P

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Well said, Miriam! Thanks for sharing the process. I think this thread will be very valuable. We've been discussing "changing our negative thoughts to more positive or realistic ones" on the "Help, I'm Having a Bad Day" thread. I'll share this Topic heading with the folks there so they can see the process step-by-step, as you've explained.

Thanks again,

Miller emoticon

"The present is what slips by us while we’re pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

"The groundwork of all happiness is health."
Leigh Hunt

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
Theodore Roosevelt


 current weight: 199.0 
 
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MIRMIUM
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2/25/13 8:57 P

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Hi Everyone,

My name is Miriam and after discussing CBT in an alternate thread, I thought it might be helpful to start a new thread where people who haven't tried it before (or want to try it again) can post about it. Recently, I started doing CBT with a doctor over the past 2 months in an effort to find a non-medicinal alternative for my anxiety and depression. I'm not against medication generally but I had a specific reason to come off of it. I was on effexor for the past year or so and have recently come off of it.

Anyways, below is a "thought record" that I filled out today. To give you the context, I officially weaned off of the effexor as of last Tuesday and since then I've been consistently dizzy from about mid-morning and lasting through the evening. Today I started to get quite anxious about it so I made a thought record. I've been really finding this to be a very helpful technique for me.

First you need to identify a "hot thought" or the thing that is making you particularly upset. Usually for me it has to do with not meeting my own or someone else's expectations. Mostly I feel as though I am disappointing myself and others. This thought record is more focused on my anxiety regarding the dizziness.


My "hot thought" (particularly upsetting thought) was:
Maybe this dizziness is a sign that I can't cut it without my medication and I'm on the verge of having panic attacks again.

So you take that thought and determine how it is a distortion of the truth. In my case I called this jumping to conclusions, discounting the positive and should statements (a link to a list and description of distortions http://addictions.about.com/od/overcominga
ddiction/tp/cognitive_distortions.htm)

Then you look for evidence for or against the hot thought. In this case I really only had evidence against it which went like this:

I've had dizzy spells in the past when I've decreased my medication.
I've been feeling happier and calmer this week since I've stopped the effexor and despite my recent life stresses.
I don't feel any particular muscle tension and have been sleeping well.
I was successfully able to manage my anxiety for years before effexor.
I haven't had any near attacks.
I haven't had any adverse reactions to caffeine like I used to.

Then you can take this information and change the original thought to incorporate the new information.

In my case, the new balanced thought was :
Dealing with my anxiety and depression will probably be harder without the medication but I have been managing it well so far and that makes me feel proud of myself.



I'm looking forward to helping anyone who is interested in learning about CBT! :)


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