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Frustrated with CBT, any advice?

H

Herbarium

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Feb 8, 2021
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Location
KC, MO
Hi,
I started some cognitive behavioral therapy because I know it’s meant to help but I’m particularly frustrated with it tonight. I find I can recognize a negative train of thought just fine- I’ve been dealing with them forever- but saying something truly positive once I identify them feels near impossible. I know when I have a thought like “I’m a piece of trash rn”, for example when I’m trying to study, I’m supposed to stop and think “I’m doing the best I can” but that just doesn’t feel true. I’m not doing the best I can because I KNOW I can do better. I know I can get better grades and I know I should be able to focus because I have in the past. I have this internalized idea that I should always be able to reach that high standard I set for myself. I can rationally recognize that I need to be kinder to myself but saying the words FEELS wrong.
I know it’s bad to just sit on the couch and berate myself for things I feel like I should be able to do but coming up with the right words to counter those thoughts is so hard for some reason. It feels like saying them is a lie and an excuse. I want to say “I’m better than this” but that feels problematic because it just points out how I’m not doing what I want/need to be doing.
So I was wondering if anyone who’s doing/has done CBT can relate or give any advice?
I’m just having an especially hard time tonight and I’d really appreciate any response.
Thanks,
Herbarium
 
S

Support4depression

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Raleigh, NC
Your aptitude and past experience show you that you can do better. And right now, you are managing depression AND your school work. You are doing well to be working to address your depression and still care about your school work. "I'm doing the best I can" means that you are taking a brave step through the cloud of depression to meet your goals despite the depression. Take little steps and then they will become bigger. It's like physical therapy after an injury. Good luck! You are not alone!
 
Sea_Green

Sea_Green

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Feb 4, 2015
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North West England
Sorry I can't help but I can definitely relate! I remember being told that it doesn't matter if you believe the positive things, just say them anyway and you will start to believe them. Unfortunately I've never been able to stick with it long enough to find out if that's true or not! Support4depression's advice sounds good though, gradually getting back to where you know you can be be rather than trying to jump there all at once.
 
H

Herbarium

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Feb 8, 2021
Messages
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Location
KC, MO
Thank you guys! I feel better about it today, but some days are obviously harder than others. I’m new to CBT and I hope you’re right! Consistency seems to be key even if it feels unbelievable at times.
 
J

Justwaiting

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I realise this is an old thread now....but one thing a counsellor suggested to me was to ask someone, who cares about you, what they think about you.
 
C

CabbageMama

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I realise this is an old thread now....but one thing a counsellor suggested to me was to ask someone, who cares about you, what they think about you.
One thing that helps me is to imagine I am talking to a friend. I would never say those things or focus on the negatives as it wouldn’t be kind or supportive. Which is how we need to try and talk and be to ourselves.
 
J

Justwaiting

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One thing that helps me is to imagine I am talking to a friend. I would never say those things or focus on the negatives as it wouldn’t be kind or supportive. Which is how we need to try and talk and be to ourselves.
That's a great idea...sometimes we realise that we need to change our relationships too, if we notice that some people are being mean.
 
C

CabbageMama

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It’s myself I need to change my relationship with! 😂
 
J

Justwaiting

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It’s myself I need to change my relationship with! 😂
Lol!! I think a lot of people have that struggle with themselves!

Everyone needs encouragement or positive affirmation sometimes.

Thanks for sharing
 
D

Deleted member 101837

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CBT is not for everyone so try not to beat yourself up about it.
 
J

Justwaiting

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CBT is not for everyone so try not to beat yourself up about it.
Sometimes its helpful, but if something becomes difficult it might help to do something different for a while or alternatively reframe it somehow...eg someone else might explain things differently.

I agree that beating oneself up doesn't help! That's another challenge, how to be kind when that impulse happens.
 
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