It's all in the mind

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ffleaderman24

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It's not the situation which makes you anxious it's how you interpret it. Anxiety stems from beliefs, beliefs are what have developed from an early age through life experiences. Many of you on this forum have developed unhelpful beliefs which are the cause of your anxiety and depression. So what are beliefs?, well a belief is something which you hold as truth and ironically you call another persons belief an opinion when it differs from yours. People accept anything which validates their belief as truth and will distort information so that it fits into their belief. Anything which contradicts their belief is discarded and they are always on the search for proof of their belief. Let's take for example the belief,"No one likes me", the person will be hyper vigilent for signs people don't like them and discard signs which shows people do like them. The difference between a confident person and a less confident person is their beliefs. Now let me give you an example, tell me how many Christians look for proof of evolution and how many Atheists look for proof of Creationism, this shows how biased beliefs are. So how do you change a belief?, you have to do experiements and look for signs that contradict your belief, here is a behavioural experiment sheet which you can use for your experiments-


Date:


Identify the cognition(s) to be tested. Rate degree of belief (0-100%)





Have you identified an alternative? If so, write down and rate degree of belief (0-100%)




Devise an experiment to test the cognition(s). What exactly will you do? Where and When? What will you watch out for?




Identify likely problems. How will you deal with them?




Outcome: What happened? What did you observe?





What have you learned? How does what happened relate to target cognition(s) and the alternatives? How far do you now believe them (0-100%)?





What next? What further experiments can you do?


Remember medication only goes so far, you have to do the hard work:clap:

These negative beliefs will need to be changed to more positive ones. I will show you how this is done. Everyday i want you to record your positive qualities, this is how to do it

Evidence of positive quality / positive quality

Let another driver into queue of traffic / Considerate
Colleagues asked me to join them for lunch / Likeable
Sorted out computer problem for colleague / helpful, skilled

Now i want you to write down 3 things you are greatfull for a day,e.g. i'm greatfull i'm not blind,I'm greatfull i have never been sexually abused etc. These will show you that you have many things to be greatfull for.

Only you can change, now is the time
 
calypso

calypso

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Hiya

CBT - basic outline of it, but well written and well presented! xxxx
 
pentagram

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how does it work with false beliefs?, something which I believed to be true but were just a false memory induced by torture. I know for a fact that my friend didn't die but I can still see him as he dies in front of me.

Unfortunately try as I might I can't get the vision out of my mind.
 
calypso

calypso

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I would argue that its not about false beliefs, its about why you need this belief and what is it trying to tell you. What have you misunderstood within. The part in the above you can use is to test out the belief and experiment with it. One thing my therapist says to me is say it over ad over again until the brain gets bored with it and the potency of it is lost. xx
 
unwell

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In having this explained to me the examples given were often asinine. One might intuitively think that a traumatic event would naturally result in disturbing symptoms. Instead, we are told, these are symptoms of believing something that isn't true. Once my psychologist was searching for an example to explain this concept to me. I offered "Your house burns down". He replied "Yes sure.. ah.. well, no, that would be a bad example." I specifically chose something that a materialistic consumer/family man such as himself would experience substantial grief over. Which is relatively inconsequential compared to the difficulties many people here have experienced.

Is it possible to give examples of how this might work with significant trauma, such as torture, sexual abuse, war veterans etc?
 
calypso

calypso

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I think you think of how you react not the actual problem specifically. So, My house has burnt down, you naturally get very upset, angry, dis belief bargaining and finally acceptance (the grief process), but some can't get to acceptance. It is here that the therapy comes in. another example I live with could be, My husband is an alcoholic and I can't stop him. The same process occurs, and I am still struggling with acceptance that he will die early.

Any help? xx
 
unwell

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I think that is very good example. People die from the grief for the death of a loved. It's very serious and a broken heart is the height of suffering. But I have trouble relating it to the examples I gave. I didn't think that dealing with trauma is like dealing with grief. They seem like very different experiences to me.
 
calypso

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Of course they definitely can be. But some trauma does start a grief process, such a house burning down. Raoe can also create grief too. But you are right, not all trauma does. xx
 
unwell

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Well no. What I mean is that with grief in the case of a broken heart, that is very pervasive pain. A lot of people will never get over it. What can you do? Give them a pill? Try and rationalise it? Sometimes there is nothing you can do for grief. You take as many drugs as you like to obliterate your consciousness but it is still present.

With trauma, especially if it is perpetrated by a loved one, you have both issues to deal with. But they are completely different experiences of the grief you feel and the effects of trauma.

To simplify by removing the grief factor, let's say someone is mugged. They manage to get over that and are mugged again. Again, eventually it is not as simple as viewing things objectively. I know this is a poor example because some people would still be able to bounce back. If we could view it as a symbolic example of extreme trauma. Once in this state, even if they somehow manage to accept that happened, it's in the past, they were not at fault and they've even learnt to forgive the perpetrators. Still there are severe symptoms of trauma and an ever present danger of having that trauma triggered or exacerbated.

It seems wrong to suggest that such a person is reacting badly to this situation. Their reactions are perfectly reasonalbe. How could anyone suggest there is anything faulty with their thinking?
 
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Apotheosis

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It seems wrong to suggest that such a person is reacting badly to this situation. Their reactions are perfectly reasonalbe. How could anyone suggest there is anything faulty with their thinking?
The problem as I see it is that mainstream MH services/paradigm/viewpoint - is based on behaviourism & the pathologising of all experiences. It is basically saying; it doesn't matter what made you 'ill' - your thinking/feelings/emotions/behaviour is abnormal & sick; & so we will change it through behaviour modification & mind control (CBT & mainstream psychological approaches) - & primarily with psychoactive psychiatric drugs. If that doesn't work (which for the vast majority it doesn't) - Then we'll abandon you in the community; isolated, excluded & marginalised - that about sums it all up.

The reality is that there are lots of approaches that treat the whole person in the context of their life experiences & with deeper psychological understandings - that take the view that what people are expereincing are natural responses & processes to trauma & other circumstances - & which seek to address people's issues by working through things with the persons own processes & being.

None of this is secret or difficult to do. Why it isn't done; & why people aren't genuinely helped; I'm not sure exactly why? - I think that there must be some very malevolent agendas at play.
 
unwell

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So in cases of trauma (without getting into a numbers debate) some people will not be helped by CBT. As much as they accept their situation the trauma is too severe. Would that be fair to say?

As I understand it with trauma a person can develop coping mechanisms such as dissociation. In trying to get these people to face their trauma and alter their thinking patterns, when it is unlikely to be helpful, could this actually be damaging by making a patient more unstable?
 
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Ainsworth

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accepting trauma is individual, some go through alot and deal with it, whilst others would break under the same pressure. CBT didnt help me, it made me worse. how a person reacts to anything will be judged/opinion by others with 'i wouldnt of reacted that way' so labelling it an abnormal reaction. once that system of belief from outsiders is put in place it interferes with any healing process. in what order this process takes place is down to the person experiencing the trauma and some trauma cant just be dealt with at that time or when others feel it should be. the mind will protect itself from remembering. trying to unlock it at that point may well be dangerous imo

with me, i think there was a time last year when i wanted to deal with my past trauma, i wasnt given the therapy then. even though i am having therapy soon, im wondering what i will experience and how much this will make me go backwards from the place i am now.
 
unwell

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Here is an article by someone without mental health issues who felt damaged by therapy:

Years later as I’m left with many untruths on top of my own irrational remnants, I have a large job demoting my dubious healers. Reinterpreting harmful therapy is layered and complicated, since I fell into a rigged game. I unload the weight of my therapists’ self-delusions, similar to recovering from a cult.
http://forum.psychlinks.ca/therapy-and-therapists/24832-harmful-therapy-a-disgruntled-ex-therapy-client-speaks-her-piece.html

Is this true? Clearly a therapist who is causing harm in this way is incompetent by definition. Anyone experiencing trauma would therefore be in real danger from these people. If so, how many people here for example have been harmed by therapists who are employed to help them?
 
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Apotheosis

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What I mean is that with grief in the case of a broken heart, that is very pervasive pain. A lot of people will never get over it. What can you do? Give them a pill? Try and rationalise it? Sometimes there is nothing you can do for grief. You take as many drugs as you like to obliterate your consciousness but it is still present.
Since the condition seemed to involve a mental split between thought and emotion, Bleuler coined the term 'schizophrenia' for 'splitting of the mind'. The term is derived from German 'schizophrenie' from Greek 'skhizein' meaning 'to split' and 'phren' of unknown origin meaning 'heart or mind'. According to Greek etymology, ‘schizophrenia’actually means 'broken soul' or 'broken heart’.

Although there is still no universally accepted definition of the term, it has been applied to many so-called 'mental illnesses' including a set of socially and culturally unacceptable thinking and behaviour patterns which other people greatly dislike thus making it a model of ‘unwanted conduct’. The condition is largely misunderstood as a result of people’s fear of the unknown.

http://forum.psychologyandspirit.com/Schizophrenia/What_is_Schizophrenia

 
unwell

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how a person reacts to anything will be judged/opinion by others with 'i wouldnt of reacted that way' so labelling it an abnormal reaction.
My psychologist told me even hearing his patients experiences was almost too much to bare. One of my mother's uncles was a pow. Who could say anything about his reaction? "Excuse me sir but the beilefs you have about your torture is untrue." Everybody has their breaking point even those who ridicule trauma sufferers.

Could you please explain how cbt made you worse?
 
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Ainsworth

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My psychologist told me even hearing his patients experiences was almost too much to bare. One of my mother's uncles was a pow. Who could say anything about his reaction? "Excuse me sir but the beilefs you have about your torture is untrue." Everybody has their breaking point even those who ridicule trauma sufferers.

Could you please explain how cbt made you worse?
well i was answering about CBT so behaviour wise and what behaviour from trauma comes out. delayed emotional response when dealing with things causes behaviours that may not be seen as good. they become our coping skills.

CBT is used for behaviour and changing the thing that makes you anxious, which is what i am commenting on from my experience of trying it. no one could say what your uncle experienced is wrong or untrue, he felt it.

some think to shut things out and not deal with it is wrong, others think talking about it will help. both of these will work for the individual it effects but others could view one or either as wrong. experiencing the grief of losing a loved one can effect a person greatly in many ways. ive hardly spoken about my nans death and never cried at the time or since. i ended up at the doctors with them saying to me to have talk therapy. i didnt want it and refused it, yet i believed i was wrong not to cry because of what others said. thats the point i was making.

CBT (to me) didnt allow me to express the trauma, they wanted me to deal with the behaviours of what that trauma caused. most of the time i wasnt allowed to speak about the past, it was cause and effect and they wanted to change the effect. this didnt work with me. i felt i skipped over something and what i did go through was to remain hidden or didnt even matter. the psych also liked the sound of his own voice and i would be interrupted alot.
 
unwell

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You are pretty much reiterating my experience. So after getting a basic history they went immediately into cbt? In my case his persistance in shoving cbt down my throat left me with greater anxiety, greater hopelessness and a greater feeling of being out of control.

CBT is used for behaviour and changing the thing that makes you anxious
That's the question I'm asking for opinions on: is this damaging to people experiencing severe trauma?

no one could say what your uncle experienced is wrong or untrue
Like the original post cbt is based on the idea "It's not the situation which makes you anxious it's how you interpret it." So yes with cbt the pow's withdrawing and not be able to talk to anyone about anything, let alone his time spent in a pow camp, and being an absolute wreck of a human being is due to his thinking about the situation incorrectly. In the case of well, especially severe trauma, it seems to me cbt is absurd and inherently flawed.
 
calypso

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CBT is not the right therapy for everyone. Someone who has behaviour which is interrupting their daily life but is not desperately serious, can find it very useful. Others need psychotherapy to go much deeper and it will work. Others, my husband included, find any talking therapy is not for him at all. I don't think you should throw out all talking therapies as being wrong, many help a lot of people. If it didn't work for you, then I understand. But it does not make others feel as you did.

I do not say it is how you react to the situation that is wrong. I said that in the event you have a really traumatic event, then trying to find different approaches to it might help in some cases. In others, just being able to talk about it can release their feelings and heal. Sometimes it really hurts at the time, and that can feel terrible, but that can lead to some kind of acceptance in time. As I said, for some like my husband, nothing like this will ever work. AS Apo said it often depends on the therapist , not the therapy.
 
pentagram

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I have just had 20 sessions of CBT. It seemed to work for me, lots of talking seemed to open up hidden memories of my traumas and revealed the false beliefs I have lived by for the last 40 years. I must say that it helped. The trouble I find now is that I can't seem to get past the truth of it all and even though I can more or less understand the trauma, I need more help of some kind. It appears to me like my original treatment by the psychiatrists of 40 years ago where they electro shocked me for 6 months and then kicked me out of the door with no back up or anything, job done, he'll just have to get on with it.

when I was given therapy for depression in 1999 I presume that was CBT. In the files I have received on request there is one bit that says "he is clearly frightened of going it alone. However I (the psychologist) do believe that given enough time to integrate the therapy, he is now in a better position to move forward."

I have a copy of all the session notes from then and we spent 12 months doing grief therapy for the death of my boyfriend. All a waste of time.
 

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