Therapy - does it actually help you

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dewey

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#1
I've done a lot of therapy in my time, with various different kinds of therapy. What is your experience of therapy? What kind of therapy helped you? Did any actually help you? Or did you get the impression that you became more unstable with the therapy?

Current therapist is doing psychodynamic therapy, which have been doing for around four months. However, I feel that the therapy is quite possibly leading me to become more unstable.
Basically if you haven't tried it, with the psychodynamic model, the patient talks and the therapist tries to make sense of it together with the patient. To try and find out what could be going on behind the experiences or events the patient talks about. However it just feels draining and I don't see how talking about negative stuff, and trying to unpick it all, is helping.
It just brings horrible emotions up.
Perhaps long term it could help. In the very long term. But at the moment no. I still get very low and even feel that maybe the therapy is contributing to this. It all just feels like a harrowing experience, the therapy in itself to be honest. Does anyone else get this??

Before this, I used to have dialectical behavioural therapy and that therapist also used some commitment/acceptance therapy in the approach. I dreaded going to see her. I found her so arrogant - she would talk for about 90 per cent of the session, I was basically going for a lecture from her rather than therapy. She was too set in her ways, not flexible, felt like she was above me in this pious position, telling me how to live my life. She also did not seem empathetic to me, often for example, telling me that at least I was not physically ill, only emotionally ill. I felt like she was completely dismissing what to me was something I really could not over come. I dreaded going to see her and eventually stopped.
And yeah, I've had several counselling therapists before this too. (The only main type of therapy I haven't tried is cognitive and I know people who say that cognitive behavioural therapy never really helped them.)

Obviously my worst symptoms still persist, so I don't feel like therapy has been a success for me. Hard to see the light and think that therapy will actually help.

I would like to know if therapy has actually been helpful for anyone here? Please feel free to share your experiences. Thanks.
 
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megirl

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#2
I have found therapy helpful after seeing my psychotherapist for sometime. She was the right person. Im quite in tune to people and their reactions. I never felt judged,
nor threatened in anyway. If something was too triggering for me too talk about or it was causing any distress she acknowledged how I was feeling but left it there. She certainly never pushed me.
I have had therapy in the past some people I find threatning attempting to keep questioning me like I am being interrogated(my brain would be screaming...fuck off..)
Then there's the 'motherly' types
Maybe I'm just picky.
Just need the approach that works for you
 
M

megirl

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#3
Adding on..
If I felt like I wasn't making progress. Or if somehow I was feeling negatively affected in some way feeling worse after a session I probably wouldn't possibly go back its a hard one really.
 
Poppy2014

Poppy2014

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#4
Hi
Despite all the research saying DBT is the way forward for BPD it and CBT were hopeless for me, I had CAT and that was it, it was the right one and yes it dragged up some of the worst emotions I ever felt but at the end I was so much more stable.
I blogged my psychotherapy journey, every week for 48 weeks on here and I've just restarted blogging my new and hopefully final foray into therapy in the thread moving on.

For me it's been about finding the right people with the right therapy at the right time. It truly has been in equal measures one if the worst things I've gone through and one of the most empowering things I've achieved.

Psychodynamic therapy is supposed to drag the hurt up, CBT/DBT aren't bothered about how you got here just about dealing with how you go forward. CAT and psychodynamic are more about how you got here dealing with the things that made you, you, and why they still have the impact they have on you, so unfortunately Yes it's going to make you unstable for a while because they are dragging all the rubbish out.
When you go back next time talk to your therapist about how you are feeling, if she is worth anything she will teach you how to find a safe space/thought or coping strategy.
Mine was about processing the stuff that therapy had dragged up and that's where writing on here helped.
I wrote everything we'd talked about, how it made me feel and what I thought.
The feedback from other members allowed me to process some of the stupid I thought.
One of the things I also did was record my thoughts on the way home after therapy, I used a microphone on my mobile and spat it all out there. This was also important as it gave a a safe way of driving home.
Talk to your therapist, if all else, take a leaf out if my book and write it down, then give the letter to her, she will then be able to ask the questions.

But in answer to your question, yes therapy works, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for 5 people over 4 years who have given me the opportunity to be me, the real me, not the one blighted by BPD

Good luck on your journey xxx
 
G

Girl interupted

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#5
I found I went through alarming periods of instability during therapy, but I have also seen real progress. I measure it by resiliency; when I started with this therapist, someone could say “hello” to me and I’d burst into tears.

Now, it takes a full “hello, how are you doing?” to do that, lol. I’m kidding.

The problem with therapy is that in order to get better, to get past things, you have to go over some epically bad things in your life, stuff that is painful to even talk about. If you’re like me, you dance around it and avoid it. Until you feel safe. Then you start to peel back one layer at a time, in sizes you can handle, and those layers are discussed, then understood. It’s diring the particularly hard layers that I felt the most unstable, and questioned if it might not be better to stuff it all back down inside again. There were some very bleak moments. I revisited feeling suicidal again.

But then something happens. Understanding. And you can finally let go of at least one layer.

You are probably discussing something very traumatic to you right now and your self preservation instinct is to naturally run away.

Don’t.

Just adjust your pace, slow down if you need to, talk about the weather all session, until you feel strong enough to return to it.

Therapy isn’t easy, but working through the pain brings peace, something that is hard to get for bpd.
 
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dewey

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#6
I found I went through alarming periods of instability during therapy, but I have also seen real progress. I measure it by resiliency; when I started with this therapist, someone could say “hello” to me and I’d burst into tears.

Now, it takes a full “hello, how are you doing?” to do that, lol. I’m kidding.

The problem with therapy is that in order to get better, to get past things, you have to go over some epically bad things in your life, stuff that is painful to even talk about. If you’re like me, you dance around it and avoid it. Until you feel safe. Then you start to peel back one layer at a time, in sizes you can handle, and those layers are discussed, then understood. It’s diring the particularly hard layers that I felt the most unstable, and questioned if it might not be better to stuff it all back down inside again. There were some very bleak moments. I revisited feeling suicidal again.

But then something happens. Understanding. And you can finally let go of at least one layer.

You are probably discussing something very traumatic to you right now and your self preservation instinct is to naturally run away.

Don’t.

Just adjust your pace, slow down if you need to, talk about the weather all session, until you feel strong enough to return to it.

Therapy isn’t easy, but working through the pain brings peace, something that is hard to get for bpd.
Wow, that was quite a read. Thanks for the insights.

If you don't mind me asking, do you considered yourself majorly 'healed' by the therapy?

I see what you mean about going through periods of instability in therapy through talking bad things out, in order to eventually get more stable, but it is actually really hard for me to truly believe that is what is happening right now. Partly because of disillusionment with past therapy I suppose, partly because I really do not believe at this rate I could ever be 'well' or 'normal', due to suffering MH problems for such a long time. So it's hard to see that this is going to take me towards some 'light at the end of the tunnel' that might eventually come with the therapy, so to speak.

I would have to say I 100 per cent dance around issues, as you said. I often just freeze up and we sit there in awkward silence whilst she tries to probe me about what I'm thinking about, and to be honest, quite often I'm just sitting there thinking, 'this whole thing is pointless, this isn't helping, and you just don't understand'. Obviously I don't communicate it to her like that that's what I'm thinking.

Another issue I have with the therapy, is that I feel that talking the bad things out allows them to define me, and I hate that. Life events, experiences, family life growing up or whatever, I feel these things don't define me. (Reading that sentence back it just sounds like I'm in denial ha) But the therapy, the experience of going there and talking about certain people in my life etc, just makes it seem like the shitty stuff that has happened = me. Therapy is this really negative space where bad things are talked about, and I begin to link therapy with my mind, or what's going on behind my mind, so I begin to believe that I am only bad things, the bad things that have happened. Does that even make any sense?!

I'm not sure if you can relate to any of the above, or if it even makes sense. I'll take on board what you said about it being a gradual thing, and slowing down the pace. However currently I'm not sure I can take it any slower as I just seem to put up consistent barriers to talking about things...
 
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dewey

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#7
I have found therapy helpful after seeing my psychotherapist for sometime. She was the right person. Im quite in tune to people and their reactions. I never felt judged,
nor threatened in anyway. If something was too triggering for me too talk about or it was causing any distress she acknowledged how I was feeling but left it there. She certainly never pushed me.
I have had therapy in the past some people I find threatning attempting to keep questioning me like I am being interrogated(my brain would be screaming...fuck off..)
Then there's the 'motherly' types
Maybe I'm just picky.
Just need the approach that works for you
Thanks for sharing your experience - do you think you could comment maybe on how exactly the therapy helped you? What was the approach of the therapist?
I don't think you're being picky, I think it's just really hard to find a therapeutic approach for any one person, and then also the individual personality or 'vibe' of the therapist as a person can just affect the whole situation. It's lucky you stumbled on someone who you felt that comfortable with.
I've realised also have an issue where I don't want to get too close or relate to the therapist too much, like I have to stay distant from them for some reason. Which probably just impedes the whole process even further.
Any way these are my random thoughts (probably over-thoughts haha) on the matter...
 
D

dewey

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#8
Hi
Despite all the research saying DBT is the way forward for BPD it and CBT were hopeless for me, I had CAT and that was it
I was going to say, is CAT therapy literally just giving you cats and letting you hang out with them, because if so, that is the ONE for me haha.

it was the right one and yes it dragged up some of the worst emotions I ever felt but at the end I was so much more stable.
I blogged my psychotherapy journey, every week for 48 weeks on here and I've just restarted blogging my new and hopefully final foray into therapy in the thread moving on.
That's pretty cool, would love to have a read of this.

For me it's been about finding the right people with the right therapy at the right time. It truly has been in equal measures one if the worst things I've gone through and one of the most empowering things I've achieved.

Psychodynamic therapy is supposed to drag the hurt up, CBT/DBT aren't bothered about how you got here just about dealing with how you go forward. CAT and psychodynamic are more about how you got here dealing with the things that made you, you, and why they still have the impact they have on you, so unfortunately Yes it's going to make you unstable for a while because they are dragging all the rubbish out.
Yes, I can definitely see that with this psychodynamic approach it's about digging behind the emotions etc. Oh man, I'm not sure I can deal with any more unstable...

When you go back next time talk to your therapist about how you are feeling, if she is worth anything she will teach you how to find a safe space/thought or coping strategy.
Yeah, that's just the thing, with this psychodynamic therapist, she basically just mirrors what I've said back to me, affirming what I've just said, and occasionally interjects with trying to find meaning or links in what I've said and what I might have said on a previous occasion. She never gives practical/coping mechanism advice, and if I express any frustration that she doesn't give practical/coping advice, she also just mirrors that back to me and will say something like "you feel frustrated that I am not telling you how to live your life, you would like someone to give you directions or guidance on how to live your life".


Talk to your therapist, if all else, take a leaf out if my book and write it down, then give the letter to her, she will then be able to ask the questions.
As I say, she doesn't really focus on answering my questions or 'demands of her', she more mirrors back what I say, and tries to find the intention behind it. Which is extremely frustrating.
I had better voice concerns I'm having about becoming more unstable, though I am beginning to see this as part of a broader, longer process which I will probably have to sit out a while.
I've discussed discontinuing the therapy with her, but she seems adamant I persist with it, so probably she thinks something will come out of it.


But in answer to your question, yes therapy works, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for 5 people over 4 years who have given me the opportunity to be me, the real me, not the one blighted by BPD
Good luck on your journey xxx
5 people? Were they all therapists?
I'm glad to hear and also I'm inspired that you were able to over come your BPD in this way. Unfortunately, from where I'm sat right now, there is no 'real me 'to uncover. I'm starting to see myself as simply equal to my debilitating depression and BPD. What's really scary is how long I've felt this way, and that now, I'm 25, and they say your brain stops growing and your personality is formed fully by the time you are 25. What if I'm stuck like this, what if I never overcome this? What if I continue to get these strong feelings that I would be better off dead, all my life? Where will this lead me? It's scary to even write that. Obviously there are times where I feel more life affirming, but it's the constant thing of going back to those extreme, negative, agonising feelings. Always returning. The fact you were able to overcome BPD gives me a shred of hope. Thank you for wishing me luck.
 
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megirl

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#9
Hi
Yes my last psychotherapist she was awesome. Can't remember what sort of approach she used.
But anyway through the therapy it was recognising how I respond to certain situations and the emotions I have. Also a lot of the way I see the world is because of how I was treated as a child. Learning how to nurture myself. Parents are meant to teach us those things,so if you have been maltreated or abused,etc its a lack of being loved unconditionally. Parents are meant to nurture us,keep us safe,protect us.
Learning to let people help me. That's its ok to ask for help.
Learning to love myself.
 
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Girl interupted

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#10
Oh Dewey, it's like we're the same person. I read through your response and found myself nodding, but a few things stood out, I'll outline below (your response actually made me log into my PC instead of my iPad because I wanted to format to respond properly, lol).

Wow, that was quite a read. Thanks for the insights.

If you don't mind me asking, do you considered yourself majorly 'healed' by the therapy?
I think we're in the same camp where we don't believe there will ever truly be a moment of "tada! you're healed!"

However, that said, I do believe that therapy has helped me get to places where I would not otherwise have reached without it.

The first example is my peace with my mom. Without my therapist helping me to understand that she was mentally ill and could not help herself, I'd still be Don Quixote jousting at windmills turning myself inside out, trying to get her to be accountable for how terrible she had been.

This was a huge win for me because it was a major source of anxiety most of my life. While my mom was still able to push buttons (more on that later), it was dampened and hurt less, if that makes sense? Having some armour against the person who has hurt you most was a significant win for me and my mental health.

Partly because of disillusionment with past therapy I suppose, partly because I really do not believe at this rate I could ever be 'well' or 'normal', due to suffering MH problems for such a long time. So it's hard to see that this is going to take me towards some 'light at the end of the tunnel' that might eventually come with the therapy, so to speak.
"Suffering MH problems for such a long time." My heart completely ached reading this because I've been there too. Why do it, why go through all this effort, I'm not seeing any difference, why am I doing this to myself?

Obviously I don't communicate it to her like that that's what I'm thinking.
Ha, this is where I felt we were long-lost siblings. But you have to understand your own "training" to realize that not being honest and forthright with your therapist isn't going to help you any. You were groomed to be obedient and hold up a mirror to those around you, so that they wouldn't get cross. It's particularly difficult to be blunt with anyone in a position of authority, including your therapist.

I would get internally upset with my therapist that I would arrive on time for my appointment and sometimes would not get in to see her for 20-30 minutes. I would rage in my head that it felt like devaluation -- her time was more important than mine.

One day, I just spoke up and got angry with her. Terrifying. Nobody with BPD wants to do anything on purpose that would make someone leave or abandon us.

But it was a watershed moment for me. She listened to my built-up anger, she argued back (which is important), but she didn't leave me.

After that I realized that no matter what I threw at her, she would still be there. That was immensely comforting, and it allowed me to feel safer and start to open up about some of the more truly ugly things in my past.

If you find yourself editing yourself in therapy, ask yourself why. Is it because you don't feel safe? If so, you need to talk with your therapist about that. Be blunt. You need to feel safe in therapy because what you're talking about makes you so vulnerable -- ergo the dancing around.


Another issue I have with the therapy, is that I feel that talking the bad things out allows them to define me, and I hate that. Life events, experiences, family life growing up or whatever, I feel these things don't define me. (Reading that sentence back it just sounds like I'm in denial ha) But the therapy, the experience of going there and talking about certain people in my life etc, just makes it seem like the shitty stuff that has happened = me. Therapy is this really negative space where bad things are talked about, and I begin to link therapy with my mind, or what's going on behind my mind, so I begin to believe that I am only bad things, the bad things that have happened. Does that even make any sense?!
At one point, during particularly difficult sessions, I felt like you've described. Why was I doing this? My friends are telling me that I'm becoming more erratic. I seem to be unravelling, rather than getting any better. I cannot get control of my emotions, I'm a mess. And talking about the craptastic things that happened to me over the course of my life seem to be making it worse. I was becoming the darkness and trauma I was talking about in session.

This was also during a period when my mom was in palliative care, my abuser, with brain cancer. She was always abusive my whole life, you can only imagine what she was like with two tumours in her brain.

I asked my therapist to quit. I wanted to turtle up and hide. I didn't want to do this anymore. She would quietly say no, and like an obedient child of an NPD mother, I would keep going back. I hated it. I would spend entire sessions talking about minutiae at work.

I couldn't see it at the time, but just last week in session I realized that I was coping better. I had weathered the storm, she had anchored me and dug in and would not let me quit. She also didn't quit me, which was important. She would try to guide me, but if I resisted, she would let me just babble about stupid things that didn't really matter.

I now feel healthier than I ever have in my entire life. Am I cured? Nope. But through therapy I have learned how to identify shades of gray, instead of my go-to of black and white thinking. I still struggle with the grays sometimes, but I'm also able to identify triggers, and my subsequent reactions better. Being able to intellectually understand the emotional response has been a godsend for me. But it only came through talking about the terribad stuff.
 
G

Girl interupted

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#11
lol I wrote too much have to post in two posts!


I'm not sure if you can relate to any of the above, or if it even makes sense. I'll take on board what you said about it being a gradual thing, and slowing down the pace. However currently I'm not sure I can take it any slower as I just seem to put up consistent barriers to talking about things...
You need to feel safe enough with your therapist to tell him/her to jump off a short pier if that's what you're feeling. You are entitled to feel how you feel, and you won't go forward until you feel safe -- that includes not editing yourself in sessions.

Once you get there, at least it was the case for me, you can begin to take that first step to talking about the dark stuff, and then leaving it behind.

You might even want to spend a session discussing why you feel the need to edit with him/her. It can lead to a broader discussion about trust and therapy.

We are very alike. I'm sorry I wrote you a novel in response, but what you wrote resonated with me. I have been where you are. I know how painful it is. And I know it may seem easier to throw in the towel and go back to swallowing emotions. But if you do that, you'll wind up back where you are now where you felt the need to seek therapy in the first place.

Hang in there! You can do it!

xo
 
D

dewey

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#12
Thanks for taking the time, I appreciate it.

I think we're in the same camp where we don't believe there will ever truly be a moment of "tada! you're healed!"
For me recovering, or healing, would mean getting to the point where I don't fantasise about my own death, firmly believing it would be better if I was free from the pain - through the s word.
What I find bizarre is the constant returning to this state.
Of course, eventually I shake myself out of the feeling, get on with things (maybe while still carrying around the black shadow/black dog and ignoring it's presence) but I still, at some point, end up returning to that feeling. Even if I've been feeling more life-affirming for months and things are taking a seemingly positive direction. it always comes back.
I find it frustrating when people talk about 'going through the bad times to appreciate the good'. That statement doesn't ring true for me. I don't generally imagine that most of the population is like this. Most of the population doesn't reach these lows where they constantly return to feeling they would be better off dead, and get so completely submerged by emotion. To me, that's where the crux of my illness lies. And I want to be rid of it. I'm frustrated by it even, because it feels so bloody self indulgent and drama queen-esque. I hate being like that.
(As a side point, my doctor has recommended me for endocrinology, suggesting that extremely low lows are likely linked to my menstrual cycle/PCOS. It was always the case that I became extremely low when on my period, and when I was on the pill and the hormones more balanced out artificially, I didn't get to these extreme moods whilst on my period. It's bizarre, it's like where is all this coming from, is it just hormones, is it life experience that has caused BPD causing me to feel this way... there is seemingly no answer )

The first example is my peace with my mom. Without my therapist helping me to understand that she was mentally ill and could not help herself, I'd still be Don Quixote jousting at windmills turning myself inside out, trying to get her to be accountable for how terrible she had been.
Practising compassion and owning that the people who have hurt me through their actions are ill and deeply hurt themselves, has also been a massive part of my journey. Of course, there are people and situations where I simply can't apply this, but showing more compassion, particularly to family members, has improved my life. Replacing anger with compassion and understanding.
It takes a lot to realise and accept the state of pain that someone can be in to become selfish, and unaware of their actions, and in denial of their own pain to the point where they completely deny and are ignorant of what they are doing to others.
I guess we have to realise that it is sometimes impossible for people to take responsibility for their own actions. Their whole worlds would collapse. It's sad, but a truth we must accept.

This was also during a period when my mom was in palliative care, my abuser, with brain cancer. She was always abusive my whole life, you can only imagine what she was like with two tumours in her brain.
That sounds tough, but important. I think sometimes, being exposed to people who have caused us pain, is an important learning experience. Who knows, it might just be far better than moving away and moving on. Facing the same problems, but with a new attitude and understanding, it means you're dealing with your past rather than running from it. Of course, you shouldn't be subjected to too much of re-viewing the same problems, but still, I think it can help in a weird and painfully difficult way.

But through therapy I have learned how to identify shades of gray, instead of my go-to of black and white thinking. I still struggle with the grays sometimes, but I'm also able to identify triggers, and my subsequent reactions better. Being able to intellectually understand the emotional response has been a godsend for me. But it only came through talking about the terribad stuff.
That's good, I'm glad for you. I have to say though, I have a massive tendency to over think the events and experiences I've had so this over-examination through therapy is like going into over-drive. It has to be done though, to get someone else's perspective on the same thing. Maybe a more neutral perspective. I take it you're doing psychodynamic or similar? And for how long have you been doing that?
 
G

Girl interupted

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#13
First let me say that I’m sorry for the pain you are feeling. I’m equally sorry that your mind takes you to dark places where you contemplate death. I do, however, understand the sentiment. And thinking about S is not the same as actively trying. I consider it a fugue state that eventually passes. At least it is for me.

I’m not sure what type of therapy my therapist is using outside of cbt, but from what you describe, it sounds similar. She doesn’t like to put labels on things because she believes it stigmatizes, and even argues that while there are traits of any given disorder, nobody is 100% bpd or npd etc. Usually we are a big mix of several things, with one set of traits predominant.

Thank you for the kind words about my mom. It was hard, but it was the first time in my adult life I didn’t just run away and hide. Your insight on that gave me a boost of hope.

Know I’ll be rooting for you.

Xo
 
G

Girl interupted

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#14
Oh and I started with her in 2012. And it’s only the past year or so where I’m starting to see a noticeable difference. I think I spent the first four years doubting if I could trust her. Thankfully she is patient.
 
Poppy2014

Poppy2014

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#15
Hi Dewey,
First of all you are really young, I'm glad you are getting therapy at this age. Looking back and talking to people I can tell I had BPD from about 17, BTW I'm 46 now and was only diagnosed in 2015, but from 2008 -2015 I was unstable all over the place, yet I still managed to function as a nurse.
I found my initial stability in work, but actually over work and irrational hours.

I started therapy properly in 2008 with a pain psychologist, it was him who in the end said there was something more wrong with me. He had a mental health background and said Bipolar or BPD, I got BPD with complex post traumatic stress disorder.
In 2015 I stopped seeing John as I was initially taken over by the CMHT, I had Andy for 20 weeks , he was a crisis intervention worker. I'll finish up tomorrow I'm dropping down.
Oh and just to say you can read my horrible 48 weeks, including some letters. Just type my name in the search bar and look for threads started, it's called getting through a day 24hours at a time.
It's round about page 14 on this forum. My new journey is called moving on.

You mention not being second by all the bad stuff that you have to live with and talk about. While I really understand that, it's actually that which has made you the strong person you are right now. Because although you have depression and BPD you are actually living and seeking help, and that takes strength.

But I know what you mean, when you go to therapy all you talk about is the bad stuff. Certainly when I was seeing Steve for CAT they draw a state's map, and in that was all the emotions I felt, had, did and how I got there, when I finally looked at it properly th err e was absolutely nothing good about me and I could not recognise the person on the paper. He drew me a good box, one he thought I had and was. I didn't get that either but at least someone thought I was good.

He told me that CAT wouldn't cure me, and there would be times in my life I would need to seek help again, just to top up. But for me I already knew CAT was only stage 3 of a 4 stage process.
Stage 1 was John, stage 2 was Dave doing emotion recognition, Stage 3 was Steve and CAT, stage 4 will be Eamonn and EMDR which I have session 2 next month and then 20 sessions to start with after that to process the emotions I have now Steve has given me understanding and control.
(But in between Steve and Eamonn) I had Kirsty, she did something well off the wall because the neurologist I see thinks some of my pain is caused by mental distress.
That was just plain weird, and didn't do anything.

EMDR is the one that scare me because it's going to ask me to process the feelings that go along with the big horrible memories that make up my life and make me who I am.

But actually when I wrote it down in a long and very detailed timeline for Eamonn, actually I have more good memories than bad and recognise I have done some really good things in my life, that also define me as a person.

So when you go to therapy yes it's about the crap, but the crap isn't only the person you are, you are equally if not more so good. Remember that.

Take care and good luck.
I'll write some more later
 
BPDevil

BPDevil

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#16
I had CBT when I was 15-16, it ended up making me even worse, now I'm waiting for DBT and also going on some anxiety course
 
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dewey

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#17
Hi Dewey,
First of all you are really young, I'm glad you are getting therapy at this age. Looking back and talking to people I can tell I had BPD from about 17, BTW I'm 46 now and was only diagnosed in 2015, but from 2008 -2015 I was unstable all over the place, yet I still managed to function as a nurse.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I wonder how on earth did you manage to go so long without getting any support? Is that because there wasn't support available to you/due to the stigma of mental illness at the time?

I started therapy properly in 2008 with a pain psychologist, it was him who in the end said there was something more wrong with me. He had a mental health background and said Bipolar or BPD, I got BPD with complex post traumatic stress disorder.
I think the lines can be blurred between BPD and Bipolar etc, and psychiatrists can often only get so much of an impression of someone. Their opinions on the diagnosis are based on infrequent and brief reports by the patient, they can't truly monitor patients 100percent of the time. And besides, we rarely fulfill all the 'tickboxes' of a disorder, all the time. But they're useful guidelines for how we feel and how we interact with others in relationships, I suppose.

He told me that CAT wouldn't cure me, and there would be times in my life I would need to seek help again, just to top up. But for me I already knew CAT was only stage 3 of a 4 stage process.
Stage 1 was John, stage 2 was Dave doing emotion recognition, Stage 3 was Steve and CAT, stage 4 will be Eamonn and EMDR which I have session 2 next month and then 20 sessions to start with after that to process the emotions I have now Steve has given me understanding and control.
Interesting you are trying a range of approaches over time. I take it you have never had two types of therapy simultaneously?
I was recommended not to try both CBT and psychodynamic at the same time, as the CBT would interfere with the psychodynamic supposedly.

EMDR is the one that scare me because it's going to ask me to process the feelings that go along with the big horrible memories that make up my life and make me who I am.
But actually when I wrote it down in a long and very detailed timeline for Eamonn, actually I have more good memories than bad and recognise I have done some really good things in my life, that also define me as a person.
That's good you have that kind of acceptance of yourself. EMDR seems really interesting, I'd love to understand more of the science behind it. But yes, it must be very challenging.
 
D

dewey

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Jan 16, 2019
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72
#18
I had CBT when I was 15-16, it ended up making me even worse, now I'm waiting for DBT and also going on some anxiety course
Interesting, how exactly do you think the CBT make you worse?
 
D

dewey

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#19
And thinking about S is not the same as actively trying. I consider it a fugue state that eventually passes. At least it is for me.
About the state passing - when you are in those states, can you now embrace the idea that this will pass? Because when my brain is telling me those things, I completely believe my brain, and lose sight of everything else and can't rationalise it as a state that will pass. I think it's me buying into it because it's such a familiar feeling.

I’m not sure what type of therapy my therapist is using outside of cbt, but from what you describe, it sounds similar. She doesn’t like to put labels on things because she believes it stigmatizes, and even argues that while there are traits of any given disorder, nobody is 100% bpd or npd etc. Usually we are a big mix of several things, with one set of traits predominant.
That sounds like a good approach.
And thanks for the encouragement.
 
D

dewey

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
72
#20
And thinking about S is not the same as actively trying. I consider it a fugue state that eventually passes. At least it is for me.
About the state passing - when you are in those states, can you now embrace the idea that this will pass? Because when my brain is telling me those things, I completely believe my brain, and lose sight of everything else and can't rationalise it as a state that will pass. I think it's me buying into it because it's such a familiar feeling.

I’m not sure what type of therapy my therapist is using outside of cbt, but from what you describe, it sounds similar. She doesn’t like to put labels on things because she believes it stigmatizes, and even argues that while there are traits of any given disorder, nobody is 100% bpd or npd etc. Usually we are a big mix of several things, with one set of traits predominant.
That sounds like a good approach.
And thanks for the encouragement.