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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Coucouc,
I am writing this to you because I know you won't mind if I make you the center of a post, grin....these words are for you personally, but they can also apply in many ways to nearly everyone here.

Pay attention, guys. This is not earthshattering, but it is very important stuff.

Okay, onto our Coucouc, grin

The bad cycle you have gotten into is this:

You almost give up entirely. Then you slowly work yourself back up and try to be hopeful.

You make some plans, and you say 'this is a new day. I will TRY this now..."

You go somewhere, do something. If you feel okay, you push yourself to do more. You push yourself almost as if you are trying to TEST the limits to see when you will start to feel terrible.

You feel terrible. Very DR/dp and anxious. You worry again that you are going insane.

You get furious - and you want to scream because nobody is helping you! You are so angry and you do not want to live this way!!! You want to DEMAND answers, a cure, a solution....and you work yourself up into more and more rage.

You go to therapy and talk only about your symptoms. Therapist has no good answers for you. You get angrier than ever.

You get so enraged, you eventually go home and take more klonopin to try to calm down.

You take a nap or go to bed.

Next day, you feel like maybe you should not go to the board at all, or maybe you should quit therapy or maybe quit all meds, or maybe take more meds....you are desperate to find SOME change that will cure you. Nobody else has the answer, you are determined YOU will find the answer....

You land on some new approach and briefly feel hopeful. "This is it! This will work!"
Except it doesn't.
(go back to the top of this page and start the entire cycle all over again).

What you are doing is not working. And it feels like you are doing different things all the time, but you are not. You are repeating exactly the same cycle.

You've got to break that cycle - it is not working and you are only changing tiny parts it - it's the same exact cycle you've been on for nearly a year.

New You: (grin)
1. When you go to therapy, talk about anything except your symptoms. The therapist already knows you have panic, dr, dp, obsessive thoughts, fears of insanity, etc. Saying it again in new and improved ways is not going to make any difference at all. Talk about ANYTHING else. Talk about your baby. Talk about how scary it is to be a mom. Talk about your own Mom and how she was overprotective of you. Talk about how she doesn't think you're mature enough to take care of your own baby. Talk about how that makes you feel. Talk about how sometimes you almost wish you could give your little baby to HER and let her raise him and you'd be free again. Talk. About anything except your symptoms.

2. try to get a job. I have no idea if you'll be able to do it or not. You might be too anxious. But you need to TRY. Thinking about it and worrying about it and being angry that you are ill and can't work,....that is getting you NOWHERE. Try. Find a place to interview and get dressed up and go. AFTER you go you can talk about how you did and whether or not you think you are going to be able to work while you feel this way. Not now. For now, go find an interview. ANY other thinking about the job issue is not allowed. Go on an interview.

3. Find three activites that you sort of enjoy doing that do NOT invovle thinking or talking about your symptoms. Movies, reading, talking, drawing, exercising, whatever. But pick three and they cannot have ANYTHING to do with you talking or thinking about yourself. Then the next time you find yourself starting to think about "how am I ever going to have a life???" STOP. Just stop. And FORCE yourself to do one of your three things. If you start to do one and you are still thinking "this is stupid. ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS MY HORRIBLE SITUATION..." then say "okay. but I'm still going to force myself to do this thing nonetheless..." and then use every ounce of human strength you possess to FORCE your mind to try to not harp on your situation.

These things are SO hard to do. SO HARD.

You will read them and think about them, and decide "oh, that might not work anyway" or you will try them and at the first failure, you'll stop.

IF YOU DO THEM and if you STICK WITH THEM, you will be astonished at the end of one week how much different you feel. You will have a chance to SEE for YOURSELF that I am right - you will see in yourself that you feel SO different and you will really "GET" that this is the way.

It will still not be easy. It may take a year of forcing yourself this way. It will be hard every single day. It will seem hopeless and you will have to remember that once you had NOTHING you could do that gave you any change - and you will remember that YES, there is noticeable change when you FORCE yourself to give up the repeated cycles you'd been using for month after month after month. And you will keep going. It will still not be easy.

It is, however, a way out. So when you scream inside your soul that "there is no way out of this hell!!!" You're wrong. You just don't want to do it long enough to see that it works. You want a more dramatic solution or a more instant cure or something that feels more satisfying.

However, ordinary though this is.....it works.
if you are willing to do it.

Peace,
your friend,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Dear Coucouc,
I am writing this to you because I know you won't mind if I make you the center of a post, grin....these words are for you personally, but they can also apply in many ways to nearly everyone here.

Pay attention, guys. This is not earthshattering, but it is very important stuff.

Okay, onto our Coucouc, grin

The bad cycle you have gotten into is this:

You almost give up entirely. Then you slowly work yourself back up and try to be hopeful.

You make some plans, and you say 'this is a new day. I will TRY this now..."

You go somewhere, do something. If you feel okay, you push yourself to do more. You push yourself almost as if you are trying to TEST the limits to see when you will start to feel terrible.

You feel terrible. Very DR/dp and anxious. You worry again that you are going insane.

You get furious - and you want to scream because nobody is helping you! You are so angry and you do not want to live this way!!! You want to DEMAND answers, a cure, a solution....and you work yourself up into more and more rage.

You go to therapy and talk only about your symptoms. Therapist has no good answers for you. You get angrier than ever.

You get so enraged, you eventually go home and take more klonopin to try to calm down.

You take a nap or go to bed.

Next day, you feel like maybe you should not go to the board at all, or maybe you should quit therapy or maybe quit all meds, or maybe take more meds....you are desperate to find SOME change that will cure you. Nobody else has the answer, you are determined YOU will find the answer....

You land on some new approach and briefly feel hopeful. "This is it! This will work!"
Except it doesn't.
(go back to the top of this page and start the entire cycle all over again).

What you are doing is not working. And it feels like you are doing different things all the time, but you are not. You are repeating exactly the same cycle.

You've got to break that cycle - it is not working and you are only changing tiny parts it - it's the same exact cycle you've been on for nearly a year.

New You: (grin)
1. When you go to therapy, talk about anything except your symptoms. The therapist already knows you have panic, dr, dp, obsessive thoughts, fears of insanity, etc. Saying it again in new and improved ways is not going to make any difference at all. Talk about ANYTHING else. Talk about your baby. Talk about how scary it is to be a mom. Talk about your own Mom and how she was overprotective of you. Talk about how she doesn't think you're mature enough to take care of your own baby. Talk about how that makes you feel. Talk about how sometimes you almost wish you could give your little baby to HER and let her raise him and you'd be free again. Talk. About anything except your symptoms.

2. try to get a job. I have no idea if you'll be able to do it or not. You might be too anxious. But you need to TRY. Thinking about it and worrying about it and being angry that you are ill and can't work,....that is getting you NOWHERE. Try. Find a place to interview and get dressed up and go. AFTER you go you can talk about how you did and whether or not you think you are going to be able to work while you feel this way. Not now. For now, go find an interview. ANY other thinking about the job issue is not allowed. Go on an interview.

3. Find three activites that you sort of enjoy doing that do NOT invovle thinking or talking about your symptoms. Movies, reading, talking, drawing, exercising, whatever. But pick three and they cannot have ANYTHING to do with you talking or thinking about yourself. Then the next time you find yourself starting to think about "how am I ever going to have a life???" STOP. Just stop. And FORCE yourself to do one of your three things. If you start to do one and you are still thinking "this is stupid. ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS MY HORRIBLE SITUATION..." then say "okay. but I'm still going to force myself to do this thing nonetheless..." and then use every ounce of human strength you possess to FORCE your mind to try to not harp on your situation.

These things are SO hard to do. SO HARD.

You will read them and think about them, and decide "oh, that might not work anyway" or you will try them and at the first failure, you'll stop.

IF YOU DO THEM and if you STICK WITH THEM, you will be astonished at the end of one week how much different you feel. You will have a chance to SEE for YOURSELF that I am right - you will see in yourself that you feel SO different and you will really "GET" that this is the way.

It will still not be easy. It may take a year of forcing yourself this way. It will be hard every single day. It will seem hopeless and you will have to remember that once you had NOTHING you could do that gave you any change - and you will remember that YES, there is noticeable change when you FORCE yourself to give up the repeated cycles you'd been using for month after month after month. And you will keep going. It will still not be easy.

It is, however, a way out. So when you scream inside your soul that "there is no way out of this hell!!!" You're wrong. You just don't want to do it long enough to see that it works. You want a more dramatic solution or a more instant cure or something that feels more satisfying.

However, ordinary though this is.....it works.
if you are willing to do it.

Peace,
your friend,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Janine,

I'll print it out!!!

:)

I appreciate very much. About the job... urghhhhhhhhhh I will tryyyyyyyy....

If it can help others here on this board, it would be great too. So ye sit's a good idea to put here. I don't think I will read replies, if they are negative....

Thanks!
:lol:
Coucouc
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Janine,

I'll print it out!!!

:)

I appreciate very much. About the job... urghhhhhhhhhh I will tryyyyyyyy....

If it can help others here on this board, it would be great too. So ye sit's a good idea to put here. I don't think I will read replies, if they are negative....

Thanks!
:lol:
Coucouc
 

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1,111 Posts
I would like to say that it has taken a couple years to get to the point where I am but I never imagined
A) that I could be taking 18 hours of school
B) that, on top of that, I could also be working 10 hours a week
C) that I go out about 4 or 5 nights a week
D) that I take interesting classes like Acting where i have to express myself
E) that I could make new friends at school
F) that I had to start DELETING numbers off my cell phone because it's a b*tch to flip through a list of 70+ numbers to find the name I want
G) that I could have hobbies

But all this is what I do now!
 

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I would like to say that it has taken a couple years to get to the point where I am but I never imagined
A) that I could be taking 18 hours of school
B) that, on top of that, I could also be working 10 hours a week
C) that I go out about 4 or 5 nights a week
D) that I take interesting classes like Acting where i have to express myself
E) that I could make new friends at school
F) that I had to start DELETING numbers off my cell phone because it's a b*tch to flip through a list of 70+ numbers to find the name I want
G) that I could have hobbies

But all this is what I do now!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Janine, you are awesome.

CouCou, you are going to be okay... someday. Maybe not as soon as you wish, but someday.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Janine, you are awesome.

CouCou, you are going to be okay... someday. Maybe not as soon as you wish, but someday.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is great!!! :D Cynthia, Janine really knows how you tick!!! I can only say that I agree that you are stuck in a vicious cycle!

You have the key to getting better. It's work, but I know you'll get there!!! You're already getting better! Keep up the hard work and do print this out. I think we are so luck to have Janine to help. She is a goddess, wise woman!!! :wink: (Can we steal you for our other fourm?) Hee, hee!

Carla
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is great!!! :D Cynthia, Janine really knows how you tick!!! I can only say that I agree that you are stuck in a vicious cycle!

You have the key to getting better. It's work, but I know you'll get there!!! You're already getting better! Keep up the hard work and do print this out. I think we are so luck to have Janine to help. She is a goddess, wise woman!!! :wink: (Can we steal you for our other fourm?) Hee, hee!

Carla
 

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wow!

i have been feeling awful so far today and that has made me think in a much more possitive way!

i am seeing my therapist in a mo....and then when i get home....changes are going to be made!

*starts singing*

we can do it! we can do it!

:D

thank you Janine!

yayness!
 

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wow!

i have been feeling awful so far today and that has made me think in a much more possitive way!

i am seeing my therapist in a mo....and then when i get home....changes are going to be made!

*starts singing*

we can do it! we can do it!

:D

thank you Janine!

yayness!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cynthia, this is what I wrote last September - this is PRECISELY the same thing you're still doing....

I love ya, and I know you can recover, but you MUST try to see that the patterns you are repeating are KEEPING you ill. It was crystal clear last year - and I KNOW you are so smart and you CAN see this - please please look. And give it some thought. Don't just argue or say something back to me - think about it all by yourself...and try to understand that what you have been doing for 2 years is not working!

Love,
Janine
 

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Coucouc,
This is spot on for many of us here, some more than others, but it
is useful to anyone, even someone who is mentally well.

This is in essense Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or very much
like my Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which has been the best
therapy experience I have ever had in 30 years of messing with
various treatment options. (DBT incorporates concepts from
Buddhism, which are extremely simple and logical but must be
practiced daily).

DBT was originally created for treating seriuosly ill Borderline
Patients (that term Borderline is out of date now -- Dyslimbic or
Mood Dysregulation Disorder may replace it -- I'm also now positive my
mother had BPD -- man my adolescense sp? was INSANE.)


See the link http://www.priory.com/dbt.htm

My DBT group is lead by two Clinical Social Workers at the
Neruopsychiatric facitily at U. of Michigan. The group can be as
large as 22 people. It is incredible to share similar fears and
successes with such a diverse group. No one in the group talks of
DP, though I have briefly -- I don't think any client there knows
what it is... maybe two do, but they've said nothing.

I am very lucky to live so close to a huge Uni town and especially a Uni that has a fantastic mental health facility and is a teaching hospital/great medical school. Not everyone may be as lucky in finding such a group.

The social workers are very familiar with it as it is a common
symptom in Borderline Personality. I have BPD traits, some, but
don't cut (self-harm)/threaten suicide, etc. I'm better than I
used to be even 5 years ago. Lamictal helped smoothe out my
extreme emotions (and has helped me "ignore" the DP), but I have a
lot of coping skills that are helping build upon that foundation.

I continue to take my meds (and wouldn't be able to participate in
this w/out them -- as is the case with many others in the gorup)
and that is monitored by a psychiatrist with whom I talk for 45
minutes with each month. Some members are not on meds. There are
men and women and the age range is from 16 to late 50s. An amazing
group of people.

I am taking 4 months of Mondays of this, and very well may repeat
this again -- one can repeat as many modules as one wishes. We
meet every week for 90 minutes of coping skills training. We apply
these skills to our daily lives and have homework which we report
on at the top of each meeting.

This is very goal oriented, and with effort, is very
effective.


It is a group setting which includes people with various mental
illnesses. We don't talk about our illnesses. We don't even talk
about possible past events that may have caused or contributed to
our disorders. We don't talk about our symptoms, our diagnoses,
etc. That is for independent therapy.

What is astonishing is a group of individuals with such disparate
diagnoses are all in the same boat. we all have very poor
self-esteem. We have racing negative thoughts. We are more
unhappy than happy. We have extremes of emotion. These are people
with OCD, depression, Borderline, Impulse control issues, GAD and BPD, etc. And it seems all of us came from "invalidating enviornments." Poor
family upbringings. The theory is we are "overly sensitive"
individuals who were raised in "invalidating environments."

The Modules of Coping Skills which help one in the real world
are:

1. Core Mindfulness Skills
2. Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills
3. Emotion Modulation Skills
4. Distress Tolerance Skills

The Buddhist core is expressed by the following:

Life is full of PAIN. PAIN is unavoidable, but we choose to
SUFFER, that is we put ourselves again and again in no-win
situations, or don't let go of destructive
patterns/relationships as Janine described. This is "seeking the familiar" or trying to work out something from the past that can never be worked out. We have to STOP and move on.


I have noticed my DP/DR has not been as bad (though still chronic)
since working in this group. I still have tremenous anxiety which
I discuss with my psychiatrist. But for the first time, my life is
changing. I'm planning a move. I'm doing PT volunteer Mental Health work again, and PT job at the Uni is in my future. I'm moving there in June.

Right now I am "Reducing Vulnerability to Negative Emotions" --
i.e. working with bad feelings, to make them less bad. It sounds
so rinky dink, but with EFFORT it makes one see certain patterns we
do use to cause more grief for ourselves than is necessary.

And here is a recent handout:

Options for Responding to Any Problem

- Sovle the problem
*Leave, get out of the situation for good
*Change the situation

- Feel better about the problem
*Regulate your emotional response to the problem

- Tolerate the problem
*Accept and tolerate both the problem and your response to the
problem

- Stay miserable, LOL

Yes, that IS an option.


I am not saying DBT cures DP or any other illness -- my Dx more
than anything I think has always been Borderline traits and GAD. I
understand myself for the first time in my life.

It helps one cope better overall, move out into the world, function
better in the world, be physically healthier overall which can lead
to less anxiety, less blocking of emotion. I need to learn to
speak up. I don't feel entitled to my feelings and screw things up
by not always being honest with myself about what I want/don't
want.

For me, less anxiety, less worry about what I can't control,
knowing what I can control, leads to a lessening of the fear of the
DP in me. Also, I have to repeatedly be MINDFUL. Focus on the
Present. Not fear the future, not mourn the past, and I'm not
saying that is easy. This again is the Buddhist contribution to
DBT.


I wrote this far too quickly. Hope it makes sense.

AND IT TAKES MINDFULLNESS AND A WILLINGNESS TO BE MINDFUL -- TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT. AND IF ONE NEEDS TO REFOCUS 1,000 TIMES A DAY, SO BE IT. PRACTICE HELPS RECONDITION DAMAGE THAT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST. THIS ALSO MAY BE MORE APPLICABLE TO THOSE OF US WITH SEVERELY DYSFUNCTIONAL CHILDHOODS -- AND THAT WOULD CERTAINLY BE ME.

DIFFERENT THERAPY WORKS FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS. THIS IS WHAT IS
HELPING ME VERY MUCH RIGHT NOW.

My mantra remains the same. Every person here is UNIQUE, and the
road to a better quality of life can vary for each of us. Note,
this therapy has been helping me cope with the recent suicide of a
close friend. I am better able to deal with the stages of coming
to terms with this. It has really turned my world upside down. It
has just begun to hit me.


I also attend a Survivors of Suicide group for that. There is a LOT
to be said for group therapy. It's getting me back out into the
world, interacting with a LOT of people. Very good for me. I have
isolated myself so much these past four years or so.

I'm even going to be helping with a rescheduled Memorial for my friend, and am helping the family clean out her home.

One day at a time. Try to live in the present. Focus outward. Try to get as involved in the real world as possible. Take care of your health. Yoga is part of this as well. Sadly for me -- no more caffeine, at all.

Best,
D
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I WISHED there was something like this for me!!!! here, in Mtl.

For now, I will see my psychologist specialised in dissociative disorders. At least shw will help me to cope and understand. She has almost all patients who are dissociated. So, I am not alone, at least.

She seems to have grounding techniques and stabilization techniques. She was aware of Lamictal, so she really know the problem. Unfortunately, Lamictal didn't work for my stomach. (Damn!)

I know CBT can help DP. I finally found someone who understand DP, but don't know what is her technique yet. Let's see wenesday!

Thanks Dreamer,

C xxx
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know your therapy exists here in Quebec. It's more for borderline personality. So I think I couln't be accepted.

But this is an option. I'll take the psychologist first! :)

Thanks!!!

C xxx
 

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Cynthia said:
I know your therapy exists here in Quebec. It's more for borderline personality. So I think I couln't be accepted.

But this is an option. I'll take the psychologist first! :)

Thanks!!!

C xxx
Dear Cynthia,
Marsha Linehan developed DBT (in the early 1990s) for work with Borderlines, but after clinical trials proving it was effective in helping both patient and therapist it was tried with patients with all sorts of disorders.

Like CBT, this can be very effective for MANY people. At U.ofM. it is taught to the medical staff themselves. To treat people with it, you must take the courses, and it's even used by some companies as a way to reduce tension in the workplace.

Whatever you choose to do w/your therapy, just know that DBT is not just for Borderline Personality anymore. As my husband's clinical psychologist said, "It's the latest rage." But it has a solid foundation in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The twist to it is the Buddhist "Mindfulness" and focus on emotion regulation ... many helpful coping skills.

Best,
D

Edit: What I like about this is that it is a GROUP. I had some CBT one on one several years ago. For ME this is more effective and Linehan emphasizes that DBT means DB "Team" as well as therapy, that is the group/the team shares skills AND "failures", though nothing is considered a "failure", just something that needs further work. It's a "win/win" set of coping skills and working with a large group of people is fascinating.

We aren't allowed to be friends outside of group, and everything is confidential. I have become far less self-conscious in a completely accepting environment of people who have problems really just like mine, just variations.

I never would have believed I would enjoy group therapy. It is even more likely to motivate some people A(such as myself). I see improvements or failures in others and don't self-condemn, just try, try again.

Good Luck with whatever you choose.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks D,

I never liked begin part of a group, like for anxious issues, I went there few times, and I hated this because I felt I was alone with my problem. But maybe this group, if you say you don't talk about your problems, is different.

Thanks for the info, D!!!

Cynthia xxx :D
 

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Thank you ever so much, Janine, for the WONDERFUL advice you frequently post on this board. It often takes me quite a while to read your post, as I have to keep looking up words in the dictionary (I wasn't very well educated :oops: )... but I AM learning! :D

I actually became a member of this board sometime last year. My username was Lesley Ann. Unfortunately, I didn't get off to a very good start, because (and some of you might remember this) I spoke my mind about Soulbrotha, that MY opinion of what he was suffering from was A***HOLE-ITIS! I'll take this opportunity to say I'm really sorry for expressing my opinion of you, Soulbrotha. I'm sorry if my criticism plunged you deeper into despair, and I hope your DP/DR is now getting better. Some of my worst faults are being far too opinionated and impulsive. I often upset people, and I'd never normally dream of hurting anyone. I often kick myself for the things I come out with, but I am also trying to learn to think before I speak.

My DP/DR is almost non-existant now, except for when a really stressful situation arises. The main person I have to thank for this is Janine. Last year, I read a global message Janine had posted, advising that the best thing you can do to stop DP and DR is to not think about it. Despite how extremely difficult this was to do, I want to tell all of you readers that IT DID WORK! Thank you, once again, Janine - you are a blooming marvel! :D However, it's not something that can be done overnight, as Janine says, "it may take a year of forcing yourself this way. It will be hard every single day", as it was for me.

I also want to thank everyone else on this board, for giving me tips on grounding, etc..

So, listen to ALL of Janine's advice, everybody. Break that cycle - you CAN do it! :D
 
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