Social Anxiety Forum - View Single Post - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

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post #31 of (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 10:02 PM
aussiegirl3
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Brisbane
Gender: Female
Posts: 31
My problem is that I always know my negative thoughts are just thoughts, though often it is still difficult to separate myself from them, to see the thoughts are truly powerless no matter how terrible they make me feel. And I think that is why, because of how they make me feel and how real they seem. I'm a very visual thinker and that is a large part of why the negative thoughts are so painful to me. I think things like ACT are much easier when dealing with simple narrative voices and statement thoughts instead. Either way though it's so difficult because I don't feel like I have a strong foundation to hold onto and ground myself to, to really know who I am in ways that are unchanging. So instead I don't really know who I am beyond the changing feelings. Which gives the thoughts and feelings a lot more power to seem like they are all I have, they are my entire experiences. My mind is just always paying attention to how I feel each moment and wants to feel good always. So when I think or feel aversive things, even if I know intellectually that they are just thoughts and feelings, and therefore are not permanent, my mind is so intolerant to experience the pains, cause it's so attached to feeling good. Feeling negative emotions activates my fight or flight and scares me so much! They always have the illusion they'll torment forever or if you allow them and don't escape from the situation, thus allowing them to last longer, that they'll do far more psychological damage, which activates even more anxiety for me about them. My anxiety is mostly over having the feelings and thoughts themselves.

So that's the problem I have with these types of therapies. I could tell my mind all I want that the thoughts are not real and are just thoughts. Though it's not much consolation that they are just some thoughts if they hurt so much. Though I know fearing and pushing away thoughts only makes them stronger, I just can't get myself to accept the pain.

If I could really have faith that the pain wouldn't last or they wouldn't still keep coming with such frequency to exhaust me, then it'd be easier to not avoid.
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