Have any of you actually ever been helped by anything? - Page 3 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #41 of 115 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 10:16 PM
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Therapy helped a bit
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post #42 of 115 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 08:21 AM
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I'm not sure you know the extent of my education and my own therapeutic experiences. No one has studied the topic of clinical counseling more than I have. Your optimistic outlook will help you greatly in life.

There is no proof that there is a biological basis for psychological disorders. I was TOLD mine was genetic (I was born with these certain dud genes, supposedly). Again, psychology is NOT based in FACT....only well-studied hypotheses that never result in any conclusive results.

I'm a Christian and we have a theory......that all human beings were created with a hole inside of us that only God can fill. The mass failure of today's head medicine seems to support that.
I think there is a lot of evidence, not quite proof, of a biological
basis for psychological disorders. I have respect for all of
your knowledge gained through studying clinical counseling.
I am sure you know from your studies that their are numerous
approaches and theories. What I have noticed is that on this
website the information here is not a good representation of
all the approaches available. With your studies of clinical
counseling, what was emphasized?
What I have learned comes from a lot of self studying and therapy experiences. I work in healthcare and that's what I studied in college.
Some of my optimism comes from the changes brought about by therapy.
You say that psychology is not based on fact, only well studied hypotheses. This is true, and there are important
hypotheses and areas of knowledge not well covered in schools.
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post #43 of 115 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 08:40 AM
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post #44 of 115 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 01:17 PM
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Meditation helps me sleep better and I was notorious for tossing and turning at night worrying about past, present, and future.

Nothing has worked to alleviate the actual condition.
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post #45 of 115 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 05:44 PM
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Lots of books have helped me. One that comes to mind is the chapter on being addicted to approval in Feeling Good by David something....can't remember. But it put an end to my suicidal feeling I'd had for 25 yrs.

I'm about to order the book Trauma Model Therapy by Colin Ross (as mentioned above by stardust)

I do inner child work (writing in diary form to process old stuck feelings around traumatic events from childhood) Self-taught, not with therapist.

Talking to people on SAS, Facebook, YouTube, etc. has really helped me.

That's all I can remember right now. Therapy--not that much.

I don't need anyone to approve of what I say or do...but it's always nice when someone does.

Friend me. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000279759091

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post #46 of 115 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 06:59 AM
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I'm about to order the book Trauma Model Therapy by Colin Ross (as mentioned above by stardust)
I hope you enjoy it ! I certainly gained many good insights from reading this book. It is a professional therapists training manual but written in a style accessible to the lay reader.

He has also written 'The Great Psychiatry Scam', which I've not read yet - but sounds very interesting!

Guitar sounds quite good! Keep at it!

I’m not buying what you’re selling OK?
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post #47 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 03:55 PM
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Therapy is...the easiest possible way for someone to make money?? Other than that I don't think it has much value. Most people would get better if they just had a social network that included them such that loyalty and acceptance was unconditional. Most people who don't have that have bad lives. The others compete a bit amongst themselves but they know they are accepted in a clan and support group regardless. They know their network/community/class/caste will always help them keep going and will always buoy their status rather than excluding them and diminishing them, because that group competes against other groups and they are on the team. She herself benefits from belonging and in fact the only reason she can be so ridiculous as to imply unacceptable casteist attitudes to me is because she, unlike myself, is in a de facto caste while I am alone on my knees. It is tiresome and even adds to my mood problems but believe it or not the other therapists have all been even more abusive.
sometimes I wish they would begin a project for android therapists - like the Emergency Medical Hologram from Star Trek. ones that contain every terabyte of information there is on psychology & bedside manner, and nothing else. but then I think, there's nothing like human sympathy. But if i had to choose one over the other it would be the android.

After talking to a few depressives who crave support, i realize that everyone is really not entitled to a support network. They want to put in no work into becoming better but they want to be loved, and I'm not even sure if they plan on changing. They want unconditional love. but you have to present yourself, and be a team player for whatever support network you join. It's tough when you've grown into a position where you're a learned pessimist (I'm a learned pessimist) but i never walk up to anybody thinking I command their support just because I'm a decent human being.
i'm not even saying this because this is the harsh reality (it is) but I honestly don't think someone deserves it until they're willing to own up. But I'm not saying everyone who owns up is successful. and sometimes owning up is the elusive goal itself.
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post #48 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 03:56 PM
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I believe exposure at a moderate rate is that best way to cure SA. Prove to yourself that the situations you fear the most aren't that bad.
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post #49 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 06:18 PM
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Re Hipolito,

The problem is that most learned pessimists are so for valid reasons. They did have things worse than other people when all factors are examined together and they did have greater burdens imposed upon them than most people who are optimists had to contend with. I'm not talking about the exceptions to the rule who are always brought up anecdotally as though that is evidence of the pessimists' moral delinquency. I'm talking about the normal response that most people would have to a bad set of circumstances. Now when those people go to therapy if the therapists tries to operate on the faulty premise that their pessimism is based on illegitimate interpretations of reality and illegitimate reactions, then it won't work. Essentially most of the therapy boils down to faking it till you make it except you aren't supposed to admit that you're faking it. Because it's hard to fake it for a lot of people and it becomes extremely unlikely for anyone after a certain length of time with cumulative negative experiences. So now where does therapy come in? How can it address that fact that you will continue to have a bad life while supposedly correcting your pessimism? The patient has good reason to be pessimistic and cannot invent real optimism out of nothing. Only luck and pills can help and pills barely do.

As for support networks, I think one of the ways they work is precisely that if you aren't in a position to be optimistic and therefore generally desirable to be associated with, you still get some sympathy and some loyal support so that it doesn't become a downward cycle, so that something external is offered to assist you in your state of weakness and bad luck. It's not just that your chances of falling past a socially acceptable point are lower in the first place, its also that if you do fall past it the people in the network are still going to help you and might even understand your situation rather than looking at it with coldness the way they might at a stranger.

But if you aren't in a network what will you do? The truth is there is nothing you can do. You would somehow need to compensate for your situation and if you are not able to, which is probably the case if you are already depressed, anxious and socially odd, then you can only hope for a lucky break. Pretending that you should and can be optimistic is nonsensical. It would not correspond to anything to do with your life so optimism would require a much more radical intervention than talking about how the glass is half full. There is nothing for the pessimists to own up to other than having made the mistake of being aware of their situation without having the resources to correct it.
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post #50 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bent View Post
Re Hipolito,

The problem is that most learned pessimists are so for valid reasons. They did have things worse than other people when all factors are examined together and they did have greater burdens imposed upon them than most people who are optimists had to contend with. I'm not talking about the exceptions to the rule who are always brought up anecdotally as though that is evidence of the pessimists' moral delinquency. I'm talking about the normal response that most people would have to a bad set of circumstances. Now when those people go to therapy if the therapists tries to operate on the faulty premise that their pessimism is based on illegitimate interpretations of reality and illegitimate reactions, then it won't work. Essentially most of the therapy boils down to faking it till you make it except you aren't supposed to admit that you're faking it. Because it's hard to fake it for a lot of people and it becomes extremely unlikely for anyone after a certain length of time with cumulative negative experiences. So now where does therapy come in? How can it address that fact that you will continue to have a bad life while supposedly correcting your pessimism? The patient has good reason to be pessimistic and cannot invent real optimism out of nothing. Only luck and pills can help and pills barely do.

As for support networks, I think one of the ways they work is precisely that if you aren't in a position to be optimistic and therefore generally desirable to be associated with, you still get some sympathy and some loyal support so that it doesn't become a downward cycle, so that something external is offered to assist you in your state of weakness and bad luck. It's not just that your chances of falling past a socially acceptable point are lower in the first place, its also that if you do fall past it the people in the network are still going to help you and might even understand your situation rather than looking at it with coldness the way they might at a stranger.

But if you aren't in a network what will you do? The truth is there is nothing you can do. You would somehow need to compensate for your situation and if you are not able to, which is probably the case if you are already depressed, anxious and socially odd, then you can only hope for a lucky break. Pretending that you should and can be optimistic is nonsensical. It would not correspond to anything to do with your life so optimism would require a much more radical intervention than talking about how the glass is half full. There is nothing for the pessimists to own up to other than having made the mistake of being aware of their situation without having the resources to correct it.
aw man, I'm sorry. you know, I've agreed with what you just said for as long as I can remember, and for good reason (the ones that you named) but my rant was about a certain type of people. I have a person in mind that was given unconditional support, and they do appreciate it, but all they want to do is sit tight and drink it all up. Some people think they're entitled to that too. they think it is their right to sit still and drink up people's support and if the other person realizes how futile it is they will feel indignant and think of them as a terrible person. Once you're given the backing, you're supposed to get up and give it a shot, not just get used to it. That's where the learned helplessness comes into play. The type of person who gets used to anything. I understand if it's more realistic & adaptive for you to get used to misery, but why get used to it when you don't have to? The only difference for them is that they have someone to whine to. Even if the change is as simple as a change in mindset, that's all the support network asks of you. It is wrong to drink up support.
Btw none of this is directed at you
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post #51 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bent View Post
Re Hipolito,

The problem is that most learned pessimists are so for valid reasons. They did have things worse than other people when all factors are examined together and they did have greater burdens imposed upon them than most people who are optimists had to contend with. I'm not talking about the exceptions to the rule who are always brought up anecdotally as though that is evidence of the pessimists' moral delinquency. I'm talking about the normal response that most people would have to a bad set of circumstances. Now when those people go to therapy if the therapists tries to operate on the faulty premise that their pessimism is based on illegitimate interpretations of reality and illegitimate reactions, then it won't work. Essentially most of the therapy boils down to faking it till you make it except you aren't supposed to admit that you're faking it. Because it's hard to fake it for a lot of people and it becomes extremely unlikely for anyone after a certain length of time with cumulative negative experiences. So now where does therapy come in? How can it address that fact that you will continue to have a bad life while supposedly correcting your pessimism? The patient has good reason to be pessimistic and cannot invent real optimism out of nothing. Only luck and pills can help and pills barely do.

As for support networks, I think one of the ways they work is precisely that if you aren't in a position to be optimistic and therefore generally desirable to be associated with, you still get some sympathy and some loyal support so that it doesn't become a downward cycle, so that something external is offered to assist you in your state of weakness and bad luck. It's not just that your chances of falling past a socially acceptable point are lower in the first place, its also that if you do fall past it the people in the network are still going to help you and might even understand your situation rather than looking at it with coldness the way they might at a stranger.

But if you aren't in a network what will you do? The truth is there is nothing you can do. You would somehow need to compensate for your situation and if you are not able to, which is probably the case if you are already depressed, anxious and socially odd, then you can only hope for a lucky break. Pretending that you should and can be optimistic is nonsensical. It would not correspond to anything to do with your life so optimism would require a much more radical intervention than talking about how the glass is half full. There is nothing for the pessimists to own up to other than having made the mistake of being aware of their situation without having the resources to correct it.
Bent, I want to say that this post is the most intelligent, enlightened post I have ever read on any forum. You hit the nail on the head as far as my personal situation goes. I do not have the linguistic ability to word my situation as eloquently as you can. It's very moving to know that someone out there actually understands how optimism can be lost amongst those with mental issues who have tried and tried and tried to correct or better manage their plight, only to have experienced nothing but failure after failure -- it is quite exhausting to deal with.

I have had to accept my situation fully (and ignore those who patronize me) in order to have peace in my life. Living for the next treatment miracle that never comes caused me so much angst, I was suicidal. Sometimes we have to accept the role that God gave us on this earth and do the best with what we have.

Diagnoses: Endogenous Depression, Anxiety Disorders (Generalized, Social, Paranoid), Bipolar II

Current Meds: None.

Previous Meds (I forget dosages):
Paxil
Prozac
Zoloft (2 trials)
Wellbutrin
Celexa (2 trials, 1 with mood stabalizer)
Trazodone
Effexor
Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
Hydroxyzine Pamoate (Vistaril)
Oxcarbazepine
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post #52 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by hipolito View Post
aw man, I'm sorry. you know, I've agreed with what you just said for as long as I can remember, and for good reason (the ones that you named) but my rant was about a certain type of people. I have a person in mind that was given unconditional support, and they do appreciate it, but all they want to do is sit tight and drink it all up. Some people think they're entitled to that too. they think it is their right to sit still and drink up people's support and if the other person realizes how futile it is they will feel indignant and think of them as a terrible person. Once you're given the backing, you're supposed to get up and give it a shot, not just get used to it. That's where the learned helplessness comes into play. The type of person who gets used to anything. I understand if it's more realistic & adaptive for you to get used to misery, but why get used to it when you don't have to? The only difference for them is that they have someone to whine to. Even if the change is as simple as a change in mindset, that's all the support network asks of you. It is wrong to drink up support.
Btw none of this is directed at you
You're assuming that receiving support from others is a cure-all for mental issues. If that were the case, none of us would be mental. The metally ill do not "drink-up" support or "learn helplessness" -- they are not able to process and use support from others the same way that neurologically healthy people can. Your response it typical of the ignorance that exists in society regarding the conditions of the mentally ill.

Diagnoses: Endogenous Depression, Anxiety Disorders (Generalized, Social, Paranoid), Bipolar II

Current Meds: None.

Previous Meds (I forget dosages):
Paxil
Prozac
Zoloft (2 trials)
Wellbutrin
Celexa (2 trials, 1 with mood stabalizer)
Trazodone
Effexor
Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
Hydroxyzine Pamoate (Vistaril)
Oxcarbazepine
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post #53 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by FormerOptimist View Post
You're assuming that receiving support from others is a cure-all for mental issues. If that were the case, none of us would be mental. The metally ill do not "drink-up" support or "learn helplessness" -- they are not able to process and use support from others the same way that neurologically healthy people can. Your response it typical of the ignorance that exists in society regarding the conditions of the mentally ill.
no I'm not making that assumption!
we were talking about support networks alone. If you crave one, you probably have an idea of why. When you get one, at least try to use it in the way that you imagined. you probably won't be able to spot where I said that this will happen immediately, but there's a difference between being unsuccessful and not trying. plus, there's lots of types of mental illnesses ... I'm talking about those with SA alone (i thought that was the assumption?)
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post #54 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 07:58 PM
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Re Hipolito,

The problem is that most learned pessimists are so for valid reasons. They did have things worse than other people when all factors are examined together and they did have greater burdens imposed upon them than most people who are optimists had to contend with. I'm not talking about the exceptions to the rule who are always brought up anecdotally as though that is evidence of the pessimists' moral delinquency. I'm talking about the normal response that most people would have to a bad set of circumstances. Now when those people go to therapy if the therapists tries to operate on the faulty premise that their pessimism is based on illegitimate interpretations of reality and illegitimate reactions, then it won't work. Essentially most of the therapy boils down to faking it till you make it except you aren't supposed to admit that you're faking it. Because it's hard to fake it for a lot of people and it becomes extremely unlikely for anyone after a certain length of time with cumulative negative experiences. So now where does therapy come in? How can it address that fact that you will continue to have a bad life while supposedly correcting your pessimism? The patient has good reason to be pessimistic and cannot invent real optimism out of nothing. Only luck and pills can help and pills barely do.

As for support networks, I think one of the ways they work is precisely that if you aren't in a position to be optimistic and therefore generally desirable to be associated with, you still get some sympathy and some loyal support so that it doesn't become a downward cycle, so that something external is offered to assist you in your state of weakness and bad luck. It's not just that your chances of falling past a socially acceptable point are lower in the first place, its also that if you do fall past it the people in the network are still going to help you and might even understand your situation rather than looking at it with coldness the way they might at a stranger.

But if you aren't in a network what will you do? The truth is there is nothing you can do. You would somehow need to compensate for your situation and if you are not able to, which is probably the case if you are already depressed, anxious and socially odd, then you can only hope for a lucky break. Pretending that you should and can be optimistic is nonsensical. It would not correspond to anything to do with your life so optimism would require a much more radical intervention than talking about how the glass is half full. There is nothing for the pessimists to own up to other than having made the mistake of being aware of their situation without having the resources to correct it.
Much of what you say here seems based on CBT where the therapist
is trying to get you to change your thought patterns.
But I think pessimism often springs from something internal. Trying to change thoughts won't touch the source feelings from which the
thoughts arise. Sometimes the pessimism is actually
creating the circumstances, not the other way around. What I mean is that there is a pessimistic personality and a feeling based therapy can
help with that. Once some of the real source of the pessimism is
healed, the person feels enabled to make life changes.
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post #55 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 06:27 PM
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^^ pbanco: is there any evidence that it works? if so I would try it, although I would still have to deal with the valid reasons for pessimism which are compounded by social realities as well as finding a therapist who wasn't billing while making themselves feel better by surreptitiously placing themselves above me and thereby indirectly putting me down.

Re FormerOptimist: thanks for the compliment, I'm glad if my post helped someone clarify their own similar frustrations. Often it is exactly that kind of advantage that a network offers: similar ideas and opinions fleshed out in efficient and time tested scripts are available to those in the network in order for them to make their case more easily.

Re: Hipolita: thanks for clarifying where you were coming from. I think a lot of people who don't make as much use of available networks have secondary disorders beyond SA but even just having a lot of anxiety would require a lot of support. I myself have felt bad in the past because I saw that a few people made slight efforts to help me in minor ways and I was unable to capitalize on it. It might have looked as though I wasn't trying but in fact it was just too little too late and it was coming from strangers.
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post #56 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by hipolito View Post
After talking to a few depressives who crave support, i realize that everyone is really not entitled to a support network. They want to put in no work into becoming better but they want to be loved, and I'm not even sure if they plan on changing. They want unconditional love. but you have to present yourself, and be a team player for whatever support network you join.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipolito View Post
I have a person in mind that was given unconditional support, and they do appreciate it, but all they want to do is sit tight and drink it all up. Some people think they're entitled to that too. they think it is their right to sit still and drink up people's support

Once you're given the backing, you're supposed to get up and give it a shot, not just get used to it.

It is wrong to drink up support.
@hipolito: This is a quite important point you are making, and one easily missed or totally misunderstood. Getting 'used to' something or someone is a mistake all too easily made, and usually it is made without even realising it. It is one of those things that requires a kind of 'third eye' to see yourself as others see you. When we get an opportunity and someone offers to help us, or give us a chance, or we get access to a support network, what we should do is to grab the ball and run with it - it really is a team player effort that is needed. Part of dealing with mental illnesses is to restore the person's sense of self-responsibility, ie they have to consider just how their own actions affect others. Its only by doing this that relationships can work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerOptimist View Post
The metally ill do not "drink-up" support or "learn helplessness" -- they are not able to process and use support from others the same way that neurologically healthy people can.
That is correct - they are simply unaware of the fundamental rules of relationships, and somehow they need to learn all over again from scratch. Its understandable that people suffering from mental illness may be drowned in self-pity due to terrible experiences they have had in the past, but nonetheless they need to somehow learn how to do things a better way, and give themselves a chance of integrating and living a better quality of life.

I’m not buying what you’re selling OK?
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post #57 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 09:19 AM
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meditation helps me. Mindfullness and relaxation sessions help me. I use thinkrightnow cds and they help to some extend, keeping me more positive.
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post #58 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 04:44 PM
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^^ pbanco: is there any evidence that it works? if so I would try it, although I would still have to deal with the valid reasons for pessimism which are compounded by social realities as well as finding a therapist who wasn't billing while making themselves feel better by surreptitiously placing themselves above me and thereby indirectly putting me down.

Re FormerOptimist: thanks for the compliment, I'm glad if my post helped someone clarify their own similar frustrations. Often it is exactly that kind of advantage that a network offers: similar ideas and opinions fleshed out in efficient and time tested scripts are available to those in the network in order for them to make their case more easily.

Re: Hipolita: thanks for clarifying where you were coming from. I think a lot of people who don't make as much use of available networks have secondary disorders beyond SA but even just having a lot of anxiety would require a lot of support. I myself have felt bad in the past because I saw that a few people made slight efforts to help me in minor ways and I was unable to capitalize on it. It might have looked as though I wasn't trying but in fact it was just too little too late and it was coming from strangers.
Bent: There is evidence that it works, and it works for me.
Yes, there can be valid reasons for some pessimism but a lot of
those things should be passing feelings rather than something
continual. I think most of us here realize that various disorders
like depression can be tied in with SA. After I got some relief
from SA, that helped with my depression and other things.
That didn't happen over night.
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post #59 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bent View Post
^^ pbanco: is there any evidence that it works? if so I would try it, although I would still have to deal with the valid reasons for pessimism which are compounded by social realities as well as finding a therapist who wasn't billing while making themselves feel better by surreptitiously placing themselves above me and thereby indirectly putting me down.

Re FormerOptimist: thanks for the compliment, I'm glad if my post helped someone clarify their own similar frustrations. Often it is exactly that kind of advantage that a network offers: similar ideas and opinions fleshed out in efficient and time tested scripts are available to those in the network in order for them to make their case more easily.

Re: Hipolita: thanks for clarifying where you were coming from. I think a lot of people who don't make as much use of available networks have secondary disorders beyond SA but even just having a lot of anxiety would require a lot of support. I myself have felt bad in the past because I saw that a few people made slight efforts to help me in minor ways and I was unable to capitalize on it. It might have looked as though I wasn't trying but in fact it was just too little too late and it was coming from strangers.
Bent, I think you're focusing too much attention on social status and perceptions of your therapists interactions and reactions to you. Maybe those things you've listed are true and are what are occurring, but certainly social status and family upbringing aren't the only possible contributors to social anxiety. There are other things that are worth paying attention to. That you have more control over that can hopefully lead to a reduction in symptoms.

My own experience, and I'll put it as honestly as I can. CBT did not really help me. I did exposure therapy for about 6 months, where we actually did do structured exposures each lasting for a little over an hour. Public presentations, interviews, going out in public and interacting with strangers, going to clubs. Etc. Etc. The anxiety would come down after an hour or so of a panic attack, but the effects didn't really generalize outside of that setting. In the next few days I would still have similar levels of anxiety in social situations and didn't really make much progress other than lowering the barrier and threshold of my avoidance. I.E. I was more likely to expose myself to situations just based off my earlier experiences with being able to withstand horrible horrible panic attacks. And I kind of can see how research is biased in psychology, because they had me do the same tests over and over to track my "progress" and really I just self selected scores to be lower because I wanted to believe so much that I was actually getting better when in actuality I really wasn't. Was it completely useless? No, there were some helpful things it did for my social anxiety. But at the end of the day I still could not function on a basic social level in a social setting due to immense anxiety.

Medications didn't help at all. I did a few SSRIs, they helped with OCD, but not really social anxiety. Xanax was useful for presentations, but I only took them for acute things like that. I don't know if taking them as a daily medication would work or not, but I never wanted to try. Also it was inconsistent for presentations, sometimes it would work sometimes it wouldn't. Propanolol didn't really help either, although it kind of made social interactions a little bit more bearable.

I never gave nardil a serious go as that medication is kinda serious. Some people I hear have had nardil give them SA free life. But man, that's some scary **** lol. I have other health issues that I think preclude me from nardil.

For the past few months I've been doing psychodynamic therapy, although we haven't really gone into orthodox past experiences or anything like that. I feel I've made the most improvements so far in this type of therapy setting, because I'm able to speak my feelings and mind as I want. I can't really explain it, but I feel like things I didn't realize I was missing in my socializing with others are starting to come to light. I realize that social situations are really about just being able to access your feelings, needs, and desires, and to be able to express those things. It's been baby steps but I've noticed significant improvements in my ability to socialize just by being given an environment where I can express my feelings safely.

Some of the changes I've observed is that I've been able to confront people, that I've been able to do small public presentations with minimal anxiety, and that I've been able to access my own base personality and have reactive feelings in social situations that guide me to participate. I still get situations where my physical mind-body symptoms dominate, but I've been able to do things like go out on dates that I wouldn't have been able to do in the past.

I would suggest psychodynamic over CBT, just based off my experience.

With an emphasis on finding a therapist who you feel safe with and can connect in common goals for yourself.
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post #60 of 115 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jangle1 View Post
Bent, I think you're focusing too much attention on social status and perceptions of your therapists interactions and reactions to you. Maybe those things you've listed are true and are what are occurring, but certainly social status and family upbringing aren't the only possible contributors to social anxiety. There are other things that are worth paying attention to. That you have more control over that can hopefully lead to a reduction in symptoms.

My own experience, and I'll put it as honestly as I can. CBT did not really help me. I did exposure therapy for about 6 months, where we actually did do structured exposures each lasting for a little over an hour. Public presentations, interviews, going out in public and interacting with strangers, going to clubs. Etc. Etc. The anxiety would come down after an hour or so of a panic attack, but the effects didn't really generalize outside of that setting. In the next few days I would still have similar levels of anxiety in social situations and didn't really make much progress other than lowering the barrier and threshold of my avoidance. I.E. I was more likely to expose myself to situations just based off my earlier experiences with being able to withstand horrible horrible panic attacks. And I kind of can see how research is biased in psychology, because they had me do the same tests over and over to track my "progress" and really I just self selected scores to be lower because I wanted to believe so much that I was actually getting better when in actuality I really wasn't. Was it completely useless? No, there were some helpful things it did for my social anxiety. But at the end of the day I still could not function on a basic social level in a social setting due to immense anxiety.

Medications didn't help at all. I did a few SSRIs, they helped with OCD, but not really social anxiety. Xanax was useful for presentations, but I only took them for acute things like that. I don't know if taking them as a daily medication would work or not, but I never wanted to try. Also it was inconsistent for presentations, sometimes it would work sometimes it wouldn't. Propanolol didn't really help either, although it kind of made social interactions a little bit more bearable.

I never gave nardil a serious go as that medication is kinda serious. Some people I hear have had nardil give them SA free life. But man, that's some scary **** lol. I have other health issues that I think preclude me from nardil.

For the past few months I've been doing psychodynamic therapy, although we haven't really gone into orthodox past experiences or anything like that. I feel I've made the most improvements so far in this type of therapy setting, because I'm able to speak my feelings and mind as I want. I can't really explain it, but I feel like things I didn't realize I was missing in my socializing with others are starting to come to light. I realize that social situations are really about just being able to access your feelings, needs, and desires, and to be able to express those things. It's been baby steps but I've noticed significant improvements in my ability to socialize just by being given an environment where I can express my feelings safely.

Some of the changes I've observed is that I've been able to confront people, that I've been able to do small public presentations with minimal anxiety, and that I've been able to access my own base personality and have reactive feelings in social situations that guide me to participate. I still get situations where my physical mind-body symptoms dominate, but I've been able to do things like go out on dates that I wouldn't have been able to do in the past.

I would suggest psychodynamic over CBT, just based off my experience.

With an emphasis on finding a therapist who you feel safe with and can connect in common goals for yourself.
So far, Bent is the only person with an accurate insight into how things really are in the counseling “profession.” Having gone through a master’s in counseling program myself, I feel the need to reply to jangle1’s comment.
I like the way jangle expressed how CBT did NOT work for him, then went on to promote psychodynamic models. There have been numerous studies just within the past 5 years which has shown that the old end-all-be-all CBT is of no benefit without medication; and even with medication, the results are nil or temporary at best.
Although I may be wrong, Jangle1’s comment smacks of a counselor trying to promote their own method of therapy (since it’s just a matter of time before the public realizes that this CBT mess is nonsense), so I am here to explain and clear up the psychodynamic therapy approaches.
Firstly, out of 8 counseling textbooks, only 1 even mentioned the psychodynamic models in the subject index, and it was my family therapy textbook because psychodynamic models are primarily used with families. Psychodynamics focuses on the relationship held between 2 specific people (mother-daughter; father-daughter; employee-boss; etc) and does not utilize methods for treating general social anxiety.
“Psychodynamic models emphasize insight, motivation, unconcious conflict, early infant-caregiver attachments, unconscious intrapsychic object relations, and, more recently, actual relationships and their impact on inner experience” (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013, p. 167).
Pay careful attention to the criteria in the above definition. If you know yourself, know what motivates you, know what you want, are aware of how your family and parents have impacted your emotional life, and realize how you respond to people and circumstances in your external environment, then psychodynamic therapies will be of no use to you.
Freud (a real nutjob, IMHO) believed in drive motivation (everything we do is based on sex), the unconscious, and disregarded the social realm completely. Adler looked at the whole person and realized the importance of peer groups in forming one’s self. Fairbairn believed that “the basic human drive is to relate to outside objects, and those objects inevitably are people” (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013, pp. 173, 183). All of the opinions of the professionals who developed psychodynamic concepts disregard those of us who do not actually desire close relationships outside of our circle.
Adler’s approach makes the most logical sense to me – we can all see how bullying is detrimental to growing children, so there is support for Adler’s psychodynamic theories. Here are the techniques used in Alderian-based psychodynamic therapy:
1. Family constellation: Information is obtained about birth order, siblings, relationships between parents, family climate, physical conditions, academic achievement, etc.
2. Early recollections: Each member is asked to share 8 memories from early childhood, each of which is analyzed according to theme and developmental maturity.
3. Typical day: Family members are each asked to describe in detail events in a complete typical day.
4. Encouragement: Techniques are used to convey respect and equality among family members.
5. Paradoxical intention: The therapist assigns the presenting problem or symptom as a homework assignment.
6. Family council: Family meetings are held on a regular basis in which all members participate in the discussion of issues. Each person’s views are taken into consideration.
7. Use of logical consequences: Parents are taught how to use natural and logical consequences with their children without arguing or criticizing them.
8. Confrontation: Therapist points out mistaken personal logic (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013, p. 172).
As you can see, the above techniques were designed for family therapy, but can be spun for individual therapy. For those of us hitting 40 who have spent the better part of 25 years analyzing the “whys” of life, ouselves, and our situations; we can’t learn anything new from this new spun version of psychodynamic therapy.
I have much more comprehensive information on CBT than any other therapy, and plan to post about it in detail (specifically the techniques used in therapy) when I am feeling a little better. If you can muster up the motivation to make it into a counselor’s office for therapy, then you have all you need to pursue self-therapy if you have the right information. No counselor or therapist out there can make things better – that has to come from inside each person.
The greatest gift a person can do for themselves is to discover a purpose for being on this planet and pursue that purpose. If you can’t discover a purpose, then make one. You can be loved unconditionally by someone or many people, but without a sense of purpose, one will never find contentment.
Reference
Goldenberg, H., & Goldenberg, I. (2013). Family therapy: An overview (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Diagnoses: Endogenous Depression, Anxiety Disorders (Generalized, Social, Paranoid), Bipolar II

Current Meds: None.

Previous Meds (I forget dosages):
Paxil
Prozac
Zoloft (2 trials)
Wellbutrin
Celexa (2 trials, 1 with mood stabalizer)
Trazodone
Effexor
Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
Hydroxyzine Pamoate (Vistaril)
Oxcarbazepine
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