Archive for December, 2014

TW: when I need help

30 Dec

**trigger warning – mention of suicidal thoughts**

I’ve had a very short term stay in hospital from 16th December and since being discharged on the 19th, I’ve really struggled. Suicidal thoughts are at their peak, I wouldn’t be missed but make close people around me freer and that’s a hard battle to fight by yourself.

It’s obviously been the Christmas period and I’ve just ignored everyone these past couple of days – this resulted in a cause for concern police visit which was a waste of everyone’s time.

I kept being told by the community mental health team to let them help me and so I decided to ask for help this afternoon and was basically told to call a friend. My issue with calling for support is how can anyone take this dark feeling out of my heart and make it ok again? No one can and so why do they insist on me calling in. I don’t know what the next couple of days will bring for me but if I’m not around much, have a good new year and hope people get the help they need and deserve.


What is DBT?

13 Dec

DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) is a form of therapy that was originally set out to help people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) by teaching them certain skills so they could manage their symptoms more effectively. A lot is thought about this therapy and it has quite a high success rate. Let me make it it clear before I go on, I have nothing against the therapy, it seems to help a lot of people and that’s great, but not me.

DBT is made up of four modules:

– Mindfulness, which is done at the end of the other modules for 2 weeks at a time

– Distress Tolerance which lasts 6 weeks

– Emotional Regulation which lasts 6 weeks

– Interpersonal Effectiveness which acts 6 weeks

You are signed up for a minimum of a year and so go through each of the modules twice (except mindfulness which is a lot more).

So why am I bothering to write a post about what DBT is? As I’ve made it abundantly clear in other posts, I do not believe this is for me. I have a 70% attendance rate which to say my granddad died during the time, I think is more than acceptable to say I’ve given it a go.

Let me take the interpersonal effectiveness module (just because I’m now on the second round for this). The aim of this is to allow you to gain your objective in a given situation. Teaching you to express yourself, assert yourself, being able to say no and coping with interpersonal conflict.

Which of these allows me to deal with my ptsd symptoms? I’ve run a business, I’ve had to use these skills more than most people so I’d say it’s actually a strength of mine.

After going through this module first time around I was even more at a loss as to why I was there but decided, after much thought, to carry on.

The next module was distress tolerance and I thought maybe this is where I could learn some new skills and the therapy be worthwhile. However it was full of distraction techniques I’d either already been taught or I’d learnt myself. They also teach you self soothing techniques, but what actually is this? Is it not extremely personal what you find to self soothe? I wasn’t a fan of this module either.

That left emotional regulation and I must admit that I missed most of this module with everything going on at the time but the aim is to look at the theory of emotions, how to describe them and then be able to change them using skills learnt in other modules. I can’t really make a comment about this one for reasons just explained.

Mindfulness is the only one I found useful but every 6 weeks you literally go through exactly the same PowerPoint slides as every other time so nothing new is really being learnt. I forgot to mention, every session, regardless of module, is started with a 10 minute mindfulness practice.

So as you can see, this is a very thorough therapy that covers a lot and as I said at the beginning can be a real help to some people.

But can it be to me? I honestly don’t see how. First time through I have learnt nothing new and so it has come to the point where I need to decide if it’s worth me going through it all again? I know I’ve been reticent from the beginning and this has probably hampered me slightly but not enough to know it’s not helpful.

The problem I have is I don’t think I have any other options. It’s either this or nothing. Some people say, you might as well go, you aren’t doing anything else. Which is fine in theory, but when you’re sat in a room full of people with their own issues there is a certain amount of transference of emotions which leaves me feeling drained and low.

So what do I do? I thought I was allowed to go to 1 in 3 sessions and still get my one to one therapy but I’ve been told it’s all or nothing. I either fully commit to group or I leave the program. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.