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I don't know


Ralph

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It hurts and I don't know why. I have a guess, but every time I think I've found a solution or had a valuable insight, I feel I've made progress for a little while, and then the demons are back.

Things have been going good in my life but I still feel like I've done something terrible or something terrible is about to happen. Maybe the consequence of something I've done that I forgot about. It's pure unmitigated anxiety - the kind that makes you sick before you are about to do something that is far outside of your comfort zone, except just breathing seems to make me nervous.

I am behaving better at least. Got some stuff done domestically, worked out with a guy I met at the bath house, and practiced bass a little. Felt OK for a bit of the day today, even had good concentration, which is a shock for me when it happens because I'm used to being scatterbrained.

So that was nice, but now it's back into physical and emotional pain that nobody IRL can be arsed to care about. I've been invalidated so many times, I'm starting to doubt myself, but if no one minds my pain, how can anyone say it's wrong to commit suicide? If I'm worthless let me go; if I'm not then stop treating me like I don't matter.

I've been setting and achieving short term goals lately to see if I'd feel anything. I don't. It's a little satisfying to cross something off the to do list but most of the time I feel like an impostor. Normal day to day stuff has no interest for me. I want to get high even though I know that wouldn't solve anything. There's nothing to solve...I just want it to stop hurting.

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I feel so much better right now. I'm a little fucked up on chemicals but hey at least I'm not up on a bridge somewhere. Anyway it seems to have stopped hurting at least for now. This is good.

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I still very much enjoy reading your blogs, by the way. Much of this I relate to very much. You always express yourself very well. This line in particular:

So that was nice, but now it's back into physical and emotional pain that nobody IRL can be arsed to care about. I've been invalidated so many times, I'm starting to doubt myself, but if no one minds my pain, how can anyone say it's wrong to commit suicide? If I'm worthless let me go; if I'm not then stop treating me like I don't matter.

Those are tough feelings.

I like that you never seem to give up. And I'm glad you are feeling better.

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it's the professionals that I feel are treating me like I don't matter. Maybe I'm projecting with a side of confirmation bias. The frustration comes when I've got friends who care, but can't really help. Then the guys with the prescription pads just want to focus on my depression when I'm trying to tell them that's a symptom not the root problem. You mention suicide once though and I guess that kicks off the game of CYA (cover your a..) on the part of the pdoc.

At least that's how it feels when the meds that are prescribed don't seem to help or when they do help the side effects are so bad that I'm just trading depression for other health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity and likely diabetes over time.

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it's the professionals that I feel are treating me like I don't matter. Maybe I'm projecting with a side of confirmation bias. The frustration comes when I've got friends who care, but can't really help. Then the guys with the prescription pads just want to focus on my depression when I'm trying to tell them that's a symptom not the root problem. You mention suicide once though and I guess that kicks off the game of CYA (cover your a..) on the part of the pdoc.
I had a pdoc like that. He threw me on such a massive dose of Mirtazapine that I thought I was dying. Gained 10 pounds on it, I could hardly move I felt like I had arthritis. Who knows - it might be a very helpful drug for me (at a lower dose) but I'm too afraid to try it again. Yup - it killed the suicidal urges, along with any sign of life as well. I call these things 'chemical straitjackets'. Something to conveniently help the doctors but not the patient. You may be projecting a bit because what you want (to feel better) they aren't giving you. You are taking that as them not caring about you. It could be that but I think it's more likely that these guys just don't have the skill set to get at the root problem, unless you really think it is a 'chemical imbalance'. I think that's where the therapists come in. And I don't think CBT therapists really get at the root problem either. They may give you some useful tools, but I think the deeper emotional work needs to be done too. I think that changing thoughts is much more effective and longer lasting if you can change the stuff underneath - beliefs, attitudes, emotions because that's ultimately where the intrusive negative thoughts and reactions come from.

I'm just trading depression for other health problems such as high blood pressure' date=' obesity and likely diabetes over time.[/quote'] Exactly.

Perhaps you could think of the drugs as simply a temporary bandaid while you sort things out. I heard a great description of the difference between bipolar and borderline personality (I'm not saying your problem is either, just using it to make a point). Bipolar is a 'hardware' problem and can be treated with drugs. For a pure Bipolar, the drugs are very effective. On the other hand, Borderline (which often gets confused with Bipolar) is a 'software' problem. There's a whole lot of reprogramming to be done. The parents set the BPD kid up for a lifetime of self-limiting beliefs, self-esteem problems, identity problems, emotional dysregulation and chaotic relationships. There's not just one trauma to focus on and deal with. It is a lifetime of recurring patterns that has to be reprogrammed. A drug cannot possibly fix that. Unless they make one that suppresses the fight or flight response - but that will only deal with one aspect of the BPD symptoms - emotional dysregulation. The underlying beliefs will still be there. Do you feel your therapist is getting to this level? (I don't know why, but I'm thinking that your depression has been going on for a long time).

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thanks for the input. Yes my depression has been off and on for a long time. Lately it's been worse though. I don't think my therapist is really getting to the deep emotional work level but I've only seen her twice so far. It was the last therapist that made me feel the most invalidated as far as just being given a bunch of self soothing and think positive type of literature and really no talk about goals, motivation, or planning, which is what I originally went in there hoping to build skills in.

I'm pretty sure I have both hardware and software problems. I've had thoughts of suicide since I was very young, before any of the abuse happened. Then on top of that I grew up in a home where drug use and violence was the norm only to later find myself as an adult in a professional environment, where you can't exactly treat people the way I expected from what I learned while young. It's a whole different game and I don't feel like I belong. Then again I don't feel I belong anywhere which in my mind leads to not existing anywhere as the ultimate solution.

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thanks for the input. Yes my depression has been off and on for a long time. Lately it's been worse though. I don't think my therapist is really getting to the deep emotional work level but I've only seen her twice so far. It was the last therapist that made me feel the most invalidated as far as just being given a bunch of self soothing and think positive type of literature and really no talk about goals, motivation, or planning, which is what I originally went in there hoping to build skills in.
This is reminding me of Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) - Here's some info on it. http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/index.html

It has been suggested as the therapy for those with Borderline Personality Disorder - which I know you don't like the sound of. But as I said in a recent post, I think a lot of us here are 'living on the border' to some extent. See if you relate to this at all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mWfvcbm6TE&feature=related

Kinda reminds me what you said in your recent post on sexuality - we are not necessarily purely straight or purely gay. (I found your post very informative by the way). We don't fit into the nice, neat little boxes that can be ticked off by doctors and disability insurance providers. When it comes to our emotional issues, we are just a collection of symptoms and underlying causes that are unique to each of us. The causes and symptoms may be quite similar to others in the same boat but the degree to which we experience them is different.

I'm pretty sure I have both hardware and software problems. I've had thoughts of suicide since I was very young' date=' before any of the abuse happened. Then on top of that I grew up in a home where drug use and violence was the norm only to later find myself as an adult in a professional environment, where you can't exactly treat people the way I expected from what I learned while young. It's a whole different game and I don't feel like I belong. Then again I don't feel I belong anywhere which in my mind leads to not existing anywhere as the ultimate solution.[/quote'] Your childhood is very typical of those with BPD. I hope you're not pissed off at me mentioning this label. It's just easier than listing the collection of causes and symptoms. You might also check out Schema Therapy, Psychoanalysis and other forms of transference based therapy. It has been suggested that BPD be relabeled complex PTSD. Similar to PTSD except that the trauma is prolonged and repeated. It doesn't have to all be big 'events' - just basic neglect, put-downs, etc can be enough to cause it.

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Yes, I do resist the label BPD because of the stigma attached to it. Also because I diagnosed myself with BPD before I knew about the stigma and when I brought this up with my therapist she spent a good deal of time on why I don't qualify as BPD. I've had enough trouble trying to find out what's wrong that knowing at least what I can cross off the list is valuable information.

However I also understand that you are using it as a container for a list of symptoms and so I would take it in the latter sense in this context.

I actually tried out a DBT workbook by Thomas Marra called depressed and anxious per a past therapist's recommendation.

It didn't help because all of the exercises were just list the pros of this and the cons of that. Well then, I've got a bunch of lists with no idea of what I was supposed to accomplish through the exercise. I couldn't answer the "So what" question and if I could I wouldn't think anything was wrong in the first place. I kind of think a lot of therapy is like this. It's one thing to talk about how important it is to have healthy self esteem or exercise or whatever, it's quite another to offer any directions on how to get to such a grand destination.

Personally I think transactional analysis could most help me because I've learned a little bit about it and this has filled some gaps for me in understanding interpersonal interactions. I don't know if you've ever heard of it but it posits that we have life scripts that we develop unconsciously while very young and then our general biases in making decisions are basically informed by our efforts to follow our scripts. I think in my case a few competing scripts developed which would lead to the personality instability that is associated with BPD. So in short i think the picture you get simply depends from what angle and through which lens you are looking through. It's just that the life scripts concept explains a lot of my ambivalence about suicide so if a pro could help me work that out I'd probably at least be able to make a decision. Unfortunately I have tried going through the TA Association and directories but only found one therapist in my area who does TA and he is far away but more importantly has some scathing online reviews that scare me away. So the search continues but in the mean time I am seeing someone that was recommended to me by the priest. Ironically I was going to the priest in the first place because I thought my issue was spiritual not emotional.

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TA sounds similar to DBT in some respects. A cognitive aspect, a therapy aspect and some kind of structure.

Funny thing is - the last two sessions I've been talking about my need for structure. My therapist is a Psychoanalyst, which in some respects feels a little too airy-fairy 'fly by the seat of your pants' kind of approach. I compared it to a completely unstructured day versus a structured day with appointments, goals, plans. In the first, very little gets done. In the second, lots gets done and there is a feeling of accomplishment and progress. So he's agreed to try to integrate some structure into the therapy sessions.

There's also the 'actually putting it all into practice' issue too. I've seen DBT where there's actually follow up at home. So you're in the middle of a panic attack, you can call somebody up and they will walk you through CBT or whatever right on the spot, as it is needed. I doubt I'd find a therapist who did that. I think a lot of these approaches talk about the 'ideal' way to do it and I think it is seldom actually done in practice.

I like the idea of a 'contract' in TA. Some kind of plan and an accountability worked into it. I suppose that could also be set up in regular therapy. Your therapist is there to help you. They might say 'yes' to a specific request as mine did today. I think I'm going to try to get some accountability worked into my therapy. Have to think about how to do that. Unfortunately, if this is not their normal way of operating, we have to kind of drive the boat on this. But that's ultimately what we have to do in life so we may as well get a head start on it with somebody who will at least catch us when we fall.

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Follow up at home would be great. If there was someone who knew my history that I could call when in a panic attack without having to worry that I'm bothering them, that would help a lot. I'm not sure if I can afford that level of service though. That's like five star service where insurance only covers a limited number of two star visits.

I've had kind of the reverse experience with accountability. Mention drinking too much and they'll be all over you with more accountability than you can handle. Unfortunately that's not the kind of accountability that I can benefit from. For example if I decide to get up at 5:00 AM to run every day, I'm going to do that come hell or high water. That's my own accountability. However if someone else shows up pounding on my door at 5:00 AM saying c'mon exercise is healthy, I'll tell them to go shove it. Some professionals get this distinction but I was shocked to find that many who specialize in substance use issues hardly see any difference between the individual deciding to do something on their own vs. the professional dictating what the individual should do and then deciding to hold accountability regardless of how the person to be accountable may feel about that.

I guess my point is that different people have different ideas about accountability, so when you establish accountability make sure the professional has the same idea of what that means as you do.

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Ideally, how would you like somebody to hold you accountable so you do what you know you need to do but can't?

I wonder if a pact would work. You try to do xxx. I try to do yyy. And there's some kind of competition or reward for who gets to the finish line first.

Or a mutual support line. Ha - won't work so well if we're BOTH having panic attacks at the same time:eek:. Might have some merit though. Or maybe IM would work better.

Just some thoughts. Maybe a little 'out there' but I tend to think outside of the box.

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That is a good idea. I don't know what I would try to do right now though. Maybe exercise 3x a week since that's good for both emotional and physical health, and my problems with panic seem to be having an effect on my blood pressure. I'm having some more issues with panic all of a sudden which will be another blog post.

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Sorry about the panic. Having to deal with it without the use of alcohol sounds like a pretty tall order.

I think your exercise idea is great if that's something you need accountability on. Mine would be limiting social (internet) networking to an hour/day or 7 hours/week max.

We could go for 4 weeks. Check in every week for a commiseration, congratulations or pep talk, depending on how well we stuck to the program.

Whoever sticks to the program the best over four weeks is the winner. I can't think of a prize at the moment. But I can think of a punishment for the loser. The loser either has to abstain from a particular food/drink/activity or has to do a particular activity. For me it would either be abstaining from sweets and junk food for an entire week or drink 8 8-oz glasses of water a day for a week (both of which are good for me but I would NEVER normally do). Then they have to post how they did after one week.

Any thoughts?

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I'm intrigued by the competition part. TBH I am a little nervous about trying to do anything for four weeks in a planned manner but can't hurt to see what happens. So should Sunday be check in day?

Sorry to say I didn't deal with the panic without alcohol. I didn't get drunk but I did have a couple beers. In hindsight that was the proper thing to do. I was really in a bad state and anything that would even partially calm me down was doing more good than harm

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I'm intrigued by the competition part. TBH I am a little nervous about trying to do anything for four weeks in a planned manner but can't hurt to see what happens. So should Sunday be check in day?
Works for me. When do we start, tomorrow? I've decided to use the internet vice I mentioned. Figures I'd have an issue in therapy that caused me to go join another forum. Damn! Oh well, I guess I'll need the accountability even more now. Keep in mind - you may only need 50% adherance to beat me:o. Well, maybe a bit more:rolleyes:. I will be giving it an honest shot.

Sorry to say I didn't deal with the panic without alcohol. I didn't get drunk but I did have a couple beers. In hindsight that was the proper thing to do. I was really in a bad state and anything that would even partially calm me down was doing more good than harm

Well, if you can stop at two, perhaps you are now officially not an alcoholic:). Not that I'm encouraging you, just looking on the bright side.
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Sure, let's start yesterday. :o I got a workout in today after taking a couple days off to recover after my first ever spin class on Saturday. My quads still hurt.

I love alcohol and at times drink more than I should, or more often. I also have self control when I want to. So I guess it depends on what your definition of alcoholic is.

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Sure, let's start yesterday. :o I got a workout in today after taking a couple days off to recover after my first ever spin class on Saturday. My quads still hurt.
OK, I fell off the wagon already by the time I saw your post:o. Oh well, yesterday it is. Or is that Monday? Whatever. I'll go check the date on your post, maybe it's been here two days already. BTW - what's your punishment if you lose:rolleyes:?

I love alcohol and at times drink more than I should' date=' or more often. I also have self control when I want to. So I guess it depends on what your definition of alcoholic is.[/quote'] I think the term 'powerless over alcohol' is a phrase that sticks in my mind as a definition of alcoholic. It would appear you are not powerless so that's a good sign.

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I guess my punishment would be to do one thing I've been procrastinating. Not a worry though because I now have 3 workouts this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Sorry you fell off the wagon... I use the internet more than I should too but it's such a great time waster. I wish I knew how to moderate my online time; maybe that's what I'm really powerless over.

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Sorry you fell off the wagon... I use the internet more than I should too but it's such a great time waster. I wish I knew how to moderate my online time; maybe that's what I'm really powerless over.

Unfortunately it's become a real compulsion for me. That's why I'm using it as my challenge. I'm noticing the first part is just noticing what I'm doing and taking note of the time. It's tougher when my T is away though, like now.
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I don't know if this helps but one thing that has been suggested to me is to use a kitchen timer by setting the timer when you sit down to use the internet and then having a plan for what you will do after, like use internet for 30 minutes and do the dishes or something like that. Compulsion can be hard to beat but I've found repeated effort and learning from the inevitable mistakes tends to at least make it possible to resist.

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Good idea. Tracking my time is helping but I think a timer would be better. IF I stick to it. Anyway, I gotta start sticking to something or I won't make progress on anything. Tony Robbins says pleasure seeking is what motivates people. Unfortunately I was wired wrong and I am motivated instead by fear, avoidance of pain and guilt. Anyway, I will give the timer a try.

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Tony Robbins is an expert on public speaking, but I'm not sure I'd pay him for psychological advice. These are only generalities. Everyone is different so I would hesitate to say it means you're wired wrong for simply not fitting in with the majority. However that can be driven by what we tell ourselves, e.g., if we think there is a low probability of success we won't put much effort in (theory of planned behavior)

You probably will not feel comfortable sticking to the timer at the beginning but for me I counted it as progress to get one at the store, and then another milestone just to try using it (although I completely ignored it when it went off), but after practicing for a while it's a tool that helps me hold myself accountable. I at least have to go through the thought process of asking if I should get something done or do I have time to be messing around online.

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