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MandySlade
28-06-09, 22:36
Hello. I'm wondering what your personal stories with CBT are. Please answer the poll question and, if you feel comfortable, tell us why you tried CBT (or why not) and elaborate on your experience. Maybe tell us how many sessions you had or have had, how long before you started noticing a change (or didn't), etc.

I'm sorry if this has been covered before. I have found threads about CBT, but none containing a poll (that I know of). :)

Tori Frances
02-07-09, 08:58
I have last session next week after nearly four months of it. My therapist thinks I have made progress but still getting very intense episodes so am not sure. Maybe it can only get you so far? Have practiced a lot but challenging my thoughts rarely seems to stop the progress of the panic - although maybe its slows it down, it still gets there in the end. Have worked really hard on it and read books etc but maybe just not miracle solution that I wanted.

Hercy
13-07-09, 21:42
I have been having cbt for about 2 months. If anything I feel worse because I'm thinking about anxiety and thought processes all the time whilst I try and work out what is starting my panic episodes.

I always feel amazing straight after the session and for the next couple of days but it doesn't last. I am really trying with the 'homework' and relaxation cds but it's getting me down a lot as it seems like a huge battle that I can't see a way out of.

I hope it gets better, I've been like this since Feb 08 and don't want this to define me any longer.

MandySlade
15-07-09, 17:03
Hercy, I think a lot of people say it gets worse before it gets better though. You -have- to focus on it to address it. Just keep doing the homework and being persistent. At least then, if it doesnt work for you, you'll know you really tried. :) I just started my CBT and this is what I'm telling MYSELF too.

oliverb
15-07-09, 17:27
I had 12 sessions of CBT a couple of years ago and it helped enormously in the short term, especially with agoraphobia and over-reaction to anxiety. In the long term, it's difficult to put the exercises and steps into action when you're feeling down. My GP has referred me for more sessions, so I'm hoping for the best. It's certainly worth a try.

Incidentally, the book 'Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy' by David D Burns is worth a look. It was recommended by my therapist and is, more or less, DIY CBT.

Cat80
29-07-09, 12:19
I've just got my 1st CBT session through and I start next week. I'm very wary about it though because I've heard a lot of people say it does nothing for them and others say it makes them feel worse. I can't get my anxiety under control until I do my fear of being sick but I daren't tell the CBT councellor this because I don't want to do the exposure therapy for a fear of vomiting. Don't know what to do now

PanicOver!!
25-09-09, 20:31
Just wanted to share my CBT experiences
Please forgive the waffle but thought someone may find it useful

I decided to try CBT after trying just about every "cure" from relaxation and breathing techniques to distraction and diet
anyway i heard about an organization called MIND that offer FREE CBT so i finally plucked up he courage to give them a call, the lady i spoke to was very understanding a i was sent a questionnaire to complete regarding my daily feelings.
Appointment 1
A couple of weeks later i received my first appointment, I was extremely anxious on the day worried how i would be in a small room for an hour, I arrived and met my councilor "Clair" i was hoping for a man i think because as a man it was hard for me to expose my "weaknesses" to a woman as we are supposed to be the stronger sex(daft i know) anyway we went to the room and she asked me to explain how i was feeling and to my surprise i found it very easy to tell a stranger my problems, easier in fact then my own family and friends, that first session was really just about me pouring out my problems and when i left i felt strangely unburdened for the first time in ages,
Appointment 2
Today i was feeling a little calmer than the first time but still anxious
We now started to talk about why i felt this way, why i felt anxious in public places and what was i scared would happen, In my mind i always thought i was scared of having a heart attack in these places but after some discussion it became clear i was more afraid of making a scene and what people would think of me if i did collapse and that seemed to be the root of most of my anxieties, I was then gived a daily diary to complete along with some literature on how the brain works which really helped me see my feelings were only a chemical imbalance and behaviors i had taught myself and she explained we can teach the brain to react differently, My "homework" was to do something that would be out of my comfort zone and could get people looking at me, although i found this extremely difficult i was determined to give it a go or at least try, all i had to do was drive to our local shopping centre (Lakeside) and park my car without thought for others ie between 2 bays on a busy day (something i world happily moan about others doing) sound easy but to me this was extremely hard, anyway i parked my car ad directed and did indeed get some "looks" but i walked off for around 10 mind before returning,
Appointment 3
I was asked how i felt in the car park test
I felt anxious, guilty and self conscious but strangely a bit naughty and a bit liberated
i could now start to see i did not really matter what other people thought of me but how i thought of me, easier to understand than to actually do though, We discussed my relationship with my family which i like to think is great although i find it near impossible to say no to my children for anything (they are Daughter 19 and Son 16) don’t get me wrong they are not spoilt as Mum plays the bad cop and dad is the good guy, again this turned out to be because a wanted them to love me and thought if i said no to something they would think less of me as a father, so my "Homework" was to say NO to my kids, This i have done and boy was it hard, but did they actually think less of me as a father no of course not they got over it in a matter of seconds. Again doing this seemed to set me free slightly from my anxiety, although i still mainly say yes

Will update after Appointment 4

Tovah
25-09-09, 21:30
I've been using it for 6 months using books (Burns' FEELING GOOD and WHEN PANIC ATTACKS). I've got 6 notebooks full of exercises I've done and I have found little relief because it seems to be to be little more than denial and positive thinking - telling myself something bad isn't true (but what if it is)? I am very discouraged because I wanted - NEEDED - this therapy to work and it's just not.:unsure:

Annguitar
26-09-09, 18:01
Hi,

I've been having CBT from mid-June and it is really helping. But - it will only help as long as I put myself in the situatins and I've come to thinking that if I don't try things out then I am going to get nowhere. Before I couldn't go anywhere, last week I went into town on my own and round the shops and home in a taxi. I couldn't even have dreamed of doing that before CBT! It really is facing your fear and doing it anyway. Its not been easy, its damned hard, but I find once I do it the first time, the fear gets smaller and eventually more manageable. I had been doing abdominal breathing and all the other stuff for months but now I am learning to put them all together and not run away from my panic. By staying in place I have learned it will pass and my therapist told me to look at my watch for 15 minutes and after that the anxiety would subside. Yes I know you can still be left feeling nauseous, eyesight gone, everything, I've been there, but it does reduce if you try it, trust yourself and keep at it. I hope this helps someone - I was despairing when I tried CBT. If you can, go for it.

Ann

Anna C
29-09-09, 18:36
Hi,

I have been having CBT at my doctors for about a year and my therapist has helped.

I think realising that when I am outside, even though I can be feeling really anxious and panicky and horrible no one knows. I used to think everyone would know, because it felt so real to me, I thought they would know just by looking at me and they would think I was weird.

I have social phobia so I find it hard being around people. Now I can do more things like go on the bus without getting panicky and go to the corner shop and busy shops. Recently I have been godmother at my nieces christening, I have been to the cinema, to town and have started yoga classes, I am hoping to start a keep fit class soon. A year ago I would have been petrified to do those things.

I only have a few CBT sessions left, but my therapist is referring me for more, she thinks I am doing alright with the exposure, but I still struggle with a lot of negative thoughts. My experience with CBT has been really good I like my therapist and I feel lucky to have been given as much help as I have.

There are times when I feel down and I still have some way to go with CBT, but it is worth the hard work you put into it. I agree with Ann the more you do something the less you fear it. Good Luck Anna

Luci-loo
29-09-09, 20:45
I've been getting quite a lot out of my sessions at home. I feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable in my home and the lady I'm seeing is really nice, she sees right through all my excuses and gives me the little nudge I need to get out the house. Today I met her in my jammies as I had awful period pains and a headache and had had an awful weekend. Today we spent most of the day discussing my reasons for not doing things and spotted (100% correctly) that I make a lot of excuses for not going out- for example I don't like doing shopping in store anyway as I spend too much and by the end of the session had me out of my jammies and out for a 3 minute walk. It wasn't fun but I did feel a little better for doing something when I had written off the day for various reasons so for me its so far so good.

ridingthewaves
06-10-09, 20:26
I have had cbt and read many books(Mind over Mood is well worth the money) and webpages,and I feel without ALL of them I would not be where I am today,CBT is not in itself a cure but a way of learning to look differently at things,another tool in the bag. I don't think there is anything to loose by trying anything and just maybe something to gain. What I needed was tools to help me learn to cope with things/express myself/appreciate myself and life/not fear my thoughts and that is was I have gained, as well as doing things I never thought I would do,like flying to Eygpt for a week on my own ! New York for a weekend on my own! and riding a high ride at an attraction park!!..because of ALL the 'therapy' I have taken I am living a full and enjoyable life . So I say try it ,you have nothing to loose xx jan

ridingthewaves
06-10-09, 20:31
I've been getting quite a lot out of my sessions at home. I feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable in my home and the lady I'm seeing is really nice, she sees right through all my excuses and gives me the little nudge I need to get out the house. Today I met her in my jammies as I had awful period pains and a headache and had had an awful weekend. Today we spent most of the day discussing my reasons for not doing things and spotted (100% correctly) that I make a lot of excuses for not going out- for example I don't like doing shopping in store anyway as I spend too much and by the end of the session had me out of my jammies and out for a 3 minute walk. It wasn't fun but I did feel a little better for doing something when I had written off the day for various reasons so for me its so far so good.


WELL DONE Luci :yesyes: you should be very proud of yourself for achieving what you did xx jan

Luci-loo
07-10-09, 00:02
WELL DONE Luci :yesyes: you should be very proud of yourself for achieving what you did xx jan

Thanks Jan, it's not exactly a bed of roses but comes to terms with the fact that I'm not going to get better on my own and I need to work at it. My appointment today got cancelled as my therapist was sick so I was a little lost as I had been working up to it all week but these things happen.

One thing I've noticed is I'm starting to make actual plans to do things and hoping I can use the sessions to help work up to them, I'd like to go to Edinburgh to see the Queen musical in November and Les Mis in April. My big big plan is to get back to college and work towards a place at uni- it makes me nervous even just thinking about it but it's nice to have something to work towards.

ridingthewaves
07-10-09, 22:55
Luc..you are doing well,don't underestimate what you are doing,plans/ accepting the cancellation etc..IT IS HARD,I think it's been the hardest thing I've ever done ,emotionally draining,physically draining,..requiring my upmost concentration at all times and ofcourse there are many times when nothing works and I feel deflated,lost, BUT then I tell myself look how far you've come..and then at least I can find the balance. What is always good to remember is a) I am not alone with this and b) everyone has problems to face..thats a real leveller :) jan xx

BubbleBonce
08-10-09, 00:29
Sadly CBT isn't available in my area. In sheer desperation I paid for it a few years back and had about 14 sessions. I have general anxiety which doesnt seem to be related to anything. Maybe my personality type. I found it extremely helpful and I felt positive in just actually doing something for myself.

The psychotherapist got me out volunteering and I did improve alot and managed to move house and get a part time job. nSadly I crashed last winter and have just gone back for another session.

I find it very empowering and even though I can't work & am mainly living off savings its well worth it.

Bubble

shortstuff
31-10-09, 13:18
It took ages for me to get CBT through my GP but the wait was worth it. On my first session, I explained how bad I had been but that I was so much better I almost hadn't attended the session. My therapist suggested that perhaps I had got 'cute' at managing the problem by way of avoiding things / places which triggered. We spent some time looking at how much more restricted my life had become, and I was amazed that she was right. That first session really opened my eyes - I had been so thrilled not to be having panic attacks very often that I didn't even notice that I wasn't doing anything anymore (other than going to work, I was practically housebound - and scarier still, I was oblivious to it).

I asked for more sessions and had therapy right up until I moved area for my new job - around 3 months I think. It was tough going, especially the diary and some of the homework. Initially I got worse because I was exposing myself to triggers. I was staggered at the progress I made, and even managed a couple of nights out!

I still use the techniques when I feel anxious, but am gradually realising that it wasn't the cure I had hoped for. I am beginning to relapse a bit, but CBT has given me the tools to cope a little better. I ceertainly wouldn't rule out more sessions to pu tme back on track.