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Thread: Schema therapy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    154

    Schema therapy

    Hi, I'm starting this thread to document my experience with schema therapy for health anxiety and generalised anxiety.

    So far I've just done the questionnaire, so haven't found out what schemas I have, but I suspect they are:

    • vulnerability to harm
    • emotional deprivation
    • defectiveness
    • emotional inhibition
    • social isolation
    • negativity/pessimism


    Something that has emerged already just from giving the therapist my background is that been so focussed on my health fears that I didn't realise how afraid of everything else I am eg. money, personal safety, career, relationships, world events.

    I have a friend who says schema therapy really helped them a lot, so I'm hoping it does the same for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    1,792

    Re: Schema therapy

    Following this thread with interest Carrie. X
    __________________
    I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another. ~ John Lennon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    154

    Re: Schema therapy

    Okay, I had another appointment yesterday and the schemas I tested strongly for weren't a surprise.

    1. Vulnerability to harm
    2. Emotional deprivation
    3. Defectiveness/shame
    4. Social isolation
    5. Pessimism

    It didn't come out on the test, but my therapist also thinks I have the self-sacrifice schema.

    Things I've learned since starting this round of therapy (I've seen two other therapists in the past 10 years)

    1. I have a lot more fear than I realised. I thought it was just health anxiety, but it's much broader than that.
    2. I have a very limited range of emotions. Fear is my constant. I sometimes feel sad, but I rarely feel happy or angry and get scared when I do.
    3. I am extremely independent. I take on a huge load in all areas of my life and don't feel I can ask for help. Not being able to take care of myself is a huge fear.

    Lots to work on here and I'm really glad I've found this approach to therapy.

    If you want to find out more I recommend Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey.E.Young.

    Another book I read that was eye opening for me was Daughter Detox: Recovering from an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life by Peg Streep.

  4. #4
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    Re: Schema therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by carriewriting View Post

    If you want to find out more I recommend Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey.E.Young.
    Cool. I was looking for another book for my Christmas list.
    __________________
    I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another. ~ John Lennon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    154

    Re: Schema therapy

    I'm sure you'll like it Nora

    Today I was able to use some of the things I've learned so far in therapy and they really helped me.

    Out of the blue I woke up this morning and the bottom of my sternum was really sore. It feels hard and swollen on the right side at the end. Too much poking and prodding to try and work out if it was sternum or an abdominal lump made it worse as the panic about all kinds of cancer flooded through me.

    Usually this would have destroyed me all day. A 10/10 on the anxiety scale.

    Instead I was able to keep it at about 5/10 by reminding myself of some of the things I've been talking about in therapy.

    1. This is what I do. I find something wrong and go from zero to catastrophe in an instant. I don't need to do that.

    2. If I get sick, someone will look after me.

    3. I've had sore ribs for 15 years and have acid reflux/gastritis. A sore sternum is highly likely to be related one or both. It would be a big dose of bad luck for it not to be, but what will be, will be. If it was something serious, I wouldn't have to face it alone.

    I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I'm on the right path.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2016
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    Re: Schema therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by carriewriting View Post
    but I feel like I'm on the right path.
    I think so too. Well done mate. X
    __________________
    I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another. ~ John Lennon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    11,507

    Re: Schema therapy

    I'll second that. I think it's inevitable that there will be symptoms with HA but it's how you react to them which is significant in your attempt to manage your fear of a devastating diagnosis.

    I'm very independent too but it can work against you and you can heap far too much pressure on yourself. Take comfort from the fact that you wouldn't be fighting any illness-mental or physical-on your own x

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    154

    Re: Schema therapy

    Thank you both. You have been the biggest help to me this year with your kind, but rational advice.

    I'm still battling daily health fears, but trying to remember my therapist's advice to lower my estimation of the probability of a catastrophic event and raise my estimation of my capacity to cope.

    I'm finding raising the estimation of my capacity to cope much easier than the lowering of the catastrophic event, but hopefully practice makes perfect
    Last edited by carriewriting; 02-12-20 at 09:01.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    154

    Re: Schema therapy

    Time to put my therapy into practice. After almost a week of feeling pretty good about my health anxiety, tonight I've had a melt down.

    I was cleaning out my desk and came across my neurologist report from a few months ago about my optic nerve. At my appointment I asked him about all my neuro fears, including dementia and he dismissed them all so I only skimmed through the report at the time, but now I've noticed one thing he's written and it's triggered my dementia fear big time.

    I know this is probably part of the vulnerability to harm schema (fear of losing your mind). Also what was I thinking reading a medical report??

    My initial reaction was to go back to my GP to ask about what he's written in the report, but then I ask myself would a person without health anxiety do that and I think the answer is no.

    I have my next therapy appointment next week so can work through this further then.
    Last edited by carriewriting; 08-12-20 at 04:00.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    11,507

    Re: Schema therapy

    The answer certainly is no. Your neurologist is better informed than your HA.

    There actually isn't anything to discuss here. You've come to your own conclusion on this.

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