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Author Topic: GAD and Therapy  (Read 631 times)

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Offline coeus

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 08:00:36 AM »
No, I am still an undergrad. My favorite psychology course was probably Abnormal Psychology, but Personality Theories runs a close second. Personality Theories is a good class to take if you want to go more in-depth about the different psychotherapies and how they originated.

Similar interests as well! In particular, borderline personality disorder though - I've had the experience of dating someone with it and well yeah, it's was very overwhelming yet really interesting. I've read some stuff about existential therapy which was rather interesting too. Not as popular as the contemporary therapies we all see nowadays.

I have been in and out of college for eight years. Sometimes I get depressed about how far behind I am compared to the people who graduated high school with me, but overall I believe it's never too late to earn a degree.

Haha, I've been doing my double degree for about eight years too - part-time on and off. I have two more units until I graduate and exactly share the same ... dismay. Then again, I've been working full-time throughout. I guess I shouldn't be complaining and yes, I'm still going to pursue psychology thereafter.


I am recovering from anorexia, and I have trouble being aware of the taste and my enjoyment of the food I'm eating. I also have severe anxiety and depression, and I have never been able to accept my thoughts without judgment. While in treatment, any time we did a mindfulness group I would become extremely uncomfortable with any sort of meditation or relaxation techniques.

You definitely seem to have the self-clarity though to be aware of what you're going through and your inner noise. Do you think that your psychology studies have helped with your own treatment/recovery? Also, I'm interested to know what your opinion on DBT is? (I only ask because it's great to see some psychology students on the forums)
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Offline lcfrogs

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 05:41:11 PM »


You definitely seem to have the self-clarity though to be aware of what you're going through and your inner noise. Do you think that your psychology studies have helped with your own treatment/recovery? Also, I'm interested to know what your opinion on DBT is? (I only ask because it's great to see some psychology students on the forums)

Sorry it took me sooo long to respond, I've been either too anxious or too busy to get on this site in over a week.

I think that knowing psychology and the different psychotherapy approaches helps me understand the reason why my therapist is taking a certain approach. However, I actually think that being in therapy and treatment for so many years has really made my psychology courses a lot easier for me. I don't really have difficulty grasping the logic behind different approaches, as I have my own personal experience with mental illnesses and the different psychotherapies that helped/didn't help me. I have also known many people with different mental illnesses that I am not personally diagnosed with, such as Bipolar disorder, OCD, Borderline, OCPD, etc...There are others. I have also personally experienced misdiagnosis, and have watched one of my former treatment centers over-diagnose DID...which is one of the many reasons why I believe DID is not a true mental disorder.

Have you ever heard of IFS (Internal Family Systems)? It is my LEAST favorite therapy approach. You should look it up if you're interested in learning about it. I absolutely do not agree with any aspect of this approach.

As for DBT, I am guilty of having an incomplete DBT workbook in my bedroom.  :( I am one of those people that has a hard time committing to tangible projects. But certain aspects of DBT I have learned in therapy and have incorporated in my life...especially interpersonal effectiveness. I have changed from once being able to be pushed around easily to becoming extremely assertive and expressing my needs and boundaries. As I said before, I have always struggled with mindfulness...but I'm getting better at it. Emotional regulation is very difficult for me in the present...currently I am struggling with self-harm and have a hard time coming out of a sad state. With this all said, notice how I don't have Borderline Personality Disorder...and yet I'm still using DBT. When I was in treatment for my eating disorder a couple of years ago, there was one young woman who, during DBT group, scoffed at the use of DBT for eating disorders and became so angry about it that she stormed out of the room. Personally, I believe she was being extremely narrow-minded. Much like anti-psychotics were originally intended for psychosis but are now used for other mental illnesses, I don't think DBT should only be used when treating BPD and self-harm. I believe it can be applied to many different mental illnesses. Overall, while DBT isn't my number one favorite form of treatment, I certainly favor it over CBT...but I do believe they both have good uses. So anyway, that's my opinion.  :happy0151:
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Offline coeus

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 07:00:15 PM »
I actually just quickly read through IFS and it looks like it's full of bullshit. Subpersonalities? Parts? This all sounds like Jungian archetypal wishy-washy psychobabble. I'm so glad that we are past the Jungian/Freudian era. They might have contributed largely to how we view psychology now but some of their understanding of psychology was way too entrenched in understanding the unconscious domain.

Don't feel guilty - I'm in the same boat. I have several workbooks lying around that are incomplete too, mainly because they tend to provide the skillset to become self-sufficient rather than needing to complete the whole entire thing. I'm glad to hear that you've benefited from the interpersonal effectiveness component and I'm sure that you're on the right path to recovery.

In terms of the self-harm, I do find that strange. I always thought that the self-harm tendencies is only associated with BPD. And I agree that DBT is diverse in its application - given that there's substantial evidence to show that mindfulness can be effective in managing anxiety and depression - DBT seems like it could help with a wide array of mental conditions. I do especially appreciate that DBT is exactly that - 'dialectical'. And that's why it doesn't just concentrate on one area and that's where the limitation of CBT lies.

Thanks for the perspective.
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Offline Happy sailing

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 07:02:56 PM »
Hey the,
Can someone explain DBT to me, please?
Give sort of point form the process of it.
Thanks!  :bigsmile:
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Offline coeus

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 07:31:06 PM »
Hi Happy Sailing,

DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and was created by Marsha Linehan and was initially a treatment line for those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, the therapeutic span of DBT has grown extensively to help those with a wide range of mental disorders and even for those that are not clinically diagnosed.

The following provides a glimpse of what DBT is about (Dimeff & Koerner, 2007; Herbert & Forman, 2011):

Broad stages of treatment:
  • From behavioral dyscontrol to control
  • From emotional inhibition toward experiencing
  • From problems in living to ordinary happiness and unhappiness
  • From a sense of incompleteness to a sense of freedom and joy
Four core modules:
  • Mindfulness - awareness of one's experiences in a nonjudgmental, receptive manner and participarting in activities that cultivate this.
  • Distress tolerance - learning impulse control and self-soothing techniques aimed at surviving crises.
  • Emotion regulation - behavioural and cognitive strategies for reducing unwanted emotional responses.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness - learning a variety of assertiveness skills to achieve one's objectives while maintaining relationships and one's self-respect
Hope this helps.
  • Dimeff, L.A. & Koerner, K. (2007). Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice. The Guilford Press: New York
  • Herbert, D.J & Forman, E.M. (2011). Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. John Wiley & Sons: New Jersey.
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Offline lcfrogs

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 06:45:43 AM »
I actually just quickly read through IFS and it looks like it's full of bullshit. Subpersonalities? Parts? This all sounds like Jungian archetypal wishy-washy psychobabble. I'm so glad that we are past the Jungian/Freudian era. They might have contributed largely to how we view psychology now but some of their understanding of psychology was way too entrenched in understanding the unconscious domain.



In terms of the self-harm, I do find that strange. I always thought that the self-harm tendencies is only associated with BPD.

Yes, I believe IFS is bullshit too. I mentioned it because I brought up the subject of how a certain treatment center I went to often over diagnosed DID. My experience at this treatment center, which is a eating disorders and trauma-based treatment center, actually nearly traumatized me.

While I was a patient there, I had little experience with therapy or treatment and so I didn't really understand why some things that happened there seemed really...WRONG...to me. The founders of the treatment center, particularly Mark Schwartz, were really odd...they dressed really funny and just did things that seemed unusual to me. I witnessed multiple patients constantly having "flashbacks" (they were totally faking it) and even claim that they had "trauma food" (food that reminds them of a trauma they have). I was pretty naive at the time, but I was smart enough to know that this was all bullshit. Anyway, my therapist tried IFS on me. I actually did give it a chance for maybe a week or so...but the way they talk in IFS makes patients sound like they are nuts and I didn't want to sound like that. For example, one patient there would sometimes start talking like a child and claim that this was her "child part."

After I discharged from the treatment center, the more time that passed where I was back out in the 'real world'...the more strange the treatment center seemed to me when I thought about it. I stayed in touch with some former patients, and many of them continued to go back inpatient at the treatment center. Many of these people that I personally know will tell you (and they really believe it) that not only did Mark diagnose them with DID, but their families were part of a satanic cult that ate babies. Soon I personally made a correlation between IFS and the misdiagnosis of DID. I can't say that IFS caused the diagnosis...but I can say that each person I know who was diagnosed with DID was an active participant in IFS therapy.

Furthermore, this was all broadcast in the media about a year and a half ago. Many patients came forward and sued Mark, claiming he had planted in them false memories (specifically about being in a satanic cult). I can give you some links if you want to read more about it.

With this experience I believe it gave me a new perspective on life, particularly what is healthy and what is not. The treatment center ironically felt very much like a cult...and I didn't really realize it until after I had been discharged for some time and 'snapped out of it.' So although it was a bad experience for me, it was also a good experience...because now I know both how good therapy can be and also how potentially damaging it can be.

Oh, and while self-harm is certainly associated with BPD, it is not always directly caused by it. One of my best friends is a recovered self-harmer...and she would have been considered 'hard core' (she has the scars to prove it). She is not diagnosed with BPD nor does she behave at all like someone with BPD. I have seen many self-harmers, both with and without the BPD diagnosis.

Here is a short article about the treatment center lawsuit, which also provides links to lawsuit cases:
http://www.kmov.com/news/editors-pick/Castelwood-Treatment-Center-Lawsuits-178973201.html
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Offline coeus

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2013, 05:57:08 AM »
Sorry about the late reply. I too have been quite busy with work and other commitments. Life still goes on with or without anxiety hmph.

I skimmed through that article and was shocked. What a disgrace.

While I've (fortunately I suppose) haven't needed to admit myself into a treatment centre, I have to say that any therapy form exposes the individual to some level of risk given that openness and disclosure is one of the main components of recovery. Some may benefit and some may not, however, it seems that most do benefit from it.

I've only ever come across someone with BPD traits before as mentioned in my earlier post (no official diagnosis but the psychologist did observe the clinical traits) but it was comorbid with depression so the self-harm as a behaviour was unclear whether it was from any of those two diagnoses. But based on the DSM, it's probably that it could have been BPD. It's very intriguing how behaviours can manifest over different mental conditions or absence thereof. I guess the diagnostic labels are just there for reference, not a fact.
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Offline Fireraiser

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2013, 10:09:57 PM »
I have been reading this thread and have found it very interesting. 
Myself I have done ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy).  I found this very useful.  I have been on Celexa during the treatment (a very high dose) and since than as well (a slightly lower dose).  The ACT treatment also gave me a better relationship with my anxiety and I feel a good basis for being able to keep it at a manageable level.

The comment about self harm, I have not been diagnosed with BPD, but diagnosed with GAD, but I have self harmed.  Not sure if I missed the gist of the comment, but I thought I should mention this.
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Offline lcfrogs

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Re: GAD and Therapy
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2013, 12:50:07 PM »


The comment about self harm, I have not been diagnosed with BPD, but diagnosed with GAD, but I have self harmed.  Not sure if I missed the gist of the comment, but I thought I should mention this.

I don't think you misunderstood the comment, that is actually what I was trying to explain. I don't think self-harm happens on it's own, rather it is a symptom of another mental illness and not just BPD. My self-harm is a symptom of my major depressive disorder. So when I'm not in a phase of depression, I don't self-harm. For others, self-harm is more frequent...possibly because they are never not depressed and also because they have not developed a healthy way to cope with their emotions. I really only resort to self-harm when I feel like my body is going to explode from so much tension and emotion...and I guess the cutting "releases" tension. But for me, I have only gone through phases of self-harm...I wouldn't be considered a frequent or hard core cutter. I encountered many self-harmers when I was in treatment for my eating disorder...it is a common symptom found in the mental illness. I don't know much about GAD causing self-harm symptoms, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is true.
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The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

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