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 Post subject: New here, looking for post-dbt support
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:03 pm 
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Hello,
I am new to the forum and have looked around a bit, read everything listed under "tools" (i.e. the five steps, the four agreements) and just wanted to say hello. I am currently enrolled in an intensive outpatient dialectical behavior therapy program, which has been somewhat helpful, but that will end in a couple of months and I am looking for a way to continue my recovery progress when that ends. It seems like there are some parallels between the concepts listed under "tools" and the concepts we're taught in DBT. One of the big things I'm trying to work on is remembering that feelings/moods are not permanent. I understand this very well when I am in a "normal" state of mind, but when the negative emotions like anger and sadness really get triggered, I can't seem to remember one good thing that has ever happened and I start to believe that I have ALWAYS been angry or sad or whatever, that I've never felt a positive emotion in my life. Of course this is nonsense, but when I get in those moods that is really what I believe, and if someone tries to say anything positive to me or remind me of a time when I was happy, I just get angry at them. Is this typical BPD behavior? Do others experience this, and if so have you found any way to counteract these beliefs when the negative emotions have taken over? I could go on and on, but I think I've written enough for now :)
Thanks for listening. It's nice to be here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:08 pm 
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Hi Duva. The board seems to be somewhat quiet since it's almost the end of the holidays. I hope you had a good holiday season.

Yes, I can totally relate to what you said. I too have a hard time remembering the good things that I have experienced when I am feeling sad, angry, depressed, etc. I can't believe I was ever happy.

I literally have to force myself to think otherwise. I somehow have to try to look outside myself at the good things in my life and remember that not is all black. I know it's hard to do.

I am fortunate to have a wonderful T who I can talk to. He helps me a lot. Will you be in individual therapy once you are through with the DBT class?

As I said, for me, talking to myself and reminding myself of the good things in my life helps me. I also post here when I am in a bad way and the people here always give me a reality-check.

Good luck in the DBT class. I'm glad you found us. Keep posting and reading. Happy 2008!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:57 pm 
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1) Mindfulness skills are important. Be mindful of your thoughts.

2) Practice, practice, practice! It took me two years of learning DBT to realize how important it is to practice your skills during the times that you are feeling better and are in control. They have to become new habits. That way, when the bad times come, you have these skills ingrained in you already, and become an automatic instinct.

When you are out of control during a dysphoric episode, your ability to figure stuff out is impaired. That's why you have to practice your skills during the times when you can, so that they are available when you need them.

Practice makes permanent.

3) Opposite action skills are the most helpful for me. Extinguish painful emotions by acting in accordance with the emotion opposite to the one you are experiencing.


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:00 am 
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Thank you, Bordergirl and Fido, for your replies. It's good to know that there are people out there who are finding success through the DBT skills and getting better lives. Fido, I find that everything you said is absolutely true. All my life, when I've gotten dysphoric, there's been "no talking to me." Nothing anyone said could alter my perspective that life was pointless, hopeless, total pain, etc. In DBT I'm learning that, simply put, my mind doesn't work well when I'm dysphoric - and that's why, as you say, the skills need to be so ingrained that you go to them automatically, instead of starting a whole big argument about how they won't work. Opposite action is probably the hardest and most effective skill for me also. I'm still in DBT (luckily - they may give me a few extra months; although I just learned that my insurance is only approving 4 sessions at a time, and could cut me off at any time) and am just catching on to the fact that if the skills get you through a really dysphoric episode while preventing you from doing something to make your life worse - then the skills WORKED. I used to think a skill like opposite action "didn't work" if I didn't feel better after doing it. I guess I'm picking up on the fact that sometimes you have to just keep going on to another skill until you get through. It's kind of a tough pill to swallow for me (I want the "be happy right now forever" cure) but I guess the sooner I swallow it, the better off I'll be. Again, thanks for your replies.
Duva


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:33 pm 
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I COMPLETELY understand what you mean.

When I am extremely mad, sad, upset, whatever, I feel like I have ALWAYS felt this way.

I just joined myself, so I am anxious to see if these tools will work for me when I am so upset.


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