Time to see a therapist? Any Bees have advice and been through this?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
1130 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Bettyboo1982:  I have a million things I want to say to you but I will try and keep this response to the point. First off, these feelings and thoughts you are describing sound very normal (for lack of a better word) to me. You sound like a very analytical and thoughtful person, which likely means you are prone to worry about things. The main problem here is the way that these thoughts are making you feel, which is actually quite a significant issue.

The theme that seems to come through from your post is that you are being very judgemental and critical towards yourself in terms of how you think you should be feeling and acting. The single most important thing you could do for yourself right now is be kind and compassionate to yourself. Be your own best friend, the way you would be to any other girlfriend who was struggling. We so readily offer up support and kindness to others, but are often so frugal with it towards ourselves. You might want to do some research online about self compassion – Kristen Neff has done a wonderful TED talk about it that you might find helpful.

It sounds like these feelings and thoughts you are having are giving you a good opportunity to reflect on the way you’re living your life, and decide whether there may be a happier path for you (or at least that’s the positive spin that I would take out of it!). I wouldn’t waste any more energy worrying about what these dreams about your ex mean – I think they most likely just represent the general anxiety you are having at the moment. I think that going to talk to someone is a really good idea. A professional can help you really zone in on the heart of the issues and filter out the uneccessary parts, then give you a set of tools and strategies to work through the feelings.

Wishing you the very best of luck. Be gentle with yourself and let us know how you get on 🙂

Post # 3
Member
4909 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I agree.  Talking with someone about your anxieties could be very helpful.

Post # 4
Member
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Have you heard of dysthmic disorder? I’m guessing probably not, since few people have. I call it Depression Lite sometimes, but it is in fact a serious thing. In major depressive disorder, we see shorter periods of intense depressed mood. In dysthmic disorder, the mood is less low, more sublty depressed, but last longer.

Whether this sounds like you or not, I would see a therapist, preferably one working in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT posits that our maladaptive actions come from maladaptive thoughts (i.e. I feel confused and lonely, so I talk to my ex. Because I talk to my ex, I feel like I am not fully invested in my current relationship. Because I feel that way, I get lonely and talk to my ex) and by changing these negative thoughts to something healthier and more positive, we can change our behavior. I feel CBT is more effective with anxiety than simply talking, which can rehash your fears and actually increase anxiety. This is just my opinion though, you may need to try a couple therapists with different styles to find a good fit.

Post # 5
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think talking to someone is seriously undervalued in today’s culture! I had issues earlier this year with anxiety, and I went to see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. They helped me to understand and recognise my negative thinking patterns, and figure out how to lessen the frequency, duration and intensity of them.

It requires a lot of work on your part to follow, and of course you will still get darker times (as everyone does) but I would definitely recommend it. As a side effect it has helped me to open up to my FI about my darker times, and what is happening for me during those times.

I hope all works out well for you x 

Post # 6
Member
587 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

After a terrible break up with my first love (like you I’ve only ever been in two serious real love relationships, my ex and my FI) I was in a really bad place. In my situation my ex was emotionally manipulative and mentally abusive so I did have lots of risidual damage from that experience. 

I ended up seeing a psychologist, a service which was offered for free under the health plan of my university, and I cannot emphasize enough how much I needed that. Talking through it really helped me understand what I was feeling, the roots of the issues I was facing and what to do in order to improve my mental state. Just sitting down and talking to someone, even if you don’t have an actual disorder, is often considered taboo in our culture. However I think we could all benefit from speaking to someone about our issues from time to time. 

Post # 9
Member
692 posts
Busy bee

Kellym84:  Can you share the techniques you learned to alter your thinking patterns?

Post # 11
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

The first thing was running through a list of the different types of negative thinking styles, and identifying which ones were the ones which affected me the most.

It was things like ‘black and white thinking’, ‘catastrophising’ (going from one tiny little thing wrong, to how the whole world is going to fall apart!), ‘mind-reading’ (assuming you know exactly what someone else is thinking). A good list of these is at: http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/unhelpful.htm (they are generally agreed amongst practitioners worldwide).

The next major step for me was learning to accept that I will never be able to change those around me, and nor should I try to as it will end up being frustrating and causing potentially more issues. Instead, I focus on the 3 things I am in control of – my thoughts, my feelings and my behaviour. By learning how to control my reaction to situations, and manage my own emotional state, I’ve actually managed to influence people positively, without even trying, and often with much better effect than when I’ve tried to force people to act certain ways in the past! I had massive control issues, and that in particular has helped me let go a little bit, and relax much more in social situations.

The major thing for me is that I’m now able to stop and anaylse situations. So although I know I will still have negative thinking (as we all will!), it’s all about realising as early as possible in the thought process that you are going into a negative thought pattern, identifying which negative thought pattern, and using strategies (which are discussed with the therapist based on you as a person) to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of these negative thought sessions.

For example, I would always think that if I heard someone laughing in the street that they were laughing at me (I know, not the most logical!). But now I can identify that the thinking pattern associated with that is negative, and effectively I reason with myself! It’s a lot about internal dialogue. Now I can come to the conclusion that the person is most likely not laughing at me, and if they are, so what?

Another good thought pattern is ‘if xxxxx happens, then I will xxxxx’. This stops you jumping ahead and catastrophising, and panicking. For example, FI and I had a massive fight. In my mind I jumped straight to ‘oh god he’s going to break up with me and my life will fall apart!’. But, post-therapy, my thought process is more like ‘we will talk it through first’. ‘If he breaks up with me, I will have to learn to be independant again’.

It sounds silly, and sounds terribly simple, but it wasn’t until I sat down with someone (I had 8 sessions, 1 a week for 8 weeks) that I could actually focus and put the effort into working on my thoughts and emotions. 

Oh yeah – and the other major point is the phrase ‘you made me angry’ or ‘he made me upset’. The words/actions against you might not have been nice, but you always are in control of allowing yourself to feel emotions. And it’s not a bad thing to feel the full range of emotions, but it’s really helpful to be able to understand how in control you are.

It’s also worth reading the book Mind Management, it’s really insightful into internal battles with thoughts and emotion 🙂 – http://chimpmanagement.com/products.html 

 

Sorry – it’s turned out to be a bit of an essay (and perhaps not that clear??). All I would say is that I wouldn’t have been able to work on it to the extent I have without the help of a therapist, so I would strongly suggest investing in sessions and giving it a go.

Post # 13
Member
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Holy shit. This is the most helpful thread I’ve read in a long time. I had no idea there was something called dysthymia and reading the symptoms…this sounds a lot like me. I have got to get me some help. Thank you for posting and lighting a fire to help me take the steps to figure my life out.

Post # 14
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Bettyboo1982:  Good for you taking it under your control though! If you would like, let me know how you get on. I’m always happy to be messaged x

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