• Quote of the Day
    "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
    Thomas Edison, posted by Daniel
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the fact that you don't believe you deserve to feel better doesn't mean you now need to "shut up", "stop whinging", "kill" yourself. all it means is that this is one very basic belief that needs to be challenged for you to be able to move forward. not challenging it means continued suffering as you have been for a while. challenging it means change. it's up to you.
 

gooblax

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Thankyou Dr Baxter, Halo and Ladybug. However...
This forum is for people who have genuine issues to discuss and are willing to do so in a reasonable manner. I fit into neither category. So no, you do not want people like me here.

The extension can be concluded upon as follows:
We know that
(a) I can't feel better about myself until I believe that I deserve to.
(b) I can't believe that I deserve to feel better until I start to feel better about myself.
Since (a) is true and (b) is true, and both statements are mutually exclusive, then the synthesis (c) reads as
(c) I can't feel better about myself, and I can't believe that I deserve to.
Therefore my 'logical extension' is true for all letters of the alphabet.
I realise now that I don't need therapy, I need a decapitation.

I'd actually go as far as to say that CBT enourages thinking errors of its own, to combat peoples' supposed cognitive distortions. Anyone can make up a list of catchy titles to disregard another's beliefs on the basis of perceived error. Here's my list of distortions caused by CBT, with the type of thinking it is used to combat in brackets:
- Central Tendency (All or Nothing)
- Ignorance of Error (Overgeneralisation)
- Mental Stormwater Pipe (Mental Filter)
- Credulity to Reality (Disqualifying the Positive)
- Foresight and Experience Rejection (Jumping to Conclusions)
- Inadequate Focus (Magnification)
- Instinct Denial (Emotional Reasoning)
- Responsibility Avoidance (Should Statements)
- Insight Dismissal (Labelling)
- Innocence Assertion (Personalisation)

Maybe if enough people give up on me, then I'll get the impetus to properly give up on myself. Honestly, I am not worth bothering with or replying to.
 
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Thankyou Dr Baxter, Halo and Ladybug. However...
This forum is for people who have genuine issues to discuss and are willing to do so in a reasonable manner. I fit into neither category. So no, you do not want people like me here.
you do have genuine issues. it is very clear you have issues. as for discussing them in a reasonable manner, that seems to depend a bit on your mood. finally, you are doing some mind reading here when you say we do not want people like you here. if that were truly the case, you would have been banned from the forum.

The extension can be concluded upon as follows:
We know that
(a) I can't feel better about myself until I believe that I deserve to.
agreed.

(b) I can't believe that I deserve to feel better until I start to feel better about myself.
this is where your thinking is flawed, and i think it is a common mistake that people make. we all have a tendency to think that something's not worth doing until we're in the right frame of mind to do it. however, in actual fact, action is what will put us into the right frame of mind. if you wait around to feel better first, you'll be waiting a long time. see chapter 5, "Do-Nothingism: How to Beat It" of the Dr Burns "Feeling Good" book.

Since (a) is true and (b) is true, and both statements are mutually exclusive, then the synthesis (c) reads as
(c) I can't feel better about myself, and I can't believe that I deserve to.
Therefore my 'logical extension' is true for all letters of the alphabet.
I realise now that I don't need therapy, I need a decapitation.

I'd actually go as far as to say that CBT enourages thinking errors of its own, to combat peoples' supposed cognitive distortions. Anyone can make up a list of catchy titles to disregard another's beliefs on the basis of perceived error. Here's my list of distortions caused by CBT, with the type of thinking it is used to combat in brackets:
- Central Tendency (All or Nothing)
- Ignorance of Error (Overgeneralisation)
- Mental Stormwater Pipe (Mental Filter)
- Credulity to Reality (Disqualifying the Positive)
- Foresight and Experience Rejection (Jumping to Conclusions)
- Inadequate Focus (Magnification)
- Instinct Denial (Emotional Reasoning)
- Responsibility Avoidance (Should Statements)
- Insight Dismissal (Labelling)
- Innocence Assertion (Personalisation)
to be honest you lost me a bit here. cbt isn't distorted. one could overdo it and go from negative all-or-nothing thinking to positive all-or-nothing thinking and then you still are thinking in a distorted fashion. but cbt is all about seeing the world realistically. this is something that is quite tricky when depressed. it takes practice to do cbt, and to do it right.

Maybe if enough people give up on me, then I'll get the impetus to properly give up on myself. Honestly, I am not worth bothering with or replying to.
we don't want you to give up on yourself. i certainly have no intentions on giving up on you, and i doubt anyone else here has either.
 
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Daniel

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The extension can be concluded upon as follows:
We know that
(a) I can't feel better about myself until I believe that I deserve to.
(b) I can't believe that I deserve to feel better until I start to feel better about myself.
Since (a) is true and (b) is true, and both statements are mutually exclusive, then the synthesis (c) reads as
(c) I can't feel better about myself, and I can't believe that I deserve to.
Therefore my 'logical extension' is true for all letters of the alphabet

Sounds like the dark side of transactional analysis, i.e. blaming the victim. Treating chronic depression almost always takes more time than people typically think. Sometimes, the most helpful thing is just making sure one's goals aren't too aggressive because that could continue learned helplessness. In other words, the "baby steps" approach is the way to go.

Ladybug said:
this is where your thinking is flawed, and i think it is a common mistake that people make. we all have a tendency to think that something's not worth doing until we're in the right frame of mind to do it. however, in actual fact, action is what will put us into the right frame of mind. if you wait around to feel better first, you'll be waiting a long time. see chapter 5, "Do-Nothingism: How to Beat It" of the Dr Burns "Feeling Good" book.

Totally agree. My last therapist was very quick in pointing this out to me.
 
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gooblax

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Alternatively, it is possible that I am grossly exaggerating the issues that I say I have. I don't know if that is the case, but I would be extremely revolted with myself if it were.

as for discussing them in a reasonable manner, that seems to depend a bit on your mood.
Okay, so you admit that I am occasionally unreasonable. Should anyone on this forum have to put up with that - occasional unreasonability? I don't think so; I think I should be banned.

I don't see how the anti-'Do-Nothingism' can be applied here.
You can't just one day decide that you want to believe that gravity has been reversed. The first thing you see with be evidence to the contrary. Even if you trick yourself into picking up a pen and dropping it for an experiment, there's no way you would actually consider the possibility of it falling upwards. (Unless you've read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and have become proficient in doublethink.)

So my 'truth' is that I don't deserve to feel better. Does it seem likely that I'll want to do anything that could possibly challenge that belief, considering that changing the belief might mean feeling better, which is what I don't deserve to do? I could eventually get myself to pick up the pen, but it ain't falling upwards.

I believe that CBT encourages its own distortions. Taking one of my list-items as an example:
It says that people are guilty of Overgeneralisation, however the type of thinking that avoids Overgeneralisation actually encourages the individual to remain oblivious to their mistakes, and they end up learning nothing. -> Ignorance of Error

we don't want you to give up on yourself. i certainly have no intentions on giving up on you, and i doubt anyone else here has either.
Thanks heaps Ladybug. Part of me really wants to believe that. The other part refuses to - it can't hurt as much when I already know that it's coming.

Also, thanks for the input Daniel.
 

Daniel

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I don't see how the anti-'Do-Nothingism' can be applied here.

Some possibilities:

1. Self-esteem issues are often a side effect of depression. By treating the depression, self-esteem can also improve.

2. Depression is a disease of the brain, not just of the mind. Exercise, listening to music (music therapy), and antidepressants are clinically shown to improve mood, with exercise and antidepressants having stronger clinical evidence than music therapy.

3. Happiness is often said to consist of having "something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to." Even ancient philosophers like Aristotle thought the good life was one of activity rather than of thought. There's also the quote from Woody Allen: "Eighty percent of life is just showing up!" Regarding "someone to love," I don't think romantic love is necessary for happiness, especially for some people like Buddhist monks. The point is that love/care/compassion for anyone -- even a pet butterfly as Robert Thurman points out -- reduces self-preoccupation, which is often a source of distress. Similarly, Aristotle and Epicurus agreed that friendship was required for the good life. That may seem like a no-brainer but some philosophers, namely the Stoics, tried to argue that friends were not absolutely necessary, though certainly preferable, for "the good life."

4. Social identity problems due to living in postmodern society (e.g. Arrested Adulthood and Shutting Out the Sun) can be partially resolved by reversing the trend towards complete individualization and isolation. Some identity issues (like "finding oneself") are normal and even healthy during the transition from adolescence to adulthood, but the trend is that social identity issues are becoming more chronic and more debilitating and emotionally troubling. Social reintegration is the logical, preferred treatment in Japan for hikikomori (social withdrawal). Spending more face time with people than with computer monitors may be an important measure of progress.


Regarding cognitive distortions, Aaron Beck demonstrated with his research that people with depression, regardless of their success in life, tend to portray themselves as losers, even when relating the dreams they had the night before. In the decades since then, a ton of research has been done about CBT which shows CBT to be the single most effective treatment for preventing relapses in the long-term even years after treatment has ended. However, though CBT is the clear favorite, it is not the only approach nor is it always the best approach. For example:

David Baxter said:
I would describe my approach to therapy as eclectic, although it is based on and most heavily influenced by the client-centered approach described by Carl Rogers. What it means is that I adapt the strategies and techniques used in therapy on an individualized basis depending on the client and the client's stage in therapy.

A therapist who describes himself as "Freudian" or "Psychoanalytic" or "Adlerian" or "Cognitive-Behavioral" is probably telling you (in most cases) that he uses that approach exclusively or primarily. For example, I know of a few psychologists in the Ottawa area who use CBT exclusively.

Approaches to therapy: Eclectic? - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum

My last therapist seemed to use at least several different approaches, including CBT, client-centered therapy, and solutions-focused therapy. An example of solutions-focused therapy is the "miracle question":

The miracle question is a method of questioning that a coach, therapist, or counselor uses to aid the client to envision how the future will be different when the problem is no longer present. Also, this may help to establish goals.

A traditional version of the miracle question would go like this:

"Suppose our meeting is over, you go home, do whatever you planned to do for the rest of the day. And then, some time in the evening, you get tired and go to sleep. And in the middle of the night, when you are fast asleep, a miracle happens and all the problems that brought you here today are solved just like that. But since the miracle happened over night nobody is telling you that the miracle happened. When you wake up the next morning, how are you going to start discovering that the miracle happened? ... What else are you going to notice? What else?"

There are many different versions of the miracle question depending on the context and the client.

In a specific situation, the counselor may ask,

"If you woke up tomorrow, and a miracle happened so that you no longer easily lost your temper, what would you see differently?" What would the first signs be that the miracle occurred?"

The client (a child) may respond by saying,

"I would not get upset when somebody calls me names."

The counselor wants the client to develop positive goals, or what they will do, rather than what they will not do--to better ensure success. So, the counselor may ask the client, "What will you be doing instead when someone calls you names?"

Solution focused brief therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A list of some different approaches:

Psychology Today: Therapy Methods
 
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Alternatively, it is possible that I am grossly exaggerating the issues that I say I have. I don't know if that is the case, but I would be extremely revolted with myself if it were.
you've presented your problems in a matter-of-fact manner, and nothing comes across as exaggeration. you haven't exaggerated.

Okay, so you admit that I am occasionally unreasonable. Should anyone on this forum have to put up with that - occasional unreasonability? I don't think so; I think I should be banned.
life ain't perfect kiddo :) we've all been unreasonable at one time or another. why should you be any different? and why would that constitute a reason for banning? you're not offending anyone here. you're not being insensitive to other members. you're not spamming. you're not trying to instigate a flame war. you're not breaking any rules around here.

I don't see how the anti-'Do-Nothingism' can be applied here.
You can't just one day decide that you want to believe that gravity has been reversed. The first thing you see with be evidence to the contrary. Even if you trick yourself into picking up a pen and dropping it for an experiment, there's no way you would actually consider the possibility of it falling upwards. (Unless you've read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and have become proficient in doublethink.)
yes, but gravity is a silly thing to want to counter. you need to take it a bit on faith from us, who've been where you are, that your thinking is distorted. see our discussion about the microscope and the distorted lens: Why do I do this to myself? - Page 8 - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum

So my 'truth' is that I don't deserve to feel better. Does it seem likely that I'll want to do anything that could possibly challenge that belief, considering that changing the belief might mean feeling better, which is what I don't deserve to do? I could eventually get myself to pick up the pen, but it ain't falling upwards.
note you put truth between quotes, which means you know somehow that it's not really the truth.

there is something inside you, deep down, that wants change. i know this because you write here.

I believe that CBT encourages its own distortions. Taking one of my list-items as an example:
It says that people are guilty of Overgeneralisation, however the type of thinking that avoids Overgeneralisation actually encourages the individual to remain oblivious to their mistakes, and they end up learning nothing. -> Ignorance of Error
again in some cases overgeneralization does happen (ex. : i asked him/her out on a date and they said no, i'll never meet anyone => clearly a case of overgeneralization), but in other cases there is truth to it: if i flick the light switch, the light will come on.

Thanks heaps Ladybug. Part of me really wants to believe that. The other part refuses to - it can't hurt as much when I already know that it's coming.
listen to the part that wants to believe that.

as for "knowing" what's coming, i think you are trying very hard to have a self-fulfilling prophecy happen here. tough luck though, because i see i person who's struggling and is looking for help somehow - and that is the kind of person this forum has been created for, so you can forget about us giving up on you. :)
 

David Baxter

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Very well said, ladybug. Gooblax, I recommend you read her post very thoroughly.
 

gooblax

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Thanks guys.
I've had a fairly lousy day, so fortunately I'm not in the mood for saying much.
(Other than that people hardly ever respect my opinions or decisions, I fold too easily under pressure to change those decisions, I hate shopping, and I'm sick of my parents making threats.)

Daniel - Thanks for the info and possibilities. I'm thinking about seeing a psychologist who does solutions-focused therapy and CBT, if I decide to try therapy again.

Ladybug - I'll try to keep all of that in mind. Whether or not I can accept it at the time, I will try. I can tell I needed to hear that, so - thankyou.
 

gooblax

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To quote my mother:
You're as bad as your father.
Bam. Now that one got to me. Next time I think about posting, I have to wrap duct tape around my hands. See how far I get then.
 

David Baxter

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Just how bad is your father and what exactly did your mother mean by that? Was her intention to hurt, to punish, to defend, or to instruct?
 

gooblax

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(Couldn't find the duct tape. :()
She was referring to my outbursts of anger - the equivalent of a 3 year old's temper tantrum. I'd have to say that these days I'm 'worse' than my father in that respect. He is just a bit temperamental, I suppose. I dunno about her intention... maybe just to comment, maybe to scold... dunno.
It got to me because I don't want to be like that, yet I seem to be everything that I dislike.
 

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