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I've had social anxiety/general anxiety for as long as i can remember. I have survived with it this long (i'm 24) and it hasn't gotten any worse or better. It is just impossible for me to make progress in beating it, just as it is impossible to stay down when the anxiety has beaten me through the floor. I have maintained the same level of anxiety all my life, but only now is it becoming extremely inconvenient. I find that it is mostlikely going to lose me my job that i had just started a few weeks ago. In schooll i could get away with avoiding people and still be successful, but in work...not so much. If you aren't social and friendly with your coworkers, you WILL be crucified, especially if you are the new guy that just keeps to himself. People see me as rude/stuck-up. I mean, i go to my car and listen to music on my breaks while everyone is socializing in the lunch room, i cant really blame them.

Anyways, i want to start CBT so i can get over this fear i have of socializing. I find that i can't do my job properly even when people are just *around* me. My focus is all over the place, and to be honest, i feel stupid as hell at work sometimes because my mind is so foggy with anxiety and the constant bantering inside my head about me being such an outcast. FYI- the corporate environment isn't the friendliest place for people with any kind of anxiety; sometimes (like today) i can do my job just as well as anyone else, but that's because i'm in a good mood, which happens to be very rare.

So have any of you tried CBT? what was your experience with it? and did you use it with medication?
 

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I've done a lot of work with CBT. It helps if you take an attitude from the start that you're just not going to hide anything from your therapist and just let them work with you on your well-being. Progress can take some time, but it is worth it. It gave me mechanisms to better navigate my world, so I can handle pretty much any stress with minimal impact to my mood and overall enjoyment/success in life. I still have some social anxiety and one outstanding phobia, but I'm way better off than I was before I started. I think you have to get your mind right before drugs actually help much at all - get your thoughts sorted, and then worry about the chemical component.
 
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I haven't done CBT myself...but a friend of mine has (ISTJ). She was able to overcome a serious drug addiction using CBT... I have seen such a change in her it speaks volumes as to what the therapy has done for her life. She told me it's helped her to actually deal with her life and emotions and she no longer needs to numb them out with any kind of drug (legal or illegal) She has highly recommended it to me for my social anxiety too...
 

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CBT is truly one of the best forms of therapy. My therapist friends who are supposed to do DBT (different form of therapy-dialectical behavior therapy) still manage to utilize CBT because it works better in their opinions. I've also seen that most of the people I work with who do work with their therapists using CBT do the best. I haven't looked at the research recently, but if I remember correctly, CBT by itself was demonstrated to be as effective as medication for treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety and worked even better when used in combination for moderate to severe depression.

If I had the time/money, I would be doing CBT myself - my anxiety has been slowly getting worse and I've been experiencing depression more frequently the last few years. Medication has kept it from getting too bad, but... yeah, I'd rather not deal with it again.

I would /highly/ encourage you to go and at least give it a chance. Though, like Eden pointed out, it's work and you have to be honest, but it's worth it.

Good luck.
 

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I have mixed feelings about it. Initially I thought it was great , it allowed me to create a lot of changes in my life and appealed to my logical side.

It's meant to be somewhat brief, with the patient doing a lot on their own time, with written exercises and daily practice. CBT is very now based, preferring not to look too far in the past or future and dealing with life in the present, countering negative thoughts with positive as they occur. From this standpoint I think it's great, dealing with day to day events, but I think it dismisses one's history a bit too much. I think we lay down patterns from both a thinking and feeling (emotional place) and sometimes undoing negative emotions requires going back and feeling what you felt at a younger age and opening up some blocks.

For instance if one went through some emotional trauma at an earlier point in their life and built up walls around the event to cut it off and compartmentalize, CBT could help to deal with the leaks that are going to happen, but it never really helps in releasing the emotional scarring and bringing down the walls. Past feeling imprints can't be easily erased logically.

There have been very recent studies that show that various forms of psychotherapy can be more effective than CBT. I think it's important to deal with mood disorders from both ends, examining the past and the possible origins with psychotherapy...replacing old feelings with new one's, as well as learning new ways to process illogical thoughts as they arise daily with CBT.

If GAD has plagued you your whole life, there also has to be a level of acceptance. Accepting that no current treatments will fully eliminate the anxiety and allowing yourself to come to terms with that.It is just one part of many sides that make up you, rather than letting it consume all of you.

I find that every few months I examine GAD and possible new treatments, if one sounds appealing I try it out, but force myself to be balanced about it , neither hopeful before hand or depressed after when it fails. I've gone to great lengths at times, going way out on a limb, but am careful now not to let my overall mood crash, or to give up hope , when the treatment fails.
 

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Just some hopefully helpful info to anyone living in Canada, there are a small number of psychiatrists who practice only CBT, if you search hard and find one, it's essentially free as psychiatrists are covered under medical.
 

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I think it's great. Of course a lot of it depends on who you're talking to, has to be someone you can respect and who has a healthy interest in helping you. I know quite a few people have a hard time finding someone they can trust, but don't let that stop you. Like others have said, it's as powerful as medication, can be very helpful not only to ease the stress and pain but also to fix some of the self-destructive thinking and misperceptions you might have. For the most part, it is just super healthy to have an appointment to keep where you must confront your life's biggest problems. It is often frustrating and not fun, I get angry thinking about what I am struggling with because I feel powerless to fix a lot of it.

But after talking to someone about it, the volume gets turned down a little, and it helps me to accept myself and give myself compassion when others validate my problems and concerns as real. Most of this stuff is conversational taboo in real life, and it is so relieving to be able to tell someone what you are going through. I have grown leaps and bounds from hearing my own thoughts and how illogical and emotionally charged they are. Ex: "The girl I like wants a guy with money, nice things, popularity, and worldy success that I don't have access to, she doesn't want a relationship with me unless I achieve the impossible!" "That's true... you might be able to be with her if you had all of those things... and if you lost them you would lose her... do you think she's the right girl for you to be with? "Noooooo..... )-: You're right, I know you're right"

I like how when I complain about life's unfairness and all the stuff that drives me crazy, my counselor is like, "Yeah, life is unfair. You can't make it fair, you can only choose how to respond to it. Do you want to be angry about it and resent everyone for it? Or do you want to learn to live with it and find a way to be happy all the same?" It helps to have that outside voice of reason who's telling you that your problems are real and life is very hard. Then you can laugh about it and say, "Well that's messed up! I'm not going to try and get all of those things so I can have that girl. I am going to fight my urge to want what's not good for me, and learn to cultivate real relationships and accept that most relationships are built on shallow things."

Okay, didn't mean to rant about myself, but I totally relate to your anxiety on the job. I got a job working at a checkstand in a grocery store. I KNEW beforehand that I was going to hate it, that it would drive me crazy. Everyone thought I was weird for wanting to take all of the dirty, backroom, cleaning and shelving jobs that they avoiding doing. I just wanted to get away from all the people. Once I did, time would go much faster and I would feel good about the job I did and about who I was that day. One description of an INFP read, "jobs that require short, superficial encounters with many different people may be stressful." I realized that the people who could act fake, with the annoying voice and the exact same lines they used on the customer before, did not get offended or aggravated by rude customers. It was not them they were rude to, it was to their fake plastic doll, and did not mean anything personal. I however, could not stand to be fake and tried to be honest and connect with every one who came through my line. When someone got pissed or gave me a bad look and comment, I took it to heart and it ruined my day. I started smoking cigarrettes with that job because I was so disturbed by it all.

Anyways, eight months later it was all the same. I was better at the job, but no better at dealing with negative, rude people. They offered me to be a floor manager and I told them I would quit if they did. I couldn't yell at people to stop messing around and get to work, I coudn't be a hardass, I like everyone too much. I ended up getting a job at the warehouse, which was much harder work, and I LOVED it. No customer service, just working and sweating with no one watching, I'd never felt better after every day of work. Satisfied with myself and my day. I know myself now, and I will never apply for a job as a salesman or manager. I could stand a checkstand if I have to, but I know it will ruin my wellbeing. I hope you find a way to cope with it all. In the meantime, don't hate yourself for having trouble, it's not your fault that you are who you are. You are a good man and you deserve some help, you are obviously suffering, so give yourself some credit for staying in it and kicking ass.
 

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I'm studying mental health at the moment, and I was going to start a thread about CBT myself, Acey you bet me to it!
CBT is awesome as you don't actually NEED a psychotherapist to have it. You can take concepts from CBT and work on it yourself. It probably won't be as effective as CBT with a therapist but it may help if you are really stuck in a rut and want to challenge those thoughts right here and now.

What you could do is have a blank piece of paper, and:
1. write down the feelings you feel now. E.g. Sad
2. write down why you are feeling like that- what thoughts are going through your mind to make you feel that way? E.g. I am stupid
3. challenge those thoughts- why do you have those thoughts? are they accurate? Why/ why not? E.g. I think I'm stupid because I turned up to work late. This is not accurate and actually being late does not make me stupid
4. What would be a better/ more accurate thought to have? E.g. I was late today because I slept through my alarm. I will apologize to my boss and make sure I get a good sleep tonight so I will wake up bright and early tomorrow.

^the examples used here are very simple but I hope you get point! It's kinda like that thread that was on here recently where you replace a negative thought with a positive one.

You must remember that every negative experience can be turned into a positive one because you can learn from it!
Something that I go by if have a bad day is: "Everything happens for a reason and with every experience comes the opportunity for you to grow into a better person". Excited much?!

In my opinion I think CBT is a great option. It is proven to be more effective for anxiety than medication. I have no doubt at all that you will flourish Acey! :crazy:
 

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Its a complete life changer to say the least
 

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I'm studying mental health at the moment, and I was going to start a thread about CBT myself, Acey you bet me to it!
CBT is awesome as you don't actually NEED a psychotherapist to have it. You can take concepts from CBT and work on it yourself. It probably won't be as effective as CBT with a therapist but it may help if you are really stuck in a rut and want to challenge those thoughts right here and now.

What you could do is have a blank piece of paper, and:
1. write down the feelings you feel now. E.g. Sad
2. write down why you are feeling like that- what thoughts are going through your mind to make you feel that way? E.g. I am stupid
3. challenge those thoughts- why do you have those thoughts? are they accurate? Why/ why not? E.g. I think I'm stupid because I turned up to work late. This is not accurate and actually being late does not make me stupid
4. What would be a better/ more accurate thought to have? E.g. I was late today because I slept through my alarm. I will apologize to my boss and make sure I get a good sleep tonight so I will wake up bright and early tomorrow.

^the examples used here are very simple but I hope you get point! It's kinda like that thread that was on here recently where you replace a negative thought with a positive one.

You must remember that every negative experience can be turned into a positive one because you can learn from it!
Something that I go by if have a bad day is: "Everything happens for a reason and with every experience comes the opportunity for you to grow into a better person". Excited much?!

In my opinion I think CBT is a great option. It is proven to be more effective for anxiety than medication. I have no doubt at all that you will flourish Acey! :crazy:
That's exactly how I think nowadays. I first had CBT when I was 14-15 and I've been having it again from when I was 17-to now when I'm 18. It has done wonders for me. I used to have panic attacks on public transport and now I have no problem at all, comparatively - I just don't like it much. That's just one example though... it has done so much for me. :happy:
 
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I have mixed feelings about it. Initially I thought it was great , it allowed me to create a lot of changes in my life and appealed to my logical side.

It's meant to be somewhat brief, with the patient doing a lot on their own time, with written exercises and daily practice. CBT is very now based, preferring not to look too far in the past or future and dealing with life in the present, countering negative thoughts with positive as they occur. From this standpoint I think it's great, dealing with day to day events, but I think it dismisses one's history a bit too much. I think we lay down patterns from both a thinking and feeling (emotional place) and sometimes undoing negative emotions requires going back and feeling what you felt at a younger age and opening up some blocks.

For instance if one went through some emotional trauma at an earlier point in their life and built up walls around the event to cut it off and compartmentalize, CBT could help to deal with the leaks that are going to happen, but it never really helps in releasing the emotional scarring and bringing down the walls. Past feeling imprints can't be easily erased logically.

There have been very recent studies that show that various forms of psychotherapy can be more effective than CBT. I think it's important to deal with mood disorders from both ends, examining the past and the possible origins with psychotherapy...replacing old feelings with new one's, as well as learning new ways to process illogical thoughts as they arise daily with CBT.

If GAD has plagued you your whole life, there also has to be a level of acceptance. Accepting that no current treatments will fully eliminate the anxiety and allowing yourself to come to terms with that.It is just one part of many sides that make up you, rather than letting it consume all of you.

I find that every few months I examine GAD and possible new treatments, if one sounds appealing I try it out, but force myself to be balanced about it , neither hopeful before hand or depressed after when it fails. I've gone to great lengths at times, going way out on a limb, but am careful now not to let my overall mood crash, or to give up hope , when the treatment fails.
In cases like this where you do feel like you want to address past history as well as staying in the now, there is another treatment called EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) that works well with CBT and helps to address the source of anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias etc. so that a person can focus on the now and be able to process their past at the same time. Some people love it, some people hate it. I've spoken with several soldiers and therapists who work with trauma/PTSD victims and they sing praises for it. There are others (usually the ones who haven't had much experience with EMDR to be fair) who do not think it works well or are waiting for more research/evidence before they take any chances with it.
 

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Well I thought that this would cure all of my problems! Oh no. I got the treatment every two weeks or so for about six months. I've taken a break from psychotherapy for a while because I'm going to try things on my own. I really think that THAT has helped me. CBT made me uneasy, I wish I had have been unaware of it because I felt that being concious of it made me a bit edgey. I also had some for my tinnitus, and again that didn't work. But anywhooooooooo I'm doing better these days with no aid whatsoever

Wow that was kinda pointless sorry
 

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In cases like this where you do feel like you want to address past history as well as staying in the now, there is another treatment called EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) that works well with CBT and helps to address the source of anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias etc. so that a person can focus on the now and be able to process their past at the same time. Some people love it, some people hate it. I've spoken with several soldiers and therapists who work with trauma/PTSD victims and they sing praises for it. There are others (usually the ones who haven't had much experience with EMDR to be fair) who do not think it works well or are waiting for more research/evidence before they take any chances with it.
I did a course of EMDR about 6 years ago to get past a singular traumatic event that was causing ptsd, it was somewhat effective. EMDR is a form of psychotherapy and requires one to immerse themselves in the event itself and hopefully lay down new objective ways of viewing what occurred as well as a desensitization. I don't feel it helps much though with extended repetitive trauma that can happen in family or social dynamics, or anything existential in nature.

I hope I don't sound too opinionated and I'm not against CBT in anyway, I think it's great, but I think a lot can be learned and released by exploring one's past. One current emerging forms of therapy is the use of psychedelics, which allows a highly introspective state in reliving past memories, creating breakthroughs and a positive reconstruction with a therapist.
 

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I did a course of EMDR about 6 years ago to get past a singular traumatic event that was causing ptsd, it was somewhat effective. EMDR is a form of psychotherapy and requires one to immerse themselves in the event itself and hopefully lay down new objective ways of viewing what occurred as well as a desensitization. I don't feel it helps much though with extended repetitive trauma that can happen in family or social dynamics, or anything existential in nature.

I hope I don't sound too opinionated and I'm not against CBT in anyway, I think it's great, but I think a lot can be learned and released by exploring one's past. One current emerging forms of therapy is the use of psychedelics, which allows a highly introspective state in reliving past memories, creating breakthroughs and a positive reconstruction with a therapist.
EMDR can be effective for repetitive trauma, but the therapist has to be Very Good at knowing when to push and when not too. One of the soldiers I had mentioned had been to Iraq as a medic in an infantry unit for three separate tours, the shortest of which was 15 months. He actually spoke very little during the sessions, but got an incredible amount of benefit from the therapy. He's very aware of his mental state and abilities and whatnot, so that made it so he was able to do the therapy with more limited direction from the therapist. So much relies upon the therapist and the patient coming to an understanding about what is needed to accomplish the therapy that finding a therapist who can understand your needs best is just as important as determining which therapy is best for you.

Opinions are good and encourage more discussion and debate. Thank you for sharing yours. :) I have to admit that I'm not too thrilled with the idea of using psychedelics for therapy use because there are so many additional risks (bad trips being one of the most prominent) that can actually worsen whatever is being treated. I think, like most chemical based therapies, one needs to carefully weigh the risks and benefits prior to making any decisions about whether one is going to try something or not.
 
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It would be a natural fear, especially for anyone experiencing excessive anxiety or prone to forms of psychosis. But it's been well thought out clinically, from all the studies I've read discontinuation or drop out from side effects have been very rare and it's easy to administer a fast acting benzo if the fear/anxiety gets out of hand. I've actually tried it myself with a therapist.
 

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It would be a natural fear, especially for anyone experiencing excessive anxiety or prone to forms of psychosis. But it's been well thought out clinically, from all the studies I've read discontinuation or drop out from side effects have been very rare and it's easy to administer a fast acting benzo if the fear/anxiety gets out of hand. I've actually tried it myself with a therapist.
I'll have to take a look at those studies - pretty much everything I've seen and researched has to do with the severely and persistently mentally ill population, which is pretty much people with severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, and schizophrenia disorders. Essentially, the people who really shouldn't be trying psychedelics. Probably part of my immediate "Is Bad" gut reaction has to do with my own personal viewpoint regarding anything that can affect me so that I don't have control over my thoughts or actions. That just means that for me they probably would be a bad idea, but for someone more open, they could be beneficial.
 
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I agree that they would be potentially dangerous with schizophrenics, or anyone with exaggerated intrusive thoughts. But I think part of the appeal of using psychedelics and in certain circumstances mdma is that it allows people who exhibit too much control to loosen up and free themselves from self restraint, which in turn facilitates a more in depth therapy session. Some patients who were polled a year later rated the experience as one of the most significant and life changing events of their personal histories.
 

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I agree that they would be potentially dangerous with schizophrenics, or anyone with exaggerated intrusive thoughts. But I think part of the appeal of using psychedelics and in certain circumstances mdma is that it allows people who exhibit too much control to loosen up and free themselves from self restraint, which in turn facilitates a more in depth therapy session. Some patients who were polled a year later rated the experience as one of the most significant and life changing events of their personal histories.
Hmm... yes, I could see how there'd be benefits, but if I wanted to get into a different state of mind for such things, I'd much rather explore hypnosis I think. To me it's easier to fall into that trance state and come out of it at will. Maybe if I got comfortable with that I'd eventually be willing to try something chemical based but for now, I'll leave that to the more adventurous souls like yourself.
 
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