Thursday 9th July
Having missed Session 2 last week due to having minor surgery to remove a mole from my arm, I’m all ready for this next instalment of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: managing your actions.
So, what did we learn today, hey?
Stressed people think more anxiously about their life.
Stressed people avoid difficult situations, and may use safety behaviours as a way of coping.
Depressed people tend to withdraw from normal activities.
Stressed people tend to be on the lookout for threats.
Depressed people can feel isolated and lack confidence.
Okey dokey, I think I know all that to be true. So, what’s to do about it?
1. Work out exactly what the problem is. Take on the problems one at a time. Break down each problem into smaller chunks. Putting this into practice will mean a greater sense of control.
2. Facing the fear can test the reality of your feelings. Think about “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Brainstorm as many options or outcomes as possible, then weigh up the pros and cons. Work out a step by step plan, put it into action, then review the outcome.
3. Removing safety behaviours to confront fears. Some feel they need something to protect against threats or that which cannot be controlled. Working out what these are, or the ‘props’ that are used, is the first step. (Having ready-made excuses, medication in one’s pocket, having a drink before going out).
Thinking about how these safety behaviours help or hinder, predict what would happen if they were not used.
Again, work out a step by step plan, put it into action and then review the situation. Start to remove as many safety behaviours as possible.
Well, I’m not sure how much of that applies to me, a lot of it was common sense.
And then we moved on to 20 Tips for Coping with Stress: things to consider
1. Deal with problems on the spot.
2. Nurture strong, confiding relationships.
3. Slow down.
4. Break problems up.
5. Avoid Must’s and Should’s.
6. Coping with ruts.
7. Take one thing at a time.
8. Look and sound relaxed.
9. Learn from past experience.
10. Don’t accept other people’s targets.
11. Healthy eating.
12. Stop smoking.
13. Situations outside your control.
14. Build relaxation into your life.
16. Do the worst thing first.
17. Don’t try to be Superman or Wonderwoman.
18. Confide in others.
19. Other people’s shoes.
20. Keep up a routine.
So there we have it, in a nutshell.
Much to think about, lots I already put into practice.
But it’s not going to lift me out of this depressive hole I find myself in at present. That will take time, an awful lot of time. There is no predetermined exit point to actually stepping out into the light at the end of the tunnel. It will happen at some time, and I know I have to believe in that, otherwise what is the point? I do know I won’t feel like this forever. My depression is the result of the enormous grief I feel over the unexpected loss of my son. I’m allowed to feel like this, for the moment. But not always. I’ve got to tell myself that it will get better.
Thinking of you, my sweetest Angel in heaven xxxx