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Can you self-teach CBT?

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Can you self-teach CBT?

Postby speckle » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:51 pm

I have just had what I felt was essentially an interview to convince this woman that I am in fact worthy of CBT and do desperately need it (despite being referred to this NHS service by my counsellor and doctor). During this "interview" I was asked if I use recreational drugs. I decided to be honest, and admit that I am normally a daily cannabis user (2-5 joints), but I have stopped smoking due to knowing that I was letting it control me. I used to smoke for happy/upper reasons - while I was cooking/doing the housework/listening to music/chilling/etc, but due to my high stress from academia it also became my only coping mechanism, and then I would get annoyed at smoking because I then couldn't do anything/ended up more stressed. I haven't smoked it for two weeks and don't wish to for the next few months (potentially more) while I get my head into shape and eventually return to smoking a couple of times over the weekend, as opposed to daily. However, because I expressed this wish to -eventually- return to smoking cannabis but have far more control/not use it as a coping mechanism/smoke it far less regularly, it was made clear that this would be a barrier to me being told that I could receive CBT help.

I don't really know what to do, I feel like it's catch 22 - was told and encouraged to be honest, and now probably will be told that they can't help me. I am sick of feeling so controlled by this constant panic, constantly feeling overwhelmed and anxious and unable to start work etc. Is there a way I can teach myself CBT and still reap the same standard of benefits?

TL;DR: I am highly stressed/anxious. I currently abstaining from smoking cannabis daily due to wanting a clear head while I sort myself out, learn how to cope and overcome my anxiety. I expressed a wish to a lady assessing me for CBT therapy. Was honest about my cannabis use and wanting to eventually go back to smoking it, though far less, only over weekends and not for negative reasons. Now being told I may not "qualify" for NHS run CBT. Cannot cope with myself. Is there a way I can teach myself CBT and still gain the same benefits? :shock:
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Re: Can you self-teach CBT?

Postby Wally58 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:47 am

First, congratulations on being honest. They have to ask this question that many people find difficult to answer in a truthful manner because the success of treatment depends heavily on clear mind.
I found that I was clinically psychotic when I was 'under the influence'. It poisoned my thinking. I eventually got paranoid when I got stoned. Maybe that was part of the 'excitement' of getting stoned. It didn't start out that way, but it is what it turned into. I had to stop smoking completely and things got better.
If you wish to return to regular use after the therapy, that is up to you, but I would strongly consider that daily use is very heavy use. I'm not qualified to determine if you are addicted, but this issue has to be addressed before you can work on yourself (with or without external help).
Consider that cannabis may be 'coping mechanism' that is now working against you. You could lose control of it. Being honest and cooperative with people that are trying to help you shows respect and will hopefully get you into the best treatment program tailored for what you need.
Left to ourselves, we are usually bad at self-teaching. You can read a lot about the CBT subject on Google or at the public library. You can get very book-smart about the subject, but applying it to yourself is another matter.
Best of luck to you. :D
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Re: Can you self-teach CBT?

Postby z7z » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:58 pm

Marijuana is less addictive than other drugs so you should be able to give it up and replace it with something healthier like exercise: jogging, swimming, yoga, weightlifting or sports: volleyball, soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee, softball, etc. or eating healthy and cooking new recipes. I think you can learn CBT in a book and give self therapy. Probably plenty of resources online or at the library. I am not sure if it is as effective as with a therapist. That depends on how committed you are to doing it. Marijuana is fun at first but it becomes a crutch for some people.
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