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Maybe this is the way to go for me

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Maybe this is the way to go for me

Postby floatingtree » Fri Mar 17, 2023 9:46 am

I've been feeling very negative about a mental health problem I have (or perhaps, various problems and how they interact in a specific way). Then I thought of something.

This is a work in progress and as usual, I don't have much time or motivation right now. However, I wanted to get a few things down before I forget.

Some mental health problems just can't be "cured". Let's talk about another of my problems: misophonia. Certain sounds drive me absolutely crazy. I know there's no point endlessly "exposing" myself to the problematic sounds, or "coaching" myself to tolerate the sounds. Now, maybe there is some bizarre cure to the problem out there, but I don't know it. I just need to do things like leave a room if there is too much problematic sound, cover my ears or wear earplugs in certain situations, use white noise and so on and so forth.

Onto the original problem I was alluding to. It's a complicated phobia / PTSD thing which started when I was a teenager and I still have it in my late thirties. It doesn't directly affect me every day, but when it affects me, oh boy does it affect me. It also keeps me as a second-class citizen in many ways, an incomplete, enigma of a person in the eyes of many of the "normies" out there. But this problem shares many factors with my misophonia problem. I can't just keep "exposing" myself to the problem and hoping it will go away. It's there to stay and I need to accept it. That doesn't mean I can't do anything about it. But it does mean that I can't completely cure myself of the problem. It's part of me and I need to work with it, not against it.

I HAVE this problem and it isn't going away, no matter how impossible it is to understand, no matter how some "professional" or random person might think it can be quickly cured by CBT or exposure or "avoiding avoidance" (to coin a phrase perhaps) or "fighting it" or some other method.

(Incidentally, many people also think that these kinds of problems can be solved by blaming ourselves as much as possible and feeling as bad as possible about our mistakes and so on, which will somehow fix the problems. Please go away if you were thinking of suggesting something like this)
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Re: Maybe this is the way to go for me

Postby lilyfairy » Mon Mar 20, 2023 3:53 am

Not everything is fixable or treatable, and sometimes accepting it for what it is is all we can do about it. For years, I've had CBT thrown at me, and endless counsellors who couldn't look outside the box, telling me I just needed to try harder. A few years back I had a therapist suggest aspergers/autism as a diagnosis. It made a lot of sense- it explained a good portion of why my depression and anxiety have been largely untreatable, because they're a reaction to trying to function while overwhelmed by a lot of everyday stuff.

More recently I've been doing some trauma work. My trauma is complex and lots of small items triggering and triggered by lots of other small items rather than one big lightbulb moment. So the aim of working on trauma items has become a case of not expecting a "fix" but any reduction in flashbacks or symptoms is a win. My chronic fatigue syndrome would seem is a result of my brain and body being in absolute overload for far too long.

It has taken a long while for me to accept that I'll be dealing with this for the rest of my life. And even now, I still sometimes get uncomfortable with that idea and would rather reject it. I just have to learn to live with it within my limitations. And accepting doesn't mean I can't work towards goals or making improvements, it's just being realistic about what's possible.

floatingtree wrote:(Incidentally, many people also think that these kinds of problems can be solved by blaming ourselves as much as possible and feeling as bad as possible about our mistakes and so on, which will somehow fix the problems. Please go away if you were thinking of suggesting something like this)
My frustration is with people who want to make every suggestion under the sun for an illness they've never had to deal with and have zero understanding of. I swear if one more person wants to suggest yoga or a naturopath would be able to fix all this, I don't know if I can remain polite.

Something I have found helpful is seeking out others dealing with chronic illness online, where the attitude is "this is what my body either needs or cannot do today and I have to just accept/follow that". It's been very reassuring in a world of being told how my life should look.
First rule of mental health: Learn to distinguish who deserves an explanation, who deserves only one answer, and who deserves absolutely nothing.

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