Our partner

Has anyone improved with therapy?

Reactive Attachment Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby sadegirl » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:09 pm

Hi everyone! I'm new to this particular forum, and believe I have avoident dismissive reactive disorder, with a very small portion of fearful avoident.
I haven't had therapy for this problem specifically but plan to... But I'm wondering if there's much hope...? I'm so out of touch with my emotions that I feel like I have to pretend to love somebody, or sometimes feel like I should force myself to stay in a relationship to get over my problem. But sooner than later, I get an overpowering need for independence, and anxiety (I'm not usually a very anxious person but intimacy and being in a relationship affect me, because i can't connect on an emotional level. When i was a kid I suppressed my feelings to stop feeling pain and be strong, and now I don't know where they are...
So is there hope for actually feeling emotions again? Or is there only hope in modifying behavior with others, and continuing pretending?
sadegirl
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:36 pm
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:59 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby pistils » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:31 am

sade-

You and I have different conditions, so forgive me if I make irrelevant observations. But some of what you say resonates, so I'd like to respond.

and being in a relationship affect me, because i can't connect on an emotional level. When i was a kid I suppressed my feelings to stop feeling pain and be strong, and now I don't know where they are...

I learned when I was young to mask my pain, and doing so does affect one's ability to relate, My therapist and I have spent a fair amount of time addressing that issue. In my case, I am convinced that "minor" sexual abuse as a little girl contributed to that (I say "minor" because it was so much less than what some others here have experienced, not because it's effect on me was small).

Unlike you, I don't have a problem feeling emotions, but I do have difficulty sharing them, particularly with men. Nevertheless, I would strongly encourage you to seek therapy. Do not expect a panacea, but, at least in my own case, I'm sure that therapy has enabled me to cope better with both my own ups and downs. And I highly recommend considering multiple therapists, to help find one who is right for you. And if at all possible, avoid shrinks, who only want to medicate.
pistils
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:06 pm
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:59 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby sadegirl » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:39 am

Hey Pistils! Thanks for your reply! I'm glad to hear you have found therapy helpful!
One of my problems is that I am not honest about my feelings.. And so in therapy I talked about my NPD mom instead of my feelings because I feel that if I'm truthful about not feeling people will dislike me, so I lie.. I wonder if someone who readily feels emotions could like someone who doesn't, or if I should even care if my future therapist likes me.. What type of RAD do you have?
sadegirl
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:36 pm
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:59 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby TiaFierra » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:21 pm

I'm avoidant as well.
I don't trust anyone to do a better job than me. "You wan't me to pay a psychiatrist how much to help me? If they were any good they would be off doing studies and writing books not sitting down with people for money." I don't trust their qualifications, don't trust their use of time.. none of it.

I came from a rough background, with a mother who was also avoidant, much worse than I. I've spent my lifetime overcoming the problems my upbrining with her has given me, and upon finding this "Pièce de résistance" I feel like I've finally found something that fits, and makes sense. Unfortunatley there isn't much study in this for adults... and worse the only focus is on psychopaths, making it very hard to talk to others about it!

I started addressing the issue head-on on my own - like i've done everything. LOL I think we're more equipped to face this than we think. ;)

My grandpa always told me there is a difference between an excuse and a reason and always told me to identify what it is I'm saying before I say it. Armed with this new problem I'm answering a lot of things differently now.
I think "I am not honest about my feelings" is an excuse, not a reason. You can fix that, you CAN be honest, but will you?

I'm lucky to have a man who is supportive and strong. He's held on tight to this relationship when I've discarded it many times both vocally and in my mind. Before I even knew I was the problem. But looking in the past I'd taken many good men and discarded them, or pushed them away, and have pushed them to do things that I turned around and left them over. Their actions were the excuse, but my inability to attach is the reason.

As much as he's held on I'm convinced the second I return love back, that he'll leave. I feel like the second I cave to his and his families pressure to get married... he's going to cheat, or back out. I'm convinced that men only like the chase, not the commitment. While I can hold my breath and for a few minutes "marry him" in my mind... The second I exhale I'm saying "I told you so" as myself in the future. I find myself agreeing to an engagement if it's only a religious ceremony, not a legal thing, I'm not religious so who cares right?

Anyway, whats helped me a lot is to push myself, let go of control, and rationalize, rationalize. rationalize. I let him take the lead and if things aren't done right I rationalize how much it really mattered in the first place, realizing giving up control meant more to him, and us, than whatever the importance of the task was. I also deleted my auto-text response "I love you too" and started spelling it out every time, lmao, gosh I'm an awful person... We'll get through this... I really do think being honest with yourself every step of the way is key.
TiaFierra
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:49 pm
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:59 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby Mount007 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:06 pm

Hello Sadegirl,

Wow, I recognize myself in so much of what you wrote.
I have been diagnosed with RAD about a year ago. I have taken a Mindfulness course and I've had regular psychotherapy (so not specific to RAD) and as to your question: Yes! Thankfully you can improve and there is no need to just resort to modifying behavior and pretending.

Most of my life I've lived adapting to other people and as a result I've pushed away everything that was *me*. My emotions, wishes, dreams, needs, etc. I would feel shallow emotions, but lately I've found out that those shallow emotions are just masks that keep me from dealing with the deep and heavy emotions underneath: misunderstanding, rejection, unwantedness, feeling unsafe, feeling that I don't really have a right to walk on this earth if I am not perfect. I SO understand what you're saying about being afraid of being honest about your emotions. All due respect to TiaFierra, but I disagree with her about "I can't be honest being an excuse".
RAD is a disorder that often leads you to fight against either yourself or the world around you. Reading your story makes me think that both of us tend to fight against ourselves. Because of the RAD I believed that I was worthless, unwanted and unloved if I'm just the way I am, and that the best solution is to "become someone else". I fought against myself, pushing away everything that was *me* and forcing myself into the mold of everyone I came into contact with just so I could be liked.
Forcing yourself to be someone you're not is not the solution.
For instance: I used to lie a lot so people wouldn't see "my true horrible real self" (as I saw myself). I hated the lies, and hated myself because of the lies. I tried to tell myself to stop telling lies, but because I was so scared of people disliking me I couldn't help myself and would hate myself even more. However: now that I can accept that I have a social problem, I can protect myself in other, healthier ways and the need to tell lies is gone.

Instead of forcing yourself to become different (and actually worsen your frustration!), I think you should find a therapist that can help you get to the root of your problem. That can help you get in contact with your emotions and help you deal with them instead of going back into your automatic respons of "supressing".
Someone that can also teach you to recognize and acknowledge your emotions and teach you to gently tend to them. As you are learning to accept who you are (incl RAD) and effective support yourself, there is no need to force yourself anymore. Instead of forcing yourself to stay in a relationship you can learn to think this way: "how can I support myself so I can feel safe in this relationship again?" or "Can I allow myself room to grow?".
To a degree symtoms will fall away, or become less frustrating, as you learn to accept who you are and be patient towards yourself.

That's what I learned from therapy and it lifted a huge burden off of my shoulders. I am much more at peace with myself, much happier and much better equipped to deal with things that come my way.
My RAD isn't gone. Relationships will probably always be more difficult for me than for most people, but I don't need to pretend or push myself anymore. I can accept myself and look for useful and healthy solutions. It's a HUGE relief.

About your fear of not being honest to a therapist: I was very afraid of telling her my deep emotions (which is normal with RAD), but I learned to not expect myself to perfect immediately. Trust is a thing that grows and needs time. So, entrust your therapist with small things first and slowly stretch that a little as you gain a little more trust.
I never told my therapist everything and I didn't need to. Yet she helped me grow tremendously.
A good therapist should know that trust needs to grow, and respect your choices regarding what you are and aren't comfortable saying. But like I said earlier: Don't force yourself to "just do it", that's just gonna make it worse. Be patient with yourself.

Oh and: I would definitely advice mindfulness btw! It helps you to get into contact with yourself again and worked wonders for me. I discovered parts of myself that never even new existed!
Just be sure to find someone that doesn't give mindfulness with a very religious background, but one with more of a medical background.
And combine it with other therapy. In my experience mindfulness can bring up many emotions and it seems that you (like me) have one automatic respond: supression. So also find a place where you can learn to deal with the emotions that you might discover during the sessions, otherwise you might just flip back-and-forth between "finding emotions" and "supressing".

I'm sorry it's such a long post. I don't know how I explain what I've learned in a short post ;-)
I hope this is helpful though
Mount007
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:30 am
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:59 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby SBBro » Tue May 06, 2014 5:14 pm

TiaFierra wrote:I don't trust anyone to do a better job than me. "You wan't me to pay a psychiatrist how much to help me? If they were any good they would be off doing studies and writing books not sitting down with people for money." I don't trust their qualifications, don't trust their use of time.. none of it.


Find one who is a professor who does studies and writes books, like my old psychologist.
2012 "just anxiety"
2013 inpatient 'suicidality, MDD etc
2014 "youve been diagnosed with everything under the sun"
BPD
Current meds: Zoloft 25mg
SBBro
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:58 pm
Local time: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:59 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Has anyone improved with therapy?

Postby Nambo » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 pm

Firstly, I was given therapy after my RAD diagnosis, this consisted of a few months of a girl who could only say, "tell me whats on your mind", nothing else, not sure how this sort of therapy was supposed to help, I would say though it gave me the opportunity to tell myself the hopelessness of my situation.

Now Sadegirl, are you sure you don't experience emotions or is it maybe you don't experience emotions with the one you are with?

In my experience I don't feel enough emotion to counterbalance the desire to be free of them, but once or twice in my life I have met a girl who my Love for exceeds the destructive craving of my RAD, maybe you just haven't found a person yet for whom your Love for them is strong enough to overcome your desire to escape from them?
Nambo
Consumer 1
Consumer 1
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:09 pm
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:59 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Reactive Attachment Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests