Anxiety and CBT

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I’m absolutely tired out but I wanted to write a post, so forgive me if it’s even more haphazard and depressing than usual. I got up early to get the two buses I needed to arrive at my CBT appointment first thing this morning. After meeting the therapist last time and my relatively good week I was in quite a positive mood but she then explained to me that having spoken with her manager and the crisis team at Lincoln, they found out I have been referred for CBT there instead and so I can’t see her any more 😦

After I bared my darkest fears and thoughts, I’ve yet again been shunted along to someone else. It seems that every time I have any form of appointment I have to start explaining things from scratch and by the time any kind of connection is made I’m moved on. In one year I had 4 different GPs at home and one at uni, seen 4 different psychiatrists and 6 different crisis team people. It’s beginning to get rather tiring and disheartening.

Later on I started feeling incredibly anxious, not in an obvious shaky-hands way like when I’m forced into a dreaded social situation but it was bubbling beneath the surface. I felt like I had to keep moving, keep thinking and acting quickly. If you know the feeling you get when you know that you have to leave the house or you will miss a train or whatever but you can’t find your keys, it was like that. I’ve managed to calm myself a bit now, feeling the venlafaxine withdrawals kicking in though as it’s more than 24 hours since my last dose. It’s an odd sensation, your brain craving serotonin or whatever it is.

Had a meeting with the psych last Friday and managed to convince him to slow the withdrawal down a bit so I’m on 150mg for another week at least. He wants me to move down to 75mg after that if I can, but I don’t know if I can do it. At least he didn’t talk to me about sex this time. One thing he did say was “It sounds like this crisis you were in is over” and I understand what he means but I don’t think it explains the whole picture.

Like most things, it is not a black or white situation. I may have felt in an acute crisis at that time but not now, but that doesn’t mean everything is fine. I should throw the pills away but I can’t. I still want to buy more, more components of a lethal cocktail.

No medication can change my situation, the psychologist who I could’ve had for CBT said that today and I can’t agree more. When the possibility of me going back there after I finish university was mentioned, it dawned on me that I may be like this forever. Of course I have thought that many times, but no-one has ever said it to me implicitly like that before. I don’t want to think about being 30 or 40 and still having the social capabilities of a child. That fear will always be there in my mind and that is what keeps me planning my escape.

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11 thoughts on “Anxiety and CBT

  1. hey Nick

    sorry to hear it didnt go as well as last time. hopefully things will start to look up again as this obstacle doesnt negate the progress uve been making.

    keep strong and do ur best to remain positive 🙂

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  2. Ruby Tuesday

    Sorry for being a bit absent here this week; my head is in a bit of a mess.

    I know that the CBT move is soo frustrating, but it’s not a reflection on you – just the system. That doesn’t make it less frustrating, but please don’t blame yourself. Did they say how long it would take for you to be able to see someone at uni?

    take care xx

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  3. No need to apologise Ruby! I hope you are feeling a bit better. Nope I don’t know how long it’s going to be. Seeing crisis team on Monday, maybe they’ll know… I sure as hell don’t know what’s going on.

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  4. Hey, that’s really annoying that you got switched to a different person for your CBT, I know I find that really difficult when you have to open yourself up to yet another person, so it must be really hard for you, just do your best to be as open and honest as you can I guess.
    Do any of your doctors know that you have all those pills? Please don’t buy anymore! Stay strong ok?

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  5. Ben

    Sorry, posted that too early.
    Hi Nick, I stumbled upon your blog when I was looking up social phobia stuff, as I have experienced social phobia and still do.
    It’s good that you are communicating with people about what you’re going through. I know how hard it is to bare your soul, even if it is to faceless people on the internet. It can make you feel humiliated with yourself for admitting weakness, especially as men in particular are expected to show strength (and want to). However in a weakened condition it is right to face up to your reality, and it is brave in itself to be doing something that is so difficult. The thing now is to build up your strength. Yes, that sounds obvious, but what is not quite so obvious is how easy it is to lose sight of this fact: Learning how to do something takes time and can only be done in small chunks. This also applies to developing social skills and confidence. Also, there is no substitute for experience, and if you want to become better at talking to people you have to talk to people more.

    I think, there are many things you can do to work towards erasing social anxiety. These range from small details that will give you a modicum more confidence, such as brushing your teeth in the morning rather than not, all the way to approaching a girl you fancy on a crowded bus and asking her out. Obviously doing the latter is inconceivable for you (and me the vast majority of other guys) but the point is there is a spectrum of steps to take and the more you take the more confidence you’ll have. Some things are guaranteed to make you feel better. For example, cleaning your flat from top to bottom can be immensely satisfying, or splashing out on a top that looks really great, or going for an hour-long jog. This kind of small thing can really lift your mood, and is easy to do. And when your mood is lifted, and you go outside, it is so much easier to raise a smile or contribute in a conversation.

    That’s what it’s all about, it sometimes seems – those confident ones are so happy all the time, they don’t know how lucky they are and easy they’ve got it.

    It’s the introspective (and far more fascinating) ones like us that have to fight everyday, and each time we go out we’re doing a far bigger and more impressive thing.

    Stay busy

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  6. I will have a while to wait before I have to deal with it, at least.

    Nope no dr knows about them. I don’t want to jeopardize my chances of getting the meds I need, it already took an age to get a weeks worth of sleeping pills legitimately.

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  7. B

    Good luck Nick, I also struggle with social phobia and paranoia in general. It is horrible to be that person at a party who never says anything and struggles to find someone to speak to.
    I find, I have very little to say in general because I DO very little, at weekends and stuff. But it’s very difficult to find things to do as my friends are few and far between, and unfortunately my paranoia tends to push them away.
    But I still think there’s a way back. Small steps. Learning social skills is like learning anything, it’s got to be done slowly but surely, in small chunks. Also, there really is no substitute for experience. If you want to get better at talking to people, you have to talk to people. “It’ll get easier the more you do it” – that is a cliche and actually that is rubbish half the time. If you speak to people when you hate every word that comes out of your mouth, it will just get harder. The trick is to be confident in thought and speech, I think.

    Yeah I know, easier said than done. Still, there are things you can do to boost your mood, such as exercise, going for a run or something. That can put you on a high, and then raising a smile and interacting with others is much, MUCH easier.

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