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Dbt..wisdom of Buhda or bullshit?


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I'm in a bad mood, so maybe that's why I'm being skeptical. I was at first excited to be starting dbt bcuz my pdoc believes I am not a hopeless bpd'er and he really believes I can function normally with a dbt program. That made me want to live again. But my anxiety lately is terrible. Making me want to rip my hair out or cut myself, drink alcohol, go inpatient or something! I feel like I can't handle the pressure. I won't go into it here, but I am going thru a lot of stressors lately which is triggering this.

I called my dbt therapist and he was like "I sympathize w you, go do the dishes mindfully." WTF?!

Back to my point..

I feel discouraged now that dbt won't work. Dbt is my ONLY hope. Plz tell me how exactly it helped you. Give me some hope and encouragement.

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If you see the buddha on the road - kill him!

Seriously, it is normal to feel that way about DBT. Most of us with BPD are in a hell no one can relate to. I spent years trying to get people to see how bad I felt, I had been invalidated my whole childhood. When I got into DBT, it seemed like my tdoc didn't give a shit, I was supposed to try skills, not dive into my pain or prove how bad it is.

People with BPD don't seek attention as much as they crave validation. A tdoc who gets it. I found DBT gave me a fire escape door out of hell. But at first, it felt stupid, simplistic, insulting. I hated it at first.

Give it a chance. The dishes my have something to teach you, grasshopper :-)

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I've found dtb really useful, mindfulness is great but you have to practice it regularly (every day) for the largest benefit. It can become an effective subconcious way of dealing with stressors and life in general.

I understand that it's effectiveness will vary from person to person but give it a go, stock at it and keep an open mind and see what happens.

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DBT is a pain in the ass especially at first. I really hated it for months, and at the start of every new module, I find a new well of resentment and it takes me a few weeks to get into the groove.

But I have found that the skills do help - I have done distress tolerance and mindfulness so far and while some of it is not useful to me (and I just discard that stuff) a lot of it is very useful. My DBT therapist says that you have to try as much as you can, find what works, and leave the rest. No one thing or another will work for everyone. But it is very worth it. I'm not all better but it has helped significantly.

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  • 3 weeks later...

DBT is a pain in the ass especially at first. I really hated it for months, and at the start of every new module, I find a new well of resentment and it takes me a few weeks to get into the groove.

But I have found that the skills do help - I have done distress tolerance and mindfulness so far and while some of it is not useful to me (and I just discard that stuff) a lot of it is very useful. My DBT therapist says that you have to try as much as you can, find what works, and leave the rest. No one thing or another will work for everyone. But it is very worth it. I'm not all better but it has helped significantly.

Thanks. That's helpful. I've just started -- the online Yahoo group, and a lot of reading.

I seem to find I feel the same way -- resentment sums it up pretty well. Not completely sure where it's coming from...but helps a bit to think it's not just me.

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I am not BPD, but have c-PTSD which share a lot of symptoms.

My feeling about CBT and DBT used to be that I am not an animal, and I don't need a behaviorist. That comes from a huge bias toward talk psychotherapy, which is what I had always used and everyone around me used throughout my life, and what I had studied. I literally told one pdoc once that DBT was for people too stupid and lacking in insight for psychotherapy.

All of that said, I did a lot of DBT in partial hospitalization. We talk a lot about it in weekly Bipolar Group. And we did a lot of it in my 12 week trauma class. Sometimes, I am able to use the skills and it helps. Othertimes, there is no fucking way it's going to get me unglued from the ceiling.

DBT is ONE set of coping skills to put in your toolbox. It is not always going to be the thing that works. I have a posted emergency plan that lists ALL of my tools (destimming in a lycra body sock, petting the cat, meditative breathing, mindfulness, surfing the emotion, reading my thankfulness journal, writing on myself with a pen instead of cutting, praying, taking my rescue meds, calling x, y and z friends, etc. all the way to calling a, b and c clinicians who treat me, to going to the ER). I have this list because, in the moment, I can't remember my tool set. Or that anything has ever worked before.

So if one thing works, great! If not, it's on to the next. DBT is not always going to work or be the answer. And, sometimes it may feel insulting when you really feel the need to be heard. It's not meant to cure the problem or even validate the emotion, but to help distract you from the intensity until you can cope in a healthier way.

In my psych program, the DBT class is a YEAR long. You have to apply and be recommended for it, because it's a lot of work and they don't want people dropping out. I haven't taken it, but my bipolar therapist teaches it. She says that sometimes, even she doesn't get it and she has to DBT the DBT stuff, lol. I think it's kind of like drinking the Kool-aid, you know? Like the 12 step programs. They seem too simple, so small compared to how HUGE our emotions and pain are. But they are skills that can work at times, even if they don't always work, and the more you practice them, the better they work.

Good luck!

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I am not BPD, but have c-PTSD which they are talking about collapsing together in DSM-V because the symtpoms are so similar.

As a matter of interest, where are you getting that? As far as I know, cPTSD will not appear in any form in the DSM5 and there is strong opposition to re-framing BPD as a trauma-related disorder due to the significant minority of patients with BPD who have not experienced significant trauma.

I think the idea has been floated but I don't think it's a serious possibility.

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The DSM 5 website (dsm5.org). It contains all the proposed changes - I have been following it for at least 2 years, and there has never been anything resembling Complex PTSD or DESNOS proposed that I have seen. If you look at the proposed changes to Axis 2, there has been no proposal to move BPD from Axis 2, rename it, or collapse it with a trauma-related disorder. It has been talked about by various people, but not actually proposed for the 5.

Personally I am sad that complex PTSD was not included - I had some hope that it would be, because there are definitely strong proponents of it and evidence behind it, that is not in contention. But it has not actually been proposed by the DSM 5 working group as far as I know.

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Interesting. So the talk was just talk, then. Thanks so much for sharing. I will start following along, as research is my strong point. Once I aim at a subject, I can't get enough of it.

ETA: I edited my first post so as not to confuse anyone. :)

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So if one thing works, great! If not, it's on to the next. DBT is not always going to work or be the answer. And, sometimes it may feel insulting when you really feel the need to be heard. It's not meant to cure the problem or even validate the emotion, but to help distract you from the intensity until you can cope in a healthier way.

Thanks very much, I sincerely appreciate the post. There are several things you mention that are helpful, but your observation about being heard is particularly on the mark. I'm struggling right now with a situation where someone did something that was extremely traumatic to me. I'm extremely angry -- with justification -- and I don't have any way for that anger to be heard. So it spirals. I'll try to look to dbt as a way of defusing the spiral until I can come to terms with the anger or find a way to be heard.

Thanks.

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