Through my search of self-help techniques that I hope can help me through life and help me in overcoming a few of my mental problems I came across ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that very briefly introduced me to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and was instantly intrigued by it. (You can read my review of ‘The Anxiety journal’ HERE)
Despite my insistence on doing things on my own from now own, even I am aware I can’t do everything alone and there are times where I do/will need the help of others.
So firstly let’s explain briefly what CBT is
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy also known as CBT for short is a talking therapy that can help many people to manage and cope with their mental/physical problems through thought and behaviour. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has been known to be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
Due to this being a highly sought out remedy to those who suffer from anxiety and depression, I felt like this was something I needed to introduce to my life and give ago. Everything else I have attempted so far has only led to failure or has led to part failure but I’m not ready to give up, so why not try out CBT? It could be the very thing I’ve needed in my life all along.
Now that we know what CBT is, how does CBT work? Or more accurately, how is CBT meant to help you?
So, CBT is based on the concept that YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, YOUR physical sensations as well as actions are interconnected, and through that, negative thoughts and feelings can find a way to trap you in a vicious cycle.
CBT is aimed to help people to cope and deal with their overwhelming problems in a more light and positive way by breaking them down into much smaller parts. CBT helps open your eyes to show you how to change these negative patterns/cycles to help improve the way you feel.
Unlike other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current situation/problems, rather than focusing on all the issues of the past and looks for practical ways that can help improve your state of mind on a day to day basis. (I understand the need for opening up and letting the past out but I also understand that being able to move on from the past you have to stop giving into, stop talking about, thinking about and letting it into the present. For some people only opening that door again will they ever be able to close and lock it forever, but for others like me, I’ve already found the lock long ago and know unlocking and reopening doors will cause more damage than good to my mental state and wellbeing).
CBT isn’t just for those who suffer and want to overcome their anxiety and depression. CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a whole range of different mental health conditions as well as in addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT has and can help people with the following:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Eating disorders – such as bulimia and anorexia
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder)
- Panic disorder
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Sleep problems – such as insomnia
- Problems related to alcohol misuse
CBT has also been used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:
- IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
- CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome)
CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, CBT can help people cope better with their symptoms. Which sometimes it’s all you can hope for, is a little help in coping if you can’t rid yourself of whatever condition you have.
I hope this short explanation of CBT has helped explain what it is and maybe it’s even got you thinking, wondering if this is something that can help you…
As I stated at the top of this post, I have been trying to find as many self-help techniques that I possibly can but even I am aware that help is going to be needed somewhere down the line. you can’t do everything on your own, sometimes a little help is needed if you have any hope or chance of helping yourself.
Accepting help doesn’t make you weak. You’re stronger than most if you are able to seek or accept the help offered to you, most go through life trying to do it on their own in the hopes that no one sees their struggles and to me…that’s weak. It’s easy to hide and pretend, you need some steel hard balls come out of hiding, to accept what’s going on but to not accept that that’s how you are going to live out the rest of your life.
Not hiding your problems and instead choosing to fight them with everything you’ve got…now that’s brave.
I’ll be continuing this conversation on in a different post when I do an update on CBT and how it’s affected/helped me. I’ll be going into more detail about what ABT is, what it does and how exactly it’s meant to help as well as what to expect when attending CBT sessions with your therapist.