DBT and Me

Over Christmas I had a game changer of a conversation with my Stepbrother the Psychiatrist which was a turning point for two reasons. The first being that I saw him in a new light as a passionate psychiatrist who really knows his stuff (not that I ever doubted that, I’d just not seen him ‘in action’ before) and the second was that it made me realise that I possess everything I need inside me to heal myself.

It came about because he saw a picture on my phone of a book I’d bought off the back of a change in my diagnosis. He started the conversation rather gingerly in asking if perhaps my diagnosis had been wrong and then we bonded over the fact that the two diagnoses that had been jumbled up were, in his opinion, commonly interchanged. I thought it would end there and we’d go up the wooden hills to Bedfordshire but actually we started talking in depth about some of my symptoms, side effects of my medication and also ways in which I was challenging the aspects of my disorder that I found troubling.

Due to my job I’m not in a position currently to have the three hours of Dialetical Behaviour Therapy and an hour with a therapist one on one that is the weekly treatment plan suggested. But the chat with my brother made me realise that I’m perfectly capable of researching DBT techniques alongside some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy bits and putting them in to practice without having to attend scheduled therapy. It may be a steep learning curve but it will be well worth it in the long run.

I started with what I like to think is the root of all my evils. There is a negative voice inside me that puts down everything I do, makes me falter and in some cases stops me moving forward in ways I’d like, keeping me hating myself from the inside out. So thanks to a great friend who introduced me to to a brilliantly idiot proof mind mapping app ‘Simple Mind’ I’m mapping my way out of the negative bullshit.

My way of starting to combat the negative voice.
My way of starting to combat the negative voice.

In addition to the negativity buster above, I’ve started to put together a mind map (you say it so much it just sounds like total jargon) of things I like about myself so that I can start to like myself and maybe one day even love myself. It’s pretty empty at the moment I’ll be honest but I know I’m a victim of my own head and so to get my thoughts out on paper rather than leaving them bouncing off the inside of my skull is leaving more room for positivity, focus and drive.

My secret project of awesomeness is coming along nicely thanks to this new focus and I’m really excited about some of the things going on that I can’t tell you about yet (I know, what a tease!) but the thing I’m loving the most is that I’m already using techniques such as mindfulness and meditation in my daily life. I’m embracing the positive, trying to see the good in everything and learning how to express myself as well as using deep breathing to deal with flashes of stress. Now I normally hate it when someone uses trite quotes to sum things up but I saw the two quotes below and they stood out to me so I thought I would share them with you.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” Harvey Fierstein

Don’t become a victim of yourself. Forget about the thief waiting in the alley; what about the thief in your mind?” Jim Rohn

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There are loads of really excellent websites about DBT and I’ve listed some of them below but if you know of any others feel free to leave me a comment or drop me an email.

http://www.my-borderline-personality-disorder.com – an excellent site I found recently, with first hand accounts of using DBT techniques and a great resources list.

http://www.emergenceplus.org.uk/ – recommended by my Stepbrother.

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2125 -Mindfulness Meditation tips

http://www.mind.org.uk/help/medical_and_alternative_care/dialectical_behaviour_therapy – an excellent resource for information about a range of mental health issues.

http://www.simpleapps.eu/simplemind/ – Mind mapping app. Free in the Apple store.

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