View Full Version : CBT is a Joke. Anxiety and Panic Attacks are still happening.


Twiggy
07-28-16, 11:42 PM
My Doctor and Psychologist says that CBT the only treatment that they are willing to do to help me.
I tried Atarax a month ago and that made my Panic Attacks even worse.

I don't even feel like I'm getting any real treatment.

CBT isn't helping me. My Panic Attacks and Anxiety are both still at full force.
Breathing exercises are something to laugh at when a Panic Attack happens.

peripatetic
07-29-16, 12:13 AM
i'm sorry you're struggling with this. i've dealt with panic/agorphobia/ocd and i personally have found some parts of cbt and exposure therapy more/less useful. i thought i'd reply since the breathing...like the four by fours and stuff...were always the least helpful for me in cbt for panic.

what i did find more helpful were the 3/2/1s... (three things i feel physically, three i see, three i hear...two things of each...one thing of each). those i found grounding. also, and i hated them, but the interroceptives i did find weakened the panic part of my panic attacks ...the urgency to react to them...over time...by desensitizing me to the elements of my panic attacks. i leave the house every day now and only take (at most) half the amount of benzodiazapenes i used to per month. it sucked going each week though.

again...sorry you're struggling. i hope that if you stick with it you find it's helpful. i did...but only after doing it for maybe up to six months? there were other tips i will recall as soon as i post this, but if you want more, i'll edit them in.

take care,
-peri

Twiggy
07-29-16, 03:31 PM
Getting treatment is like pulling teeth with the Doctor.
I don't understand why our medical system is willingly failing their patients.
I just would like some kind of solution whether it be by therapy and/or medication to actually help...even a little bit.

If a doctor suspects a patient of drug abuse then do a random drug test. I'm all for it.

I dislike how drug addicts are abusing the medical system.
It makes actual people with real mental health issues a joke to a doctor.

CBT with my therapist is like talking about all these silly situations and then telling me to relax and breathe. It's not even related to my anxiety. I keep telling them that.
It's been over a year with CBT and it hasn't helped.

Fortune
07-29-16, 04:07 PM
I found cbt helped a lot when I also had benzodiazepine prescriptions to put a stop to panic attacks as needed. Just having that ability broke up the pattern of anxiety and panic I developed.

Unfortunately, doctors are more reticent about prescribing those.

Twiggy
07-29-16, 05:56 PM
I found cbt helped a lot when I also had benzodiazepine prescriptions to put a stop to panic attacks as needed. Just having that ability broke up the pattern of anxiety and panic I developed.

Unfortunately, doctors are more reticent about prescribing those.

At first, my therapist actually told me to ask the Doctor about Benzos in order to help me as an emergency medication. And at least feel reassured to have that and know it's there.

My prescribing doctor said to me that those medications are way too addicting.

I now want to ask my doctor: Then why are they FDA approved?

Now my therapist flip flopped and said Therapy Only, no Benzos.

I don't even take a ADHD medication due to a heart condition.

The unending cycle of Anxiety and Panic Attacks are ruining my life.
I can't go to school because of it. I've had Panic Attacks in the middle of driving to college and had them in class too.

I've stopped going to college.

Fortune
07-29-16, 06:08 PM
I found benzos weren't very addicting for me. I was taking them 2-3 times a day for a month, and after that I only took them when I had a panic attack or was going to bed and that lasted a couple of months. After that I went off of them completely.

They're really great for stopping panic attacks and I am sorry your physician won't prescribe them.

peripatetic
07-29-16, 06:59 PM
I took Xanax PRN throughout most of my time doing CBT. It took months before I could try the interroceptives (google that word if you've not heard of them because that's a huge part of every session I've done. It happens at least once every meeting. Sometimes twice or two different ones) without it.

That's how you learn about and build anxiety tolerance and panic tolerance. It's like becoming desensitized to the way the symptoms feel and breaking the way our experiences reinforcer our minds to connect bare physical symptoms of a known response model--fight, flight, (freeze)--to whatever triggers "panic" in us. So you learn to tolerate feelings of chest tightness and breathlessness, disorientation and increased heart rare and sometimes sweatiness (that's what mine most strongly feature, but they can have all sorts of stuff) and I'm of the "must keep moving becomes compulsive so as to outrun the discomfort and pain of the fears and anxiety and consequences you're afraid of if you don't fix it (that's also me...there's a huge range of what it looks like)

Feeling anxiety sucks and there are physiological changes that are also painful or super distressing feeling. You do exercises in order to make yourself feel like you're having a panic attack, which makes you start to have an actual panic attack and you try to sit with those feelings and thoughts. And sit as long as you can handle that sensation and the rising panic. And you keep practicing/doing that to increase your tolerance of those sensations.

And it's safe because they're repeatedly shown to pass within some number of minutes. So if you can build your ability to sit with the physiological changes and detach them from the psychological correlates, you basically are taught to weather/withstand a full panic attack with coping techniques. But you have to soften them and reduce their numbers with medication (I did...maybe others are already of higher tolerance than I first was). If 10 is full on panic and inability to not fight flee freeze/fully intense and urgent) and 1-2 is hanging out anxiety free, you have to practice at feeling more like a 7-8, I think.

I couldn't last a full minute with the interroceptives before being unable to tolerate the strength snd unpleasantness feeling. It took me months to withstand it even with meds. But after a year I was able to just go once a month or so.

I think if you're doing the style of CBT mine was for comparable sounding issues) for a year you'd at least make some progress if they were a good match for you. A year is a long time to have zero change from doing CBT is the style and that approach is a good match for you.

***If I were you I would try a different person. Someone who will approach CBT differently.***

I'm sure there are lots of approaches. My person was great at the interroceotives but annoying/off putting on occasion (I did group sessions once to twice a week and then some days with homework). Can you switch providers to try someone else? It could take you a handful of people to find the best CBT style for you, but I've found it totally changed my life. Totally worth the effort and enduring it. Because it's unpleasant.

Twiggy
07-29-16, 11:41 PM
The thing is, I live in a place that has only one Doctors office for Mental Health in my particular area.

I can't see any other therapist or doctors office. I'm pretty much stuck.

It's a strange Catch-22 in a way and I have called my insurance to see another doctor and they said "Oh, you can only go this office because it's in your area."

peripatetic
07-30-16, 12:40 AM
The thing is, I live in a place that has only one Doctors office for Mental Health in my particular area.

I can't see any other therapist or doctors office. I'm pretty much stuck.

It's a strange Catch-22 in a way and I have called my insurance to see another doctor and they said "Oh, you can only go this office because it's in your area."

damn. that IS a conundrum.

hmm.... so, i know some things are available as online videos or ...guided meditations and workbooks for ACT and DBT and so forth. maybe there's something you can find online for CBT? i don't know as i've never looked... but there are handouts. i'm happy to scan mine and upload them in photos somewhere. i don't know that you can really do interroceptives solo. *may*be...?

that's super frustrating that they have so narrowly limited your options. maybe call and state your case and then keep calling until they find you a second opinion? don't you have the right to a second opinion? not...like, a constitutional right :p...but more like isn't that unethical to deny you one? though, i suppose lots of (what i would argue are) unethical practices are perfectly legal...

Twiggy
07-31-16, 12:12 AM
damn. that IS a conundrum.

hmm.... so, i know some things are available as online videos or ...guided meditations and workbooks for ACT and DBT and so forth. maybe there's something you can find online for CBT? i don't know as i've never looked... but there are handouts. i'm happy to scan mine and upload them in photos somewhere. i don't know that you can really do interroceptives solo. *may*be...?

that's super frustrating that they have so narrowly limited your options. maybe call and state your case and then keep calling until they find you a second opinion? don't you have the right to a second opinion? not...like, a constitutional right :p...but more like isn't that unethical to deny you one? though, i suppose lots of (what i would argue are) unethical practices are perfectly legal...

I would like to try your interroceptives. If you have any handouts I would love to try them out and hopefully get out of my Anxiety and Panic Attacks.

peripatetic
07-31-16, 12:49 AM
ok. I'll dig through my stuff and see what I still have.

In the meantime, i would start by googling "interoceptive exposure exercises for panic disorder"

you should also maybe google CBT interoceptive exposure and poke around. i'll look, too, to find something that i think is legitimate, but i'm sure there are obvious sites that would be accurate with basic definitions and theory.

i was in group long enough that i did all of them lots of times, because people's combinations of difficulties varied. you'll know what to focus on probably as they'll be the hardest. i would think you'd want to focus on the ones that mimic your physical symptoms of panic attacks. or anxiety. but i've only done them on my own as homework.

EDIT: here's something that looks solid http://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-6-32

_Rift_
07-31-16, 08:32 PM
Hey there, My suggestion is marked with numbers so you can skip to there if you'd like to avoid much reading. :)

I've had recurrent panic attacks for a while now they spiked a while ago after a Non epileptic seizure had me fearing everything. I have not received therapy but did try seroquel and found it helped me calm my mind but did not stop my panic attacks and only made my dissociation worse. After a long while I found a suggestion that accelerated my ability to walk through the physical symptoms. I won't lie and say Its a cure but in my novice opinion this method is the hardest yet most rewarding way to take leaps towards becoming content.


I'll also awknowledge that this may have also been suggested but it may be of use to another
But After months of severe anxiety I found the only way to make the panic attacks become lessened in intensity, shortened and hopefully become mute with time. basically I watched a video and the suggestion follows. When a panic attack happens,


1.Don't fight it, just accept it as emotion(even with physical symptoms) as all panic attacks happen to be is our body/mind acknowledging something inside that may or may not have been avoided.


2. once acknowledging it as emotion or just simple feelings created by adrenaline also accept that it can and will not kill you as it has not before.


If you get here then props because I didn't for a while, I ask that you do something contradictory to everything inside.


3. Knowing the attack is harmless and truly believing it now all you have to do is challenge it. Invite the attack to peak, if it has not killed you before then why will it now. ask the panic to surge through you like the wave it is. as it does continue(out loud if need be) to acknowledge the truth, that feelings do not kill but holding them back will only leave more for later.



essentially instead of holding back the tsunami let it wash over you and recede back to the depths. no one can hold back an ocean so letting it wash over you is the only option and fighting it only lengthens the weight at a bay.



4. Once it ends do something you enjoy and reward yourself no matter how far you get its any distance is a step.



This sounded crazy to me but in the end medications for me at least were temp and this allowed me to accept the attacks. Dont get me wrong I still get them alot but instead of being seized all the time its much easier to get up five minutes later feeling like I climbed a **** mountain and did so barley unscathed. I think its safe to guarantee anyone who does this will eventually find that either your symptoms are bearable or that they have subsided for the time being.

I guess the gist of it is that the only way to get over panic attacks(for me) was to invite that ***** in and let it do what it wants. In the end letting my body do what it wants while my mind held the wheel of metaphorical truth was all it took to take great steps into a more bearable stance on my panic attacks.

I hope things work out for you without many road blocks(bound to be some). Its a crappy thing to walk through but these type of forums help a lot. At first I was coming on here to rant about crap then saw your post and thought "hell I might as well post something that may help someone". With that said I hope this helped you as it helped me.

lisag519
08-09-16, 10:20 PM
Are you going to a doctor that specializes in CBT? When my son's dr told us about it, I didn't understand how it could possibly work. My son's anxiety was so bad that it was taking over his life. (He is 18) After 3 months of CBT, his anxiety and OCD were almost non-existent. Maybe you should try a different therapist?

Shoesalad
08-16-16, 04:09 PM
I feel the same way. First, it doesn't help. Imagining a staircase, or using voodoo breathing techniques never helps and recognizing the problem doesn't either. On top of it not helping, I tend to freak out right before I have to go to CBT. (I don't want to label the "freaking out" as anything due to my family being pretty secretive about what specific kind of anxiety I have.) but my breathing becomes even more shallow than usual, my eyes get wider, face becomes slightly pale and I struggle to talk at a normal level and annunciate, not to mention the feeling like there's a knot in my throat and painful stomach aches. It varies between anxiety causing situation to anxiety causing situation, but most often its most or all of these symptoms. With all of that in mind, I couldn't even justify going.

Sorry for the life story, I kind of got ahead of myself with all of that.

baical
08-25-16, 10:42 AM
Talk therapy isn't for me as well. I feel as if the institution were only trying to get their "mental health counselor/supervisor" on the payroll to keep everyone happy and paid. Any talk that she does with me is something I already know. She's more like a reminder or coach yet at the end of the day, I'm the one that still needs to execute whatever it is that needs to be done. Easy said than done sometimes. My meds are working when it wants to work, it varies on how the day goes as if the vibe of the day dictates the pace of how I would feel throughout the day. If the day is going well, the meds works along with it, if the day is going bad, the meds goes down along with it. It seems as if my internal attitude needs adjustment, then again the external environment (i.e. toxic people, etc.) dictates how my INTERNAL attitude responds to the toxic stimulus in the "real world".

I COULD JUST SAY **** THE WORLD AND HOPE THINGS WILL BE FINE.

Sometimes less "talk therapy" is more ideal.

If I wasn't inhibited or self conscious I think that would help. The fact that I'm not naive, could be the problem. Then again if I was uninhibited, toxic people would only be drawn to my uninhibitedness (i.e. open-ness, friendly gesture, etc.) so that they can watch me "fall from grace" to their satisfaction (people want to see people fail, etc.).

sarahsweets
08-25-16, 02:07 PM
Talk therapy isn't for me as well. I feel as if the institution were only trying to get their "mental health counselor/supervisor" on the payroll to keep everyone happy and paid. Any talk that she does with me is something I already know. She's more like a reminder or coach yet at the end of the day, I'm the one that still needs to execute whatever it is that needs to be done.
Its a shame you feel this way. A good therapist is supposed to help you to make changes yourself. A good therapist would be able to help you see things that you didnt already know. I understand the cynic in you wants to think its all about the money but therapists dont make as much money as you think they do. Insurance reimbursement for therapy isnt very good either.


It seems as if my internal attitude needs adjustment, then again the external environment (i.e. toxic people, etc.) dictates how my INTERNAL attitude responds to the toxic stimulus in the "real world".

No one can make you feel anything unless you let them. One of the hardest things I had to learn was that the only way toxic people could affect me was if I let them- if I allow myself to be around them, I am bound to have issues with them. I dont want to hear what toxic people say or think- easiest way to avoid that is to not deal with them on any level.


If I wasn't inhibited or self conscious I think that would help. The fact that I'm not naive, could be the problem. Then again if I was uninhibited, toxic people would only be drawn to my uninhibitedness (i.e. open-ness, friendly gesture, etc.) so that they can watch me "fall from grace" to their satisfaction (people want to see people fail, etc.).

I am sorry you see things this way. I do not believe most people want to see other people fail. IME more people have wished good things for me. I dont think toxic people would be drawn to your open-ness- toxic people are drawn to victims that they think they can manipulate and control.

baical
08-31-16, 04:16 AM
Experiences vary. What a therapist do is nothing more than affirmations to me. I already know the stuff we talk about and know the possible solution (easy said than done!). A therapist is nothing more than a person that reminds you things you already know (since therapist would have to know things going on with the patient therefore suggesting a solution).

I never said therapists make money. There was one mental health counselor who stopped doing his job because he said there was no money in it and started driving a bus! That's saying something. These are nothing more than certification courses and they hope they get a job quick (they don't care about you individually).

I never asked to be in "gossip therapy" yet my psychiatrist threw me in there to lessen her burden. Plus, the director of the "mental health clinic" would definitely want to spread the wealth to every employees there by throwing me in to "gossip therapy" so they can bill my insurance just because no one ever shows up there! :giggle:

They wanted me to do it weekly, I said no. Then bi-weekly was still a waste of time.

The cynic in me is because of my environment. Ever read the latest findings regarding mental health problems are due to their environment? It is our experiences that dictate how we become. It may not affect you that quick but the longer you stay around such toxic environment with toxic people, it will creep up on you, which is why you are moody!

Regarding toxic people; "if you let them affect you" is a cliche. When you say more people wished good things for you, it's because good things aren't happening to you I'd assume, therefore, they pity you! Validation: if good things were happening to you, why would anyone have to "wish good things for you"? It's also a cliche when one wishes good things for them, it's like saying "good luck". Do you rely on luck then? They know you're going to fail because they want you to fail which is why they had to "wish" things for you! To solve problem; do not rub your upcoming "luck" on people's faces as they want to see you fall from grace! Unless you're the narcissistic type who wants all the attention (negative and positive) in the world! So once you fail, you want to be pitied, but when you succeed you want to be admired/envied. These are true human emotions/behaviors. It exist!

"Open-ness" can come across as being too nice or naive which opens doors to being manipulated and controlled! One's "open-ness" can invite these demons in! Ask Elizabeth "Smart". Look into Stockholm Syndrome!

P.S. I just diagnosed you with Stockholm syndrome based on your rebuttals! :giggle:

Its a shame you feel this way. A good therapist is supposed to help you to make changes yourself. A good therapist would be able to help you see things that you didnt already know. I understand the cynic in you wants to think its all about the money but therapists dont make as much money as you think they do. Insurance reimbursement for therapy isnt very good either.



No one can make you feel anything unless you let them. One of the hardest things I had to learn was that the only way toxic people could affect me was if I let them- if I allow myself to be around them, I am bound to have issues with them. I dont want to hear what toxic people say or think- easiest way to avoid that is to not deal with them on any level.




I am sorry you see things this way. I do not believe most people want to see other people fail. IME more people have wished good things for me. I dont think toxic people would be drawn to your open-ness- toxic people are drawn to victims that they think they can manipulate and control.

baical
08-31-16, 04:35 AM
Were your meds for ADHD not working at all? I think the confidence level the amphetamine gave me lessened my anxiety and haven't had panic attacks in a while, really.

Regarding mitral valve prolapse; I was diagnosed with it over 10 years ago at around the same time my panic attack and anxiety disorder started. Mitral valve prolapse is linked with these disorders. Look it up! Although my new cardiologist told me I'm not showing any mitral valve prolapse now and have told me that diagnosis was popular about 10 years ago! It may have repaired itself since the heart is known to repair itself! It could also be due to my magnesium supplementation for several years now that mitral valve prolapse isn't showing at all through my EKG and echocardiogram. Mitral Valve Prolapse was said to be a magnesium deficiency. Go figure! Take my word for it, look it up, do your research and praise me later! :cool:

My Doctor and Psychologist says that CBT the only treatment that they are willing to do to help me.
I tried Atarax a month ago and that made my Panic Attacks even worse.

I don't even feel like I'm getting any real treatment.

CBT isn't helping me. My Panic Attacks and Anxiety are both still at full force.
Breathing exercises are something to laugh at when a Panic Attack happens.