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Forums / Staying well / How do you do it?

Topic: How do you do it?

15 posts, 0 answered
  1. Not_Batman
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    13 October 2020

    Hello BB.

    i have been posting a little bit in the last week, and have read many helpful things.

    a lot of what i read is helpful to my situation, but also helps me to understand another perspective.

    anxiety and depression for me only comes from a few sources. Unfortunately they are essential, so learning to cope with the source was a must.
    sometimes i have to remove myself, sometimes i have to write in my journal.

    This got me thinking, What is a trigger for you, and how do you overcome it?

    Not_Batman

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Tay100
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    13 October 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Hi Not_Batman

    I'm glad to hear the forums have been helpful and insightful for you, and it's a great question you have asked.

    For me, a trigger can involve reading about a similar situation that I've experienced, or hearing that someone is going through a very niche thought pattern, pain or feeling I've experienced as well. To overcome the effects of this, I engage in consistent self-care every day- not just after when I feel I 'need it.' I make it a part of my routine, so that I always feel taken care of and healthy, ready to deal with these things when they happen. I hope that makes sense?

    Tay100

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  3. Not_Batman
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    13 October 2020 in reply to Tay100

    Hi Tay100

    its good to hear you do a daily self care routine. Is this different to doing some sort of hobby, down time, or exercise?

    Not_Batman

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  4. quirkywords
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    13 October 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Not Batman, a trigger for me only surfaces after I realise I am affected,

    I try to be aware and I go with the sadnesses . I don’t fight it. I don’t avoid triggers but I try to embrace them.

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  5. Not_Batman
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    1 November 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi all.

    Has anyone used the ‘white bear problem‘ before.

    this was a technique that i went through with my psych a couple of years ago to help overcome some intrusive thoughts.

    the problem that we face is that if you try to suppress some thought, rather than it going away, the thought only became stronger. Isnt it ironic, dont you think?!?

    actually, the reason i mention it being ironic is that this weekend i learned that its called ‘ironic processing”, and there is some good literature out there on the subject.

    When an intrusive or obsessive thought comes in, think of a distractor and focus on that. For example, polar bears.

    Other strategies include convincing your mind to set aside the thought in a ‘thought bank’ and come back to it later. Kind of like saying to yourself “ok this isnt important right now, i’ll think about it tomorrow”

    i found it interesting that you can trick the mind that is playing tricks on you.

    exposing yourself to the problem head on is also a strategy to overcome the thought, it you can thing about it in a way where you take charge, acknowledge the thought, take away the thoughts power.

    Have you got any interesting strategies?

    Not_Batmn

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  6. quirkywords
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    1 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Thanks not batman.

    I have tried the polar bears or pink elephants but then find i start overthinking them are they really white, is it one bear or a family, where do they live? are they cold. Not sure that is supposed to happen.

    I suppose it helps in the short term.

    In the long term I i try to address a thought as you say the more you try to ignore it the more you think about it.

    I like writing things down so I often will write down what I am overthinking about . Give myself a limit of time to write . I find as I have written it down I feel I have dealt with it. If i start ruminating again I recall I have written it down. Just a plan, a work in progress.

    Thanks for your post.

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  7. white knight
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    1 November 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi

    Apart from distraction I discovered something when on a get fit campaign. The mind says "nope, dont want to go for a walk today". But physically I go immediately for that walk.

    It explains it in the thread-

    Switching mindsets

    in search or google

    Beyondblue topic switching mindsets

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Blue's Clues
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    1 November 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi Not_Batman,

    You ask a great question, and I like the polar bear strategy. Personally, I have a lot of trouble with intrusive thoughts. Sometimes it's fairly easy to distract myself, other times it is damn near impossible. Like others here, I am triggered by hearing about similar situations to the one that kicked off my depression (an unbelievably common theme for songs and other media, unfortunately). Over time the sheer oversaturation of that sort of thing has desensitised me to some extent, but still names of people involved, or reminders of them might hit me.

    As you mentioned, avoiding a thought just doesn't work, and distraction alone often doesn't. I came across Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in more recent times, that included what was termed "the art of allowing". Facing the thought. Not necessarily tackling it in the immediate, but acknowledging its presence, and how it makes me feel. I'll often vocalise that - "Yes, I have been reminded of (*insert unpleasant memory here*), yes I feel rubbish," and I'll follow on from that with a decision about what to do with my time instead of ruminating on it. The ill feeling may remain and I will be aware of it, not fighting it, but generally I will soon become more involved in my chosen activity than the thought that was bothering me. It helps a lot.

    I've been slipping a bit with that technique lately, so thank you for the timely reminder.

    Blue.

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  9. Not_Batman
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    1 November 2020 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Thanks for the responses

    tonyWK, i stuck with the exercising thing for a solid 5 months earlier this year. People said it'll release your happy hormones, you’ll feel great. Well those happy hormones never set in. I guess the mindset thing never really changed for me, but im about to give it another go.

    blue, distraction works sometimes for me, i guess it depends on how strong the thought is.

    i went through the Acceptance & Commitment therapy, and found it quite a good strategy for the toolbox (and you can never have too many tools). I still practice it daily.

    before becoming ill, and having to wrestle with my mind, i didn't give any of these strategies a thought. Now that i have gone through the experience, and learned a lot, i find that applying the tools keeps me grounded (somewhat)

    still interested in other peoples experiences.

    Not_Batman

    2 people found this helpful
  10. white knight
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    1 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman
    Hi not Batman

    Ok, it isn't about exercise, it's about doing anything physical when your mind is saying otherwise.

    Sorry if that was misunderstood.

    TONYWK
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  11. Not_Batman
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    5 November 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi all.

    so i was in at mitre10 over the weekend just looking at paint, minding my own business, and all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere came the feelings of anxiety, which felt like it was going to manifest into a full blown panic attack.
    i knew what was About to happen because i haven't had that real strong Doom feeling for awhile since my last panic attack. Thankfully the feeling subsided afters few minutes, but i had to basically freeze and do a mental body scan. - i know where i am, im not hurt, im not in danger, im wearing clean underwear, so what is it?!?

    i got thinking afterwards why it happened. And for the life of me cant work out why. Never a bad experience painting, never a bad experience in M10...

    So what is my body trying to say?

    anybody have a similar experience? What did it turn out to be?

    Not_Batman

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Tay100
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    5 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Hi Not_Batman

    To answer your question (in a very late fashion!)- yes, self care is slightly different from regular hobbies/fun activities. Self-care is generally self-focused and helps you recharge your batteries in some way- especially emotionally, mentally or spiritually. It can involve peacefulness/mindfulness but can be more upbeat too. Give it a Google if you like or we can discuss what self-care might look like for you.

    Tay100

    1 person found this helpful
  13. ecomama
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    6 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman
    Not_Batman said:

    This got me thinking, What is a trigger for you, and how do you overcome it?

    Hi Not_Batman,

    Sorry I missed your thread... great replies.
    I enjoy reading your posts... the funny ones too.

    Yes by cMarch this year, it would've been easier to ask what DOESN'T trigger you?
    EVERYTHING triggered me & so many into full blown PTSD tumbling. It was relentless.
    Intrusive thoughts almost 24/7, vivid nightmares every night.

    Then I saw a new psych. This time one specialising in trauma.

    In answer to your question above... I'll put it in a different way than my psych did.
    "Visuals" help me alot. I hope they help you too!

    I DREW this for myself to start with...
    A TREE with branches coming out from the ground.
    I drew my tree laying down for reasons I can explain if needed...
    Tree starts at the left hand side & goes into thinner & more & more branches to the right.

    The place or person that triggered this event is on the top of the tree at the right hand side. (It's at the tip of one of the thin branches).

    I will take a real (past) trigger of mine being Bunnings.
    Trigger happened... so when I left, got home and calmed down I asked myself a series of questions... ending with last question WHO was it?

    Whenever I followed my trigger all the way back to the root cause, in my case, there was ALWAYS only 2 people. It took time and only when I was at home.

    I did this countless times, it was only ever those 2.
    I'll call them Z and X.

    Then after realising this I did my own exposure therapy (psych had taught me how).
    She thought I could handle doing it on my own bec she measured my "come down" rate after being triggered and it was acceptable to her.

    I hope that's clear - ish?

    When I dug and dug and DUG Deep, there was only Z & X.

    I knew Z & X were no longer in my life.

    But during the trigger when my mind seemed totally out of my control, affirming to myself "I'm safe" on repeat was a fast come down.

    I can get slightly "anxious" or even upset but zero "triggers" anywhere near the magnitude of the PTSD experiences I was having.... like 3% max now compared to them.

    But I took leave, covered LOTS of ground, literally going places I thought would trigger me.
    Once I got expert at "the tree" I just don't trigger. It just makes sense.

    I might trigger in the future but I have my tree lol.

    Dealing with intrusive thoughts was another part of the therapy.

    EM xxxx


    1 person found this helpful
  14. Not_Batman
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    6 November 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi EM.

    Thank you for the story. id like to know more about the tree.
    why on its side? Like a fallen tree?

    if i was to search the internet for literature, hat would i search for?

    Not_Batman

    1 person found this helpful
  15. ecomama
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    6 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    HI Not_Batman

    I need to write it first, then you can search it lol.

    It's "deep".

    It's my analogy of how I can visualise connections quickly.
    The faster I can identify the Source, the sooner I calm.

    It's a compilation of psych's work with me tied in with 'how I already am' / what I already knew.

    It's laying on it's side because, akin to what Tony WK said, I find a physical movement ie swinging my right arm from right to left (even imagining it) helps with connecting reaction to source.

    I'm into movement.

    But this movement helps me to detach from being "in it" and moreso being able to observe it all.
    You know the thing about humans being the only animals able to have thoughts about their thoughts.

    It aides clarity for me.

    I also didn't want the tree standing up bec the ppl who did such harm do not deserve the "height".

    With the "root cause" being Z or X as the base of the tree, they are dehumanised in a way which gives them alot less power over my thoughts. And "buried".

    Another main goal of mine was to be able to "file" the traumatic memories away in my mind in a 'filing system' lol and be able to call on THEM at Will instead of them thundering into my mind intrusively, without warning and me feeling very little control.

    In my first appt, my psych asked me to email her a thorough list of all the strategies I've used over my life time.

    It was 4 full typed pages long.
    In my 2nd session (from memory), she said more or less "that's no way to live"... she wanted to show me how to greatly diminish the triggers but my aim was to eradicate them, so my work went far beyond what she did with me.

    It was like I was using strategies as oxygen masks, when I remembered to use them and the one I chose might work for a minute or slightly more, instead of learning how to breathe.

    EMxxxx

    1 person found this helpful

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