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Old 04-25-2009, 01:22 AM   #1
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Ironic Circumstances

Well sleep escapes me for now, so I write....Word for the day ironic...I have to start the DBT Group Therapy class for my severe self harm and BiPolar suicidal ideation/tendencies in approximately 9 days and I am terrified. My anxiety is through the roof....so I'm cutting daily. The ironic part being I'm going to the class to retrain my brain to learn not to cut and the thought of goign is making me cut all the time.

I can't do groups, being around strangers petrifies me, makes me feel unsafe, terrorized, anxious, panicked and in danger....all this stemming from trauma from when I was a child. I'm not sure I can do this...my pdoc says i can he's sure Im strong enough to do this, and he knows I have the will to get better, to learn how to handle my depression before it gets to the point of being suicidal. My tdoc says I can, and that she is possitive that my willpower to overcome the cutting behaviour will win. She believes that I can learn knew coping skills to handle my stress and fear and anger and all the jumbled up emotions that BP brings with it. She's sure that my desire to get beter will get me through the doors and past the initial fear of getting into the group setting. Why does everone know that I can do this except me??? When the class was months away I actually thought I could do it, i was convinced I could, that I'd be fine, we've been working on it for weeks and weeks....but now that it's days away....I don't know how to get through those doors and in that room with all those stangers... and then once I'm there, I'm the only self harmer, can I handle all the stares....god forbid any questions that would send me running from the room.

I've had panic attack after panic attack for the last week. If I don't keep my mind actively thinking about something else, then it slips back into "worry" mode about the "group" part. At times my heart beats so hard and loud in my chest I think it's going to beat right out. The anti-anxiety meds aren't helping, or if the are, I wouldn't want to know how bad I'd be on the other hand.

The thing is I want to do the DBT Therapy. I want to stop self harming, and I want to be able to handle my BiPolar Depression before it gets to the point of being suicidal. The work in itself doesn't bother or scare me, hard work never has, I thrive on it.....but just getting through those doors around all those strangers that part terrifies me. I'm just not sure I can do it.

kat

 
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:37 AM   #2
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Kat,

I know how you feel, but in a different way.

I have 7 different kinds of paranoia which cause me to feel paranoid in groups of 4 or more.

I attended 2 support groups (one is for people who have bipolar and the other is for people who have schizophrenia -- I don't have schizophrenia, but I do hear voices) a couple weeks ago and was terrified of going, but I bit the bullet and went anyways.

I attended my second group meeting earlier this week and it went much better than expected. I'm glad I took the chance and decided to give it a try.

I think you ought to do the same. You have nothing to lose. You may even be able to tackle your SH well enough to control it.

By the way, since DBT is widely used for people who SH or are Borderline, you may find that you are in good company and make a number of friends as a result.

I thought I'd be the only person in my bipolar group who rapid cycles, but I'm not. There is a woman who has BPII with rapid cycling. Her moods don't change as often as mine (hers change several times/week), but she still knows what it's like to feel manic and then severely depressed without warning.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 04-25-2009 at 02:44 AM.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 03:33 AM   #3
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Dreams,

I hear you, nd like I said I want todo the therapy itself. But the fear is paralizing to the point ofI don't know if I'll be able to get out of the car. When I was 4 or 5, mom took us to the prison to see my ex father, a fight broke out in the holding room and I was thrown into the middle, roughed up pretty good...I've never been able to go into groups of strangers since then. Even my best friend...she has a new years party every year, and I can't go becaue there are always a few people there that I don't know. I feel totally unsafe and physcially threatened around new people in small groups that I don't know. That's what got me out of my last IP stay, I wouldn't leave my room, couldn't attend a single group, so finally they let my pdoc take me out under his care, because that was the only way I was going to get any kind of therapeutical care at all. I wish I was braver than this, I hate feeling this way.

I see my pdoc on Wed. a.m., I'm going to ask him to up my buspar to the max 60mg and up my clonazapam for a while....see if it helps at all. Right now i'm on 45mg buspar and doing 3 .5mg clonazapam's a day and I'm still having panic attacks and anxiety non stop....I slept for a whole 2 hours last night from 1:30 until 3:15 and i"ve been up since, I had a nightmare about gong to that da** group. I'm just so tired of all of this.

I reallly want to do the DBT, that's no the issue, I know that there are 3 of my disorders that it can possibly help me with a great deal....but for me it's all about the "getting there". I know I sound like the world's biggest baby, but I don't know how to make anyone understand how I feel, how the thoughtof being in a small room with 12 strangers makes me feel...

kat

 
Old 04-25-2009, 04:13 AM   #4
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Kat,

How about having a friend go with you?
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 04-25-2009, 08:41 AM   #5
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams in neon View Post
Kat,

How about having a friend go with you?
I already asked about that, but it's not an "open" meeting. I guess kind of like AA, people wouldn't feel comfortable with everyone intown knowing why they were meeting. This isn't a support group it's a controlled therapy group..

 
Old 04-25-2009, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

This might sound odd, but I have a suggestion that has worked for me in the past. I used to have horrible anxiety around groups of people. So much so that I couldn't even walk into a store, a classroom, a restaurant, etc., without a virtual meltdown. It sounds like your biggest hurdle is going to be getting yourself out of your car and into the therapy location (I might be projecting here----this would be the hardest part for me at least). I've found that if I get places early, like if I can be the first one there, if I know that I am the only one that is going to be in that room for awhile, I can survey the environment, get comfortable with the setting, and decrease my anxiety that way. When people arrive, they usually don't come all en masse--but they enter the room 1 or 2 at a time. It's a lot easier to get myself to stay put in the room if I don't have to be the one entering into the group of people.

Do you think the therapist would allow you to do this? Or maybe he/she could meet you there 20 or 30 min. early if you explain the intensity of your fear.

I realize your anxiety is stemming from more than just walking into the room of people---that it will be tremendously difficult for you to let your guard down until you can establish for yourself that this group poses no real threat to you. But I really think that if you can just get yourself into the setting, you will be able to convince yourself that it is a safe, non-threatening, heeling environment, and you won't feel that intense urge to flee.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
I already asked about that, but it's not an "open" meeting. I guess kind of like AA, people wouldn't feel comfortable with everyone intown knowing why they were meeting. This isn't a support group it's a controlled therapy group..
I understand that it isn't a support group.

What about calling the leader of the group, letting them know about your anxiety and asking them approximately how many people will be in attendance as well as what the format of the group will be like? This would give you some idea of what to expect. This is what I did for both of my support groups. It helped relieve alot of my paranoia since I knew to expect "x" number of people without feeling overwhelmed.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 04-25-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Quote:
Originally Posted by FisforFozzy View Post
This might sound odd, but I have a suggestion that has worked for me in the past. I used to have horrible anxiety around groups of people. So much so that I couldn't even walk into a store, a classroom, a restaurant, etc., without a virtual meltdown. It sounds like your biggest hurdle is going to be getting yourself out of your car and into the therapy location (I might be projecting here----this would be the hardest part for me at least). I've found that if I get places early, like if I can be the first one there, if I know that I am the only one that is going to be in that room for awhile, I can survey the environment, get comfortable with the setting, and decrease my anxiety that way. When people arrive, they usually don't come all en masse--but they enter the room 1 or 2 at a time. It's a lot easier to get myself to stay put in the room if I don't have to be the one entering into the group of people.

Do you think the therapist would allow you to do this? Or maybe he/she could meet you there 20 or 30 min. early if you explain the intensity of your fear.

I realize your anxiety is stemming from more than just walking into the room of people---that it will be tremendously difficult for you to let your guard down until you can establish for yourself that this group poses no real threat to you. But I really think that if you can just get yourself into the setting, you will be able to convince yourself that it is a safe, non-threatening, heeling environment, and you won't feel that intense urge to flee.
Fozzy,

Thanks for your thoughts and words of encouragement, my current tdoc is working with the DBT tdoc on how to make this work. When I had my initial intake meeting with the DBT tdoc she showed me the room, showed me a corner chair that I can claim if I get there early, all the chairs are big comfy office chairs with wheels, so she said I can roll back into the corner if the "group" starts to close in on me, she told me exactly howmany people will be there (12), so I've gotten all the particulars...you nailed it on the head, it's just the logistics of talking myself into 1. driving there, which my mother in law will pick me up and take me and 2. getting out of the car and gong into the room, w/out having a major panic attack. All my tdoc did was mention it in Session on Wed. and I totallly lost it. So it's just something that I have to figue out how to do, hopefully the med increases that I'm going to ask my pdoc for willhelp and I'm going to see my tdoc twice between now and next Monday, so we'll work on it somemore. The other thing is the DBT tdoc is very hyper/manicky and her personality/mannerisms make me nevous, so that's something else to get used to. I tend to be on the defensive with people likethat, then I tense up and then get anxious, etc. and the circle begins.... I know that I have to and need to do this, it's just a matter of convincing myself that I can....and I'm not very good at that.

kat

 
Old 04-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Kat,

I'm sure that once you attend a session, you'll do fine.

I know how you feel about hyper people though. They make me very nervous as well -- not to mention manic.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 04-25-2009, 01:41 PM   #10
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Kat,

How about asking your tdoc for some relaxation and/or breathing techniques?
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 04-25-2009, 04:49 PM   #11
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

I took DBT at the state hospital and it didn't help me BECAUSE I don't have problems with cutting at all so I don't know why I was placed in that group in the first place. They eventually moved me into a cognitive group.

Anyway, I do think that it will be very helpful for you! Can you focus on that point right there? Just be mindful of the moment when you go and before. Focus on where you are, what you are sitting on, what color the walls are. Don't focus on the new people (who really wont be so scary after you get to know them).

I hope this helps. I know how bad anxiety can suck.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 07:33 PM   #12
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llama View Post
I took DBT at the state hospital and it didn't help me BECAUSE I don't have problems with cutting at all so I don't know why I was placed in that group in the first place. They eventually moved me into a cognitive group.

Anyway, I do think that it will be very helpful for you! Can you focus on that point right there? Just be mindful of the moment when you go and before. Focus on where you are, what you are sitting on, what color the walls are. Don't focus on the new people (who really wont be so scary after you get to know them).

I hope this helps. I know how bad anxiety can suck.
Thanks llama, I finally had to call my tdoc a little while ago, the panicky anxiety-ness was just too bad. Hopefully the rest of the night will be less eventfull with the techniques she helped me utilized over the phone, we'll see. When I get in the class I will definitely put the "here and now" ideals into place to keep me grounded so that I don't freak out too much. One good thing is you don't have to talk to each other, at all, so that works in my favor.

kat

 
Old 04-25-2009, 08:16 PM   #13
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

Well that's good that you don't have to talk to eachother! That should help you out!

 
Old 04-26-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: Ironic Circumstances

yeppers I plan on staying in my space, doing my work, and just keeping to myself...that's the plan, now all I have to do it execute it.

 
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