Video on Therapy for Social Anxiety

This is someone who I have posted a video of before. Most of her videos are very good and of professional quality. They are also highly accurate as she has suffered social anxiety herself. Of course being young and attractive means she gets 500 times more views than someone who is old and ugly but never mind if it brings awareness of social anxiety into the mainstream and helps others.

This video is about therapy. She says that you might have to shop around to find the best therapist. This is a common theme and many people who claim therapy has helped a lot often had to go through several to get one that actually helped. Of course in the UK that’s a problem as if you go via the NHS then you get anyone and after a 3-6 month waiting list and also many NHS therapists are absolutely shit, almost abusive if you read the stories from people on UK anxiety forums. Someone who had a bad time with their therapist was told on going back to her GP that there is nothing else! You don’t get to pick and choose on the NHS.

If you go private you then have to pay something like £50 per session at least which is way out of the price range of many unemployed people who need it the most. In fact £50 would pay for my food budget for 3 weeks. I think she says somewhere else that she has been going to therapy for quite a while, it may be a year. On the NHS most people only get 12 sessions and some have even been cut to 6 to save money. Some are in groups and then some groups are for all anxiety problems rather than just social anxiety which is relevant as the treatment is different.  Yet many people have gone to therapy for years to get better. One year at £50 per session is over £2500 so you start to see why so many people don’t actually go to therapy or see it as an option. Private therapy becomes a rich persons option only.

And finally she talks about the fear hierarchy list that is standard practice in CBT for social anxiety where you confront your fears one at a time. The problems is I would need treatment for depression first as my motivation is non existent and I see no way out. Hope is not telling you there is a cure and then its just to confront all your worst fears daily for months or years. That takes away hope. Apart from looking for a job which is currently 100/100 for me I have and see no small easier things to practice on and would never get to the top of the list in just a few weeks anyway.  I am also beginning to realise that a lot of depression may be completely incurable as its not a chemical imbalance and is caused entirely by circumstances and anxiety which cant be cured first BECAUSE of the depression and the depression cant be cured first BECAUSE of the anxiety. Its a dilemma I have yet to see any solution to.  With the current state of the NHS I think suicides from people with mental health in the UK are only going to rise in the foreseeable future.

Advertisements

Mental health delays lead to suicides

BBC News:

Some mental health patients have taken their lives because of long delays in getting treatment in Leicester, campaigners have claimed.Patients in the city have to wait an average of 135 days for first treatment after being referred.

Leicester’s waiting times are the highest in the country.

Ms Sinykena said she is still waiting for psychotherapy two years after a referral.”Had I not had family with me, and friends, I probably would have killed myself,” she said

Oh so my city has the longest waiting times in the entire country! What a coincidence! And of course they also have cut may CBT therapies from 12 to only 6 weeks. In fact almost everyone online who says how great therapy is seems o have chosen their own therapist, often having to see several before finding one they like and they have been going for months rather than 6 weeks.  Private therapy is so expensive that most normal people especially those most in need cant afford it so just saying its a cure is meaningless.

Someone who is borderline suicidal is hardly going to become their own therapist and completely rational in 6 weeks. However as said only 68 times before being told to go chat to strangers in the street and that its all my own fault for not doing the hard work (which is much more applicable in people over 40 as it implies you have just been a cowardly lazy bum your whole life) is just as likely to lead to self harm or suicide. Hmm  is that why nearly everyone who has SA and a highly positive blog is still under 30? After all there are still lots of people who go on the anxiety forums who are over 40. They don’t stay long though as they don’t fit it.

The Deserving Mad?

“As in the past, modern governments differentiate between the ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ poor. The ‘deserving’ are those in need who are unable to work because they are too old, disabled, or too sick. The ‘undeserving’ are people who don’t want to work and often it is assumed that all able-bodied unemployed people fit into that category. 

 It was necessary to ensure that  ‘welfare’ kept the unemployed in a poorer and more miserable state than the lowliest worker in order to ensure that there remained an incentive to work at even the worst of jobs.With regard to the other class, the unemployable, the wastrel and the loafer, the sternest measures are necessary.”

In lots of  ways little has changed in attitude. Many still think that anyone fit in body is simply lazy or maybe an addict of some kind and deserves to suffer. The current UK Conservative government have made it much harder to claim disability and the numbers of homeless are rising rapidly. I read in a newspaper several years ago from one Conservative MP who said the unemployed needed to be starved to encourage them to work. Another person said that if Stephen Hawking( almost completely paralysed and in a wheelchair) can work then anyone could!  Hmm I dont think he could work in a warehouse or picking fruit though.

This is very relevant to mental health. The Tories thought that there were far to many mad people claiming benefits in the UK and therefore decided to cut disability payments, make it much harder for new claimants and try to push lots of extremely mentally ill people back into work even though many have actually committed suicide as a result.  Of course they did nothing to encourage companies to hire them.  There is a supposed cure for anxiety and depression and that is CBT which is pushed all the time. Apparently it has a high success rate but does not look as good under closer scrutiny. Somebody I know wrote this the other day which I totally agree with . “The worst of it is how the media and government jump on the whole CBT thing to get people off of benefits. You don’t deserve to have benefits when there is a cure and if you are ill in that way it becomes your own fault because you haven’t tried hard enough. “

In reality 1/4 of people cant handle CBT as its too hard so drop out. After all you are supposed to just make a hierarchy list of all your worst and most avoided fears and then just do them which can go disastrously wrong if not done slowly and correctly. Often the treatment is shortened from about 12 -20 sessions to just 6 to save money and sometimes NHS therapist are simply not very good. “I have seen GP surgeries offer CBT, when I talked to the Clinic Nurse/ “CBT Therapist”, she had only been on a one-week course, so could describe herself as “CBT Trained”  A one week course is hardly the same as a trained therapist. I have probably learned more from online books. Perhaps I should set up a therapy business and it also stops me being unemployed! Hooray!

Patients with sometimes acute mental illness are forced into something they cant handle and blamed for not trying hard enough when it fails. Then the government can claim they deserve to have their benefits taken away. What wankers!

And then does CBT even have great success in the long term?

“In the short-term, 40 per cent of those who complete a course of CBT, typically five to 20 sessions of up to an hour, are said to have recovered.

But ‘extensive evidence’ shows that two years on, depressed or anxious people who had CBT were no more likely to have recovered than those who had no treatment, said Mr James.”

So it might be all for nothing anyway.

 

The Cure for Social Anxiety?

I have downloaded absolutely loads of stuff on shyness and social anxiety the last month and some of it consisted of entire manuals of 700+ pages.  The thing is and its quite hard for me to say so but, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CURE WHATSOEVER!

All of the manuals and self help sites say only one thing. Go out and do stuff and hope you get better and then do more stuff until cured. Strange really as rather than scientific knowledge this is basically what i was told to cure shyness when i was a small child. Oh they may have breathing and relaxation techniques and also make you challenge your over the top irrational “Woe is me! Everybody hates me!” type of thinking but there is absolutely nothing else whatsoever on any website I have ever come across that helps in the slightest.

The problem is that depression fucks all that up.  No motivation whatsoever, already suicidal thinking so being told to go and smile at strangers on the street and make banter with shop assistants about the weather or Donald Trumps snazzy hair are about as useful as being told to Just do it! or my favourite as a youth “Just Go Talk to her!”

In reality acting nervous got ridicule or contempt which increased my anxiety which increased avoidance. If in doubt I go straight onto YouTube where hot girls say how much they hate shy men as they act creepy and make them feel awkward. Women love confidence , its officially one of the biggest turns ons. The advice also ignores your age. Contrary to belief not everyone with social anxiety is 23. A man my age smiling at women considerably younger than me on the street will be thought of as a creepy weirdo after sex so why not say that when advising smiling at 6 strangers per day as exposure therapy as if its normal. Virtually no strangers smile at people on the street unless well they do fancy each other.

Social etiquette still matters or do you assume that very shy people will understand who to and who not to smile at? Just like advising you to ask attractive females out as what have you got to lose?  Well there are lots of attractive twenty and thirty something years olds but as someone in my forties(Shock! Horror!)I would have about as much chance as bagging one as I would attracting Cameron Diaz(although at 44 she’s way closer to my age range!) Oh you mean only ask people your own age but once again just assumes you know that.(even though at my age everyone is much uglier including me!) Do I tell them how long I have been unemployed as well, that will impress them. Fact, long term unemployed men are avoided as much as ex cons so something else to destroy confidence.

I prepare myself on a daily basis for the inevitable end now. I almost long for it after all these years of pain and loneliness. Today was absolutely awful and I struggled not to self harm. The reason I feel worse is because I looked for help and found there wasn’t any.  People just like to pretend there is to make themselves feel better. They like to pretend that the majority of them are nice and kind too.

Random Cheeses of the Midlands

Why on earth would you go to therapy and willingly make a hierarchy list of things you fear when you know the therapist is going to ask you to go through them one by one as part of exposure therapy? Its like admitting you fear being buried alive and then knowing someone is then going to do it to you in the vain hope you get used to it.But of course being buried alive is not a condition of a normal life whereas speaking to other humans is. Every time I look at CBT exposure therapy online and my God there is tons of stuff to download it takes away any last glimmer of hope and makes the claim that there is a cure for chronic shyness a complete lie.

Then there are just so many examples of therapy where they assume you must have a friend or friends to do stuff with or that you are just overreacting when all evidence points to the contrary. A ludicrous example of this is writing down each day things you are proud of or things you have done or achieved to motivate you. I would be lucky thinking of three things per year, no, make that decade. Brainwashing techniques by secret government organisations would probably be more useful.

In other news I got my first irritating reply from someone making a sarcastic comment to one of my posts so I marked it as spam. F**k him. this is no recovery or self help blog as I frequently mention. Its the reality of being a real life 40+ virgin and long term unemployed loner in  a world that treats you with contempt and as a loser. Actually considering how much bullshit I have posted here its quite astounding I have not gotten any more offensive replies.Being mentally insane is now my excuse for everything. Just be yourself even if its a C**T!

Its a Wonderful Life?

Look at me here, here on my own again, up straight in the sunshine
No need to run and hide, it’s a wonderful, wonderful life

I am trying to go out more in the day, at least when its sunny. It helps in the short term at least to stop suicidal thoughts although has no effect whatsoever on my long term anxiety or behaviour as I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now. In fact some walks actually make me feel much worse if there are a lot of people around and I almost feel trapped. I very rarely feel peace of mind or relaxed when walking.Sometimes my paranoia still gets the better of me and I think people are ridiculing me. I also have to stop the habit of  talking to myself. Yes, I am still quite mad. I thought walking was supposed to help depression but its like eating when you are hungry but eventually you always feel hungry again.

30625222732_3f3f8d3c06_b

30653689081_7ae7a3a0e5_c30106319803_e77cd32d3a_b

I will do what I can do

Hold on, you have gambled with your life
And you face the night alone
While the builders of the cages
Sleep with bullets, bars and stone
They do not see the road to freedom
That you build with flesh and bone

Though you may disappear, you’re not forgotten here
And I will say to you, I will do what I can do
You may disappear, you’re not forgotten here
And I will say you you, I will do what I can do
And I will do what I can do
I will do what I can do

 

Last week I was feeling better for a change after my walk and thinking of finally going to the doctors as I had been far more depressed and feeling hopeless for months before that. However its important I dont get too excited or hopeful even if I do manage to go. Despite the idea that some people think this is the first step to complete recovery the many, many comments on the UK anxiety forums say otherwise.

NHS mental health therapists from my only personal experience twice are so useless I wish they would just not exist as they are practically non-functioning anyway.

Never offered anything like CBT and there was not group therapy available anywhere

My GP suggested it(private councelling) to me because the NHS waiting times were horrendous, I’ve now resigned myself to the fact that the NHS is hopeless where mental health in concerned.

In my experience counselling doesn’t exist on the nhs any more its too costly, so they divert you away or offer a small amount of cbt which I have no faith in and is no substitute.

There are of course many more comments like this.These are people who have been to the doctor for help and it hasn’t helped them at all.It may not be the same for everyone but its highly likely that in my very crowded and under funded area that the help will be poor and even if I do get any therapy it will in no way brainwash me enough to give me the confidence to find work which is the only thing that can stop me becoming homeless.  And of course I am probably far more ingrained in negative avoidant thinking as I am far older than most of them. Perhaps I am too old to even qualify for therapy. I also think having work is of vital importance in the first place to help conquering mental illness. As long as you are in a job you can at least survive as you can pay the bills. If you are long term unemployed and not even entitled to any benefits like me then the chances of recovery are smaller because the chances of getting a job are much harder especially at my age. I think I have to start to make suicide plans now as I appear to have been correct all along and despite other people trying to help me by pretending to be optimistic which is really the same as lying there really appears to be very little chance of a way out or recovery.

Its still bizarre to me that there are still so many people claiming that there is loads of help out there. I wonder if they have been brainwashed by their therapy to become optimistic because its make them more positive and feel better. Its obviously a complete lie. Its hard not to be angry for offering such false hope. In fact looking online far more seriously for help or a way out over the last few months has almost resigned me to the fact that the chance of actually getting anyone or anything to change me is so low its almost a complete joke. Rather than me giving up on myself its more accurate that society as a whole gives up on you first. I talk about evolution and survival of the fittest as it still applies to humans and this is an obvious example.