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Compassion Therapy


Phil
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I'm not sure if this should be in the Finding Meaning section, but I'm putting it here as I personally feel this may be something useful for withdrawal itself.

 

I'm reading a book on "Compassion Focused Therapy" and another book by the same author "The Compassionate Mind". Here's the amazon page for it:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Compassionate-Mind-ebook/dp/B002S0KBYU/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1315822331&sr=8-5

 

The therapy is developed to help people with high shame, anger, depression, and anxiety problems.

The theory they use, based on science, is that our brain has a "soothing system" that is under-active for some people, and this results in depression, anxiety, anger, self-criticism, etc.

Developing compassion for oneself and others, turns on this "soothing" system and helps these problems.

 

After reading just a little from this book it has already helped me quite a bit. I wonder if it might be useful for withdrawal itself...if we can accept and be more compassionate with ourselves, while dealing with our symptoms and barriers, then we will be happier? Perhaps it will even speed up recovery and reduce the anxiety we feel?

 

Has anyone else read this book?

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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Hi Phil,

 

I've read the Commpassionate Mind and found it helpful especially the stuff about the body having a soothing system.

 

There are some interesting presentations you can download on this too at the website for the foundation the author and others have set up

http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/

 

I found the book helpful in persuading me it might be ok, I also found reading th theory around it really interesting, it helped me realise it was a really good idea to start being self-compassionate to myself.

 

I struggled though with some of the exercises because they suggest you should talk to yourself like a compassionate friend would talk to you and I wasn't quite sure how to so this. I've found Kirsten Neff's book the most helpful for this (I've discussed this more in the self-compassion topic -http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1102-self-compassion/ ) as she actually has examples of how you might talk to yourself in a self-compassionate way - and I needed a place to start. I had loving parents and grandparents as a child (they made mistakes but did their best) but none of them really knew how to use compassionate language so I had no role models to use.

 

I agree that more therapy based on this approach would be helpful. There are some therapists in the UK starting to use these techniques; don't know how easy they are to find though and don't know how much they would cost. I haven't yet been able to find anyone close to where I live, although the lovely clinical psychologist I've been seeing through the NHS is at least aware of them.

Citalopram for 6 months

Since then tapering off over last 4 months

20mg -> 15mg -> 10mg -> 5mg (roughly every 3-4 weeks)

Stayed at 2.5mg for approx 6 weeks

As of 9 Sept 2011 off citalopram

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This makes a lot of sense to me.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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I found the book helpful in persuading me it might be ok, I also found reading th theory around it really interesting, it helped me realise it was a really good idea to start being self-compassionate to myself.

 

 

It's so much easier to be compassionate when it comes to someone else. I have a feeling you all agree.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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It's so much easier to be compassionate when it comes to someone else. I have a feeling you all agree.

 

Yes, but it's like riding a bike - you can learn how, then you'll never forget!

 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

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2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

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15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

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This is a lovely post by Gianna. She has transcribed Dr. Willoughby Britton:

 

"....

The second thing to know about neuroplasticity is that the most powerful way to change your brain is not actually medication, it’s actually behavior, because that is what it was designed to change in relation to. And not just any behavior but specifically mental behavior or mental habit.

One of the things she points out is that we create our neural networks. A heavily self-critical neural network which then gets reinforced through habit leads to depression (as well as other not so nice habits). This is important to understand.

 

This is the joyous and empowering message, also transcribed from the below talk:

Based on what we know about contemplative neuroscience and neuroplasticity, we can actually start to think about kindness, energy, compassion, generosity, not as innate qualities that you have or don’t have but as actually skills that you can cultivate through practice and training. And we now know that these practices can cultivate these qualities.

...."

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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One of the things she points out is that we create our neural networks. A heavily self-critical neural network which then gets reinforced through habit leads to depression (as well as other not so nice habits). This is important to understand.

 

 

It was a revelation for me. I have been self-critical for years, without realizing it, and it has caused me a lot of depression and anxiety.

According to the book I'm reading on compassion-therapy, many people do not even believe they are able to be compassionate to themselves or others, or that it would be weak to do so, and so on. (the book calls these "metacognitive beliefs"). In therapy it is these beliefs that must be broken down in order to access the self-soothing of compassion.

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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