Pro-CBT blog people here might like.

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Hi Esther, yes its interesting bec ause of course if you are having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation then CBT will not help to treat that situation. Infact for me it is a little bit more complicated than that. I developed Agoraphobia a year and a half ago, after a severe reaction to an SSRI antidepressant.
I have infact had M.E for 16 years with a long remission in the middle of this time period, but was only diagnosed a year ago. So the doc thinks im depressed - i know im not, but fearing the bedridden illness i had had years before and never quite recovered from i decide that as i dont have any other diagnosis he must be right.
I take the antidepressants. Within 24 hours i go from being physically unwell with some mild anxiety to svere suicidal ideation, depersonalisation etc. This carries on for about 8 months even though i only ever took 2 doses of the SSRI. I also develop agoraphobia as i feel so weird whenever i try to go out or drive or go to work etc. I have panic attacks when i push myself to do these things.
Before getting the M.E diagnosis i have 6 sessions of CBT. The problem is that when we look at my irrational thoughts about going out alone, we discover that i am actually physically very unwell and therefore my agoraphobia is a reaction to not being able to cope.
I finally get a diagnosis (of M.E) after some Mito testing etc with Dr.Myhill which my GP then agrees with. Now i am left with M.E AND agoraphobia. I am improving slowly after much resting, pacing, supplements etc bt the problem is that the treatment available for Agoraphobia in the UK is CBT and every time i look at why i cant do things alone it is because of a REAL fear not an imagined one. Yes i know that most PWME dont develop agoraphobia so i know i still have some work to do on getting over it, but as it is MAINLY a rational response to my illness its hard to see how even CBT can help.
Sorry to rant on, but it seemed a pertinent point.
Also Eric mentionms that with proper treatment thier may not be so much anxiety and depression with this illness and i believe that to be true. After all if i hadnt been treated innapropriately and left with no diagnosis for 15 years then i dont think i would have ended up either as physically or as mentally unwell as i have been or am now.
Justy, I think a lot of use do develop agoraphobia and it is a reasonable reaction to how sick we get when we try to go out and do things. So the CBT for that could work against the defensive mechanisms we develop for dealing with the illness. I agree with you that it is grounded on rational fears in our cases. And we would not end up having to go through such "mind games" if our illness was treated properly to begin with.
 

paddygirl

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Hi Justy,

Thanks for that. I was given it for pain and sleep and it worked for a while, my reaction was gradual and snuck up on me. However the second time I took it, it was like being hit by a brick.

How nice it is to be able to turn to someone somewhere in the world who understands what you are talking about. The web has brought down so many walls for us.:thumbsup:

Paddy
 

justy

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Justy, I think a lot of use do develop agoraphobia and it is a reasonable reaction to how sick we get when we try to go out and do things. So the CBT for that could work against the defensive mechanisms we develop for dealing with the illness. I agree with you that it is grounded on rational fears in our cases. And we would not end up having to go through such "mind games" if our illness was treated properly to begin with.
Thanks for that Engle, and all the others who have explained it in a better way than i did. I saw a homeopath who felt that the agoraphobia was a good defensive mechanism. Stopping me from further damaging my body by not allowing me to push myself too much. However much i want to drive into town on my own, im also aware that once i can it opens up a whole raft of new things my family may expect me to do.
Yes also that if we where treated properly i.e not just offered psychological therapies but properly understood and treated then it might be easier for these natural fears to stop becoming irrational fears. For some of us it is a fine line.

@Paddy girl - i agree. When i was first ill we had no internet and no one to talk to, now i can connect with people all ove rthe world -its great!
 
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I was just reading a generally pro-CBT blog which sounded like it was reciting a lot of things I here from people here about CBT for CFS.
CBT and failure: http://cbtish.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/failure/
Thanks for posting this interesting blog article, Esther.

It's good to know that some CBT practitioners are aware of the limitations of their therapy, and don't have a slavish devotion to CBT as the solution to all ills, regardless of the circumstances.
 

Sean

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It's quite normal for people who have had a serious medical problem to go on to develop hypochondria. Reasonable fears can become exaggerated and then self-perpetuating.
Second sentence is fine.

But this in the first sentence... "quite normal" ???

Serious citation required.

One thing to say that those with a serious medical problem (especially of a chronic nature) are at increased risk of developing hypochondria. Quite another to claim it is 'normal' for them to do so.
 

Esther12

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But this in the first sentence... "quite normal" ???
I didn't mean 'normal' as in 'majority', or anything like that. I just meant that it's far from surprising for an unreasonable anxiety to be born out of unusual circumstances which justify a greater level of reasonable anxiety. I don't have any papers ready to cite for this, but it was mentioned on a couple of general hypochondra pages I looked at:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9983.php

"Why people develop hypochondria is unclear. Experts believe many factors play a role. Hypochondria usually initially affects people during early adulthood. A person may start suffering from hypochondria after recovering from a serious illness, after a loved one or close friend becomes ill, or after a loved one or close friend dies."