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I’m Wary as Fuck of Mindfulness — 20 Comments

  1. Cognitive Bullshit Therapy, and I mean that with every fiber of my being, is as useful for a chemical imbalance as prayer is for a medical condition requiring surgery. Not to be rude to those it has worked for, but it seems to be that CBT, and this mindfulness thing, would be more geared to “prozac Nation” cases where the depression is not a 20 year ongoing battle. Maybe some people’s illnesses are more behavioral so changing behavior helps.
    Mine has been medication. Every time some well meaning moron convinced me I was just being weak and lining pharmacopias pockets so here, take some ginseng pixie stix toad venom supplement and you’ll be fine…I ended up worse than ever before.
    So what I think…
    If you’re having situational depressions or your issues are negative/personality related, maybe this mumbo jumbo therapy works.
    I think after a 22 year span of trying every method known to man only to keep riding the medi go round because it’s had the most positive outcome…I’m entitled to debunk those methods since they didn’t work for me.
    The notion it can work for any sort of legitimate chemical imbalance is not just asinine, it’s dangerous.

    • Pretty much. Short-term depression is absolutely not the same as this shitswamp we’re slogging through. Maybe they can think away teh gloomehs, but yeah… naw… my broken-ass brain can’t be fixed by faerie farts.

  2. CBT made things worse for me. Focusing on identifying harmful patterns of thought, and searching for evidence to support/disprove what I was thinking just made me freak out even more that I can’t control my own goddamn brain.

    Even before I attempt all the mindfulness and detached observation, I *know* that what my brain is throwing at me is bullshit. I am a very logical person. I am fully aware that the thing I keep having intrusive thoughts about doesn’t even exist (and would violate the laws of thermodynamics if it did). Adding on top of that a bunch of stuff designed to make me understand that it isn’t real or logical is, at best is frustrating (because I know!) and is at worse actively harmful because honestly, who needs that on top of a panic attack?

    • Definitely can commiserate with this point of view. If my brain is gnawing on something, I prefer to try to think about something else rather than picking at the thing it wants to pick at.

  3. Oh my God, this post is music to my ears!!!!

    Thank you for voicing how I feel! If I hear the word “mindfulness” one more time, my head will
    start rotating, my face will turn a deep shade of green, and I shall spew vomit over everything near me. And mindfulness CBT????? WTF????????

    I. just. don’t. buy. anyofit. !!!!

    The words are trendy and combining the two will sell books & programs and the like, I’m sure, but it sounds like a bunch of bull excrement to me.

    As far as CBT goes, I’ve always considered it to be up there with mindfulness as far as it being a feel-goody phrase that has never rung true in my weary bones.

    I’d write more, as this is an awesome topic, but I’m so out of it and worn out that I won’t make one iota of sense except maybe to our two hamsters.

    Once again, many thanks! :))))) I LOVED this post my dear!

    p.s. Give me meds! They work.

      • shit, send the hippie-dippie, granola-coated chimes my way STAT! LOL – you’re too funny.

        Just commented over in your neck of the woods, or sand of the beach….or ????
        Love you!

          • Now, now, dear friend, I’m gonna get my fancy Giovanni black volcanic ash soap (It really is black and has volcanic guck in it; I love it. Smells good!) and wash out that purty mouth of yours with it! That is, after I wash my potty mouth with it first! (A year ago when she was six Marilla heard me say mofucker during my bout of road rage, and of course she started shouting it herself with pride. :0 Yikes! )
            xoxoxoxo
            Your devoted bee-yotch!

  4. p.p.s. “My broken-ass brain can’t be fixed by faerie farts.” Brilliant.
    Could I have your permission to possibly use that as a blog post title someday?
    I’d give you heaps of credit!

  5. I felt for a long time like I was failing or not trying hard enough or something because CBT-type stuff and mindfulness just didn’t work for me. Like a few people here, I am very logical and knew that what my brain was saying wasn’t true, but that couldn’t ever stop the thoughts from happening. The therapists that I’ve had have been so condescending, not acknowledging that I know a hell of a lot about my mind and how it works, and insisting that it doesn’t do what I know it does. It’s crap. It’s all crap. Psych meds for the win! They make my life liveable in a way that the power of positive thinking never will.

    • Pretty much. There’s definitely something to be said about trying to frame things in the positive, but it only goes so far in the face of serious brain weasels.

  6. I try to be a realist. When done right, CBT isn’t optimism but a way of realistically apprehending the world. Both optimism and pessimism are, in my book, delusional.

  7. I think that for those for whom problems have temporarily blindsided them, as for stress breakdowns, it has its place in the toolbox. It’s not for those whom have chemical imbalances, that’s absolutely true and the more that people are encouraged to realise that, hey, [b] there’s no magic bullet for any mental illness [/b], the better. A range of tools are required to recover equilibrium for those that have ‘short-term’ problems resulting from traumas, just as a range of tools make chronic problems bearable. Even in the physical medical world this is often true – tablets normally come with a range of advice of how else to treat a condition (rest, drink lots of fluids, eat little and often, etc.). Likewise, there are medical conditions that don’t need pharmaceuticals for a majority of their treatment. There’s no point in treating a dislocated limb with just drugs, you need it reseated, immobilised whilst the body can sort things out in terms of repair works and then you need to do a fuckton of physiotherapy to get it all to work properly again. Leaving out any of the steps is going to lead to a highly imperfect recovery.

    Personally, CBT helped me when I was agoraphobic, subject to panic attacks and showed enough signs of clinical depression for me to be offered pharmaceutical assistance. It wasn’t the only thing by any stretch of the imagination, I also used various relaxation and mind-calming techniques, escaped into fiction books that allowed me to quiet my mind and practiced yoga. They worked for me, but it was a temporary pile-up of circumstances that had got so out of control that my mind just couldn’t process how to proceed and shut me down. I despair that so many so-called professional therapists are poorly educated enough to think that “if you do it right, this will happen”. It’s like saying that if everyone was coached by the same technique, we’d all be able to run a sub four minute mile. We’re all different.

    • I’m always glad to hear when it does work for someone. As you said, it’s got a place in the toolbox. Nor are meds the answer to everything. When I first decided to seek help for my depression after Lilbit’s birth, I was immediately offered antidepressants. I declined even if I was feeling bad, because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get put on something that would make it worse due to not knowing the problem. It was good that I did, as antidepressants on their own have a tendency to make many folks with bipolar rapid cycle (which is probably part of why so many misdiagnosed with unipolar depression get properly re-diagnosed later).

      I recognize that a one size fit all approach is a rather unpleasant side effect of a Tory-gutted NHS, especially considering the mental health budget has taken cuts in real terms year on year (8% last year, I think it was).

      • I’m not sure that the one size fits all is just a matter of the NHS lack of resources, as I’ve heard tales from across the pond that insurance companies are also insisting that patients see only a small selection of therapists and refuse to cover costs if their approved therapist doesn’t help and that these therapists are often the “you must do this” variety. Although I do know that my brother (dentist) left the NHS because he couldn’t square the level of care being offered as fitting with his views on what proper treatment looks like. Not because he wanted to become private for the recompense (he still provides pro bono work for local care homes, for example).

  8. CBT definitely got me to being able to block and then get rid of abuse flashbacks, so I rate it somewhat – but I suspect it had a lot to do with that particular counsellor, who took no shit and did me a lot of good. Mindfulness can suck my strapon, it’s just recycled Buddhism and a poor imitation at that. I’m not gonna have CBT again though – I got what I needed, which was a ptsd issue anyway.

    Mindfulness is middle class fuckery.

  9. I got to this page while trying to understand why people constantly advise me to do X instead of taking meds. From simplistic options like “sunshine and fresh air and friends” to sophisticated bullshit like “mindfulness”, it all serves to shame and marginalize people with problems that can’t be willed away. I can’t count all the awful TV shows and films where the plot revolves around somebody conquering their “dependence” on medication. It feels like such an uphill battle to legitimize treating myself properly to my family and friends. Your article is a bit of a diatribe, but I found it helped me feel much better about doing what I must to stay well.

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