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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am adverse to seeking help for my mental health problems.

Customer Question

I am adverse to seeking help for my mental health problems. I've had help before, but have found it tiresome and not useful. I am also concerned about various memes floating around the mental health field.
I have made attempts before to read recommended literature, but have found it very hard to accept. I have no real idea how wide spread these memes are, but I have encountered them on many occasions, which makes me uncomfortable with seeking help.
I have misophonia and OCD, along with aspergers. Misophonia, as far as I can tell and experience myself, is really an emotional reflex, not a result of high level brain proccessing as seems to believed by a lot of therapists.
From what I've read CBT came from the field of behavioural therapy. Where behaviourists believed that all behaviours were learnt, very similar to Pavlov's dogs and Skinners test subjects. Though the problem with behaviourist was that they noticed that one person would experience one event and respond very differently to another person that experienced an "identical" event. So they concluded that there must be something else between the event and the response by the patient. They concluded that it was the thoughts and beliefs of the patient.
This seems rather absurd. Are thoughts and beliefs the only things that make us different? Where does biology come into play here? We already know there are differences in brain structure and functionality amoung the human population. Women apparently are more likely to suffer from PTSD, despite men generally going for more dangerous activities and jobs. This is probably due to men having higher concentrations of serotinin within their amygdala. I do not view gender as a mere social construct. There are hormomes, chromosomes and biology at work here.
Then there is the ABC model, which seems rather basic. Activating event - Belief - Consequence. Are beliefs and thoughts the only thing which causes a physiological response? With my misophonia, I am merely out doing things, focusing on the task at hand. Then suddenly the trigger sound enters my consciousness and I immediately feel an intense emotional pain. The ability to hear and respond to the sound seems more of an unconscious brain activity. It invades me as if coming from no where. I've once been in a "quiet" room and suddenly felt a triggering emotion. I averted my gaze from the computer screen to the window, where out side I saw a woman (whose voice I usually find triggering) who appeared to be talking to someone. It seemed I was triggered while not even consciously aware of it. I can not see thoughts as having any significant in my problems. When the trigger happens I know full well that this should not be happening. I know it's not an actually offensive sound, it's just a proccessing error of my brain. I do not believe these to actually be harmful, but my brain responds as if it is. No ammount of thought challenging can fix this as I don't think the emotion into existence.
Is it really such a popular belief that thoughts are such significant at governing our emotions? Have I just been mislead by a few therapists who think in rather simple ways? All the stuff I read seems to be largly focused on addressing thoughts and beliefs. Though it seems that more could be done. If I seek help, will I be able to find someone who is willing to help me understand myself more and be able to make improvements? Do I have to accept this meme to gain from treatments? Would this meme affect the results of treatment? I feel uncomfortable being in the same room as someone who thinks my problems are a result of faulty thinking or core beliefs. Are these ideas on their way out? I see no evidence for them. I've looked, but can't find any. Much of what I've read seems to imply that it's still accepted.
Have I merely been reading the wrong material? Is the ABC real science? If it is, then why is it I have never been able to find any evidence to support this model?
I would like a reason to try again with help. I'm adverse to CBT, though it seems that this is the usual route people are sent through in the UK. Even most other therapies seem to be governed by the same "theories". I had an appointment for a mental health assessment to see how they could get me the help that I need. I was unable to attend, due to concerns of the people I'd have to deal with.
I recall a previous visit with a therapist. I told here I was doing slightly better than before. She replied "because you're having better thoughts?". It seems shallow to assume that the only reason someone makes improvement is because they have nicer thoughts. How is that a good way to look at someone?
Jason Satter
Stress: Humans are unique in that we can stress ourselves out with hypothetical events, things that never happen or might never happen. An individual's appraisals may be out of sync with reality, or out of touch with their actual coping skills. CBT helps to uncover those thoughts and to begin restructuring them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 1 year ago.
I'm Shantal and I'm a moderator for this topic.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
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Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

You are worrying too much about the underlying theories for counselling methods. CBT is a popular counselling method, not because there is strong evidence that the underlying theory is true, but that there is strong evidence that it helps more people than other counselling methods.

On the other hand, though, no counselling method works for 100% of people. And there are various counselling methods, and different people find that different methods work better for them.

If you find that any one method is not working well for you, then it is appropriate to find a counsellor that can use a different method.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. I was busy this weekend. I'll read though again and make a few comments about the response tomorrow, after I've dealt with a few other things. I'll say this though, I don't see the theory as enterly separate from the process. The practise seems to be governed by the idea that thoughts are central to our emotions. Therefore they're going to see you not as an individual, but as a collection of thoughts and ideas. I've also had experience of this.
I'll talk about this more after I've sorted things tomarrow. I guess I can make another payment if needed. I've only just heard about this service, so I'm still not completely sure about how it works.RegardsChris
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

I am not saying that the theory is separate from the process. I am saying that proven success of a treatment modality is valuable, even if the theory of why it works is not separately proven. When antidepressants were first discovered, they were proven to be effective in treating depression in many people long before there was a good understanding of how they worked. Even antibiotics were initially shown to successfully treat infections long before we understood how they worked.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
CBT may help some people more than other practises. Though I hardly see it as something I could benefit from. There are reasons why a therapy may show greater effect than it actually has. Most studies showing improvement would probably be based on a long series of sessions with the patient. A lot would drop out before the study is complete, therefore only testing the patients that completed the sessions. It stand to reason that those that stayed did so because they believed in the "therapy". It seems it would make a bias on favour of those who see the sessions as beneficial.
Just because a therapy seems to show clinical significance, I don't see this as a reason it would be good for an individual. Some studies show that religious people are healthier in several ways, like blood pressure, heart disease and so forth. Though I don't see this as indicative of religion being a good theraputic practise.Comparing CBT to antidepressants does not seem like a good comparison. With CBT the theory came before the practise. The theory is what guided the practise of CBT and dictated what techniques to use, as it still seems to be doing to this day.
The explanation of how antidepressants work came much later. The theory of antidepressants seemed to have no bearing on how these drugs are made. Even if it does, the theory of antidepressants seems much more logical than the theory of CBT. It seems less of a theory than a framework for a protocol.
If the therapist views all problems as coming merely from thoughts, then they are going to examine thoughts and reject all else. I hardly see this as an effective belief system to hold.
So far little has been done to relieve my concerns over this.
I will ask a few last questions that I hope could be answered.So far you have done nothing to refute my comments on the theory of CBT. I'm guessing from this that I am correct in what I stated about it. I sometimes have trouble thinking that people could hold such illogical beliefs.How prevelent is this belief (ABC model) within therapists? If I seek help I would like it to be with someone who does not have such beliefs. I think the belief of the "therapist" is quite important. I would also reject a midwfie that believes in the stork theory of reproduction.How flexible would I expect the therapist to be? If they believe an idea without evidence and view that as a way of helping someone, I would guess they would be pretty inflexible.It would be good if these concerns are addressed. So far this discussion has done little to ease my concerns. It's mostly the same I've heard from others for a while now.I'm sorry for getting back so late. My week has been a bit busy and I was trying to save this for a time when I was feeling relaxed enough to give it my attention.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

As I said above, if you find that any one method is not working well for you, then it is appropriate to find a counsellor that can use a different method.