I’ve done CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) at least four times. It teaches you to recognise negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. It works! (Kind of).
It is very very hard.
Its easy enough to identify negative thoughts (“everyone hates me”). Its easy enough to give yourself a good talking to (“what evidence do you have for that?” “think of some people who definitely dont hate you – therefore everyone doesnt hate you”, “why do you care what people think?”).
But it is damn near impossible to believe the positive thoughts!
Apparently the more you practice it the easier it gives. Thoughts always take the path of least resistance. If you have been thinking negatively for a long time – then they are natural, they come easily. To make the positive thoughts come as easily you have to make them feel natural – it takes time and lots and lots and lots of practice.
One of the things that they suggest in CBT is to write down your positive thoughts. So this morning I thought “Im a lazy useless mother and housewife”. So Im publishing my positive response (with the vain hope that it might help me to believe it!).
It is 10am and I have so far:
- fed the baby
- changed the baby’s nappy
- made breakfast for 3 children
- eaten breakfast
- put the washing machine on
- put the dryer on
- folded and put away the clean towels
- cleaned the toilet
- emptied the dishwasher
- made a piece of jewellery
- dressed a child
- mended a TV
- had a couple of sociological debates with myself (blog posts to come)
- changed a duvet cover
- practiced my CBT (and written this post)
Not the most glamorous list of jobs but its not too bad. Suppose I should feel proud of myself. Im going to stop now because the negative thoughts are entering my head in answer to why I shouldnt feel proud of myself at all.
CBT its a lifelong process. Being depressed is a task in itself.