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CBT 13:31 - Feb 11 with 1120 viewsfabian_illness

Just had a chat with my mates Mrs.
I know he’s struggled in the past with depression and it looks to be getting a grip on him again.
I’m nieve on mental illness, I’ve never really been exposed to it or had to deal with it.
His Mrs said he’s in a bad frame of mind, he’s been to the Drs, been prescribed medication and has been referred for CBT.
I’ve read a little on it, but really don’t have any first hand experience.
I’ve heard it mentioned on here, so thought I’d ask.
I’d like to support them, even in a small way.
But I really am lost at how to approach it.
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CBT on 13:38 - Feb 11 with 1063 viewsDanTheMan

It's fairly simple, but you shouldn't really need to do anything different, it's much more down to him to change his own thought patterns.

The most simple explanation I can give is it jut is about looking at how you have previously viewed a situation and thinking through what would have happened if you thought about it in a different way. The NHS site gives a good example of this:

There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to a situation, often determined by how you think about them.

For example, if your marriage has ended in divorce, you might think you've failed and that you're not capable of having another meaningful relationship.

This could lead to you feeling hopeless, lonely, depressed and tired, so you stop going out and meeting new people. You become trapped in a negative cycle, sitting at home alone and feeling bad about yourself.

But rather than accepting this way of thinking you could accept that many marriages end, learn from your mistakes and move on, and feel optimistic about the future.

This optimism could result in you becoming more socially active and you may start evening classes and develop a new circle of friends.

This is a simplified example, but it illustrates how certain thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions can trap you in a negative cycle and even create new situations that make you feel worse about yourself.

CBT aims to stop negative cycles such as these by breaking down things that make you feel bad, anxious or scared. By making your problems more manageable, CBT can help you change your negative thought patterns and improve the way you feel.

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CBT on 13:40 - Feb 11 with 1038 viewsHerbivore

As a friend all you can really do is offer them support and someone to be there for them when they need you. Regards to CBT, it's a form of therapy that essentially tries to reshape an individual's thinking so that they don't get into a cycle of negative thinking. It can be very useful for some people, which is why it's widely used, but I don't think there's much value in you trying to learn lots about it, leave the CBT to the trained professionals. If your friend wants to talk to you about the CBT then just encourage them to stick with it, if they've taken some positive messages from a session then reinforce those. You don't need any expertise, just try to be a good mate.
[Post edited 11 Feb 13:41]

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CBT on 13:48 - Feb 11 with 993 viewslinhdi

CBT on 13:40 - Feb 11 by Herbivore

As a friend all you can really do is offer them support and someone to be there for them when they need you. Regards to CBT, it's a form of therapy that essentially tries to reshape an individual's thinking so that they don't get into a cycle of negative thinking. It can be very useful for some people, which is why it's widely used, but I don't think there's much value in you trying to learn lots about it, leave the CBT to the trained professionals. If your friend wants to talk to you about the CBT then just encourage them to stick with it, if they've taken some positive messages from a session then reinforce those. You don't need any expertise, just try to be a good mate.
[Post edited 11 Feb 13:41]


That is very sound advice. I do a lot of work with people who have various types of depression / anxiety, and all report improvements through increased socialization, meeting people and, basically, having conversations about stuff they like.

For older people, "Meet-up Monday" groups are a great place to go - there are many in Ipswich, incl at the Greyhound (now, there's an excuse....). For sports fans 50+ there are Sporting Memories Groups around the county, incl in Ipswich (Quay Place, Monday's 1030-12, plus the County Library Tuesdays 215-4).

There is no panacea, but increased socialization is a good start.
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CBT on 13:49 - Feb 11 with 983 viewsmonytowbray

I had CBT last year for 8-9 weeks and honestly I wish I had done it sooner. Granted I don't think it would have helped as much a year ago though. It took some life changing trauma happening to me at the start of 2019, and then some more trauma mid 2019, to really realise how deep rooted some of my issues were and address them. Mostly unhealthy coping mechanisms and thinking patterns that I wasn't even really aware of until I sat down with a professional and spoke to them.

Since doing it I've been 10 weeks booze-free, I've joined a gym, I'm on a diet, I'm considerably less (if at all) stressed and my mind processes things much easier. I even manage to switch off that nagging voice in the back of my mind 90% of the time now, and to be honest I had never really considered that voice a problem - I assumed everyone had it.

You have to be open to it, honest and do the hard work yourself, but a lot of it is straight forward to be fair. Good example for me personally - I always thought it was situations and incidents that pushed me to heavy drinking, but actually it's my reaction to the situation/incident and how I process it that leads to drink. Just by shifting from 'BAD STUFF HAPPENS > DRINK' to ' BAD STUFF HAPPENS > THINK ABOUT HOW I WANT TO DEAL WITH IT > DO SOMETHING ELSE' has had a hugely positive impact on my life. It sounds so obvious on paper, but when you spend a lifetime without making that link in your brain wiring it's like an epiphany.

Good luck to your mate.
[Post edited 11 Feb 13:50]

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CBT on 13:51 - Feb 11 with 966 viewsmo_itfc

I know people who have been on both sides of CBT.

From what I have experienced, the best thing to do is just offer support and listen to them.
Try not to give advice as the therapist will be doing that.
Sounds like you're friend is doing all the right things, so the best thing for you to do is add encouragement and listen to him when he needs someone to talk to.

I hope it all works out for him! The dark places people can find themselves in can be very scary, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
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CBT on 14:31 - Feb 11 with 882 viewsfactual_blue

CBT on 13:40 - Feb 11 by Herbivore

As a friend all you can really do is offer them support and someone to be there for them when they need you. Regards to CBT, it's a form of therapy that essentially tries to reshape an individual's thinking so that they don't get into a cycle of negative thinking. It can be very useful for some people, which is why it's widely used, but I don't think there's much value in you trying to learn lots about it, leave the CBT to the trained professionals. If your friend wants to talk to you about the CBT then just encourage them to stick with it, if they've taken some positive messages from a session then reinforce those. You don't need any expertise, just try to be a good mate.
[Post edited 11 Feb 13:41]


Yes - whatever you do, don't try and be an amateur therapist. Leave that side of it to the professionals. People's minds are fragile things at the best of times.

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CBT on 14:37 - Feb 11 with 856 viewsmonytowbray

Unless I've got the wrong end of the stick, and it's the other CBT. Which is fairly easy TBH, you rag around some cones on a moped for half a day, go on a little detour around the area and then you can like a 50cc legally on the road.
[Post edited 11 Feb 14:37]

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CBT on 14:38 - Feb 11 with 852 viewswrightsrightglove

I've never really had to face mental health issues either but read Lost Connections by Johann Hari after it was recommended by a friend. Honestly it has changed the way I view a massive amount of my life and the way I would view and approach mental health issues. I don't suffer with mental health issues but there was so much that I could relate to my own life and aspects of my life which I'm not entirely happy with. Can't recommend it highly enough and gives a very good insight into depression.
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CBT on 14:46 - Feb 11 with 823 viewsSikamikanico

CBT on 13:40 - Feb 11 by Herbivore

As a friend all you can really do is offer them support and someone to be there for them when they need you. Regards to CBT, it's a form of therapy that essentially tries to reshape an individual's thinking so that they don't get into a cycle of negative thinking. It can be very useful for some people, which is why it's widely used, but I don't think there's much value in you trying to learn lots about it, leave the CBT to the trained professionals. If your friend wants to talk to you about the CBT then just encourage them to stick with it, if they've taken some positive messages from a session then reinforce those. You don't need any expertise, just try to be a good mate.
[Post edited 11 Feb 13:41]


100% this.

Just being there for your mate will help more than you will ever know.
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CBT on 15:45 - Feb 11 with 749 viewsitfcpaul

I've put loads of posts on here about mental health and the difficulties we have faced with my wife's MH difficulties. unfortunately even something as serious as these posts managed to raise some reply which certainly show a lack of understanding of these problems or just downright stupidity from some people.

I am more than happy to offer my thoughts as I think it could be really helpful but I won't do it in an open forum so if you do want my thoughts please PM me

Apologies in advance and understand some might think this post is something they don't agree with but the offer is there.

cheers

Really hope we win tonight btw
[Post edited 11 Feb 17:00]

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CBT on 15:53 - Feb 11 with 719 viewschicoazul

Best wishes to your friend mate, and to you. I probably don't have anything to add that others havent already recommended!

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CBT on 15:58 - Feb 11 with 708 viewsFunge

CBT on 14:37 - Feb 11 by monytowbray

Unless I've got the wrong end of the stick, and it's the other CBT. Which is fairly easy TBH, you rag around some cones on a moped for half a day, go on a little detour around the area and then you can like a 50cc legally on the road.
[Post edited 11 Feb 14:37]


I did part of my CBT in the playground at Westbourne High School. It was a mad hot day (instructor obviously insisted that we all wear gloves, jackets etc) so the only source of coolness was the open visor on the helmet.

I was wobbling round the cones when a wasp flew into the visor, under my glasses, and stung my nose. I hit myself in the face with my left hand, caned the throttle with my right hand, and drove forcefully into a litter bin.

Both the instructor and the other bloke on the course fell off their bikes laughing, so there were 3 bikes on the floor. Mine had a buckled front wheel.

I somehow passed the test, and then wrote off a Yahama 125 by Bourne Bridge ski centre about 2 months later. Havent ridden a bike since.

Good post above, btw.
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CBT on 16:05 - Feb 11 with 682 viewsDarth_Koont

Upvoted because you're already there for your mate which is the key.

I think you've got great advice about just being there as a friend if he wants to talk about it, asks for help or just wants to go out for a beer and talk about other stuff.
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CBT on 16:06 - Feb 11 with 678 viewsfabian_illness

This place can be awesome at times.
Really appreciate the replies from everyone.
I feel a bit of a dick not knowing how to approach it, but your thoughts really help.
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CBT on 16:20 - Feb 11 with 642 viewsmrshallisfit

Knob his missus. That should help.
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CBT on 17:27 - Feb 11 with 572 viewsconnorscontract

I won't add to the already excellent replies on CBT itself, but will just add a couple of things more on how you can understand and help your friend.

I have (almost lifelong) personal experience of depression as well as many years of experience in a counselling role.

Three things:

One way I understand depression is as an over-focus on the self. Whether that's through anxiety related thought patterns, or a brooding over negative thought patterns, or triggered by poor body image or whatever. So as a friend one of the best ways you can help is by doing things with him which take him out of himself, change the scene or get him doing something active. CBT will give him techniques to identify when he is going into a negative spiral, and hopefully reverse it- if a friend wants to help but just goes down the pub and spends all the time talking about the depressed person's problems there is a risk that this will just exacerbate the depressive thought patterns.

Secondly, studies show that exercise, good diet and regular sleep patterns help, so anything you can do to support any efforts your friend is making in these areas is good, too.

Thirdly, your friend has opened up to you, but this may be helpful to others, as men sometimes find it hard to talk and open up. So, notwithstanding the advice above to make sure you don't spend all your time talking about his problems, one of the best ways is to go for a walk and talk then. Being side by side, or one in front of another, creates a totally different dynamic which some men find much easier and less intense, and doesn't look or feel like counselling.

Similarly, the Men's Shed movement gets men working together on projects. Doing something useful, working with their hands, developing skills (or revisiting dormant skills), making friends, talking, encouraging others and often working on practical projects for charities or community organisations ticks so many of the boxes in helping to promote, and focus on, mental well-being, as opposed to focusing on depression. They have a real impact with older men who are of a generation and culture which makes it difficult for them to seek help for depression or mental health issues.

https://menssheds.org.uk/

It's also worth adding that depression, anxiety and associated mental ill health issues can come from a variety of causes, including being a side effect of hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, or as a symptom/result of other conditions such as ADD/ADHD, or due to major unresolved trauma, and that in spite of all these other things being a help, some people really do need to see a Doctor to help determine the cause and best treatment, as your friend has done.
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