Social anxiety and addiction
October 8, 2012 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Is it common when trying cognitive behavioral therapy for you to become more anxious when challenging your thoughts? Does cognitive behavioral therapy work for drug addicts? I have been a drug addict, and I have been trying CBT and sometimes I feel like I will always feel like this because I dont have something in my system. I have bad Social anxiety when i try to talk to people. It happens almost everyday. I hope CBT will eventually help, but I do not know if this is just the way I am because of a lack of dopamine in my system?
posted by Truts83 to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
it's pretty hard to generalize about stuff like that, some people really benefit from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications in conjunction with talk/behavior therapy, some people don't. are you trying cbt by yourself, or do you have a therapist? cause this is the kind of thing that in an ideal world you would talk over with somebody in person. not to avoid your question, but it's really kind of impossible to say.
posted by facetious at 9:53 PM on October 8, 2012

I think this is one of the reasons that those with substance abuse issues are often recommended to try Dialectical Behavioral Therapy rather than CBT.

Are you able to find a therapist who can guide you in DBT? Or maybe just check out the workbook to see if the exercises feel like a better path?
posted by batmonkey at 10:52 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've found ACT to be more helpful for this. CBT had me overanalyzing things which i already was doing

I've found Get out of your mind and into your life to be helpful.

It's more about being "ok im feeling anxious and thats fine. Im ok with feeling anxious.". It's kind of amazing how much better that works than trying to fight against it. Another thing Ive learned from that book is to say "thanks for the input, brain." but not meanly just kinda patiently like im talking to an overanxious but kindly relative. "thanks for letting me know." it sounds silly but it really helps. I sometimes have to say it a bunch but it will help me get off the anxiety train.

Sorry for any typos, on my phone.
posted by sio42 at 5:11 AM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it common when trying cognitive behavioral therapy for you to become more anxious when challenging your thoughts?

That's, to my understanding, a part of it, depending on what you're in CBT to do. Acknowledging the anxiety (or, in my case, the obsessive thoughts) and understanding that the feelings that you're having are just that...feelings...which can be acknowledged, cataloged, and moved past, is one of the most powerful things about CBT for me.

Sometimes, my therapist has encouraged me to put a number to how uncomfortable I am, and then work toward moving that number down, by either sitting with it or thinking about what would make me less anxious/uncomfortable. It's done a tremendous amount to help me realize that I'm more than just my own thoughts.
posted by xingcat at 6:47 AM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hi thanks for the responses. I have been seeing my therapist since April. I was on a maintenance drug up until May. I have been completely sober from everything for almost 5 months. Somedays I feel ok and do not have any trouble. Very rarely though. The therapist and I dont really go over and cognitive exercises anymore. All he does is tell me about going to AA meetings. I been in the program and its not for me. That is why I go see a therapist to help me in my recovery. I have trouble talking to people. I am always analyzing myself. Some days are better than others. This hinders me from having confidence and being myself. Im starting to realize that things arent as bad as I make them out to be, but I still get upset because the feeling I get when I am judging myself when I think people are judging me. I want to get rid of the feeling and I try to accept it, but I still get the feeling. thanks guys any feedback will be appreciated.
posted by Truts83 at 3:55 PM on October 9, 2012

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