Cognitive Bullshit Therapy

**** This is not meant to offend anyone CBT has worked for****

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors

I did CBT once for a couple of months. But it failed miserably, and actually caused me to backslide.
I think when it comes to personality disorders, dysfunctional thought patterns, low self esteem…CBT is probably fairly useful for gaining coping skills and being objective.

However when CBT is forced on someone with a legitimate mental illness and all the positive logical thought fails to regulate mood or calm anxiety…It is basically causing their self esteem to crumble. If simple positive thought and logic cured mental illness, none of us would bother with pills and therapy. No one would ever need a shrink or meds or hospitalization.
Making someone with a mental illness believe that they can “think” themselves out of a depression or manic episode or panic attacks is borderline negligent as well as defeating the purpose and cruel.

It is not that I don’t grasp the concept of CBT. I do. I have made great strides in the last few years recognizing my own moods and thought distortions. I know the depression lies, the manic episodes lie, and often how I think and feel is irrational.
I identify that.
I, however, cannot stick a spork into my brain and poke around and reroute the wiring so it gets on board with society’s plan of logic. If I could have, I’d foregone meds. One simple incident with a psych med gave me brain damage. I didn’t want that.
The ONLY reason I ever even went on psych meds was because I spent a year in therapy, a year in denial, doing what I was supposed to do, what was supposed to fix me, and even the therapists were saying, “You’ve done all you can do with regards to your behavior and thought, you need a medication to correct the imbalanced chemicals.”
I fought it that entire year. I was strong. I was determined. Nothing wrong with me but a dysfunctional upbringing and some self esteem issues (and PTSD) from being bullied at school for six years.
I could do it, no meds needed.

The lies we tell ourselves. And things like CBT encourages it.

Thought: “I have nothing to live for.”
Feeling: “I should just kill myself.”
Behavior: “I’m going to count all the pills in the place and take them all.”
Is this personality? Because on Monday you didn’t feel that way. Now you do and you believe it with every fiber of your being. And no matter how hard you focus on logic and tell yourself it’s distortion…
Mental illness doesn’t care.
It is what it is, much like you can’t wish a headache away. You have to ride it out. Today you want to die, tomorrow you may feel like Icarus flying to close to the sun.
It’s an illness for a reason.

An example where cognitive might be useful:
Thought: “Everyone is laughing at me because I am so stupid.”
Feeling: “I’m such a loser.”
Behavior: “I’m going to go home and cry.”

Now using CBT on such an incident:
Thought: “Everyone is laughing at me because I am so stupid.”
Feeling: “I am such a loser”
Behavior: “I am making myself way too important assuming people can be bothered to laugh at me, they’re probably sharing a joke or youtube clip.”

There IS a difference between negative thought and the cycle of mental illness that causes not just negative thought, but a profound belief, to your bone marrow, that it is the real deal.
Telling a suicidal person to use CBT is akin to helping them kill themselves.
If someone is depressed and CBT is forced on them…They come out worse because they fail at talking themselves out of how they feel.
If someone has anxiety attacks and are invalidated because CBT does nothing to quell the physical aspects…Again, defeats the purpose.
And thus as far as legit mental illness caused by out of whack wiring or chemicals, I call cognitive bullshit therapy.

See, I came to this conclusion all on my own. I didn’t need a therapist to guide me here. I can be my own therapist for the most part. I learned basic skills through 20 years of counseling. Now I do research. I chart my moods and anxieties with a blog. I am self aware to the nth degree.
And I know when I am being flawed and allowing my neurotic personality to steer my thoughts or when the illnesses actually have me hobbled.
The only answer to the latter is medication and allowing yourself to ride it out. Sometimes, you just have to accept you feel the way you do. No one expects you to question yourself when you feel happy.
So why must we feel so bad about ourselves and come up with explanations for feeling sad?
Sadness without any true cause is the very definition of depression.
Talking yourself out of it is asinine.
Not to say you can’t fight it.
But for every time we win the fight, there are ten times we lose the battle and I think in some ways, it’s self defeating.

So screw CBT.
I am going to stick to the best advice a therapist ever gave me, the one thing that I held onto for all these years.
“It’s okay to feel the way you do. It’s okay to let yourself feel depressed. You set one minor goal on those days, whether it’s a shower or cooking a meal. You do that much then you’ve made an effort and have earned the right to own your feelings no matter what they may be at that time.”

It takes a lot of pressure off.
Being expected to perform like a trained seal is counterproductive.
Being allow to feel your feelings…that’s therapeutic.

28 Responses to “Cognitive Bullshit Therapy”

  1. It worked for me in getting rid of abuse flashbacks, but I avoid it now because my brain just doesn’t ever want to go to gym again.

    • And that makes perfect sense inasmuch as abuse convinces the abused they did something to deserve what happened and it does take a toll on the mind and cause flashbacks. CBT is a valid avenue for that sort of thing. I just don’t think trying to talk yourself out of a manic or depressive episode is realistic. If it worked, I wouldn’t be shoveling ten pills a day.

      In all fairness, if the meds worked right, I probably wouldn’t spend so much time talking about pegacorns and sporks. Oh, well. Part of my charm.

      On Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 11:58 AM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:


  2. Beautifully said ❤

  3. 100% agreed with this post.

  4. To add I do believe I (too) can work through my shit by being my own therapist. Even my therapist said so. Timely I suppose considering I am going to lose therapy and medication. I better work my ass off in treating myself.

    • If I were you, I’d be demanding the contact info for every person involved in your disability being denied and use them as job references. See if they look at your history and think you’re stable enough to risk their reputations recommending you.
      Sorry, I just know too many people on disability milking their injuries or faking it or hell, just drinking themselves and drugging themselves into a stupor and nothing is done..Yet people who are trying so hard and need the stability get stabbed in the back. The system should be impaled by a pegacorn.

  5. Didn’t want to hurt my therapist’s feelings so I pretended CBT helped.

    Yeah, I know, that’s messed up. 😉

    • Oh, I get it. Last year when I had a three month stable period during manic season my shrink said hearing I was doing so well made her day.
      I transferred to a different doctor because when I regressed (and I did) I didn’t want to make her sad.
      It’s messed up but kinda says we’re good people, we don’t want to hurt others even if it’s just being honest.

      • “It’s messed up but kinda says we’re good people, we don’t want to hurt others even if it’s just being honest.” ~I like that.

  6. I can tell myself all the live long day I’m imagining it…but when we’re in the throws of it, I need someone to be my Fucking brain cuz mine ain’t werkin! I thank the therapy gods for Jane cuz she’s been there to help rationalize me when I couldn’t function. And if I could think my way out of it, I wouldn’t need to take these Damn meds and adjust their times so I don’t get even more insane… bullshit indeed.

  7. You’ve given me an idea. I do at least have their phone numbers. They are so quick to judge to decide I can work but when shit comes down to it not one is willing to vouch I’m a dependable employee. Fucking assholes. Every lot of them.

  8. Hi. I have been told i need to do cbt mbt stuff in a course over 18mth which means leaving my current t who i trust a bit. Is This useful for DID you think. Like I’m thinking is going to be a waste of time because of all my different parts

    • CBT did not work for me in the least but it does wonders for some. If you trust your current therapist, stay with them and ask their opinion on the usefulness of this technique in your personal case. Much of it is personality type and if you have an organic imbalance. CBT for past trauma and such could work well for one, not for another. I know personally, my experience was not productive because you can’t “counsel” bipolar depression away.

      • Yeah that’s true. About counseling bipolar. Well i know over my life i do have bpd traits and that’s what they wanted me to go for but i have DID and they want to ignore that. Where as my current t isn’t ignoring it. We have issues with her alot but that’s the different parts and their acting out our whatever they do.

  9. CBT is bullshit and just forcing yourself to ignore the symptoms of mental illness/trauma. I bloody hate it.

  10. P stamand Says:

    Cbt is not bullshit. Cbt is the most extensively researched and validated psychotherapeutic system in the world. It simply may not be indicated for your condition.

    • I agree, it has worked for many. But most of those it has worked for had behavioral issues as opposed to chemical imbalances. In my case, I find it useless.

      For those it works for, excellent.

      I stand by my assessment that in my case, it is bullshit. Cos ya know, this is MY blog.

      Thanks for your input 🙂

    • It IS bullshit, and forcing the brain by bullying it to ignore symptoms of illness or responses coming from trauma. Not only do the mentally ill get fobbed off with this crap but so do the rape victims, cancer patients, robbery hostages, car crash survivors, old widows, molested children etc. The quacks who “specialize” in this are obviously not allowed to dole out pills like candy for the pharmaceutical companies who pay commission money and kickbacks for every prescription written, so they use CBT as an alternative method to get paid. These poor sufferers don’t deserve a self-righteous asshole with an agenda bullshitting them with false hope for a paycheck. Having a psychiatric disorder is not a choice. Bullshitting someone out of their hard-earned cash is.

  11. My last therapist (not that I have made it to many) threw CBT at me and wanted me to distill an experience down to one thought? This must have been invented by a man. Better to hit it at a emotional/physical level. One emotion can unload a shitload of thoughts. Why can’t therapy include a physical aspect? If I’m paying $100/hr that person better be getting down on the floor with me. Better for me to go to a yoga class. Or for the price of a therapist, have a personal yoga training. Jeez. At least I feel some difference in my body, which does not happen with traditional therapy, for me anyway. Not that I have bipolar, but I have an ‘anxiety’ disorder (slightly agoraphobic?) that has restricted most of my life. Still have to force myself to leave the house most days. Yet this is (traditional therapy) what people think of when they say, why don’t you get help? Please. Oh, and this therapist advertised mind body spirit therapy. It was nice to talk to someone who listened, and we had some good laughs, but I am not rich and think it is sad that I have to pay that much to find a person to care enough about mental/emotional health to try and understand.

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