DBT: First Fortnight Thoughts 

If you’ve been following the start of my ‘Mouse Does DBT’ series you will know that I have recently started an intensive course of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. So far I am undeniably sceptical. I’m intrigued how and if this therapy will help me.

DBT is practical- which is a good thing. The practical approach means that the skills are useful for any human being on the planet- regardless of if they have illness. I have noticed that DBT is incredibly hard work. Coming out of my first group session I felt like I had been run over by a bus on the M25. Once I had recovered from it, there was stacks of reading and a piece of daily homework to do. After my first one to one I was terrified. I was told that I (like everyone else) will inevitably get things wrong in DBT. Even though I logically know this, it isn’t a comfortable thought for me. I desperately want to get everything right so that I have the best possible chance of recovery.  The therapist also said that she would tell me if she felt that I was not working hard enough- but what if I truly do work my hardest but DBT just doesn’t work for me? 

To mice sitting around a coffee table with a box of tissues on. One of the mice is wearing a lanyard.

The frustrating thing is that I am already aware of many skills that could help me. I can talk breathing exercises and self soothe boxes until I’m blue in the face. Unfortunately dissociation means I am zoned out, cut off and unaware at the exact moment I should be using any of these techniques. To the outside world it looks like a seizure and I am completely unaware of everything around me. 

Apparently with DBT I will one day be able to break down the chain of events that lead to a dissociative episode and eventually catch it before it strikes. At the moment disociation feels like the plug for my consciousness being pulled out suddenly for reasons I’m not always aware of. I can’t even imagine having the time and prior knowledge to slow -let alone stop- an attack. 

At the moment I have serious doubts over whether DBT is for me. There’s no way of knowing for -realistically- a few months at the least. I find it frustrating that even when I am not depressed and feeling pretty good I still have to go to therapy that stresses me out. I am aware that it would be completely stupid to stop going, because I know in my heart of hearts that depression will inevitably come knocking for me again. When that happens I need all the help I can get. I’ve got to keep going, keep trying to understand the skills and keep talking to all the professionals. I always find my own way in the end and in the long term DBT will do me no harm even if (worst case scenario) it does me no good.  

3 thoughts on “DBT: First Fortnight Thoughts 

  1. Keep on you are brave! I felt very much the same and then every other emo possible, thought I’d never make it through. So glad you are walking that path through hell to get out of misery- yea feels fantastic I know. I still struggle with pieces of my bpd a year and a half after my intense 6! Mo treatment. A lot. But seeing the progress month by month and then year to year is intensely empowering- we with bpd are some of the kindest, most compassionate and strongest people. You encouraged me just by writing about your treatment, something I’ve still yet to do.

    • Hello! It’s nice to see someone new pop up here. It sounds like it was pretty intense for you too, I’m glad i’m not alone! I’ve decided to blog the skills because, if nothing else, it makes me think about and understand them more. Feel free to comment and correct me if you think I’ve interpreted any wrongly! Group is always a bit of a blur. Hope you are having a good day. x

  2. Well done on your progress. I understand your frustration with dissociation. It is very frustrating. I am starting DBT third time round and suffering from anxiety due to group work. Hope you are well. X

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