Friday, September 10, 2010

Have you gone mental (XII)

So I've asked myself, is there some "cure" for my mixed depression-anxiety? I alluded to the idea that medication only covers or masks particular symptoms. These symptoms seem to abate, but they run under the radar or return in waves first one, then the other, then both at the same time.

Is there a cure? I, from my over 20 year history, would have to say no. Psychology offers techniques or "bags of tricks". Psychodynamic therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy both have something to contribute. A recent therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, in the minds of many, shows the best promise. It comes with a bag of tricks that is far more detailed than the others. Sometimes the devil is in the details. In my reading of a book on DBT, it demonstrated to me that the detailed approach to depression-anxiety is extremely overwhelming. 'If this happens, do this. If that happens do that'. It is not that the insights and methods are not helpful, but the help is brief and shortlived because the mixture of these disorders is extremely complex. The difficulty remembering what to do in a given situation may involve carrying a 250 page workbook around to be able to use, much less master the techniques for the one who suffers... The feelings are pervasive and recurrent; they are chronic. Many times a bag of tricks is of little or no help.

There is some temporary relief for these mixed disorders, but long term cure; no... not in my experience. As a therapist (former???) myself I have helped many patients develop bags of tricks to ameliorate certain symptoms. But in most cases the current disorder(s) being experienced by the patient, ebb and flow for the long term. Bags of tricks are always limited in their effectiveness over time.

Looking back over this blog I can see it does not leave one much hope. I can only deliniate my own experience and wish it were different.

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