There is a lot of truth in the statement- A lot of the pain that we are dealing with are really only THOUGHTS
I know for me when I am feeling awful, a good portion of what is going on in my head is repetitive thoughts. Not the good variety either. They range from, god my life is terrible, I hate everything, life just isn’t worth all this pain, to, why do I have to be sick? This just isn’t fair. When taken alone, each of these thoughts are quite negative. When all piled together they compound pain and suffering. I know this. It doesn’t make the thoughts lessen, normally it only makes them worse.
I think this is where CBT has a place. It is such a simple direct way to challenge a thought, see it for the distortion, and attempt to change it. Again, not easy. Note I said simple, not easy. When I look at a CBT worksheet, I usually get irritable and frustrated. It never fails. I think to myself, you need a freakin worksheet to deal, what an idiot. Yeah, I know judgmental, and not helpful. I think it is because they so throughly CBT you in the hospital setting. It becomes boring, bordering on ridiculous. Doesn’t matter what the thought is, they will have you examine it for distortion. Kind of comical considering you are locked up on an inpatient unit, of course something is distorted. Nobody in their right mind goes there otherwise, unless they work there. Even then I think some are questionable. But I have gotten off topic.
I was about to rant about CBT worksheets and how they make me pissy. I think the bottom line is they make me feel like a kid. Endlessly going through homework problems. Here I am an adult and it continues. With a little talking to, I can get myself to do them. Yes, I do actually see how thoughts make my experience of depression more painful sometimes, heck, most of the time. I understand that it takes work to alter the endless supply of negative thoughts that saturate my depressed mind. I wish I could reach in and wring out that sponge filled with negative judgemental thoughts and start over. The sad fact is, I’d be right back to saturated and miserable, in no time. Where do they all come from? I think it is a lifetime, especially a childhood. A childhood where I spent so much time alone with my thoughts, and had plenty of time to twist and distort them.