Friday, May 2, 2008

Cognitive Therapy and Lyme Disease

Anyone who has been chronically ill for any length of time understands that you, many times, may feel less than adequate to handle your day-to-day activities. How do you take that thinking and change it to the positive? Cognitive therapy.

"Cognitive therapy seeks to identify and change "distorted" or "unrealistic" ways of thinking, and therefore to influence emotion and behaviour." wikipedia

"One etiological theory of depression is the Aaron Beck cognitive theory of depression. His theory is regarded as the most verified psychological theory of depression. His theory states that depressed people feel the way they do because their thinking is biased towards negative interpretations. According to Beck’s theory of the etiology of depression, depressed people acquire a negative schema of the world in childhood and adolescence. (Children and adolescents who suffer from depression acquire this negative schema earlier.) Depressed people acquire such schemas through a loss of a parent, rejection by peers, criticism from teachers or parents, the depressive attitude of a parent and other negative events. When the person with such schemas encounters a situation that resembles in some way, even remotely, the conditions in which the original schema was learned, the negative schemas of the person are activated.

Beck also included a negative triad in his theory. A negative triad is made up of the negative schemas and cognitive biases of the person. A cognitive bias is a view of the world. Depressed people, according to this theory, have views such as “I never do a good job.” A negative schema helps give rise to the cognitive bias, and the cognitive bias helps fuel the negative schema. This is the negative triad. Also, Beck proposed that depressed people often have the following cognitive biases: arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization, magnification and minimization. These cognitive biases are quick to make negative, generalized, and personal inferences of the self, thus fueling the negative schema."
Through therapy with someone who is trained in cognitive therapy you soon realize that no matter what happens TO you, you can create your reality based on YOUR reaction to what happens. This therapy also helps you create your reality the positive way, regardless of what has happened in your past.

When I have listened to, watched YouTube videos of, or read about those who have been chronically ill with Lyme or with other illnesses, it seems that many wallow in their situation.

Research has proven the mind-body connection regarding illness and healing. When your mind is constantly on your illness or disease, it tends to cause the symptoms to get worse and often times causes a delay in healing.

When you talk to others, do you constantly discuss your illness?

When you are at home, not feeling well, do you just lay around?

Keep up on world affairs and/or other topics (other than your disease or illness) that you love. Use those as conversation pieces.

When you are not feeling well and are at home, do you set goals for yourself? Set a goal of what accomplishments you'd like to take care of during any particular day. Make these goals reasonable. Don't make a long list. You will be happy and boosted up by accomplishing those little tasks that you set as goals.

Additionally, when you have down time, don't lay and watch TV. Read. Stimulate your brain. Read uplifting literature. Take time to stretch your muscles. Use a beginner Yoga and/or Tai Chi video to make yourself stronger. It will make your mind and emotional center more calm, as well as help your muscles to become stronger and less sore. You will be amazed at the results!

Without cognitive therapy and the practice of what I have been taught, I would not make it through each day in such a positive manner. I love life! There are endless possibilities!

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